بخش 79

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 79

بخش 79

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Shams

DAMASCUS, APRIL 1247

By the time spring was in full swing in Damascus, and ten months had passed since my departure from Konya, Sultan Walad found me. Under a clear blue sky, I was playing chess with a Christian hermit named Francis. He was a man whose inner equilibrium did not tilt easily, a man who knew the meaning of submission. And since Islam means the inner peace that comes from submission, to me Francis was more Muslim than many who claim to be so. For it is one of the forty rules: Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission—a power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.

I moved my vizier in order to force Francis’s king to shift position. With a quick and brave decision, he moved his rook. I had begun to suspect I was going to lose this game when I lifted my head and came eye to eye with Sultan Walad.

“Nice to see you,” I said. “So you have decided to look for me after all.”

He gave me a rueful smile, then turned somber, surprised to hear that I was aware of the internal struggle he had been through. But being the honest man that he was, he didn’t deny the truth.

“I spent some time wandering around instead of looking for you. But after a while I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t bring myself to lie to my father. I came to Damascus and started looking for you, but you weren’t easy to find.” “You are an honest man and a good son,” I said. “One day soon you’ll be a great companion to your father.”

Sultan Walad shook his head dolefully. “You are the only companion he needs. I want you to come back to Konya with me. My father needs you.”

Many things churned in my brain upon hearing this invitation, and none of them were clear at first. My nafs reacted with fear at the idea of going back to a place where I was clearly unwelcome.

Don’t listen to him. You are done with your mission. You don’t have to return to Konya. Remember what Baba Zaman told you. It’s way too dangerous. If you go back to that town you will never come out again.

I wanted to keep traveling the world, meet new people and see new cities. I had liked Damascus, too, and could easily stay there until the next winter. Traveling to a new place often engendered a dreadful sense of loneliness and sadness in the soul of a man. But with God by my side, I was content and fulfilled in my solitude.

Yet I knew too well that my heart was in Konya. I missed Rumi so much that it was too painful even to utter his name. At the end of the day, what difference would it make which city I stayed in, as long as Rumi was not beside me? Wherever he lived, there was my qibla.

I moved my king on the chessboard. Francis’s eyes flew open as he detected the fatal position. But in chess, just as in life, there were moves that you made for the sake of winning and there were moves you made because they were the right thing to do.

“Please come with me,” implored Sultan Walad, interrupting my thoughts. “The people who gossiped about you and treated you badly are remorseful. Everything will be better this time, I promise.” My boy, you can’t make such promises, I wanted to tell him. Nobody can!

But instead I nodded and said, “I would like to watch the sunset in Damascus one more time. Tomorrow we can leave for Konya.”

“Really? Thank you!” Sultan Walad beamed with relief. “You don’t know how much this will mean to my father.”

I then turned to Francis, who was patiently waiting for me to return to the game. When he had my full attention, an impish smile crept along his mouth.

“Watch out, my friend,” he said, his voice triumphant. “Checkmate.”

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