While passing through this world you will meet many pickpockets – Rumi
“While passing through this world you will meet many pick-pockets”. “Happy are those who have nothing in their pockets” (i.e. who are not attached to worldly things) [Volume 2, 4.1]
There was a water carrier who owned a donkey that had been bent double like a hoop due to carrying excess weight.
His back was scratched in a hundred places by the load and he desired the day of its death.
The Master of the royal stable saw it and had pity since he knew the owner of the donkey
He greeted him and asked him what had happened, saying, “Why is this ass bent double like a daal [Arabic alphabet د ]”?
Donkey’s owner replied, “Because of my poverty, this dumb animal does not even get straw.”
“Give him over to me,” the other said, “for a few days, that in the King’s stable he will grow strong.”
All around him he saw Arab horses, well-fed, fat, handsome
He saw the ground swept clean under their feet and sprinkled with water: the straw and barley coming at time
He saw the horses combed and massaged. Then he broke his silence, crying, O Glorious Lord
Am not I Your creature too even if I am a donkey? Why am I wretched, with wounds on my back, and weak?
At night, I always wish to die because of the pain in my back and the hunger in my stomach.
These horses are so happy and healthy: why am I singled out for torment and trial?”
Suddenly arrived a rumour of war and hence it was the time for the Arab horses to be saddled for war
They were wounded by arrows by the enemy: their barbs injured them on every side.
When the Arab horses returned from the campaign, they all fell down and lay on their backs in the stable.
Their legs were bandaged with strips of canvas: the farriers waiting
They pierced their bodies with the scalpel to take out barbs from their wounds.
The donkey saw all that, and repented, “O God, I am satisfied with my poverty and health.
I do not desire that plentiful food and those hideous wounds.” Everyone who desires Spiritual health abandons the worldly luxuries.
I thanks God in good and bad times, because the Divine destiny holds worse than the present ill.
Since He is the Dispenser of portions [Rizq], complaint is like infidelity. Patience is essential and the key to the divine reward.
As long as He gives me buttermilk I will not wish for honey as every pleasure is connected to a pain.”