Following are some of his most important and meaningful stories:
An Answer of Jesus
In this story, one day some Israelites reviled Jesus Christ while he was walking through their part of the town. Jesus did not get angry with their negative comments and he uttered prayers in their name in reply. Then, a person asked Jesus whether he felt incensed against them. In answer, Jesus told that he could spend only of what he had in his purse and that is only forgiveness
While describing this story, Attar said that one day a madman was weeping and crying in the bitterest possible way and somebody went to the madman and asked why he was crying. The madman answered the man that he was crying so that he could attract the pity of God's heart. The person then told the madman that he was talking nonsense, as the God has no physical heart. To this, the madman commented that the person was wrong, as the God is the owner of all the hearts that exist. The madman added that anybody can make a connection with the God, through the heart.
The Tale of Fazl-Rabbi:
This is actually the tale of an event that occurred one day in Fazl-Rabbi's life. One day Fazl-Rabbi met a needy old man, who came to see him for discussing some important matter. During the meeting, the old man stuck the iron point of his walking-stick to Fazl-Rabbi's foot, due to weakness, and wounded him. However, Fazl-Rabbi did not say anything, in spite of getting pale from the pain of the wound and the iron, and listened courteously to what the old man had to say. He also took a paper and signed that, once the old man finished talking.
After the old man went away being pretty happy for Fazl-Rabbi granting his application, Fazl-Rabbi collapsed and sat on the chair. One of the attendants of Fazl-Rabbi asked him the reason why he did not say anything and sat there with blood pouring from his foot. To this, Fazl-Rabbi replied that he did not make any sign of pain, as he was afraid that the old man's misery might cause him to withdraw in confusion. He added that he also feared that the old man might abandon his application for his help, as well and he did not want to add to his troubles in that manner. Attar said that the real lesson of this story is that one should try to be a real man by learning nobility of thought and action, like that of Fazl-Rabbi.
The Magic Box:
This story is about a man and his endeavour for selling a carpet. One day the man went to the market, along with a rough carpet and made a public offer for the carpet in the street. He said to the first customer that the carpe is a coarse one and also quite worn. The customer instantly bought the carpet at a very cheap rate. After buying, the buyer soon stood up in the street and said another passer-by that the carpet was as soft as silk and no other carpet can be found like this.
A Sufi was passing by them at that time and he had followed the entire event. He saw the buying and the attempted selling of one and also the same carpet with two different descriptions. He then requested the carpet-seller to put him in his magic box that can turn a turn a rough carpet into a smooth one. He expressed his desire that by doing so, he wanted to turn into a jewel out of nothing.
The Five Hundred Gold Pieces:
One day, a follower of Junaid came to him with a purse that contained five hundred gold pieces. Seeing this, the Sufi asked his follower if he had any more money with him. When the follower replied in the affirmative, Junaid asked him whether he desired more. The follower replied in the affirmative this time also and to this, Junaid told him that he must keep the money with him, as he was more in need than Junaid. Junaid added that he had nothing and also desired nothing. He further said the follower that he has a great deal and still he wanted more.
A Story of Moses
This is a story regarding a painter, who was asking the God for showing him one of God's friends. To this, suddenly he heard a voice and the voice asked him to go to a certain valley and there he will find the one who loves, one of the chosen, who treads the Path. Hearing this, the painter went there and found the man, who was dressed in rags and was also plagued by every kind of insect and crawling thing. The painter asked the man if he could do anything for him and in reply, the man called him as the emissary of God and requested him to bring a cup of water, as he was feeling thirsty.
The painter went and came back with the water soon, only to find the man lying dead. He then went away to look for a piece of cloth for a winding-sheet and when he came back this time, he found that the body had already been devoured by a desert lion. The painter was very much upset and distressed beyond measure at this event and he cried out to the All-Powerful and All-Knowing One. He asked the God why he converts mud into human beings and said that the God carry some to paradise and drive others through tortures. He also asked the God about why one is happy and another in misery. To this, the inner voice said the painter that this man had relied upon the people for drink and then turned back from that trust. The voice added that people's heart attaches itself to objects again and again and people should know how to keep the connection intact with their origins.
This story involves the Sufi saint, Shaqiq of Balkh. Once Shaqiq said to his disciples that he was confident in God and he went through the wilderness having only a small coin in his pocket. He added that he went on the Pilgrimage and came back and surprisingly the coin was still with him. To this speech, one of the young men assembled there stood up and said to Shaqiq that if Shaqiq had a coin in his pocket, how he could say that he relied upon anything higher. Shaqiq was spellbound with the comment and said that he had nothing to say, as whatever the young man said was right. He further said that when a person relies upon the invisible world, he does not have any place for anything, however small, as a provision.
The Perception of the Madman:
The story is about a madman who lived in a city and never had the habit of attending the congregational prayers. The people of the city always tried to make him do so, and one Friday, they became successful to induce him to attend the prayer. However, though he attended the prayer, he started to bellow like an ox, as soon as the leader of the prayer started to recite. The people first assumed that the madman was reverting to madness, and they started to challenge him afterwards, at the same time with a desire to help him.
When they caught him, they asked the madman whether he had any idea of God and he should not have made a noise like an animal in the middle of a believing congregation. To this, the madman replied that he was doing exactly the same thing as the prayer-leader was doing. He added that when the prayer-leader intoned, he was actually buying an ox, and that is why, the madman spoke like an ox. The people reported the strange remarks to the prayer-leader at once and after hearing them, the leader of the prayer confessed that he was indeed thinking of his own farm, while saying "God is Greatest of All". He added that when he recited the phrase "Praise to God", he actually thought of buying an ox. He further said that it was exactly at that moment when the madman made the noise of bellowing.
The Miser and the Angel of Death:
Farid ud-Din Attar told this story to his disciples during one of his speeches and the story is about a Miser and the Angel of Death. The Miser had accumulated, three hundred thousand Dinars and he was also the owner of lands and buildings, and all kinds of wealth. After accumulating all the wealth, he decided to spend a year in enjoyment, living comfortably, and he would then decide as to what his future should be. However, as soon as he started to live the life of enjoyment and stopped amassing money, the Angel of Death appeared before him, for taking his life away.
The miser made his best efforts to dissuade the Angel, by all the arguments that he could muster. However, seeing the Angel of Death adamant, the miser asked the Angel to give him three more days, and he will give the Angel one-third of his possessions. The Angel did not agree to the offer and started to pull again the miser's life and tugging for taking it away. Being failed once, the miser asked the Angel to allow him only two more days on earth, and he will give the Angel two hundred thousand Dinars from his store. The Angel refused the offer this time also and it even refused to give the miser a solitary extra day for all his three hundred thousand pieces. Then, the miser made his last request to the Angel of Death and asked to give him just time enough to write one little thing down. The Angel agreed this time. After getting the permission of the Angel, the miser wrote with his own blood that people should make use of their life. He wrote that he failed to buy one hour for three hundred thousand Dinars and that is why, people should make sure that they realize the value of their time.
The Tree Unaware of its State
This story involves a tree located in a garden. Farid ud-Din Attar described the story to his disciples for teaching a special lesson. In this story, one day a man came to the garden and cut down the tree. A Sufi saw the entire event of cutting the tree and asked the people to look at the fresh branch that was full of sap and happy for not knowing till then that it had been cut off. The Sufi said that though the branch was ignorant of the damage that it has suffered, it will know in due time. He added that the people cannot reason with it, as the severance and the ignorance are the state of man.
King Mahmud and the Beans:
This story is about the mighty King Mahmud of Ghazna, who got separated from his party, while he was out for hunting one day. Wandering from here to there, he soon smelt the smoke of a small fire and went to the spot. He found an old woman there, cooking something on a pot. Seeing this, the King Mahmud said the old lady that the Monarch was her guest on that day and he also asked the lady what she was cooking. The lady answered that she was cooking beans on the fire.
When the King Mahmud asked the lady whether she would give some bean to him, the old lady replied in the negative and said that all the beans were only for her. She added that the kingdom of King Mahmud was not worth what these beans were and though King Mahmud wanted her beans, she did not want anything that the King had. The old lady further said that her beans were worth a hundred times more than all the assets that the King had and she asked the King to look at his enemies, who challenge his possessions in every particular. The old lady also said that she was free and she had her own beans. Hearing all these, the mighty King Mahmud looked at the undisputed owner of the beans and started weeping, thinking of his disputed domains.
The Two Rings
This is an interesting story described by Farid ud-Din Attar and the story involves a man, who was in love with two women, at the same time. The man loved both the women equally and when both of them came to know this, they asked him to mention anyone's name, who is his favourite. Hearing this, he asked the women to wait for the time until his decision should be known. After that, he went to the jewelers and made two rings that exactly resembled with each other. The man then called both the women together after presenting one ring to each of them, separately. When all three met, the man said the women that the one, who has the ring, is the most favourite to him.
The King Who Divined His Future:
Farid ud-Din Attar described this story that involves a King, who was also a well educated astrologer. In this story, the king read in his stars that a calamity would overtake him, on a certain day and at a particular hour. Seeing this in his stars, the king started preparing to face the situation and built a house of solid rock and also posted numerous guardians outside. After finishing all the required works, one day he was inspecting whether there was still any hole and suddenly he realised that he could still see daylight from within. He found the opening through which the daylight was coming and soon he filled up the opening for preventing his misfortune from entering. However, he actually made himself a prisoner by blocking this door and because of this unhealthy situation, the king died.
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