Cause and Effect
This story was told by the founder of the Chishti Order, Abu-Ishak Shami Chishti. He said that one day, his teacher, Khaja Hubaira, took him for a walk through the town. They saw a man on a donkey, finding difficulty to make his way in the narrow streets, mainly because the Sufis were low in getting out of his path. To this, the man started cursing and shouting them furiously and some of the people on the road commented that the man should be punished for his indecent behaviour.
Hearing the comments of the people, the Khaja told Abu Ishak that the people of the city were quite simple-minded and they realised little of how things really happen. He said that the people only see one kind of cause and effect, though sometimes the effect appears before the cause. Abu Ishak was puzzled with such comments of his teacher and asked the Khaja the meaning of the comments. In reply to Abu Ishak's query, Khaja said that the man on the donkey had already been punished for the behaviour that he showed to them just at that moment. Khaja added that the man applied to enter the circle of Sheikh Adami, a few days ago and was refused. Khaja further said that the man will be able to enter the circle of the elect, only when he realizes the reason and until then he will continue to behave like this.
This story is about a garden and a dedicated gardener, who tried to find out some other dedicated people so that he could impart his vast knowledge about gardening to them. The gardener was a well known person about all the qualities of plants, their nutritious, medicinal and aesthetic values. The gardener had also been granted knowledge of the Herb of Longevity, and he lived for many hundreds of years. He visited gardens and cultivated place throughout the world, in successive generations. Once, he planted a wonderful garden in a city and give instructions to the city's people about the maintenance of the garden. He also gave them the knowledge about gardening.
However, as people became accustomed in seeing some of the plants come up and flower every year, they soon forgot that the other plants also had to have their seeds collected. They also forgot that some of the plants were propagated from cuttings and some others needed extra watering. As a result, the garden eventually became wild, and the city's people started to regard this as the best garden that there could be. The gardener gave several chances to those people to learn and after that, he expelled all of them and recruited another whole band of workers. He warned the new workers that if they did not keep the garden in order, and study his methods, they would have to suffer for it. However, the new group of workers also in turn, forgot the lessons and since they were lazy, they tended only those fruits and flowers that were easily reared. They also allowed the other plants to die. Though, some of the first trainees came back to the new group of workers from time to time and tried to teach them some lessons about gardening, they drove them away by shouting that they were the ones who were departing from truth in this matter.
In spite of such casualty on behalf of the new group of workers, the master-gardener persisted and he made other gardens, wherever he could. Yet he continuously failed to make a nice garden, except the one that he himself tended with his chief assistants. When it was that there were many gardens and even many methods of gardening, the people from one garden started to visit those of another. They started to do so for approving, criticising or arguing. People also started to write books, held assemblies of gardeners and the gardeners also arranged themselves in grades according to what they thought to be the right order of precedence. One day, the ancient gardener died and before his death, he left as his endowment the whole knowledge of gardening, by distributing it among the people, who would understand according to their capacities.
The Group of Sufis
This story involves a group of Sufis, who settled themselves in a house, after being sent to certain district by their preceptor. The entire group remained within the house and assumed the supposed functions of the servants of the household in order to avoid undesirable attention and only the man in charge or the Chief Deputy was taught in public. Suddenly, the teacher died on day and after his death, the community rearranged their functions and revealed themselves as advanced mystics.
However, the inhabitants of the country never took it easily and avoided them as imitators. They said to the Sufis that it is a shame on them, as they have hijacked and shared out the patrimony of the Great Teacher. They were also quite astonished about why those miserable servants were behaving like they were themselves Sufis, after the death of the Teacher. According to the Chishti saints, the moral of the story is that the ordinary people are without the means to judge such situations as these, as they have lack of experience in reflection. Therefore, the people also tend to accept mere imitators, who step into the shoes of a teacher and reject those who are indeed carrying on his work.
The Spare Room:
This is a story that involves certain man, who was badly in need of money and had the only way to get money by selling his own house. The man was reluctant to sell his entire house and after some negotiations, he agreed with the new owners that he would have the complete and unrestricted use of one room. According to the contract, he could keep, at any time, any of his possessions in that room.
After the contract was signed, the man first kept small items in his room, and he used to go to see them without giving any trouble to anyone. Then, after some days, he started to store the tools of his trade in the room, while he changed his job from time to time. The new owners did not find anything to object with this. The man then started to keep dead cats in his room and he continued to do so, until the whole house was made uninhabitable by the effect of their decomposition. With this, the owners went to the court and applied for a remedy to the problem. However, the judges of the court said that the nuisance made by the man was in accordance with the contract and he had done nothing wrong. Eventually, the owners had to sell the house back to the man at a great loss to themselves.
The Seven Brothers:
This is another important story depicted by the Sufi saints of the Chishti Order and the story is about a wise man and his seven sons. While bringing up, the man taught his sons according to his ability. However, he sensed something that made their safety more important, before he could complete their education. He came to the realisation that their country was going to be overwhelmed by a catastrophe very soon. The man did not have confident on his sons, as the young men were foolhardy and reckless. He very well knew that if he says his sons that a catastrophe is threatening the country, they would definitely say that they will stay there with him and face the catastrophe.
Thinking so, the man told his sons that he needs to undertake a mission and for that he was going to leave the house, at once. He started to send each of his sons to different directions and he sent his first son to the north, the second one to the south, the third one to the west and the fourth one to the east. The man sent the rest of his sons to some unknown destinations. After sending all his sons to different directions, the man himself got out for a distant country by using his special knowledge. He started for the country to carry on some of the works that he could not complete due to the education of his sons.
The man had wisely timed the duration of the tasks of his sons in such a way that they would be well safe and remotely engaged upon them until it was possible to return home. After completing their missions, the first four sons returned to their country and according to their father's directions, they went back to the place that they had known in their youth. However, as none of them knew each other then, each of them claimed that he was the son of his father and each one refused to believe the others. The main reason behind this was that the time and climate, sorrow and indulgence, had changed the appearance of the men, completely. All of them were determined to assess the other by different parts of his body and as all of those had been changed, the problem remained. None of the brothers did allow another to open the letter that their common father left for them. It was the letter that contained the answers to all their problems and also the remainder of their education.
Because of having a strong wisdom, the man did foresee this and he also knew that until they were able to understand that they had changed very much, they would never be able to learn any more. Till then, only two of the sons recognized each another, but only tentatively and they also did not open the letter. They were also trying to adjust themselves to the fact that what they had taken to be fundamentals were really worthless externals. They also realised that what they had for many years prized as the very roots of their importance, might in reality be vain and useless dreams. The other two brothers saw them and were not satisfied with the fact that they were being improved by their experience and also do not want to emulate them. The rest of the three sons, who went to different unknown places, did not arrive at that place, till then. For the four sons, it was gong to take some more time before they truly realised that the only means of their survival were the very barriers to their understanding. According to the Sufi saints of Chishti Order, all of the brothers were still far from knowledge.
This story was depicted by the Sufi philosophers of the Chishti Order in order to teach the people about how a person takes an oath and then breaks it. In this story, a man was suffering from various troubles and once he swore that if he could get out of the problems, he would sell his house and give all the money gained from it to the poor people. After a few months, he realised that all his problems were solved and he should redeem his oath. However, he was reluctant to give away so much money to the poor people and he started to find out the way through which, he could redeem his oath and also not give that much money.
After making a plan, he put his house on sale for only one silver piece and he included a cat, for sale along with the house. The man asked a whopping price of ten thousand pieces of silver for the cat. Another man bought both his house and the cat. After this, the man gave the single piece of silver to the poor, and kept all the ten thousand silver pieces with himself. The moral of the story is that most of the people's mind works in this way, first they resolve to follow a teaching; but then they interpret their relationship with the teaching according to their own advantage.
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