A Peculiar Friend

Among the many darvishes Javad had befriended since coming to Tehran were a number of qalandars – wandering dervishes with no home and few, if any possessions – most of whom were not even members of the Nimatullahi order. These darvishes came to him when they were in need or trouble because they knew that no matter what their difficulty was, he would always be willing to befriend them in whatever way he could, without ever questioning their motives or passing judgment on them. One of these qalandars, a man who Javad had helped a number of times in the past, was named Hajji Mohammad Jafar Kermani. It came as no surprise to Javad, therefore, when he was awoken one…

The wake-up call by a forerunner

A young man in Tirmiz desired to expand his horizon. Together with some friends he decided to go on a journey in pursuit of knowledge. When he and his friends were about to leave, his mother appealed him to stay as he was the only one who could give her the care she needed. His friends left and leave this story, but the story of the young man now really takes a start. You can imagine that he felt miserable. He decided to help his mother, but at the same time, he was very sorry to see his friends leave. That’s why he felt it necessary to increase his melancholic state by regularly visiting the cemetery of Tirmiz. One Sunday…

Seek His Essence

What is aspiration? The aspirer and Aspired are one. In my path, the lover and the Beloved are one. They say to me: ‘Seek His Essence!’ How to seek? The seeker and the Sought are one! در مذهب ما محب و محبوب یکیست رغبت چه بود راغب و مرغوب یکیست گویند مرا که عین او را بطلب چه جای طلب طالب و مطلوب یکیست Shah Ne’matullah Wali [1331-1431] When Shah Ne’matullah Wali, the founder of the Ne’matullahi Sufi tariqa became about one hundred years old, he climbed out of the window of our world and travelled to the next world.  This king of the dervishes is also known as a writer. His literary activities continued until he had reached a…

A judge in Basra

A judge in Basra, which is a city in Iraq, was renowned for his excessive acuteness of mind, observation and penetration. Many stories have been told about him in connection with these qualities, which were really astonishing. It is related of him that he said: “I was never worsted in penetration but by one man. I had taken my seat in the court of judgement in Basra, when a person came before me and gave testimony that a certain garden, of which he mentioned the boundaries, belonged to a man whom he named. As I had some doubts of his veracity, I asked him how many trees were in that garden, and he said to me after a long silence:…

The Months of the ‘Arefin (Gnostics)

1. Muharram: sanctification and coming-forward; station of beginning. 2. Safar: renunciation, aspiration and denudation; its earth relinquishes the plants of evil deeds 3. Rabi’ al-Awwal: customary practice; mutual social relations 4. Rabi’ ath-Thani: unveiling; mystical perceptions 5. Jumada al-Awwal: What do you think? 6. Jumada al-akhirah: ? 7. Rajab: the loftiest shrine 8. Sha’ban: the barrier 9. Ramadan: the everlasting 10. Shawwal: the source of quiddity+++- 11. Dhul-Qadah: the earthly expanse 12. Dhul-Hijjah: spiritual joy.

How He Won the Office of Grandvizier

A king wanted to appoint a grandvizier. Three candidates competed for the king’s nomination to this high office, but the king was unable to decide which one of them was the most intelligent, and the most suitable for the post. At last, he decided to subject them to a competition, the winner of which would be chosen as grandvizier. The king summoned the three candidates and told them that he had prepared five balls, three of which were white and two were black. He said he would place one ball on the turban of each of the three men. Each of them would be able to see the balls on the heads of the other two, but would have to…

The Magic Jar

It is said that once upon a time a woodseller went to a forest from the city in order to search for fire wood. By chance that day four fairies were resting in he forest. They had placed before them a magic jar. When they needed anything such as silver, gold, meats and all kinds of food and drinks, they dipped their hands into the jar and pulled it out. They were enjoying themselves when suddenly the woodseller walked by them. They invited him to join them. The woodseller spent several days with them forgetting all about his wife and children. A few days later he came to himself and said to them: “I am a woodseller. Unless I take…

The tale of the three questions

A certain Sultan owned everything a man could wish for and still he did not know the purpose of life. The answer to three questions made his life difficult: 1. What should I do? 2. With which people should I do the things God asks me to do? 3. When should I do it? The Sultan asked the advice of all kinds of wise people, and then he was told that there was a Chishti dervish, who lived far away, and who might give him a satisfactory answer. The Sultan immediately left and after a journey of several weeks he met the dervish. The dervish was cultivating his own land. He was a simple man, but no simpleton, as he…

The Greatest Providence (Al-‘Enaayat Al-Kobraa)

Ibn al-‘Arabi writes: “Know, o true listener, that the people of God, when the Real One draws them towards Himself…, He places in their hearts something calling them to seek their happiness. So they seek after that and inquire about it until they find in their hearts a certain tenderness and humility and striving for peace and release from the state of ordinary people with their mutual envy, greed, hostility and opposition. Then when they have completed the perfection of their moral qualities or have nearly done so, they find in their nafs something calling them to solitary retreat and withdrawal from ordinary people. So some take to wandering and frequenting the mountains and plains, while others do their wandering…