Parable about Offense, Forgiveness, and the Purification of the Soul

One day a middle-aged woman came to the Master casting no shadows.

She told Him her sad story about her life:

“I came to You for help, because my life is full of sorrow and makes no sense. I have no joyous hope anymore that someday everything will change, and Allah will send happiness to my home…

“I am a widow…

“My father was a Sufi. He taught me to love Allah and explained that such love lives in the beauty of nature, music, words, and wise thoughts. He taught me to read and write, to perform music and beautiful dances…

“But he died early.

“And then my relatives married me off. I was very young, almost a child, and obeyed… My husband was much older than I. I even did not know that a woman can truly love her husband. I was to him like a slave-concubine that fulfilled his indisputable will obediently even when everything inside me resisted… Time went on… My husband became old and no longer ordered me about as before. Nevertheless, I continued to serve him…

“We didn’t have children…

“… Then my husband died and I stayed all alone.

“At that time, I woke up from a bad dream, so to speak. I started, like in my childhood, seeing the beauty around, hearing the singing of the birds and the murmur of the water in the river. I began to see the stars and the sun…. This beauty gave me the hope…

“I fell in love with one man, my neighbor. We could have become a good match… We spoke about the important… It seemed to me that we always understood each other… It seemed to me that he loved me too, that he wanted to marry me and soon would offer me to connect our lives…

“But the time passed, and he still did not speak about the marriage…

“And then… he married a young girl… Yes, she was very beautiful… But this was her only virtue… She was moody and not clever… She ordered her husband about and made him satisfy all her whims…

“I still loved him… It was the light in my life, even though my love was not reciprocated. I forgave him his choice. We remained good friends.

“And then… he offended me gravely. It was as if the light grew dark in the soul… I realized that I no longer could, as before, live giving my love to him, because he didn’t need my love…

“His contemptuous and angry words continue to sound in the soul and poison my life!…

“I will never be young and beautiful again. No one needs my skills… Loneliness and emptiness… I don’t know how to live out the time that I still have on the Earth… I almost have no means of livelihood. I cannot maintain the property of my ex-husband, which has already fallen into decay…”

“Do you know that you have come to a Sufi? I will not give you advice on how and where you can find a husband. I’ll talk with you about something else. Do you want to change your life before the Eyes of Allah?”

“Yes, I want to try if something still can be done…”

“The first thing you need to learn is to forgive offenses. Look, everything bad that happens to you now comes from your resentment!

“Each one must learn to change the situations in his or her own life ‘from his or her end’.

“It often happens that we cannot change the events that come into our lives, because they are beyond our control. But we can always choose our own point of view on those events, our attitude to what happens.

“And we should always remember that everything that comes to our lives is sent by Allah — and He sends it for our good!

“For example, it’s raining. You can be sad that the weather is bad and that you can’t even leave your house. Or you can be happy that this living moisture is nourishing the crops and grasses, trees, and shrubs.

“Or you can be sad because the strong solar heat does not let you enjoy a stroll. Or you can be glad that this heat will help the harvest to ripen.”

“You are speaking like my father, and I listen to you like a little girl!”

“You were offended, and I even know that what happened to you was unfair if we look at this situation with the eyes of an ordinary human. But it depends on you whether you continue to accumulate the bile of bitter resentment and suffer because of it — or forgive and let the whole situation go in order to become opened for a new clean life in harmony with Allah!

“Many people live dreaming of revenge for years, hatching up the plans of murder… You are not like them: you do not want to harm that man. But you’re doing bad to yourself! You are causing harm to yourself spoiling all the best that is in you! And this is the sin before Allah! You poison the soul slowly with your state of resentment! And this can result in a serious illness and then in an untimely death of your body.

“To continue to be offended or to forgive depends only on your decision! Look, you could forgive him that he hasn’t chosen you as his life partner!

“Each time we can decide how we should react to what is sent by Allah to our lives. And the only correct decision is to thank Him for all that He sends to us. We can become better: kinder, cleverer — from these lessons!

“It is completely in our power to choose how to react to what comes to us from Him! And you once learned to do this a long time ago.

“You do not know yet what a wonderful gift from Allah was brought into your life by that event! And you now have the opportunity to change a lot in your destiny!

“Your father was a great master and could teach you how to live by the spiritual heart. A heart with wings is a symbol of Sufis. This heart can soar in the world of Love and Light even when everything develops in the most unfavorable way!

“But you have recalled the lessons of your father only a few times during your entire adult life! This is why, many things in your life were not as good as they could have been…

“Now you can recall how you were taught to live being full of love for Allah and for everything around! You can live as the developed spiritual heart and no longer break down because of the outside events that seem to be unwanted at first sight…

“See what happens when a soul immerses into the emotions of resentment, anger, sadness, despair, desire ‘to get’, or envy… Any low state of a soul makes this soul move to that layer of the multidimensional universe where the winds of the same emotions reign. They capture this soul, enslave it and do not let it swim out to the light, to the joy of life in Purity and Love…

“One must learn to purify the soul, accustoming oneself to living in the Subtlety and Light, so that the layers of Love, Harmony, Tenderness, and Care will be one’s natural habitat!

“Look, the one who lives being entangled with low emotional states, such as depression, creates around oneself the same dull and lifeless space… Or if a soul is splashing the filth of hatred and anger — those black and sticky states intensively pollute the area around it! This evil negatively affects other people and all other souls, including plants and animals, and everything around! From this, sadness and filth multiply in the space of our planet!…

“The longer the soul resides in heavy and dirty states, the harder it will be to get up, to cleanse and accustom itself to living in the transparent purity, kindness, and tenderness!

“Sufi path is the Path of Purity!

“And you need to start with obtaining the purity of yourself as a soul! And only then you will be able to transform the space around you with this purity!

“If one, waking up in the morning, opens the spiritual heart, fills it with peace, love, and tenderness, and sends these emotions to all directions: forward, backward, left, right, up, and down, wanting to give love and peace to everything around — then the pure and subtle space of the spiritual heart becomes opened and filled with the Joy of Allah!

“You can also learn to merge with the Flow of Light of Allah that runs from top to bottom and ask for His help in the purification of the body and soul. Then a waterfall of Purity will flow down abundantly! This Shining Flow will help to cleanse the body and the soul, to bathe yourself, to dress yourself in the Light and become filled with this Light!

“It is very simple! You should do it every day!

“Having filled yourself with Purity, you will be able to merge with the River of the Divine Light That flows above the expanse of fields, meadows, steppe, or desert. Besides, in this way you will give love — together with Allah — to everything and everyone around you!…

“These several methods of purification of the soul will be enough for you to begin with. Then I will teach you other methods. There are many of them! This is the Path of Purity — the Path of a Sufi!

“Now another very simple technique can help you. If suddenly dark and heavy thoughts and emotions — due to your habit formed during years — try to overcome you once again, then you can cultivate the habit of appealing immediately in such situations to Allah. Exclaim in your spiritual heart: ‘Allah — Akbar!’ And thank Him, remembering that He — the Great and Omnipresent! — is looking at you, loves you, and wants to help you… His Love then will kindle in your heart in response!

“You will surely be able to do this if you want!”

“But I’d like to bring at least some benefit to others!… It’s so hard to live, knowing that you are useless, that your life does not warm anyone, does not give fruits!…”

“You’ve received a good education. Could you rewrite some of the books that contain the wise sayings of Sufi Masters and didactic stories? I have some very valuable manuscripts that exist only in one or few copies in the entire world. You could help a lot of people to become familiar with the wisdom that these texts contain…”

“Yes, I’ll be able to do this well!”

“Then My disciples will bring you the texts and some money, so that you do not have to think about how to buy food… This work is very important for many people. But it will also bring the great benefit to you if you do not only copy these texts but use the wisdom contained in them in your life.”

… Master gave her one of the manuscripts, and she, full of gratitude, went home to try to start a new life.

* * *

Some time passed since then. On the surface — almost nothing changed in her life. But her attitude to everything that happened became quite different.

The disciples of the Master brought new books and some money to her. They also helped her sometimes with housework. Besides, at the request of the Master, they told her about the new methods of work for cleansing and development of the soul.

But more often she found valuable advice on the pages of the books that she copied for others. When she was working with these books, it seemed to her that she was speaking with the Master and that He was indicating to what she should pay special attention. She tried to follow His advice at all times.

Yet one day one of the young disciples gave her latest work back to her. He said that the Master was not satisfied with the ornament: there was no harmony in the design. He asked her to do this work over again…

The young man hurried on without lingering on.

She stayed alone…

Despair seized her: “Can it really be true that I wasn’t able to do even this simple work? Oh Allah! Is there any hope for me?”

Tears streamed from her eyes…

Then she set to work again, trying hard to feel harmony and Love for Allah…

She repainted the ornament and then began to rewrite a new text. The words were falling into place, forming nice and neat lines:

“If a person has made a mistake and then understood it and repented, be sure that in his or her life there will be a similar situation in which it will be necessary to make the right decision. This person will have to prove to Allah that His lesson was learned.

“But if the mistake persists, then the tests will be also repeated until this person erases all the facets of the concrete defect of the soul.

“And the same with every defect.

“As the result, the soul must become like a crystal clear glass vessel, in which the Light of Allah shines!

“The one who understands this accepts difficulties of these tests with joy and humility! And this one praises Allah for every possibility to become better!”

She laughed happily, realizing that she had understood the idea of this lesson received from Allah: she repeated her mistake! How unstable her achieved level of purity and love turned out to be!…

She saw the smiling face of the Master, consisting of Light, and thanked Him for this lesson!

Light and Love filled her! She realized how Allah was helping her to become better!

The happiness of life under the Guidance of Allah embraced her!

And she again set to work.

* * *

Time went… She continued learning to feel the Will of Allah and the joy of the life dedicated to Him.

The disciples of the Master liked to be in her house. They liked both the simplicity and purity that now reigned there. They also liked how she rewrote books, decorating them with delicate ornaments, and how she took part in discussions, sometimes humbly and simply expressing wise thoughts.

The Master was also pleased with the success of His disciple…

Villagers started coming to her with their requests or questions, and she never refused anyone and explained to them what she knew. She also retold stories that she copied. She told them in a very simple way, and what was difficult to understand turned into wise tales or parables with her words…

Now children frequently came to her, because they love stories and fairy tales very much! Thus her house became filled with laughter and joy. And now she could teach children the Laws of Love of Allah… Even though these children were not her own, they loved her and called her among themselves — Sufi storyteller.

Her neighbor changed as well. He apologized for having offended her once and even offered her to become his second wife… She answered him kindly that she no longer remembered that offense, but the past couldn’t be returned, and now both — he and she — had new lives…

One day some travelers from the distant land came to the village and began to ask where the famous Sufi woman lived. All the people were very surprised and didn’t know how to answer them…

* * *

It so happened that the Master sent to her a new disciple who was not young already. He was traversing the path of the heart slowly, since in his long life there was no earthly love and that’s why, his love for Allah was not filled with vivid emotions. His efforts were either obedient execution of the instructions or the attempts to conquer his bad qualities… He succeeded greatly in the understanding of the ethical truths, was diligent… But he tried to perform the meditative training offered by the Master as just some given tasks. His spiritual heart did not start singing because of the love for Allah… And he asked again and again the new initiations from the Master, for he truly wanted to become better…

The Master once suggested that he live in the house of that woman and learn her simple way of life in which she did everything only for Allah. The Master told him that she visited Him only once and was not looking for new initiations. But she was one of His best disciples: she successfully developed herself as the soul and helped others to do the same. And Allah guided her!

… And what happened next was the gift of Allah for those who seek to become better and realize the acts of kindness: their mutual love tinged their life together!

All around them was lit up by the Presence of Allah, since they lived and worked for Him!

Sufi Parables

Written down by Anna Zubkova

Under the editorship of Vladimir Antonov

Translated into English by
Anton Teplyy and Vladimir Antonov

The corrector of the English translation — Hiero Nani

Parables of the Masters  >>>



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