Emirudin Arosi, who came from a family well known for its adherence to the beliefs of a sect of enthusiasts, met a sage and said to him:
‘My wife and I have for many years tried resolutelyto follow the dervish path. Aware that we knew less than many others, we have for long contented ourselves with spending our wealth in the cause of truth. We have followed people who have taken on themselves the responsibility of teaching, and whom we now doubt. We grieve, not for what we have lost in material donations squandered in ineffectual commercial enterprises by our late mentors in the name of the Task, but rather for the waste of time and effort, and for the people still in a state of subjection to deluded and self-appointed teachers, people mindlessly occupying a house run by two false Sufis, in an atmosphere of abnormality.’
The sage, whom tradition names as Khwaja Ahrar, the Lord of the Free, answered:
‘You have repented your attachment to imitative “teachers”, but you have not yet repented your own self-esteem, which makes you imagine that you have a responsibility to the prisoners of the false. Many of the prisoners are themselves still caught in the web of deceit because they, too, have not repented deceit and want easy knowledge.’
‘What should we do?’ asked Emirudin Arosi.
‘Come to me with an open heart and without conditions, evenif such conditions are the service of mankind, or my appearing to you to be reasonable,’ said the Master, ‘for the release of your companions may be a matter for experts, not for you. Your capacity even to form an opinion about me is impaired, and I for one refuse to rely upon it.’
But, quite naturally, afraid that they might be making another mistake, Arosi and his wife passed on, to find another man: one who would comfort them. And they did. He, as it happened, was just another fraud.
Years again passed, and the couple made their way back to the house of Khwaja Ahrar.
‘We have come, in all submission,’ they informed the keeperof the gate, ‘to place ourselves in the hands of the Lord of the Free, as if we were corpses in the hands of the washer of the dead.’
‘Good people,’ said the gatekeeper, ‘your resolve seems excellent, and much like that of those whom the Lord of the Free would often accept as disciples. But there is no second chance for you in this life – for Khwaja Ahrar is dead.’
Wisdom of the Idiots
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