بخش 54

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 54

بخش 54

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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متن انگلیسی فصل

Sultan Walad

KONYA, DECEMBER 1245

Banter to some, but it pains me to hear the gossip. How can people be so disdainful and scornful with regard to things they know so little about? It is queer, if not frightening, how out of touch with truth people are! They don’t understand the depth of the bond between my father and Shams. Apparently they haven’t read the Qur’an. Because if they had, they would know that there are similar stories of spiritual companionship, such as the story of Moses and Khidr.

It is in the verse al-Kahf, clear and plain. Moses was an exemplary man, great enough to become a prophet someday, as well as a legendary commander and lawmaker. But there was a time when he sorely needed a spiritual companion to open his third eye. And that companion was no other than Khidr, the Comforter of the Distressed and Dejected.

Khidr said to Moses, “I am a lifelong traveler. God has assigned me to roam the world and do what needs to be done. You say you want to join me in my journeys, but if you follow me, you must not question anything I do. Can you bear to accompany me without questioning? Can you trust me fully?” “Yes, I can,” Moses assured him. “Let me come with you. I promise, I won’t ask you any questions.”

So they set out on the road, visiting various towns on the way. But when he witnessed Khidr perform senseless actions, like killing a young boy or sinking a boat, Moses could not hold his tongue. “Why did you do those awful things?” he asked desperately.

“What happened to your promise?” Khidr asked back. “Did I not tell you that you can ask me no questions?”

Each time Moses apologized, promising not to ask anything, and each time he broke his promise. In the end, Khidr explained the reason behind each and every one of his actions. Slowly but surely, Moses understood that things that can seem malicious or unfortunate are often a blessing in disguise, whereas things that might seem pleasant can be harmful in the long run. His brief companionship with Khidr was to be the most eye-opening experience in his life.

As in this parable, there are friendships in this world that seem incomprehensible to ordinary people but are in fact conduits to deeper wisdom and insight. This is how I regard Shams’s presence in my father’s life.

But I know that other people don’t see it in the same way, and I am worried. Unfortunately, Shams does not make it easy for people to like him. Sitting at the gate of the seminary in an embarrassingly tyrannical manner, he stops and interrogates everyone who wants to go in to talk to my father.

“What do you want to see the great Mawlana for?” he asks. “What did you bring as a gift?”

Not knowing what to say, people stammer and falter, even apologize. And Shams sends them away.

Some of these visitors return in a few days with presents, carrying dried fruits, silver dirhams, silk carpets, or newborn lambs. But seeing these goods annoys Shams even more. His black eyes aglow, his face glittering with fervor, he chases them away again.

One day a man got so upset with Shams he shouted, “What gives you the right to block Mawlana’s door? You keep asking everyone what they are bringing! How about you? What did you bring him?” “I brought myself,” Shams said, just loud enough to be heard. “I sacrificed my head for him.”

The man trudged off, mumbling something under his breath, looking more confused than enraged.

The same day I asked Shams if it didn’t trouble him that he was so widely misunderstood and underappreciated. Scarcely able to contain my apprehension, I pointed out that he had gained many enemies lately.

Shams looked at me blankly, as if he had no idea what I was talking about. “But I have no enemies,” he said with a shrug. “The lovers of God can have critics and even rivals, but they cannot have enemies.” “Yes, but you quarrel with people,” I objected.

Shams bristled with fervor. “I don’t quarrel with them, I quarrel with their ego. That’s different.”

Then he added softly, “It is one of the forty rules: This world is like a snowy mountain that echoes your voice. Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbors ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of forty days, because you will be different inside.” “But people are saying all sorts of things about you. They even say for two men to be so fond of each other there has to be an unspeakable bond between them,” I said, my voice failing me toward the end.

Upon hearing this, Shams put his hand on my arm and smiled his usual calming smile. He then told me a story.

Two men were traveling from one town to another. They came to a stream that had risen due to heavy rainfall. Just when they were about to cross the water, they noticed a young, beautiful woman standing there all alone, in need of help. One of the men immediately went to her side. He picked the woman up and carried her in his arms across the stream. Then he dropped her there, waved good-bye, and the two men went their way.

During the rest of the trip, the second traveler was unusually silent and sullen, not responding to his friend’s questions. After several hours of sulking, unable to keep silent anymore, he said, “Why did you touch that woman? She could have seduced you! Men and women cannot come into contact like that!” The first man responded calmly, “My friend, I carried the woman across the stream, and that is where I left her. It is you who have been carrying her ever since.”

“Some people are like that,” Shams said. “They carry their own fears and biases on their shoulders, crushed under all that weight. If you hear of anyone who cannot comprehend the depth of the bond between your father and me, tell him to wash his mind!”

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