Symbols of the world's religions

               

THE YOUNG SUFI'S LOVE FOR GOD

Bill Le Page

 
Three young Sufis were condemned to death by the Sultan for heresy. One stepped forward, asking to be beheaded first. The Sultan was amazed, and asked why a man in the prime of life should seek death so eagerly.

The Sufi replied that every moment in life is precious because it can be spent in remembrance of the Beloved, and he wished to give his brothers the extra moments of life by dying first. "One moment of this world is better than a thousand years of the next world, because this is the place of service and that is the place of proximity, and proximity is gained by service."

The Sultan was so impressed by the young Sufi's love for God that he pardoned all three and said, "Ask a boon."

They replied, "The only boon we ask of you is that you should forget us, and neither make us your favourites nor banish us from your court, for your favour and displeasure are alike to us."

The Sultan wept, and dismissed them with honour.

THE TURNING OF THE KEY, pp. 153-154
1993 © Bill Le Page

               

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