بخش 58

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بخش 58

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
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Shams

KONYA, JANUARY 1246

Bad-mouthing one another is second nature to many people. I heard the rumors about me. Ever since I came to Konya, there have been so many of them. It doesn’t surprise me. Although it clearly says in the Qur’an that slandering is one of the gravest sins ever, most people make hardly any effort to avoid it. They always condemn those who drink wine, or are on the lookout for adulterous women to stone, but when it comes to gossiping, which is a far more serious sin in the eyes of God, they take no notice of any wrongdoing.

All of this reminds me of a story.

One day a man came running to a Sufi and said, panting, “Hey, they are carrying trays, look over there!”

The Sufi answered calmly, “What is it to us? Is it any of my business?”

“But they are taking those trays to your house!” the man exclaimed.

“Then is it any of your business?” the Sufi said.

Unfortunately, people always watch the trays of others. Instead of minding their own business, they pass judgment on other people. It never ceases to amaze me the things they fabricate! Their imagination knows no limits when it comes to suspicion and slander.

Apparently there are people in this town who believe that I am the secret commander of the Assassins. Some go so far as to claim that I am the son of the last Ismaili imam of Alamut. They say I am so skilled in black magic and witchcraft that whomever I curse will die on the spot. Some others even make the outrageous accusation that I have put a spell on Rumi. Just to make sure he doesn’t break the spell, I force him to drink snake soup every day at dawn!

When I hear such claptrap, I laugh and walk away. What else is there to do? What harm comes to a dervish from the sourness of others? If the whole world were swallowed by the sea, what would it matter to a duck?

Nevertheless, I can see that the people around me are worried, particularly Sultan Walad. He is such a bright young man I am sure someday soon he will become his father’s best aide. And then there is Kimya, sweet Kimya.… She, too, seems concerned. But the worst thing about the gossip is that Rumi gets his share of vilification. Unlike me, he isn’t used to being bad-mouthed by others. It torments me to see him distressed over the words of ignorant people. Mawlana has immense beauty inside. I, on the other hand, have both beauty and ugliness. It is easier for me to deal with the ugliness of others than it is for him. But how can an erudite scholar who is used to having serious conversations and logical conclusions handle the claptrap of ignorant people?

No wonder the Prophet Muhammad said, “In this world take pity on three kinds of people. The rich man who has lost his fortune, the well-respected man who has lost his respectability, and the wise man who is surrounded by ignorants.” And yet I can’t help thinking that there could be some good for Rumi in all this. Slander is a hurtful, albeit necessary, element in Rumi’s inner transformation. His whole life he has been admired, respected, and imitated, having a reputation beyond reproach. He doesn’t know how it feels to be misunderstood and criticized by others. Nor has he been pestered by the sort of vulnerability and loneliness that one feels from time to time. His ego has not been bruised, not even slightly damaged, by other people. But he needs that. As hurtful as it is, being slandered is ultimately good for one on the path. It is Rule Number Thirty: The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked, and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a single bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place?

How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?

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