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The Woman Who Was The Master Of Bayazid Bestami


It is said that when Bayazid Bestami was asked who his master was, he explained:
She was an old woman.
One day, I was possessed by such ecstasy and yearning and sense of unity that not even a hair of anything else could be found in me. In this selfless mood, I went for a stroll in the desert, where I happened to meet an elderly lady burdened with a bag of flour.
She asked me to carry the flour for her, but I was incapable of taking it, so I beckoned to a lion to take the load. The lion came up to me and I laid the sack upon its back. I then asked the old lady what she intended to say to the townspeople since I did not want them to apprehend who I was.
"I'll tell them," she replied, "that I met a vain tyrant."
"What are talking about?" I exclaimed.
The lady explained thus, first asking: "Has the lion been put to trouble or not?"
"No," I answered. -
"Except for the fact that you burden down those whom God Himself has not burdened!" she objected. "Is that not oppression?"
"So it is", I admitted.
"And, despite this", she continued, "still you desire the townspeople to know that you have subjected a lion and are a miracle worker. Is that not vanity?"
"Yes, it is", I confessed.
So I repented, experiencing abasement from my former exaltation. Indeed that old woman's words performed the function of a spiritual guide and master for me.
SOURCE: Attar, Tadhkerat al-auliya

Story Using Bad Language

Mahmud was a very pious man, but he was not very attractive looking. One day, he was walking along the road, minding his own business, when a lady came up to him, and started calling him names and abusing him. This lady kept saying all kinds of nasty things, and Mahmud just listened to her patiently. Finally, when she was finished calling him names and abusing him, Mahmud just greeted her, smiled, and said
"and a nice day to you," and continued on his way.
Why did Mahmud, the pious man, behave this way?
It is because he knew that everything she said was just a reflection of her own inner self.
If you use bad language, you are just making obvious to everybody how far away you really are from Allah, since your words are in reality a reflection of your own inner self.
from Irshad
by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi

Hazrat Hassan Al-Basri (ra) Impresses An Unbelieving Neighbour

Hazrat Hasan al-Basri once fell sick. His neighbour, an unbeliever, came to pay him a visit.
"O Imam," he exclaimed, "I detect a bad smell." The Imam told him it was caused by illness, but the neighbour insisted: "That is not the odor of sickness. It is a lavatory smell. For the love of Allah, tell me what it is!"
He had not noticed that sewage was leaking from his house into that of the Imam.
When the neighbour pressed him, the Imam finally said: "For some months your drain has been seeping through to our side. I tried to fix it, but without success."
His neighbour asked why he had not told him before, but the venerable Imam said: "I might have offended you."
The unbeliever was so impressed by this ethical refinement that he was ennobled with True Faith, for he recognized the Imam's morality as a ray of Islam.
from Irshad
by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi

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