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Words of Wisdom

Faith in the Providence - From Rumi's Masnavi: The Lion and the Creatures, Part 1 of 2

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Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi Rūmī (vegetarian), known simply as Mawlana in Persian and around the world as Rumi, was a poetic genius, a theologian, and an enlightened Master who graced our planet eight centuries ago. One of his most influential works is, The Masnavi (The Spiritual Couplets), a poetic collection of stories with sources from the Qu’ran, the Hadith, and everyday tales conveying messages of Divine Love, spiritual life and Islamic wisdom. Today, we are pleased to present selections from The Masnavi by the venerated Master Rumi (vegetarian), Book 1, The Lion and the Creatures.

“Within a sheltered vale, four-footed game in droves, Were kept in tremor by a lion from its groves. So frequently had he borne victims off from thence, The vale a prison had become in every sense. A consultation held, they fair proposals state, To satisfy the lion’s hunger by a rate; But on condition that he rapine lay aside, And not prolong disquiet in that valley wide.

The lion gave consent, if they’d perform their part; Remarking: ‘I’ve a victim been to wily art. Man persecutes me with his deadly schemes Believers are not twice caught by the selfsame lie?’

Their answer was: ‘O most sagacious, knowing guide, Thy caution pray dismiss; decree of God abide. Suspicion, caution, ever is corroding ill. Put trust in Providence; and God thy maw will fill. Strive not with Providence, however strong thou be; Lest Providence should take offence, and war with thee.’”

“Our eyes afflicted are with various kinds of ills. Then go and make them blind, by seeing God ’tis wills. God’s sight of Providence is keener than men’s eyes. By seeing with His sight, thou find all thou will prize. An infant, that can neither grasp nor walk as yet, Takes seat upon his father’s neck, and runs. Sweet pet. Some seasons past, he scarcely gains some strength of limb; When sorrow fastens on him; sharp, and ghastly grim. The hearts of men, before they gain or power or wealth, Decline away from duty, pleasures seek by stealth. And since by God’s decree from paradise they’re rent, They prisoners become to rage, lust, discontent. We are the household of that Householder, whose word Thus spoke: ‘Creation’s all as children of the Lord.’ He that does send the fattening rain upon the Earth, In mercy, too, can feed His creatures from their birth.’”
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