The Story of Man who greased his Moustaches: By Maulana Rumi
The Story of Man who greased his Moustaches: From Rumi’s Masnavi
A person, who was held in low esteem because of his poverty, used to grease his moustache every morning so he can go among the rich, saying, “I have eaten some well-greased food at the dinner party.”
He would merrily put his hand on his moustache as a sign, meaning, “Look at my moustache!
For this is the witness to the truth of my words, and this is the token of my eating greasy and delicious food.”
His belly would say in soundless (mute) response, “May God destroy the plots of the liars! Your boasting has set me on fire: may that greasy moustache of yours be torn out!
Were it not for your foul boasting, o beggar, some generous man would have taken pity on me.
God has said, “Do not move ear or tail crookedly : their truthfulness will benefit the truthful”. Or if you do not tell your fault, at least refrain from idle talk: do not kill yourself by ostentation and trickery. Bring forward practise of honesty, or else be silent, and then see pity and enjoy it.
Because of his pretension, the boastful hypocrite desires to be (reputed) rich, but his belly loathes his moustache. Crying, “Show that which he is hiding! He has consumed me with anguish: o’ God, expose him!” His belly became the adversary of his moustache and secretly resorted to prayer.
The belly’s prayer was answered: the fieriness of need put out a flag.
When the belly committed itself to God, the cat came and carried off the skin of that sheep’s tail that he used to grease.
His child ran after the cat, but it fled. The child of the boaster, for fear of being scolded, changed colour (turned pale).
The little child came into the midst of the company and took away the prestige of the boastful man.
He said, “The sheep’s tail with which you greased your lips and moustaches every morning
The cat came and suddenly snatched it away: I ran hard, but the effort was useless.”
Those who were present laughed from astonishment and their feelings of pity were stirred up again.
They invited him to eat and kept him full-fed, they sowed the seed of pity in his soil.
When he had tasted honesty from the noble, he became devoted to honesty without arrogance (humbly).