Rumi on Muslim Unity

A teacher told a cross-eyed boy one day,
‘Go fetch for me a bottle straight away!’
The boy returned, ‘Which bottle did you mean
Of that exactly matching pair I’ve seen?’
The teacher said, ‘There’s only one you fool!
Have you not learned to add up yet at school?’
The boy protested ‘Sir, don’t laugh at me!’
The teacher said, ‘Try smashing one to see!’
A single bottle looked to him like two
But when one broke, both vanished from his view!
When he smashed one the other broke as well,
Desire can make you cross-eyed in its spell!
And lust and rage don’t just affect your sight,
They agitate your soul, set it alight,
Virtue’s forgotten when your heart feels lust,
Veils block your heart and eyes like layers of dust.

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8 responses to “Rumi on Muslim Unity

  1. Bismillah.
    As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh . . .

    Ma sha Allah, that was deep!

    Is the last line correct though?

    Also, do you know where this is located in the Mathnawi (assuming it is from the Mathnawi)?

    Sincerely,
    khalil abu asmaa

  2. He isn’t talking about muslim unity though

  3. It’s in the first volume. I copied it verbatim out of Jawed Mojaedadi’s translation.

    Tony: Then what is he talking about?

  4. Line numbers / more specific location?

    Don’t you agree that the last line is a little awkward though, or is it just me?

  5. No. When people are blinded by their nafs, they want to feel pride over their differences and this causes conflict in its extremes.

    It’s in the chapter about how the Jewish king divided the Christians. That’s as specific as a I go.

  6. I understand the import, but I am talking about the actual wording! You have it like this:

    “Veils block your and eyes like layers of dust.”

    The “and” makes no sense there!

    Sorry, I thought you caught this the first time that I brought it to your attention.

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