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THE STORY OF SULTAN MAHMOOD AND AYAAZ

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One day Sultan Mahmood called together the officials of his government with the aim of testing their intelligence. He took out a pearl from his treasury and first of all handed it to the Chief Minister and questioned him: "What is the value of this pearl? How much can it be sold for?" The Wazir replied: "Sir, this pearl is of great value. It is more valuable than two hundred donkeys laden with gold". The King then ordered: "I command you to crush this pearl into pieces". The Wazir replied: "I will not destroy this valuable pearl. I have the welfare of your treasury at heart and to crush this valuable gem would amount to disrespect on my part". The King applauded this reply and rewarded him with a royal robe of honour.

The king then took the pearl from the Wazir and handed it to another of his court officials and asked him to determine what was the value of the pearl. He replied: "Sir, this precious pearl is more valuable than half of your Kingdom. May God protect this pearl! ".
The King also commanded him to crush the pearl into small pieces. He replied: "Sir, my hands cannot move to destroy this valuable pearl. To destroy this pearl would amount to enmity towards your treasury". The King praised him profusely for his reply and also rewarded him with a royal robe of honour.

In this manner, one by one the King called sixty five officials from his government and everyone of them followed the example set by the Chief Minister. The King praised each one of them and also rewarded them with a royal robe of honour.

After he had tested all the officials, the King now called Ayaaz, handed the pearl to him and said: "0 Ayaaz, everyone of my officials have seen the pearl. You also have a look at its radiant light and then tell me, what is its value?" Ayaaz replied: "Sir, whatever value I am going to mention, this pearl will be worth much more than that". The King ordered: "Quickly, crush this valuable gem into pieces". Ayaaz knew the King's temperament and immediately realised that the King was putting him to a test. He broke the valuable pearl into small pieces and did not pay any attention towards receiving any royal robe as a reward. As he broke the pearl into pieces, all the officials began creating a loud noise so that in the King's Court a great commotion took place. The Minister of the State uttered: "By Allah! This man is a disbeliever, an ungrateful one, showing no regard for a valuable gem belonging to you. "

Ayaaz replied: "Respected brothers!, Is the command of the King more valuable or is this pearl more valuable? 0 people, in your sight the pearl is more valuable than the King's command. I will not remove my sight from the importance of the King's command and like a Mushrik turn towards the pearl. To remove my sight from the King and turn it towards the pearl means performing shirk in the love and obedience towards the King."

Ayaaz said:
"Respected Sirs, is the command of the King more valuable or the pearl?
I shall not move my sight from the King and I will not turn my sight to the, pearl like a Mushrik.
O You unworthy ones, the actual pearl was the King's command. All of you broke down the pearl of the King's command."

When Ayaaz explained this secret to all the Ministers who were jealous of Ayaaz's closeness to the King, they became humiliated and disgraced by his understanding and success.

LESSON

In this story, we learn that the "command comes before respect". It means that when a command was given by the King, the correct line of action was to obey the command. Ayaaz had personal love for Sultan Mahmood whereas the Ministers and courtiers had love .for their own positions, ranks and wealth. The understanding and rational reasoning which Ayaaz displayed was an outflow of his love for Sultan Mahmood. This love teaches its own manner of I adab'. This true understanding and knowledge is not derived through the intellect. It is created out of love. Note that Shaytaan himself was a rational being and not a being filled with love. For this reason, he objected to the command of Allah the Ruler of all Rulers, whereas it would have been only proper that when an order came from Allah, it should have been immediately implemented. The result of his action was that he was banished from the Court of Allah. On the other hand, Nabee Adam (A.S.) and Hawa (A.S.) were lovers of Allah. When they committed a mistake, they did not feel any disgrace in admitting their fault to Allah. Together with admitting their fault before their Beloved, they busied themselves with gaining His pleasure, by shedding tears as they prayed for His pardon.

In this story there is a further lesson of the magnitude of the Divine Command which should be carried out without any hesitation. The relationship between Sultan Mahmood and Ayaaz was the relationship between Master and slave. Our relationship with Allah is even greater and deeper. Every atom of our bodies was created by Him, reared by Him and owned by Him. He has such an ownership over us wherein no one else shares with Him.

Muslims are commanded to perform Jehad. In Jehad we remember that the "Kufaar" (disbelievers) are also Allah's creation and Allah's bounties in rearing them is also provided for them just as it is provided for the believers.
"0 Allah, You are so kind that from Your unseen treasury
You provide sustenance for the non-believers also."

But when a command is given to perform Jehad, it would be
inappropriate to think about shedding of the blood of so many people for whose fostering and nourishment the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the East, the West, the South, the North, the air, the sea, the mountains, the services of thousands of machines, thousands of factory workers and labourers and thousands of animals were utilised. It would be wrong to consider the shedding of the blood of so many people for whose fostering, rearing and continued life on earth so much provision has been made by Allah that He had saddled the whole creation for their services. Now in Jehad, those very same people for whom so much provisions have been I}1ade, are being destroyed within minutes and seconds. Now in Jehad there will be no time for hesitation because now the Order of Allah has come and in the face of Allah's command the whole world has no value whatsoever. When the command from Allah comes, the demand is that the necks of the Kufaar (disbeliever) should be struck in Jehad for they are enemies of Allah fighting against the Believers.

"Without Shariat's command, it is a crime even to drink water And when the fatwa of Jihad is sounded, it is obligatory to shed blood. "

In this story, Maulana Rumi (RA.) told us of one general law, through which a person can save his bondage from disobedience and from going astray. All those desires which are contrary to Allah's wishes, no matter how valuable, how pleasurable and how beautiful they may appear to us, the True Lover of Allah and the daring one should never act in accordance to those desires. In fact they should readily crush the pearl of their desires with the stone of Allah's commands. Neither should they cast an evil glance at a handsome beardless boy, nor at a strange woman even though there is danger of them losing their lives (first accidental gaze is forgiven).

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