أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

“There is a famous parable of an ascetic who heard about a learned man, a shaykh, who was beloved to God-a saint. An ascetic came down from a mountain riding his lion to meet the shaykh. He arrives at the shaykh’s home and sees that he lives in a palace.

The ascetic, who lives in a mountain cave, was shocked at the luxury in which the shaykh lived.

The shaykh came out to greet the ascetic, who asked the shaykh,”Where can I put my lion?”
The shaykh told him, “Put him in the barn with my cow.” The ascetic objected, saying, “He’ll eat your cow.”
The shaykh told him, “No, he will not. Just put him in the barn with the cow.” The ascetic did as he was told.

The two then had a large dinner, though the ascetic was accustomed to eating only water and dates.

At night, the shaykh went to sleep, while the ascetic stayed up all night in Prayer, annoyed by the snoring of the shaykh he heard through the door.

The next morning, the ascetic prepared to leave and went to the barn to retrieve his lion.

He didn’t find his lion because the cow ate it.

He then said to the shaykh, “Where is my lion?”
The shaykh told him,”Your lion is just like you:it is all outward. You thought my cow was a harmless cow, but he was a lion inside.”

Outward appearances can fool people.
(An excerpt from the book Purification of the Heart)


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