Manual Sa?di: The Poet of Life, Love and Compassion (Makers of the Muslim World)

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What information or knowledge does the silly beast possess Whether it is carrying a load of wood or of books? I wore a crown of happiness When my head was resting on his breast.


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Shelter the orphan in your shade, Wipe the dust off his face And pick the thorn from his foot. When you see an orphan sad and dejected, Do not kiss your own child. Wipe his tear with mercy And clean his face with affection. No anxious care to Him its way may find All dignity and fame Him lag behind. Words that this excellence would pass beyond, These nor in soul nor wisdom may be found, The soul and wisdom only would he weigh, Nor cares he worldly riches to assay None knows to praise Him as He truly is, Thy service with girt loins is duly His. If this lower aspect should ascend by the ladder of knowledge, It would indeed be at one with its original.

It happened that they were seized at the gate of a city on suspicion of being spies, were both confined in the same room and the door closed up with mud. After a fortnight it was discovered that they were innocent. On opening the door, they found the strong man dead, and the infirm one alive. They were astonished at the circumstance, but a philosopher said, that the contrary would have been more wonderful, for the one who was a great eater, was not able to support abstinence; and the other who was meek, having his body in subjection, and being used to fasting, had happily escaped.

Stolen Child

A person who had accustomed himself to eat sparingly, When difficulty occurs, bears it easily But if in time of prosperity he has been used to pamper himself, When he meets with distress he sinks under it. People who have taken the outward sense of these words to signify that it is not right for a scholar to visit a prince, lest he should become amongst the worst of scholars. That is not their true meaning, as they have supposed.

Their meaning is rather this: that the worst of scholars is he who accepts help from princes, and whose welfare and salvation is dependent upon and stems from the fear of princes. It was therefore on their account that he consented to better himself and converted from ignorance to knowledge.

When he became a scholar, he was disciplined by the fear of them and was subject to their control. Willy-nilly, then, he comforts himself in conformity with the way which they have mapped out for him. Consequently, whether it is the prince who formally visits him or he goes to visit the prince, he is in every case the visitor and it is the prince who is visited When, however, the case is otherwise, when the scholar has not become qualified with learning on account of princes but rather his learning from first to last has been for the sake of God; when his way and wont have been upon the path of rectitude because it is in his nature so to comport himself and he cannot do otherwise—just as a fish can only live and thrive in water—such a scholar is subject to the control and direction of reason.

If such a scholar goes formally to visit the prince, it is himself who is visited and the prince is the visitor, because in every case the prince takes from him and receives help from him. That scholar is independent of the prince. He is like the light-giving sun, whose whole function is giving and dispensing universally, converting stones into rubies and cornelians, changing mountains of earth into mines of copper and gold and silver and iron, making the earth fresh and verdant, bestowing upon the trees fruits of diverse kinds.

Part 1: The Perfect Man

His trade is giving: he dispenses and does not receive. The following traditions have been gathered from different sources. If you have examined yourself, You will be freed from examining others. All is shadow-like and secondary, only you are the purpose. Clouds and wind, moon and sun, the heavens all are working All that you may acquire your daily bread, and not eat it while neglecting the truth.

Wait on the street of a friend, And eventually you will see His face Dig all day in the earth And finally you will reach pure water. I perceived that what I was saying had no effect on them, and that the fire of my piety had not kindled their green mood. At this time a traveller passing by the company was so much animated by my last words, that he exclaimed with an emphasis that produced the acclamations of the whole, and the senseless company joined in enthusiastic rapture.

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Another time from manhood must die To soar with angel-pinions through the sky. The harp strings tell me plain That unto Him do we return again. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet once more I shall die as man, to soar With angels blest; but even from angelhood I must pass on: all except God doth perish. Oh, let me not exist! O Sadi, I have another journey in contemplation, and after I have performed that I will pass the remainder of my life in retirement, and leave off trading. The glassware of Aleppo I will convey to Yemen and from thence go with striped cloths to Persia; after which I will leave off trade and sit down in my shop.

He said that the covetous eye of the worldly man Is either satisfied through contentment or will be filled with the earth of the grave. They say, that the lion is the king of beasts, and the ass the meanest of animals, but the sages agree, that the ass who carries burdens, is preferable to the lion, that destroyeth mankind.

I am the ant, which men tread under their feet And not the wasp, of whose sting they complain. How shall I express my grateful sense of such blessing, That I am not possessed of the means of oppressing mankind? Formal prayer has a beginning and an end, like all forms and bodies and everything that partakes of speech and sound; but the soul is unconditioned and infinite: it has neither beginning nor end.

The prophets alone have shown the true nature of prayer … Prayer is the drowning and unconsciousness of the soul, so that all these forms remain without. At that time there is no room even for Gabriel, who is pure spirit. He replied: Also prayer, but prayer which is not merely this outward form.

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Rather it is a complete absorption, a state of unconsciousness excluding and not finding room for all these outward forms. Gabriel himself, who is pure reality, is not contained therein. Be neither so harsh as to disgust the people with thee nor so mild as to embolden them. Severity and mildness together are best Like a bleeder who is a surgeon and also applies a salve. Last night a bird was caroling towards the morning; It stole my patience and reason, my fortitude and understanding.

My Lamentation had perhaps reached The ear of one of my clearly beloved friends. When it was daylight, I asked him what state of his that was.

Pray O Fashioner of all that doth exist, Our strength in weakness doth in Thee consist. The whole creation is beneath Thy sway.

We live, for Thou art Life itself away. No outward form to Thee assigned can be. Unlike art Thou to us, and we to Thee. Unspoken be words not of Thee designed; Forgotten be what brings not Thee to mind. All we are mortal; Thou immortal art. To us beneficient—in holiness apart. When I arrived at Nishapur in the year A.

So he brought me out to the Hira Cemetery; I turned to the left, and found his tomb situated at the foot of a garden wall over which pear-trees and peach-trees thrust their heads, and on his grave had fallen so many flower-leaves that his dust was hidden beneath the flowers. Then I remembered that saying which I had heard from him in the city of Balkh, and I fen to weeping, because on the face of the earth and in all the regions of the habitable globe, I nowhere saw one like unto him.

May God blessed and exalted is He! Yet although I witnessed this prognostication on the part of that Proof of the Truth.

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Kindle to love or wrath-consume me quite. Constant with whom was it? With us will be? The rule of Solomon has run its span; The world is here; but where is Solomon? How much could Sam and Soloman retain Of countless gold and glitter of their reign? To be approved by men in life aspire! Whose goodness and whose noble deeds abound, His goodness will again to him rebound.

Full text of "Saadi: The Poet Of Life, Love And Compassion"

Suppose not, from the Door that never closes, That any, raising hands, will turn in hopelessness! And bring obedience, but the wretched being their need: Come to the Court of him Who cares for wretches: Like naked branches, let us raise our hands, For leafless we can sit no more. Thou seekest a candle whilst the sun is on high: The day is very bright whilst thou art in darkest night. If thou wilt but escape from thy darkness thou Shalt behold all the universe the dawning-place of lights.

Like a blind man thou seekest guide and staff for this clear and level road. Open thine eyes on the Rose garden, and behold The gleaming of the pure water alike in the rose and the thorn. From the colourless water [are derived] a hundred thousand colours: behold The tulip and the rose in this garden-ground.