The Sufi Master and the Harlot

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

When the Sufi Master Mushtaq Ali  Shah was once traveling through Kerman,  Iran, the darvishes there greeted him with great honor and housed him in a room at the local inn. The clerics of the town were jealous of his popularity and his influence, so they sent a prostitute to tempt him, and make him lose favor in the eyes of the people.

She came to his room as he was meditating and danced enticingly in front of him. But he did not look up, and no matter how she flirted, he paid no attention to her. Finally, he did look at her, and said, “Get out, you whore!”

She was suddenly stricken with shame and ran from his presence to her home. The Sufi Master’s words put her into a state of severe agitation. She could not sleep, she could not eat. She kept pacing back and forth as the words rang in her head. She did not know that Mushtaq Ali Shah had spoken them with the full spiritual attention of a Sufi Master, one who had completed the path of Love, and so the words had a profound heart effect on her.

For three days her mind was in this state, filled with the words “Get out, you whore!” “Get out, you whore!” until at last they entered her heart and became her zekr

And the whore within her got out.

By the mercy and compassion of Allah, she abandoned her profession and repented of her past. Eventually, she even became a wali, a friend of God.

Ya Haqq!


14 Responses to The Sufi Master and the Harlot

  1. Ismail says:

    Salaam brother Irving.

    May Allah guide all of us on the straight path.

    This apologue is so instructive. Thanks Brother for share it with us.

    Ya Haqq.

  2. aashish says:

    Salam brother,
    that was a good message.
    Thanks for posting it .
    Take care and may God Bless.
    Khuda Haafiz

  3. Irving says:

    Salaam Alaikum dear Ismail and Aashish:
    Thank you for the kindness and courtesy of your comments. The post is one of a hundred stories found in the book Under the Sufi’s Cloak, complied by two darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, Ali Jamnia and Mojdeh Bayat, and is available on at this link: Under the Sufi’s Cloak.

  4. Salaam
    Thanks a lot Brother Irving.

    All of the stories of Shaikh Abu Said is in the old book into persian , It name is \”Asrar al Towhid\” mean \”Secrets of Unity\”, this book writen by grandson of Abu Said. A research on sufism force me to learning English ,Unfortunately process of learning English is so slowly for me.
    Anyway I\’m very happy that these books are avilable in English and you recommend their.

  5. Maliha says:

    My ignorance is going to speak for me now: how do you (a lay person) determine who is Master and who has reached that higher state? Or in choosing one to be your guide; how do you know? In the age of fake gurus and pirs; how do you dive beyond someone’s outer appearance and claims; to fully trust them to guide you on a certain path and how do you know that path is the “one”?

    It’s something I have always wondered about; and perhaps you can address in this comment/post later.

    I loved the piece on Hijab (two posts down) Mashaallah; i love the spirituality emanating from Amal’s voice.

    May Allah increase us all in wisdom and guide us (amin).

  6. MysticSaint says:

    Soli Deo gloria

    (to God alone the glory)

  7. Stranger says:

    Maliha, The Master will make his own self known when he wants it so, (by his actions/ In-action & words) But if you are in doubt, lacking of trust or other assumptions/ misconceptions of what a master should be – Then you’ll never know the Master. And sometimes for a Seeker of Truth, you’ll pass from one Master to another without finding what your looking for. they say home is where the heart is, Your heart will know when and where that is, when the time does come.
    I know this does’nt answer your question much, So i’ll leave it others, but a question like this needs a Master to truly answer it to the fullest. lol

    Put your trust in Allah. :-)
    May Allah help us all in putting trust, sincerity & hope in our hearts Ameen

  8. Sitaram says:

    This story reminds me of the story about Valmiki, author of first version of the Ramayan (in Sanskrit). Allegedly he was a thief, hardened in evil ways, and his mantra of meditation was then name of the devil, “Mara”. But, as he recited MaraMaraMara, it became transformed into maRamaRamaRama (i.e. the name of Ram, an avataric incarnation and quite the opposite of Mara).

    Perhaps I am mistaken on some of these details.

    The Valmiki story, in turn, reminds me of the television version of the Ramayan by Ramanand Sagar. Ram battles his nemesis, Ravanna. At the moment that Ram finally slays Ravanna, one sees the soul of Ravanna exit from the body and enter the body of Ram. The notion is that interacting with the divine in any capacity, even as an enemy, has a sanctifying effect.

    I am also reminded, in the Old Testament biblical account of Joseph, in Egypt. When Josephs brothers (who attempted to murder him but then sold him into slavery) finally recognize Joseph’ true identity, they come to ask his forgiveness. Joseph answers “You intended evil, but God transformed your evil into good.” That is to say, had his brothers not sold him into slavery, Joseph would not have become the most powerful in Egypt, and would not have had the means to rescue his family from famine.

  9. Thank you all, dear brothers and sisters, for your excellent comments. They add much to the blog :)

  10. Silverbearla says:

    “How do you, (a lay person) determine who is master and who has reached a higher state?”

    I may not be a Sufi, but this is what I’ve learned. You may think you’re seeking a master, but the masters you seek wisdom from are everywhere around you. When by seeking to grow spiritually you’ve at last found the first stirrings of unconditional love in your heart, your life becomes your school and your experiences are your lessons. Do no harm and consciously choose to love your brothers and sisters and everything surrounding you, and you are on the way to liberation. The master you seek is there within you.

  11. johnherberger says:

    profound! Thank you

  12. Hadayai says:

    As Salaamu Alaikum,

    Sometimes you have to call something what it is and then the person afflicted by it can be healed. Now the clerics who knew her and used her no telling how many times to do their dirty bidding now have to face her as a clean woman. No doubt she is testifying (as we say in the old southern Christian tradition) all over the place.

    Everyone can be saved. First they must know exactly what they are then they can ask for help from Allah (God).

    ma salaam

  13. barsili says:

    Ahhhhh, tell us more….everybody loves a good story! Tell me dearest Irving, have you ever bought the same book twice? The other day I was putting my books in some kind of meaningful order and found Under the Sufi’s Cloak (along with 6 other books) repeated.

    Have a wonderfully meaningful and peaceful holiday with your loved ones.

  14. Irving says:

    Salaam Dearest Barbara:

    No, I have never bought the same book twice, except when I lost or gave away one that I love. As for Under the Sufi’s Cloak, it was written by old friends of mine, and if you look in the frontispiece, you will see that I edited it :)

    Ya Haqq!

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