Pearls from Mathnavi (P. 9) - Snake in the city
The Mathnavi Shareef mentions the fascinating anecdote of ‘The Snake in the City of Baghdad’. In this anecdote, Maulana Rumi (R) likens the nafs of the Sufi to the snake which has become ‘frozen’ due to Mujahadah, Zikrullah, Suhbah of the Ahlullah and a pious environment, and therefore appears ‘dead’. However, if the nafs is ever exposed to the heat of desire, it can spring back to life with the potential to cause tremendous spiritual damage. Through this example, Maulana Rumi (R) emphasises the importance of constantly surveilling the nafs, at all times keeping strict watch that the nafs does not lead one down the path of disobedience of Allah SWT. No matter how tame and subdued the nafs becomes, its nature is always inclined towards sin. Allah SWT in Surah Yusuf mentions the reality of the nafs and affirms that it is only the nafs upon whom He has shown His special mercy that will be safeguarded from evil. Qur’an describes the tricks and deception of shaytan to be ‘weak’, yet Nabi-e-Kareem (SAW) referred to the nafs as the worst of one’s enemies. Further examples of the dog on a leash, the cats in the court of the king and the horse that can throw its rider all show how in a corrupt environment even one who has made so much of Mujahadah against his nafs can slip and fall. The disciple on the spiritual path should constantly seek Allah’s protection and never feel confident about the ability to control the nafs, as it is only through the Fadhl and Taufiq of Allah SWT that a person can be saved from its evils.
Duration Main - Mufti Zubair Bayat: 00:45
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