Pearls from Mathnavi (P. 13) - From the stench of sin to the fragrance of piety
The anecdote regarding the tanner who became unconscious when exposed to a fragrant scent, only able to be revived with the foul odour of faeces was related. From this, Maulana Rumi (R) draws the lesson that the person accustomed to the repugnant ‘odour’ of environments of sin will be restless and flee from the true and beautiful ‘fragrance’ of environments of Taqwa, Amal-e-Saliha, Ahlullah etc. Maulana Rumi (R) explains that such types of people must be exposed to the ‘fragrance’ of good environments for short durations, until they become used to it. Eventually, their whole nature and temperament will change such that they enjoy and become attached to the ‘fragrance’ of good environments and detest the ‘stench’ of evil environments. The person who leads a life of Taqwa is like one whose garments are white and spotlessly clean. He will not be at ease if ever his garment becomes spoiled with a single ‘black spot’ of sin, until he washes it out with Taubah and Istighfaar. There is hope for even the person covered from head to toe with the ‘soot’ of sin! Allah SWT is ‘At-Tawwaab’, and loves those who repent unto Him sincerely and vigorously. Through the constant process of repentance and reformation, Allah SWT makes a person Sahib-e-Nisbah, meaning that sin becomes hated to him and Ita’ah (obedience) and Ibadah (worship) becomes most beloved to him. This was a quality of the Sahabah (RA) and is a sign of healthy Iman!
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