November 19, 2007

Appearance


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Hariri the Good Man

HARIRI always tried to behave in as exemplary a manner as possible. He acquired such a reputation for correct conduct that a certain merchant who had to go on a journey chose him as the obvious person with whom to entrust the welfare of his beautiful slave-girl.

But Hariri developed a passion for the girl. He went to Haddad, his Sufi preceptor, and asked for his advice.

Haddad said:
“Go to Yusuf, son of Hussain.’
When Hariri approached the place where Yusuf was to be found, people said:
‘Do not go near the son of Hussain, the pious man, for he has a bad reputation, is a heretic and a wine-drinker.’
Not believing this, Hariri arrived at Yusuf’s door, where he saw, sure enough, Yusuf was sitting with a young boy and a flask of wine.
Hariri at once said to Yusuf:
What is the meaning of this behaviour?’
Yusuf said, reading his thoughts:
‘I behave like this in appearance, because it prevents people entrusting their beautiful slaves to my keeping.’

Text: Source:
Reference Book: Idries Shah’s ‘Thinkers of the East’ reprinted in 1977. Penguin Books, page 94

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