Rumi Advises the Sultan

May 1, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

One day the Seljuq Sultan, ‘Ezz al-Din Kay Kaus, may God make him a shining proof, came to visit Mowlana. He did not pay befitting attention to him and did not engage in any discourse or sermon. The Sultan of Islam humbled himself like a servant and said, “May his holiness Mowlana advise me.”

Rumi replied, “What advice should I give? They have made you a shepherd and you act like a wolf. They have made you a watchman and you act like a thief. The Merciful made you a sultan, but you follow the teachings of Satan.”

Thereupon the Sultan came outside crying and with bared head stood at the door of the madrase repenting profusely. He said, “O God, though his holiness Mowlana has spoken to me harshly, he did so for Your sake.  I, Your helpless servant, likewise humble myself and importune You by Your sovereignty. By virtue of these two purely sincere acts have mercy upon me.” And he recited these verses:

Have mercy on me for these moistened eyes,
and mercy for this burning sorrowed breast.
You whose mercy exceeds every excess
Have mercy on me, who am less than less.

Thereupon his holiness Mowlana came striding out and showed great concern for him, saying, “Go, for the Lord on high has shown you mercy and forgiven you.”

– Shams al-dîn Ahmad-e Aflâkî, related in his book, The Feats of the Knowers of God (Manâqeb al-`ârefîn), from Rumi: Past and Present, East and West – The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rum by Franklin D. Lewis

Ya Haqq!