Ayyazi’s return to the greater Jihaad – Story from Rumi’s Masnavi

Ayyazi’s return to the greater Jihaad – Story from Rumi’s Masnavi

Ayyazi was a gallant warrior who lived during the times of Samanids dynasty, the rulers of the greater Khorasan [Persian Empire] between 819 and 999 AD. This story is from Mevlana’s Rumi’s Masnavi that sheds light on Jihadul-Asghar and Jihadul-Akbar


Ayyazi said,

“Ninety times I went to combats without wearing a protective armour, in hope that with an unprotected body, I might be mortally wounded [embracing shahadat]

I faced the arrows, in order that I might get inflicted with a deep and deadly wound. No place on my body exists without signs of wounds and it resembles a sieve from pierced with arrows”

But the arrows never once hit me on a vital spot to fatally injure me. This is surely a play of fortune, not of bravery!

Eventually, I realized that martyrdom was not written in the fate, hence, I went into solitude [khalwat].

I engaged myself into the greater warfare [Jihad-ul-Akbar] which is practising austerities [from worldly desires] and becoming thin with fasting.


Karbala Hussain Image


One day I heard the sound of the drums of the mujahids, indicating the hard-fighting army was on the march.

My nafs [carnal soul] cried out to me from within, at dawn I heard its voice inside saying

“Get ready as it’s time of fight and devote yourself to holy war!”


I replied, “O my corrupt and deceitful soul, where does such desire to join war comes from?

Tell the truth about such trickery [to persuade me for jihad]. Why would you fight?  You are lustful and free from obedience to God!

If you don’t tell me truth, I will attack and torment you than the starvation I enforced on you.”


My nafs replied eloquently but cunningly from inside me,

‘In this khalwat [Jihadul-Akbar] you are killing me everyday and suppressing me, like the spirits of unbeliever.

No one understands my conditions; you are supressing me me by depriving me of both food and sleep

If in war, I will escape this torment with a single slash, and the people would see my bravery and self-sacrifice.’

I responded, ‘O miserable nafs, like a hypocrite who lived and as a hypocrite you will die: how shameful you are!

In both worlds, you have been a hypocrite. In both worlds you remain useless being.’

I promised that I would never come out my seclusion, when I saw that this body is alive [with temptations]

Because everything this body does in seclusion it does with no regard to humans

Such solitude is the greater warfare, and the actual war is the lesser warfare: both are suitable work for men like Rustam and Haider (Hazrat Ali).

They are not suitable for whom reason and wits fly out of body even upon movement of a rat’s tail.


mevlana rumi allama iqbal

Mevlana Rumi’s Allama Iqbal

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