Tuesday, December 25, 2012

stories of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi and Ayaaz

Moulana Ruum (rh) has written 3 stories of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi and Ayaaz,  they are quite splendid. He says Sultan Mahmood was a pious king. A young villager  [Ayaaz] came into his service, he was not well educated, nor did he have a great  upbringing. However when he came into the service of the king, he done such a great  job that in a short while he became esteemed in the king’s eyes such that he became  from amongst his senior and close attendants. The other attendants would be very jealous because they thought they were from prominent households, were very  intellectual and well educated. [They thought] ‘We were very close to the king but  now we don’t know why the king prefers this peasant over us’. So they planned to  speak to the king at the earliest opportunity. They asked “Your highness, why do you  give preferential treatment to him and not us?” In honour, lineage, wealth and intellect we are superior to him, yet why don’t get the same love as you give him? The king  said “I will give you the reply soon”.

 The king ordered some bitter fruit, and then ordered it to be cut into pieces. He then gave it to the attendants who had posed the question. Ayaaz was also sitting amongst them. As soon as they put the fruit in their mouths they all spat it out saying “your highness, it is incredibly bitter”. Then the king saw Ayaaz who was pleasantly eating the fruit. The king then asked Ayaaz “Is this fruit sweet that you are enjoying it so much?” he replied “your highness it is bitter”. The king said “then why do you carry on eating it?” he replied “your highness, the thought crossed my mind that the king  that has been feeding me such marvellous foods for a long time, if only today I receive a bitter fruit, how dare I complain?”

 Only if this realisation entered our minds that Allah showers us with his blessings with which we enjoy our lives, if a moment of test comes from him then why do we complain?

 The king was thinking of doing another demonstration for the sceptics so they become satisfied. So then, one day the king arranged to have everyone’s IQ test to see who will pass. After hearing this they all became alert. The king showed them a jewel saying “Look how valuable and sparkly it is” and also placed a sledgehammer next to it. He told the first attendant “Break this jewel” the attendant realised this was the test the king wanted to take. He replied “Your highness this jewel is very expensive, it is such and such carats [in value], it is flawless therefore it should not be broken” The king smiled and said “very well” he thought he had convinced the king. Then he gave it to the next one who presented a similar logic. Then he gave it to the third who gave
 a similar answer. He gave all the sceptics the sledgehammer and the jewel to break, and all of them presented an excuse not to do so. Then came the turn of Ayaaz, when he was told to break it, he put it on the ground and smashed it to pieces. When the jewel was smashed to pieces the other attendants were delighted, thinking ‘now he will get what he deserves for indeed he has shown his true colours. The foolish person doesn’t know the value of this jewel’. So they were expecting the king to kick him out. The king then asked “Ayaaz, why did you destroy such an expensive jewel?”
 Ayaaz gave a simple response “your highness, you gave me the order to break it. I had 2 options in front of me. (1) I could have destroyed the expensive jewel 

(2) I could have refused and hence destroyed your command. In my sight your command was  more valuable to me than thousands of such jewels. Therefore, considering this to be less in value I broke this jewel and not your command”.
 Look at the value Ayaaz had for the command of the king, only if we the creation have the same value for the commands of our Lord. We destroy our desires, lusts and even our wants but never the commands of Allah

 The third account which is written, is that one day a sceptic came to the king and said
 “you know this beloved of yours, Ayaaz, it seems to us that he steals from the treasury, we have our doubts” the king asked “how so?” he said “he has a closet somewhere to which he goes to every morning and evening, he views its contents and then locks it up and returns.. He keeps the key to himself and doesn’t give it to anyone
 else” The attendant said “Your highness we are fairly certain he has stolen from your treasury and he views his loot morning and evening”. The king called Ayaaz instantly and inquired in front of everyone “Ayaaz do you have a personal closet” he replied “Yes”
 “Do you keep it under lock and key” he replied “Yes”
 “Do you view its contents morning and evening” he replied “Yes”
 “Give me its key” so Ayaaz gave it to the king. The king sent someone to bring everything that was in closet. When he went, Ayaaz stood at ease whilst the attendants were overjoyed thinking, today he has been caught; now the king will realise what a deceitful person he is. A short while passed, and the person who went to retrieve the contents of the closet, when opening it saw, one set of old and torn garments, some old shoes and nothing else. He became very surprised, questioning ‘is this what he looks at morning and evening?’ He took the contents to the king saying “I found these 2 things in the closet”. The king asked Ayaaz “is this all there is in the closet” he replied “yes”.
 “Ayaaz, these are not that valuable that you should keep them under lock and key, and view it morning and evening”

 Ayaaz said “your highness, for me it is valuable”. The king asked “why?”
 “Your highness, when I came into your company for the first time I was a villager, I was wearing this upper garment, lower garment and these shoes. I preserved these for myself and now I open my closet morning and evening addressing my nafs ‘Ayaaz do not forget the favours of the king. The status which he has given you is well beyond what you used to be and what you deserved’ I remind myself of this morning and evening”.

 Moulana [Ruum] writes, only if Allah gives us this characteristic, that we too would look at our beginning…what we were, what was our status and today, what innumerable blessings Allah has showered upon us… if we to would remember our origin.
 If a worldly servant values his master’s command so much, then we are Allah’s anyway and we are lower than a servant…we are his creation, therefore we should truly value the importance of the commands of Allah. We should also make sure the command of Allah never breaks.

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