The Gulistan of Sa'di
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The Gulistan of Sa'di
Written 1258 A.C.E.
On the Effects of Education
A vezier who had a stupid son gave him in charge of a scholar to
instruct him and if possible to make him intelligent. Having been some
time under instruction but ineffectually, the learned man sent one to his
father with the words: 'The boy is not becoming intelligent and has made
a fool of me.'
When a nature is originally receptive
Instruction will take effect thereon.
No kind of polishing will improve iron
Whose essence is originally bad.
Wash a dog in the seven oceans,
He will be only dirtier when he gets wet.
If the ass of Jesus be taken to Mekkah
He will on his return still be an ass.
A sage, instructing boys, said to them: 'O darlings of your fathers,
learn a trade because property and riches of the world are not to be relied
upon; also silver and gold are an occasion of danger because either a thief
may steal them at once or the owner spend them gradually; but a profession
is a living fountain and permanent wealth; and although a professional
man may lose riches, it does not matter because a profession is itself
wealth and wherever he goes he will enjoy respect and sit in high places,
whereas he who has no trade will glean crumbs and see
It is difficult to obey after losing dignity
And to bear violence from men after being caressed.
Once confusion arose in Damascus.
Everyone left his snug corner.
Learned sons of peasants
Became the veziers of padshahs.
Imbecile sons of the veziers
Went as mendicants to peasants.
If you wanted thy father's inheritance, acquire his
Because this property of his may be spent in ten
An illustrious scholar, who was the tutor of a royal prince, had
the habit of striking him unceremoniously and treating him severely. The
boy, who could no longer bear this violence, went to his father to complain
and when he had taken off his coat, the father's heart was moved with pity.
Accordingly he called for the tutor and said: 'Thou dost not permit thyself
to indulge in so much cruelty towards the children of my subjects as thou
inflictest upon my son. What is the reason?' He replied: 'It is incumbent
upon all persons in general to converse in a sedate manner and to behave
in a laudable way but more especially upon padshahs because whatever they
say or do is commented on by everybody, the utterances or acts of common
people being of no such consequence.
'If a hundred unworthy things are committed by a
His companions do not know one in a hundred.
But if a padshah utters only one jest
It is borne from country to country.
'It is the duty of a royal prince's tutor to train up the sons
of his lord in refinement of morals-and Allah caused her to grow up as
a beautiful plant-more diligently than the sons of common
He whom thou hast not punished when a child
Will not prosper when he becomes a man.
While a stick is green, thou canst bend it as thou
When it is dry, fire alone can make it straight.
The king, being pleased with the appropriate discipline of the
tutor and with his explanatory reply, bestowed upon him a robe of honour
with other gifts and raised him to a higher position.
I saw a schoolmaster in the Maghrib country, who was sour-faced,
of uncouth speech, ill-humoured, troublesome to the people, of a beggarly
nature and without self-restraint, so that the very sight of him disgusted
the Musalmans and when reading the Quran he distressed the hearts of the
people. A number of innocent boys and little maidens suffered from the
hand of his tyranny, venturing neither to laugh nor to speak because he
would slap the silver-cheeks of some and put the crystal legs of others
into the stocks. In short, I heard that when his behaviour had attained
some notoriety, he was expelled from the school and another installed as
corrector, who happened to be a religious, meek, good and wise man. He
spoke only when necessary and found no occasion to deal harshly with anyone
so that the children lost the fear they had entertained for their first
master and, taking advantage of the angelic manners of the second, they
acted like demons towards each other and, trusting in his gentleness, neglected
their studies, spending most of their time in play, and breaking on the
heads of each other the tablets' of their unfinished
If the schoolmaster happens to be lenient
The children will play leapfrog in the bazar.
Two weeks afterwards I happened to pass near that same mosque where
I again saw the first master whom the people had made glad by reconciliation
and had reinstalled in his post. I was displeased, exclaimed 'La haul',
and asked why they had again made Iblis the teacher of angels. An old man,
experienced in the world, who had heard me, smiled and said: 'Hast thou
not heard the maxim?
A padshah placed his son in a school,
Putting in his lap a silver tablet
With this inscription in golden letters:
The severity of a teacher is better than the love of a
The son of a pious man inherited great wealth left him by some
uncles, whereon he plunged into dissipation and profligacy, became a spendthrift
and, in short, left no heinous transgression unperpetrated and no intoxicant
untasted. I advised him and said: 'My son, income is a flowing water and
expense a turning mill; that is to say, only he who has a fixed revenue
is entitled to indulge in abundant expenses.
'If thou hast no income, spend but frugally
Because the sailors chant this song:
"If there be no rain in the mountains
The bed of the Tigris will be dry in one year."
'Follow wisdom and propriety, abandon play and sport because thy
wealth will be exhausted, whereon thou wilt fall into trouble and will
repent.' The youth was prevented by the delights of the flute and of drink
from accepting my admonition but found fault therewith, saying that it
is contrary to the opinion of intelligent men to embitter present tranquillity
by cares concerning the future:
Why should possessors of enjoyment and luck
Bear sorrow for fear of distress?
Go, be merry, my heart-rejoicing friend.
The pain of tomorrow must not be eaten today.
And how could I restrain myself, who am occupying the highest seat
of liberality, have bound the knot of generosity and the fame of whose
beneficence has become the topic of general conversation?
Who has become known for his liberality and
Must not put a lock upon his dirhems.
When the name of a good fellow has spread in a locality
The door cannot be dosed against it.
When I perceived that he did not accept my advice and that my warm
breath was not taking effect upon his cold iron, I left off admonishing
him and turned away my face from his companionship, acting according to
the words of philosophers, who said: Impart to them what thou hast and
if they receive it not, it is not thy fault.
Although thou knowest thou wilt not be heard,
Whatever thou knowest of good wishes and advice.
It may soon happen that thou wilt behold a silly
With both his feet fallen into captivity,
Striking his hands together, and saying: 'Alas,
I have not listened to the advice of a scholar.'
After some time I saw the consequences of his dissolute behaviour-which
I apprehended-realized. When I beheld him sewing patch upon patch and gathering
crumb after crumb, my heart was moved with pity for his destitute condition,
in which I did not consider it humane to scratch his internal wounds with
reproaches or to sprinkle salt upon them. Accordingly, I said to
A foolish fellow in the height of intoxication
Cares not for the coming day of distress.
The tree which sheds its foliage in spring
Will certainly have no leaves remaining in winter.
A padshah entrusted a tutor with the care of his son, saying: 'This
is thy son. Educate him as if he were one of thy own children.' He kept
the prince for some years and strove to instruct him but could effect nothing,
whilst the sons of the tutor made the greatest progress in accomplishments
and eloquence. The king reproved and threatened the learned man with punishment,
telling him that he had acted contrary to his promise and had been unfaithful.
He replied: 'O king, the instruction is the same but the natures are
Although both silver and gold come from stones
All stones do not contain silver and gold.
Canopus is shining upon the whole world
But produces in some places sack-leather and in others
I heard a pir-instructor say to his murid: 'The mind of man is
so much occupied with thoughts about maintenance that he would surpass
the position of angels if he were to devote as many of them to the giver
Yazed has not forgotten thee at the time
When thou wast sperm, buried, insensible.
He gave thee a soul, nature, intellect and perception,
Beauty, speech, opinion, meditation and acuteness.
He arranged five fingers on thy fist.
He fixed two arms to thy shoulders.
O thou whose aspirations are base, thinkest he will
Forget to provide thee with a maintenance?
I saw an Arab of the desert who said to his boy: 'O son, on the
day of resurrection thou wilt be asked what thou hast gained and not from
whom thou art descended, that is to say, thou wilt be asked what thy merit
is and not who thy father was.'
The covering of the Ka'bah which is kissed
Has not been ennobled by the silkworm.
It was some days in company with a venerable man
Wherefore it became respected like himself.
It is narrated in the compositions of philosophers that scorpions
are not born in the same manner like other living beings but that they
devour the bowels of their mother and, after gnawing through the belly,
betake themselves to the desert. The skins which may be seen in the nests
of scorpions are the evidence of this. I narrated this story to an illustrious
man who then told me that his own heart bore witness to the truth of it
for the case could not be otherwise inasmuch as they, having in their infancy
dealt thus with their fathers and mothers, they were beloved and respected
in the same manner when they grow old.
A father thus admonished his son:
O noble fellow, remember this advice.
'Whoever is not faithful to his origin
Will not become the companion of happiness.'
A scorpion, having been asked why he did not go out in winter,
replied: 'What honour do I enjoy in summer that I should come out also
The wife of a dervish had become enceinte and when the time of
her confinement was at hand, the dervish who had no child during all his
life said: 'If God the most high and glorious presents me with a son, I
shall bestow everything I possess as alms upon dervishes, except this patched
garment of mine which I am wearing.' It happened that the infant was a
son. He rejoiced and gave a banquet to the dervishes, as he had promised.
Some years afterwards when I returned from a journey to Syria, I passed
near the locality of the dervish and asked about his circumstances but
was told that he had been put in prison by the police. Asking for the cause,
I was told that his son, having become drunk, quarrelled and having shed
the blood of a man, had fled; whereon his father was instead of him loaded
with a chain on his neck and heavy fetters on his legs. I replied: 'He
had himself asked God the most high and glorious for this
If pregnant women, O man of intellect,
Bring forth serpents at the time of birth,
It is better in the opinion of the wise
Than to give birth to a wicked progeny.
When I was a child I asked an illustrious man about puberty. He
replied: 'It is recorded in books that it has three signs. First, the age
of fifteen years; secondly nocturnal pollutions; and thirdly, sprouting
of hair on the pudenda; but in reality there is only one sign which is
sufficient that thou shouldst seek the approbation of the most high and
glorious rather than to be in the bondage of sensual pleasures; and whoever
does not entertain this disposition is by erudite men considered not to
have attained puberty.'
The form of man was attained by a drop of water
Which remained forty days in the womb.
If in forty years it has not attained sense and
It can in reality not be called a man.
Virility consists in liberality and amiableness.
Think not that it is only in the material figure.
Virtue is necessary because the form may be painted
In halls with vermilion or verdigris.
If a man possesses not excellence and goodness
What is the difference between him and a picture on the
It is no virtue to gain the whole world.
Gain the heart of one person if thou canst.
One year discord had arisen in a caravan among the walking portion
and I also travelled on foot. To obtain justice we attacked each other's
heads and faces, giving full vent to pugnacity and contention. I saw a
man sitting in a camel litter and saying to his companion: 'How wonderful!
A pawn of ivory travels across the chess-board and becomes a farzin, and
the footmen of the Haj travelled across the whole desert only to become
Tell on my part to the man-biting Haji
Who tears the skins of people with torments:
Thou art not a Haji but a camel is one
Because, poor brute, it feeds on thorns and bears
An Indian who was learning how to throw naphtha was thus reproved
by a sage: 'This is not a play for thee whose house is made of
Speak not unless thou knowest it is perfectly
And ask not what thou knowest will not elicit a good
A little man with a pain in his eyes went to a farrier to be treated
by him. The farrier applied to his eyes what he used to put in those of
quadrupeds so that the man became blind and lodged a complaint with the
judge who, however, refrained from punishing the farrier, saying: 'Had
this man not been an ass, he would not have gone to a farrier.' The moral
of this story is to let thee know that whoever entrusts an inexperienced
man with an important business and afterwards repents is by intelligent
persons held to suffer from levity of intellect.
A shrewd and enlightened man will not give
Affairs of importance to a base fellow to transact.
A mat-maker although employed in weaving
Is not set to work in a silk-factory.
An illustrious man had a worthy son who died. Being asked what
he desired to be written upon the sarcophagus of the tomb, he replied:
'The verses of the glorious book' are deserving of more honour than to
be written on such a spot, where they would be injured by the lapse of
time, would be walked upon by persons passing by and urinated upon by dogs.
If anything is necessarily to be written, let what follows
Wah! How-every time the plants in the garden
Sprouted-glad became my heart.
Pass by, O friend, that in the spring
Thou mayest see plants sprouting from my loam.'
A pious man happened to pass near a rich fellow who had a slave
and was just chastising him after having tied his feet and hands. He said:
'My son, God the most high and glorious has given a creature like thyself
into thy power and has bestowed upon thee superiority over him. Give thanks
to the Almighty and do not indulge in so much violence towards the man
because it is not meet that in the morn of resurrection he should be better
than thyself and put thee to shame.'
Be not much incensed against a slave.
Oppress him not, grieve not his heart.
Thou hast purchased him for ten dirhems
And hast not after all created him by thy power.
How long is this command, pride and power to last?
There is a Master more exalted than thou.
O thou owner of Arslan and of Aghosh,
Do not forget him who is thy commander.
There is a tradition that the prince of the world, upon whom be
the benediction of Allah and peace, has said: 'It will occasion the greatest
sorrow on the day of resurrection when a pious worshipper is conveyed to
paradise and a lord of profligacy to hell.'
Upon the slave subject to thy service
Vent not boundless anger but treat him gently
Because on the day of reckoning it will be a shame
To see the slave free and his owner in chains.
One year I travelled from Balkh with Damascenes and the road being
full of danger on account of robbers, a young man accompanied us as an
escort. He was expert with the shield and the bow, handled every weapon
and so strong that ten men were not able to span his bow-string. Moreover
the athletes of the face of the earth could not bend his back down to the
ground. He was, however, rich, brought up in the shade, without experience
in the world, the drum-sounds of warriors never having reached his ears
nor the lightning of the swords of horsemen dazzled his
He had not fallen prisoner into the hands of a
No shower of arrows had rained around him.
I happened to be running together with this youth, who threw down
by the force of his arm every wall that came in his way, and pulled up
by the strength of his fist every big tree he saw, exclaiming,
Where is the elephant that he may see the shoulders of the
Where is the lion that he may see the fists of men?
On that occasion two Indians showed their heads from behind a rock,
desirous to attack us. One of them had a club in his hand whilst the other
showed a sling under his arm. I asked our youth what he was waiting
Show what thou hast of bravery and strength
For here is the foe, coming on his own feet to the
I saw the arrow and bow falling from the hands of the young man
and his bones trembling:
Not everyone who splits a hair with a cuirass-piercing
Can, on the day of attack by warriors, extricate his
We saw no other remedy but to abandon our baggage, arms and clothes,
whereby we saved our lives.
Employ an experienced man in important affairs
Who is able to ensnare a fierce lion with his lasso.
A youth, though he may have a strong arm and elephant-body,
His joints will snap asunder for fear in contact with a
The issue of a battle is known by a tried man before the
Like the solution of a legal question to a learned
I noticed the son of a rich man, sitting on the grave of his father
and quarreling with a dervish-boy, saying: 'The sarcophagus of my father's
tomb is of stone and its epitaph is elegant. The pavement is of marble,
tesselated with turquois-like bricks. But what resembles thy father's grave?
It consists of two contiguous bricks with two handfuls of mud thrown over
it.' The dervish-boy listened to all this and then observed: 'By the time
thy father is able to shake off those heavy stones which cover him, mine
will have reached paradise.'
An ass with a light burden
No doubt walks easily.
A dervish who carries only the load of poverty
Will also arrive lightly burdened at the gate of
Whilst he who lived in happiness, wealth and ease
Will undoubtedly on all these accounts die hard.
At all events, a prisoner who escapes from all his
Is to be considered more happy than an amir taken
I asked an illustrious man for the reason of the tradition: Account
as an enemy the passion which is between thy two loins. He replied: 'The
reason is because whatever enemy thou propitiatest becomes thy friend,
whereas the more thou indulgest in a passion, the more it will oppose
Man attains angelic nature by eating sparingly
But if he be voracious like beasts he falls like a
He whose wishes thou fulfillest will obey thy command
Contrary to passion, which will command, when obeyed.
Contention of Sa'di with a Disputant concerning Wealth and
I saw a man in the form but not with the character of a dervish,
sitting in an assembly, who had begun a quarrel; and, having opened the
record of complaints, reviled wealthy men, alleging at last that the hand
of power of dervishes to do good was tied and that the foot of the intention
of wealthy men to do good was broken.
The liberal have no money.
The wealthy have no liberality.
I, who had been cherished by the wealth of great men, considered
these words offensive and said: 'My good friend, the rich are the income
of the destitute and the hoarded store of recluses, the objects of pilgrims,
the refuge of travellers, the bearers of heavy loads for the relief of
others. They give repasts and partake of them to feed their dependants
and servants, the surplus of their liberalities being extended to widows,
aged persons, relatives and neighbours.'
The rich must spend for pious uses, vows and
Tithes, offerings, manumissions, gifts and sacrifices.
How canst thou attain their power of doing good who art
To perform only the prayer-flections and these with a
If there be efficacy in the power to be liberal and in the ability
of performing religious duties, the rich can attain it better because they
possess money to give alms, their garments are pure, their reputation is
guarded, their hearts are at leisure. Inasmuch as the power of obedience
depends upon nice morsels and correct worship upon elegant clothes, it
is evident that hungry bowels have but little strength, an empty hand can
afford no liberality, shackled feet cannot walk, and no good can come from
a hungry belly.
He sleeps troubled in the night
Who has no support for the morrow.
The ant collects in summer a subsistence
For spending the winter in ease.
Freedom from care and destitution are not joined together and comfort
in poverty is an impossibility. A man who is rich is engaged in his evening
devotions whilst another who is poor is looking for his evening meal. How
can they resemble each other?
He who possesses means is engaged in worship.
Whose means are scattered, his heart is distracted.
The worship of those who are comfortable is more likely to meet
with acceptance, their minds being more attentive and not distracted or
scattered. Having a secure income, they may attend to devotion. The Arab
says: 'I take refuge with Allah against base poverty and neighbours whom
I do not love. There is also a tradition: Poverty is blackness of face
in both worlds.'
He retorted by asking me whether I had heard the Prophet's saying:
Poverty is my glory. I replied: 'Hush! The prince of the world alluded
to the poverty of warriors in the battlefield of acquiescence and of submission
to the arrow of destiny; not to those who don the patched garb of righteousness
but sell the doles of food given them as alms.'
O drum of high sound and nothing within,
What wilt thou do without means when the struggle
Turn away the face of greed from people if thou art a
Trust not the rosary of one thousand beads in thy
A dervish without divine knowledge rests not until his poverty,
culminates in unbelief; for poverty is almost infidelity, because a nude
person cannot be clothed without money nor a prisoner liberated. How can
the like of us attain their high position and how does the bestowing resemble
the receiving hand? Knowest thou not that God the most high and glorious
mentions in his revealed word the Pleasures of paradise-They shall have
a certain provision in paradise-to inform thee that those who are occupied
with cares for a subsistence are excluded from the felicity of piety and
that the realm of leisure is under the ring of the certain
The thirsty look in their sleep
On the whole world as a spring of water.
Wherever thou beholdest one who has experienced destitution and
tasted bitterness, throwing himself wickedly into fearful adventures and
not avoiding their consequences, he fears not the punishment of Yazed and
does not discriminate between what is licit or illicit.
The dog whose head is touched by a clod of earth
Leaps for joy, imagining it to be a bone.
And when two men take a corpse on their shoulders,
A greedy fellow supposes it to be a table with food.
But the possessor of wealth is regarded with a favourable eye by
the Almighty for the lawful acts he has done and preserved from the unlawful
acts he might commit. Although I have not fully explained this matter nor
adduced arguments, I rely on thy sense of justice to tell me whether thou
hast ever seen a mendicant with his hands tied up to his shoulders or a
poor fellow sitting in prison or a veil of innocence rent or a guilty hand
amputated, except in consequence of poverty? Lion-hearted men were on account
of their necessities captured in mines which they had dug to rob houses
and their heels were perforated. It is also possible that a dervish, impelled
by the cravings of his lust and unable to restrain it, may commit sin because
the stomach and the sexual organs are twins, that is to say, they are the
two children of one belly and as long as one of these is contented, the
other will likewise be satisfied. I heard that a dervish had been seen
committing a wicked act with a youth, and although he had been put to shame,
he was also in danger of being stoned. He said: 'O Musalmans, I have no
power to marry a wife and no patience to restrain myself. What am I to
do? There is no monasticism in Islam." Among the number of causes producing
internal tranquility and comfort in wealthy people, the fact may be reckoned
that they take every night a sweetheart in their arms and may every day
contemplate a youth whose brightness excels that of the shining morn and
causes the feet of walking cypresses to conceal themselves
Plunging the fist into the blood of beloved
Dying the finger-tips with the colour of the jujube-fruit.
It is impossible that with his beauteous stature he should prowl
around prohibited things or entertain intentions of ruin to
How could he who took as booty a Huri of paradise
Take any notice of the benes of Yaghma?
Who has before him fresh dates which he loves
Has no need to throw stones on clusters upon trees.
Mostly empty handed persons pollute the skirt of modesty by transgression,
and those who are hungry steal bread.
When a ferocious dog has found meat
He asks not whether it is of the camel of Saleh or the ass
What a number of modest women have on account of poverty fallen
into complete profligacy, throwing away their precious reputation to the
wind of dishonour!
With hunger the power of abstinence cannot abide.
Poverty snatches the reins from the hands of piety.
Whilst I was uttering these words, the dervish lost the bridle
of patience from his hands, drew forth the sword of his tongue, caused
the steed of eloquence to caper in the plain of reproach and said: 'Thou
hast been so profuse in this panegyric of wealthy men and hast talked so
much nonsense that they might be supposed to be the antidote to poverty
or the key to the storehouse of provisions; whereas they are a handful
of proud, arrogant, conceited and abominable fellows intent upon accumulating
property and money and so thirsting for dignity and abundance, that they
do not speak to poor people except with insolence, and look upon them with
contempt. They consider scholars to be mendicants and insult poor men on
account of the wealth which they themselves possess and the glory of dignity
which they imagine is inherent in them. They sit in the highest places
and believe they are better than anyone else. They never show kindness
to anybody and are ignorant of the maxim of sages that he who is inferior
to others in piety but superior in riches is outwardly powerful but in
reality a destitute man.
If a wretch on account of his wealth is proud to a
Consider him to be the podex of an ass, though he may be a
I said: 'Do not think it allowable to insult them for they are
possessors of generosity.' He rejoined: 'Thou art mistaken. They are slaves
of money. Of what use is it that they are like bulky clouds and rain not,
like the fountain of light, the sun, and shine upon no one? They are mounted
on the steed of ability but do not use it; they would not stir a step for
God's sake nor spend one dirhem without imposing obligation and insult.
They accumulate property with difficulty, guard it with meanness and abandon
it with reluctance, according to the saying of illustrious men that the
silver of an avaricious man will come up from the ground when he goes into
One man gathers wealth with trouble and labour
And if another comes, he takes it without either.'
I retorted: 'Thou hast not become aware of the parsimony of wealthy
men except by reason of mendicancy or else, to him who has laid aside covetousness,
a liberal and an avaricious man would appear to be the same. The touchstone
knows what gold is and the beggar knows him who is stingy.' He rejoined:
'I am speaking from experience when I say that they station rude and insolent
men at their gates to keep off worthy persons, to place violent hands upon
men of piety and discretion, saying: "Nobody is here", and verily they
have spoken the truth.'
Of him who has no sense, intention, plan or
The gatekeeper has beautifully said: 'No one is in the
I said this is excusable because they are teased out of their lives
by people expecting favours and driven to lamentation by petitions of mendicants;
it being according to common sense an impossibility to satisfy beggars
even if the sand of the desert were to be transmuted into
The eye of greediness, the wealthy of the world
Can no more fill than dew can replenish a well.
Hatim Tai dwelt in the desert; had he been in a town he would have
been helpless against the assaults of beggars and they would have torn
to pieces his upper garments as it is recorded in the
Look not at me that others may not conceive
Because there is no reward to be got from beggars.
He said: 'No. I take pity on their state.' I replied: 'No. Thou
enviest them their wealth.' We were thus contending with each other, every
pawn he put forward I endeavoured to repel, and every time he announced
check to my king, I covered him with my queen until he had gambled away
all his ready cash and had shot off all the arrows of his quiver in
Have a care; do not throw away the shield when attacked by an
Who has nothing except borrowed eloquence to show,
Practise thou religion and marifet because a Suja-speaking
Displays weapons at the gate but no one is in the
At last no arguments remained to him and, having been defeated,
he commenced to speak nonsense as is the custom of ignorant men who, when
they can no more address proofs against their opponent, shake the chain
of enmity like the idol-carver Azer who being unable to overcome his son
in argument began to quarrel with him saying if thou forbearest not I will
surely stone thee. The man insulted me. I spoke harshly to him. He tore
my collar and I caught hold of his chin-case.
He falling upon me and I on him,
Crowds running after us and laughing,
The finger of astonishment of a world
On the teeth; from what was said and heard by us.
In short we carried our dispute to the qazi and agreed to abide
by a just decision of the judge of Musalmans, who would investigate the
affair and tell the difference between the rich and the poor. When the
qazi had seen our state and heard our logic, he plunged his head into his
collar and after meditating for a while spoke as follows: 'O thou, who
hast lauded the wealthy and hast indulged in violent language towards dervishes,
thou art to know that wherever a rose exists, there also thorns occur;
that wine is followed by intoxication, that a treasure is guarded by a
serpent, and that wherever royal pearls are found, men-devouring sharks
must also be. The sting of death is the sequel of the delights of life
and a cunning demon bars the enjoyment of paradise.
'What will the violence of a foe do if it cannot touch the seeker
Treasure, serpent; rose, thorn; grief and pleasure are all
'Perceivest thou not that in a garden there are musk-willows as
well as withered sticks? And likewise in the crowd of the rich there are
grateful and impious men, as also in the circle of dervishes some are forbearing
and some are impatient.
'If every drop of dew were to become a pearl
The bazar would be full of them as of ass-shells.
'Those near to the presence of the most high and glorious are rich
men with the disposition of dervishes and dervishes with the inclination
of the rich. The greatest of rich men is he who sympathizes with dervishes
and the best of dervishes is he who looks but little towards rich men.
Who trusts in Allah, he will be his sufficient support.'
After this the qazi turned the face of reproof from me to the dervish
and said: 'O thou who hast alleged that the wealthy are engaged in wickedness
and intoxicated with pleasure, some certainly are of the kind thou hast
described; of defective aspirations, and ungrateful for benefits received.
Sometimes they accumulate and put by, eat and give not; if for instance
the rain were to fail or a deluge were to distress the world, they, trusting
in their own power, would not care for the misery of dervishes, would not
fear God and would say:
If another perishes for want of food
I have some; what cares a duck for the deluge?
The women riding on camels in their howdahs
Take no notice of him who sinks in the sana.
The base when they have saved their own blankets
Say: What boots it if all mankind perishes?
'There are people of the kind thou hast heard of, and other persons
who keep the table of beneficence spread out, the hand of liberality open,
seeking a good name and pardon from God. They are the possessors of this
world and of the next, like the slaves of His Majesty Padshah of the world
who is aided by devine grace, conqueror, possessor of authority among nations,
defender of the frontiers of Islam, heir of the realm of Solomon, the most
righteous of the kings of the period, Muzaffar-ud-dunia wa uddin Atabek
Abu Bekr Ben Sa'd Ben Zanki, may Allah prolong his days and aid his
'A father never shows the kindness to his son
Which the hand of thy liberality has bestowed on
God desired to vouchsafe a blessing to the world
And in his mercy made thee padshah of the world.'
When the qazi had thus far protracted his remarks and had caused
the horse of his eloquence to roam beyond the limits of our expectation,
we submitted to his judicial decision, condoned to each other what had
passed between us, took the path of reconciliation, placed our heads on
each other's feet by way of apology, kissed each other's head and face,
terminating the discussion with the following two distichs:
Complain not of the turning of the spheres, O
Because thou wilt be luckless if thou diest in this frame of
O wealthy man, since thy heart and hand are successful
Eat and be liberal for thou hast conquered this world and the