Sufi Story: The thirsty man who threw bricks into the water stream

Sufi Story from Rumi’s Masnavi: The thirsty man who threw bricks into the water stream

Once upon a time, in a small village nestled amidst lush green fields, there lived a man, who sought solace in the simplicity of nature. His favorite spot was a tall brick wall that overlooked a gentle water stream, its sparkling waters meandering through the countryside. The wall was his refuge, a place where he could sit and ponder, feeling the cool breeze against his face as he gazed at the tranquil flow of the stream.

However, on one fateful day, as he settled atop his familiar perch, he found himself trapped. A sudden gust of wind had blown the only ladder away, leaving him stranded atop the tall wall. Panic gripped him as he realized he couldn’t climb down to quench his growing thirst.

As the scorching sun beat down upon him, his desperation grew. He felt an unbearable thirst, his throat parched and dry. Frustration and despair washed over him, and in a fit of desperation, he started picking at the bricks of the wall. One by one, he tore them away, throwing them into the water stream below.

As the bricks splashed into the water, a symphony of soothing sounds filled the air. The gentle splashing became a balm to his ears, momentarily easing his thirst and providing a sense of relief. The more bricks he threw, the more enchanting the sound became. It was as if the water itself was singing to him, whispering secrets of comfort and respite.


Rumi - Verses Shaykh searching with Lamp

Rumi – Verses Shaykh searching with Lamp


Driven by the captivating music of the water, he continued to dismantle the wall, brick by brick.

“Why you throwing bricks on me”, he heard the water stream complaining to him.

“There are 2 benefits”, the person replied. “With each brick thrown in water, it is music to my ears. Second, the more bricks I throw, the closer I get to the water”

With each brick he removed, the wall grew shorter, bringing him closer to the inviting stream below. As the wall diminished in height, his spirit soared. He felt an indescribable connection with the flowing water, as if it was calling out to him, promising relief from his plight.

Each brick of nafs, that you break and throw away, the closer it is taking your Allah SWT.


Based on Rumi’s Masnavi English Translation. Volume 2.


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