Friday, January 20, 2006

today in islamic spirituality K told us a story, from rumi. it was about the caliph haroun al rashid and his slave whose name was ayeaz. one day the caliph gives ayeaz a platter of fruit to eat, so he does, with great relish. the caliph is pleased so he gives his favourite servant another platter, and then another. ayeaz does justice to all of them, with a lot of enjoyment and full much so that the caliph is tempted too, and reaches for a piece. when he eats it, he finds it's horrible and bitter. shocked, the caliph asks ayeaz why he was displaying such relish eating the fruit when it was in fact disgusting and should not have been eaten...ayeaz replies that the caliph has given him so much and he is so grateful for it that if an offering from the caliph should turn out to be a bitter one, even then ayeaz would be happy to have it.

this, i think, is so profound in terms of gratitude for Allah Miyaan, who gives us so much all the time, and whenever something goes wrong we get so grumpy in a flash... or constantly brood about what we don't have instead of being grateful for everything we do. shouldn't the happinesses we've been given be worth so much to us that the sadnesses we experience are tokens one would willingly pay in remembrance of our joy, and in the hope- even the certainty-that it will, Inshallah, return to us fuller and more beautiful than before?

Mina at 4:13 PM