Rabe’a al-Adawiya (Part-5)



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Once Rabe'a passed by Hasan's house. Hasan had his head out of the window and was weeping, and his tears fell on Rabe'a's dress. Looking up, she thought at first that it was rain; then, realizing that it was Hasan's tears, she turned to him and addressed him.

"Master, this weeping is a sign of spiritual languor.

Guard your tears, so that there may surge within you such a sea that, seeking the heart therein, you shall not find it save in the keeping of a King Omnipotent'."

These words distressed Hasan, but he kept his peace.
Then one day he saw Rabe'a when she was near a lake.
Throwing his prayer rug on the surface of the water, he called,
"Rabe'a, come! Let us pray two rak'as here!"
"Hasan," Rabe'a replied, "when you are showing off your spiritual goods in this worldly market, it should be things that your fellow-men are incapable of displaying."

And she flung her prayer rug into the air, and flew up on it.
"Come up here, Hasan, where people can see us!" she cried.
Hasan, who had not attained that station, said nothing. Rabe'a sought to console him.

"Hasan," she said, "what you did fishes also do, and what I did flies also do. The real business is outside both these tricks. One must apply one's self to the real business."

One night Hasan with two or three friends went to visit Rabe'a. Rabe'a had no lantern. Their hearts yearned for light.
Rabe'a blew on her hunger, and that night till dawn her finger shone like a lantern, and they sat in its radiance.  

If anyone says, "How could this be?" I answer, "The same as Moses' hand." If it is objected, "But Moses was a prophet," I reply, "Whoever follows in the footsteps of the Prophet can possess a grain of prophethood, as the Prophet says, 'Whoever rejects a farthing's worth of unlawful things has attained a degree of prophethood.' He also said, 'A true dream is one-fortieth part of prophethood.'  

Once Rabe'a sent Hasan three things a piece of wax, a needle, and a hair.
"Be like wax," she said. "Illumine the world, and yourself burn. Be like a needle, always be working naked. When you have done these two things, a thousand years will be for you as a hair."

"Do you desire for us to get married?" Hasan asked Rabe'a.

"The tie of marriage applies to those who have being," Rabe'a replied. "Here being has disappeared, for I have become naughted to self and exist only through Him. I belong wholly to Him. I live in the shadow of His control. You must ask my hand of Him, not of me."

"How did you find this secret, Rabe'a?" Hasan asked.
"I lost all 'found' things in Him," Rabe'a answered. "How do you know Him?" Hasan enquired.
"You know the 'how'; I know the 'howless'," Rabe'a said.
Once Rabe'a saw a man with a bandage tied round his head.

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