Within the sanctuary of the Cabah, at Mecca, I saw Abd-u’l-cadur the Gilani, who having laid his face upon the Hasa, or black stone, was saying, “Spare and pardon me, O God! and if, at all events, I am doomed to punishment, raise me up at the day of resurrection blindfolded, that I may not be put to shame in the eyes of the righteous.” Every morning when the day begins to dawn, with my face in the dust of humility, I am saying, “O thou, whom I never can forget, dost thou ever bestow a thought on thy servant?”
A thief got into a holy man’s cell; but, however much he searched, he could find nothing to steal, and was going away disappointed. The good soul was aware of what was passing, and taking up the rug on which he had slept, he put it in his way that he might not miss his object.—I have heard that the heroes on the path of God will not distress the hearts of their enemies. How canst thou attain this dignified station who art at strife and warfare with thy friends?
The loving kindness of the righteous, whether before your face or behind your back, is not such that they will censure you when absent, and offer to die for you when present.—Face to face meek as a lamb, behind your back like a man-devouring wolf. Whoever brings you, and sums up the faults of others, will doubtless expose your defects to them.
Some travelling mendicants had agreed to club in a body and participate in the cares and comforts of society. I expressed a wish that I might be one of the party, but they refused to admit me. I said: “It is rare and inconsistent with the generous dispositions of dervishes to turn their faces from a good-fellowship with the poor, and to deny them its benefits, for on my part I feel such a zeal and good-will, that in the service of the liberal I am likely to prove rather an active associate than a grievous load.—Though not one of those who are mounted on the camels, I will do my best, that I may carry their saddle-cloths.”
One of them answered and said: “Be not offended at what you have heard, for some days back a thief joined us in the garb of a dervish, and strung himself upon the cord of our acquaintance.—How can people know what he is that wears that dress? The writer can alone tell the contents of the letter.” In consequence of that reverence in which the dervish character is held, they did not think of his profligacy and admitted him into their society. The outward character of the holy is a patched cloak; this much is sufficient, that it has a threadbare hood. Be industrious in thy calling, and wear whatever dress thou choosest. Put a diadem on thy head, and bear a standard on thy shoulder. Holiness does not consist in a coarse frock. Let a zahid, or holy man, be truly pious, and he may dress in satin. Sanctity is not merely a change of dress; it is an abandonment of the world, its pomp and vanity. It requires a hero to wear a coat of mail, for what would it profit to dress an hermaphrodite, or coward, in a suit of armor?