Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Sufi Parable

A devotee once prayed all night, calling upon the name of God until he grew tired. And Satan appeared to him, saying, "How long will you keep calling on the name of God? Has He answered you yet? Be silent, for no answer is coming."

And the devotee became ashamed and was silent.

After a while, however, he had a vision of a prophet, and the prophet said to him, "Why have you ceased to call upon the name of God?"

And the devotee replied, "Because I called and called, and he did not answer, "Here I am," nor did he send me any messenger although I yearned for an answer."

And the prophet said, "God has given me this word to give to you. Who was it that summoned you to the service of prayer? Can you pray without the assistance of God? When you called, 'O God,' that very thing was my saying, 'Here I am.' When you yearned, your very yearning was my messenger to you. All of your tears, and all of your cries, and all of your prayers, were drawn to me as to a magnet, and it was I, and I alone, who gave them wings."

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