The Shaikh And A Pigeon
A friend of mine told me this story: When I was young I had a shaikh, one of the greatest human beings I have ever known. I had met him quite by accident. He lived in a small shack in a poor neighborhood. I had to deliver some medicine for my father's pharmacy. Once inside this man's quarters I realized I was in the presence of someone quite unusual. For one thing, he possessed the relics of several great shaikhs of different orders. The day I met him he was having a conversation with two other young men about my own age. Their names were Metin and Refik. After hearing their conversation I began to lose interest in the things that had occupied me. I wanted only to attend these conversations. The three of us were learning so much that we wished that more and more people could also hear these conversations.
We begged our sheikh to allow the size of our circle to increase. One day we were attending the prayers at a great mosque. It was the feast of Ashura, the twelfth of Muharram. We were just leaving the mosque when our teacher paused on the steps because he noticed that a pigeon had just dropped dead from the sky. He picked up the poor bird, which was totally lifeless, held it tenderly in his hands, breated a long Huuuuuuu...and the bird came back to life and flew off into the sky. Well, this act did not go unnoticed and before long there were many people intersted in our shaikh. Many of them asked to attend his conversations and our circle grew.
It was not long before we found that we had very little time with our beloved shaikh. He was too busy to see us, attending to the needs of so many people. Then one day, while doing the night prayer after our zhikr, our shaikh let out a loud and smelly fart. People were astounded that this holy man could do such a thing. In a short period of time most of them had lost their faith in him and our circle returned to nearly the size it had been originally. One night when just the three of us were sitting together, our shaikh remarked: "You see my sons, those who come because of a pigeon, leave because of a fart!"
From a book catalog put out by the brs. and srs. at the Threshold Society (www.sufism.org)...taken from Kabir Helminski's "The Knowing Heart"