The Angel Gabriel And The Good Intention: Sufi Story
One night, when the Angel Gabriel was in the Sidrah he heard God pronounce the words of consent, and he said to himself: ‘A servant of God at this moment invokes the Eternal, but who can he be? I only know that he must be of great merit, that his body of desire is dead and that his spirit is living.’
And at once he set off to find this happy mortal. But though he searched the earth and the islands, the mountains and the plains, he could not find him. So he returned to God, and again heard a favourable response to the prayer.
Once more he flew over earth and sea, but at last he had to ask: ‘O God, which way will lead me to your servant?
God said: ‘Go to the country of Rum (Rome), and in a certain Christian monastery you will find him.
Gabriel flew off to the monastery and there he saw the object of celestial favours bowing before an idol.
‘O master of the world,’ said Gabriel, ‘draw aside the veil from this mystery. How can you answer the prayer of an idol-worshipper in a monastery?
God said: “His heart is darkened. He is unaware that he has lost his way. Since he strays through ignorance my loving-kindness pardons him and I have opened the way for him to a high estate.
Then the Most High unloosed the man’s tongue so that he could pronounce the name of God.
One must not neglect the smallest thing. Renunciation is not bought in a shop; neither can you reach the court of the Most High by paying a small sum.