They asked a profoundly-learned man, saying, “What is your opinion of consecrated bread, or almstaking?” He answered, “If with the view of composing their minds, and promoting their devotions, it is lawful to take it; but if monks collect for the sake of an endowment, it is forbidden. Good and holy men have received the bread of consecration for the sake of religious retirement; and are not recluses, that they may receive such bread.”
A dervish came to put up at a place where the master of the house was a gentleman of an hospitable disposition. He had as his guests an assembly of learned and witty men, each of whom was repeating such a jest, or anecdote, as is usual with the facetious. Having travelled across a desert, the dervish was much fatigued, and well-nigh famished. One of the company observed, in the way of pleasantry, “You must also repeat something.” The dervish answered, “I am not, like the others, overstocked with learning and wit, nor am I much read in books; and you must be satisfied with my reciting one distich.” One and all eagerly cried, “Let us hear it.” He said, “Hungry as I am, I sit by a table spread with food, like a bachelor at the entrance of a bath full of women!”
They applauded what he said, and ordered the tray to be placed before him. The lord of the feast said, “Stay your appetite, my friend! till my handmaids can prepare for you some forced meat.” He raised his head from the tray, and answered, “Say there is no need for forced meat on my tray, for a crust of plain bread is sufficient for one baked as I have been in the desert.”
A disciple complained to his ghostly father, saying, “What can I do, for I am much annoyed by the people, who are interrupting me with their frequent visits, and break in upon my precious hours with their impertinent intrusions.” He replied, “To such of them as are poor lend money, and from such as are rich ask some in loan; and neither of them will trouble you again.” Let a beggar be the harbinger of an army of Islam, or the orthodox, and the infidel will fly his importunity as far as the wall of China.
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A drunken fellow had lain down to sleep on the highway, and was quite overcome with the fumes of intoxication. An abid was passing close by, and looking at him with scorn. The youth raised his head, and said, “Whenever they pass anything shameful they pass it with compassion.—Whenever thou beholdest a sinner, hide and bear with his transgressions: thou, who art aware of them, why not overlook my sins with pity?—Turn not away, O reverend sir! from a sinner; but look upon him with compassion. Though in my actions I am not a hero, do thou pass by as the heroic would pass me.”