One day Abu Yazid was proceeding along the way
when presently a dog ran alongside of him. Abu Yazid drew in his skirt.
“If I am dry,” said the dog, “no damage has been done.
If I am wet, seven waters and earths will make peace between us.
But if you draw your skirt to yourself like a Pharisee, you will not become clean,
not though you bathe in seven oceans.”
“You are unclean outwardly,” commented Abu Yazid. “I am inwardly unclean.
Come, let us work together, that through our united efforts we may both become clean.”
“You are not fit to travel with me and be my partner,” the dog replied
“For I am rejected of all men,whereas you are accepted of men.
Whoever encounters me throws a stone at me; whoever encounters you
greets you as King of the Gnostics. I never store up a single bone for the morrow;
you have a whole barrel of wheat for the morrow.”
“I am not fit to travel along with a dog,” said Abu Yazid.
“How then shall I travel along with the Eternal and Everlasting One?
Glory be to that God, who educates the best of creatures
by means of the least of creatures!”
Abu Yazid continued, “A sadness invaded me,
and I despaired of being an obedient servant of God……..
Selection story from Muslim Saints and Mystics Episodes from the Tadhkirat al-Auliya’
(Memorial of the Saints) by Farid al-Din Attar Translated by A. J. Arberry
Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 9:21am