Rabi’a and the Scholar


A leading scholar of Basra visited Rabi`a al-Adawiyya while she was ill. Sitting beside her pillow, the scholar spoke about how terrible the world was.

In reply, Rabi`a told him:

“You love the world very dearly. If you did not love the world, you would not mention it so much. It is always the purchaser who first disparages what he wants to buy. If you were done with the world, you would not mention it either for good or evil. As it is, you keep mentioning it because, as the proverb says, whoever loves a thing mentions it frequently.”


THE BEST STUDENT (By Turgay Evren)




Many years ago the sultan of the Ottoman Empire visited one of the great sheikhs of Istanbul. He was deeply impressed with the wisdom and sincerity of the sheikh and began coming regularly to the sheikh’s gatherings.

After some time the sultan said, “I have come to love you and your teachings. If there is ever anything you want or need, please ask me and I will provide it for you if it is in my power.” That was, in effect, a blank check from one of the wealthiest and most powerful men on earth.

The sheikh replied, “Yes, there is one thing you can do for me. Please do not come back.”

The astonished sultan asked, “Have I done anything to offend you? If so, please accept my apologies.”

The sheik replied, “No, the problem is not you; it is my dervishes. Before you began visiting us, they would pray and chant to God, seeking only God’s blessings. Now their minds are occupied with thoughts of pleasing you and receiving a reward from you. I have to ask you not to come back because we are not spiritually mature enough to handle your presence here.”