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Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Valuable Lesson In Life From The 'Proof Of Islam' Hazrat Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih)

Having completed his studies, Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) was en route back home. On the way the caravan in which he was travelling was waylaid by robbers. Together with his co-travellers, Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) was dispossessed of all his goods. Amongst his possessions were the carefully written notes of the lectures delivered by his ustads. These notes were also taken by the robbers. Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) sought out the leader of the band of robbers and pleaded with him: "Your men have taken all my possessions except for the clothes I wear. You may keep the extra clothes and other valuables - I do not lament their loss. However, please ask your men to return the papers they have taken."

The leader of the band of robbers was amazed at this unusual request. This young man was not worried about clothes and valuables, but he was asking for some pieces of paper to be returned!

Very curious, he asked: "What papers are these?"

Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) explained: "I am a student returning home after completing my studies. When my teachers used to lecture, I used to make notes. These are those very pages of 'ilm that I am requesting to be returned to me."

The leader of the robbers said, "What you have just said fills me with great sorrow and regret. Young lad! Is your 'ilm on pieces of paper when it should have been in your heart? Papers can get lost. Papers can be destroyed by fire, become parched by the sun, get eaten by moths, become damaged with damp, etc., etc. You are dependent on papers? It fills me with great pity. Your 'ilm should be in your heart! Be that as it may, your papers will be returned."

He summoned one of his men and ordered him, "Give back to this boy his papers." The notes were retrieved and returned to Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih).


Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) was of noble character. He was, moreover, a dedicated student. The words of the gang-leader were like a knife piercing his heart. On reaching home, he lost no time in memorising all his notes!
source: islamic forum/spreading the light of islam

I Don’t Get Tired of You – Rumi

I don’t get tired of you. Don’t grow weary
of being compassionate toward me!
All this thirst equipment
must surely be tired of me,
the waterjar, the water carrier.
I have a thirsty fish in me
that can never find enough
of what it’s thirsty for!
Show me the way to the ocean!
Break these half-measures,
these small containers.
All this fantasy
and grief.
Let my house be drowned in the wave
that rose last night in the courtyard
hidden in the center of my chest.
Joseph fell like the moon into my well.
The harvest I expected was washed away.
But no matter.
A fire has risen above my tombstone hat.
I don’t want learning, or dignity,
or respectability.
I want this music and this dawn
and the warmth of your cheek against mine.
The grief-armies assemble,
but I’m not going with them.
This is how it always is
when I finish a poem.
A great silence comes over me,
and I wonder why I ever thought
to use language.

By: Maulana Rumi
Translation: Coleman Barks