How Husam al-Din Chalabi became beloved of Shams Tabrizi and Rumi

How Husam al-Din Chalabi became beloved of Shams Tabrizi and Mevlana Rumi


One day Shams Tabrizi said: “A disciple can come to us by three paths — by his fortune, by his position in life, or by his desire and supplication.”

Husam al-Din Chalabi, the foremost disciple of Mevlana Rumi, served Shams Tabrez with great humility. One day the Shams Tabrizi said to him: “Sheikh Husam al-Din, it can’t go on like this. Religion needs money. Give some­ thing and serve us, if you want to be accepted.”

Husam al-Din rose at once, returned to his house, took in one load all he had of furniture, valuables, merchandise, money, even household utensils and women’s ornaments, and brought it to Shams Tabrez. In the village of Filaras, he had a garden like paradise: this he sold and threw the money under the feet of the sheikh, prostrating himself and thanking him that such a prince had deigned to ask something of him.

“Yes,” said Shams, “I hope by the grace of God and the goodness of men, that from today you will attain that place envied by the saints and longed for by the brothers of purity. Although men of God have need of nothing and are detached from the goods of the two worlds, the first proof the adept must undergo is to abandon worldly goods.

The second is to renounce every being but God. In nowise can a disciple enter the way by his own desire, unless he gives service and yields his wealth.”

A pupil who can throw his money in the path of his teacher, may also throw his head. True friends remain attached neither to the world nor to religion.

Despite what he was offered, Shams accepted only a dirhem, showing every favour to Husam al-Din , who attained such a level that the twenty-six thousand verses of the Math­nawi are but a commentary on his soul.


– Extract from ‘The Whirling Ecstasy by Aflaki’


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