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The prayer that was answered

A CERTAIN man one night was crying ‘Allah!’ till his lips were becoming sweet with the mention of his name.prayer-on-my-knees

      ‘Why now, chatterbox,’ said the Devil, ‘where is the answer “Here am I” to all this “Allah” of yours? Not one answer is coming from the Throne: how long will your grimly go on crying “Allah”?’

     The man became broken-hearted, and laid down his head to sleep. He saw in a dream mystic Khazir11 all in a green garden.
‘Look now,’ Khazir called, ‘why have you desisted from the mention of God? How is it you repent of having called upon Him?’
‘No answering “Here am I” is coming to me,’ the man replied, ‘and I therefore fear that I may be refused from His door.’

     Khazir answered, ‘Your cry of “Allah” (God says) is itself My “Here am I”; your pleading and agony and fervour is My messenger. All your twistings and turnings to come to Me were My drawing you that set free your feet. Your fear and love are the lasso to catch My grace. Under each “Allah” of yours whispers many a “Here am I”.’

From Tales from Masnavi, Jalal al-Din Rumi 

translated by A.J. Arberry


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