Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Spending One's Life Giving Thanks for One's Happiness (Shaykh Hujwiri - Kashf al-Mahjub)

Data Ganjbaksh (Hujwiri) relates the following story in his work Kashf al-Mahjub:

Ibrahim Khawwas relates the following story: "I went to a certain village to visit a reverend man who lived there. When I entered his house I saw that it was clean, like a saint's place of worship. In its two corners two niches (mihrab) had been made; the old man was seated in one of them, and in the other niche an old woman was sitting, clean and bright: both had become weak through much devotion. They showed great joy at my coming, and I stayed with them for three days. When I was about to depart I asked the old man, 'What relation is this chaste woman to you?' He answered, "she is my cousin and my wife.' I said, 'During these three days your intercourse with one another has been very like that of strangers.' 'Yes,' said he, 'it has been so for five and sixty years.' I asked him the cause of this. He replied: 'When we were young we fell in love, but her father would not give her to me, for he discovered our fondness for each other. I bore this sorrow for a long while, but on her father's death, my father, who was her uncle, gave me her hand. On the wedding-night she said to me: "You know what happiness God has bestowed upon us in bringing us together and taking all fear away from our hearts. Let us therefore to-night refrain from sensual passion and trample on our desires and worship God in thanksgiving for this happiness." I said, "It is well." Next night she bade me to do the same. On the third night I said, "Now we have given thanks for two nights for your sake; to-night let us worship God for my sake." Five and sixty years have passed since then, and we have never touched one another, but spend all our lives in giving thanks for our happiness.'" Accordingly, when a dervish chooses companionship, it behoves him to provide his wife with lawful food and pay her dowry out of lawful property, and not indulge in sensual pleasure so long as any obligation towards God, or any part of His commandments, is unfulfilled.

Revelation of the Mystery, pp. 362-363

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