Masnavi 1F

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STORY XIV. Miracles performed by the Prophet Muhammad.


It is related that the Prophet was once present at a banquet, and after he had
eaten and drunk, his servant Anas threw the napkin which he had used into the
fire, and the napkin was not burnt, 'but only purified by the fire. On another
occasion a caravan of Arabs was traveling in the desert, and was in sore
distress through lack of water, whereupon the Prophet miraculously increased
the water in a single water-skin, so that it sufficed to supply the needs of
all the travelers. Moreover, the negro who carried the water-skin was rendered
as white and fair as Joseph. Again, a heathen woman came to the Prophet
carrying her infant, aged only two months, and the infant saluted the Prophet
as the veritable apostle of God. Again, when the prophet was about to put on
his sandals, an eagle swooped down upon one of them and carried it off, when a
viper was seen to drop from the sandal. The Prophet was at first inclined to
grumble at this stroke of ill-luck; but when he saw the viper his discontent
was turned into thankfulness to God, who had thus miraculously saved him from
being bitten by the viper.
In difficulties there is provided a way of salvation 1.
In this tale there is a warning for thee, O Soul,
That thou mayest acquiesce in God's ordinances,
And be wary and not doubt God's benevolence,
When sudden misfortunes befall thee.
Let others grow pale from fear of ill fortune,
Do thou smile like the rose at loss and gain;
For the rose, though its petals be torn asunder,
Still smiles on, and it is never cast down.
It says, "Why should I fall into grief in disgrace?
I gather beauty even from the thorn of disgrace."
Whatsoever is lost to thee through God's decree
Know of a surety is so much gained from misfortune.
What is Sufiism? 'Tis to find joy in the heart
Whensoever distress and care assail it.
Know troubles to be that eagle of the Prophet's
Which carried off the sandal of that holy one,
In order to save his foot from the bite of the viper
O excellent device! to preserve him from harm.
'Tis said, "Mourn not for your slaughtered cattle
If a wolf has harried your flocks;"
For that calamity may avert a greater calamity,
And that loss may ward off a more grievous loss.