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Islamic Story
Islamic Story

The Woman Who Was The Master Of Bayazid Bestami (ra)

The Woman Who Was The Master Of Bayazid Bestami (ra)
It is said that when Bayazid Bestami was asked who his master was, he explained:
She was an old woman.
One day, I was possessed by such ecstacy and yearning and sense of unity that not even a hair of anything else could be found in me. In this selfless mood, I went for a stroll in the desert, where I happened to meet an elderly lady burdened with a bag of flour.
She asked me to carry the flour for her, but I was incapable of taking it, so I beckoned to a lion to take the load. The lion came up to me and I laid the sack upon its back. I then asked the old lady what she intended to say to the townspeople since I did not want them to apprehend who I was.
"I'll tell them," she replied, "that I met a vain tyrant."
"What are talking about?" I exclaimed.
The lady explained thus, first asking: "Has the lion been put to trouble or not?"
"No," I answered. -
"Except for the fact that you burden down those whom God Himself has not burdened!" she objected. "Is that not oppression?"
"So it is", I admitted.
"And, despite this", she continued, "still you desire the townspeople to know that you have subjected a lion and are a miracle worker. Is that not vanity?"
"Yes, it is", I confessed.
So I repented, experiencing abasement from my former exaltation. Indeed that old woman's words performed the function of a spiritual guide and master for me.
SOURCE: Attar, Tadhkerat al-auliya


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