SA'DI SHIRAZI (Rahmatullah 'alaih)
The Great Moralist And Story Teller
By Mohammad Obaidullah Ahmad Talha
Sa'di lived in the region of Atabak Toklah in Persia. He was born at Shiraz in 57` C.E. His proper name was Muslihud-din, but be became known as Sheikh Sa'di Shirazi. Sa'di became an orphan at a young age, but even in his boyhood he was zealous in his piety and faith. When he grew up he travelled extensively - the second half of his life was devoted exclusively to travel, gathering experience and disseminating knowledge. In the days of Sa'di, whatever was authentic was universal, and Sa'di was a master of the art of communication. He spoke in the language of the common man and is therefore never dull or boring. His wit is a stepping stone to wisdom.
Sa'di's anecdotes represent the underlying values of Muslim culture. His stories have become folklore through his two books - Bostaan (The Fruit Garden) and Gulistaan (The Rose Garden) which have been used in Muslim society over the last seven hundred years as household moral Readers. Sa'di's anecdotes teach us the plainest truths in the plainest way. There is one moral to his stories since there is only one moral to everything. It is as true today as it was in the days of Sa'di. Here are some narratives from Sa'di.
"I asked a learned man to explain the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) - "The most hostile of your enemies is your passion for lust -". He replied: "Any foe you treat courteously will become a friend, excepting lust which will get more and more perverse."
"The beginning of every oppression is small, but when every newcomer adds to it, it reaches great magnitude. If the King eats even an apple from the orchard of his subjects without paying for it, his servants will pull out all the trees by their roots. If he allows only five eggs to be taken free of charge, his army will take a thousand fowls by force."
"Who is the fortunate man and who is the unfortunate?" "That man is fortunate who spends and gives away, and that man is unfortunate who dies and leaves behind."
"The greedy man is unsatisfied with the whole world set before him."
(Courtesy: Yaqeen International)