Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Sufi Who Called Himself a Dog

Maulana Dervish, chief of the Naqshbandi Order and one of its greatest teachers, was sitting one day in his Zavia when a furious cleric forced his way in.

‘You sit there,’ shouted the intruder, ‘dog that you are, surrounded by disciples, obeyed by them in every particular! I, on the other hand, call men to strive towards divine mercy through prayer and austerities as is enjoined upon us.’

At the word ‘dog’, several of the Seekers rose to eject the fanatic.

‘Stay,’, said the Maulana, ‘for “dog” is indeed a good word. I am a dog, who obeys his mater, showing the sheep by signs the interpretation of our Master’s desires. Like a dog I infuriate the interloper and the thief. And I wag my tail in pleasure when my master’s Friends come near.

‘Just as barking and wagging and love are attributes of the dog, we exercise them; for our Master has us, and does not do his own barking and wagging.’

From: The Way of the Sufi, by Idries Shah.

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