The one who couldn’t

August 4, 2014

In the name of God,
Once upon a time there was a man who had a group of students. He took great admiration of one of them and the rest grew jealous. There was nothing obviously great about this student, nothing particularly admirable. The teacher -seeing the animosity growing between them gave the students an assignment.

They were each instructed to catch and animal, slaughter him in a place where no one could see them and bring the animal to school the next day. The next day all the students brought their slaughtered meat except one, one who couldn’t. The teacher addressed him directly asking where his animal was. The boy began to explain: “I found an animal and as I went to find a place where I could slaughter him… there was no place where no one could see me -for everywhere I went Allah could see me.” The one who couldn’t was the favorite student of the teacher and never again was there a wonder as to why.

(This is a traditional sufi story, rewritten from memory slight details may be off but the point of the story is retained)
There are so many lessons to learn from this story. More then someone of my means could extrapolate but I will bring two of the most obvious. One is the futility of jealously. Sometimes we are jealous because someone has something that we want but if we only knew the reality of that purpose -who they were, the hard work they put in to achieve a goal, their personal relationship with Allah, we would be embarrassed. We would realize that that people has what they have for a reason and that we have no right to want want they have especially if we do not possess the qualities they have. Which is not to say that everyone “deserves” the blessings bestowed on them by Allah, but that we simply don’t know so why waste our energy on jealousy when we could be gravely mistaken?

The second, is of course, the entire reality of our lives: Allah. We cannot escape Allah through any means whatsoever. He is in fact the only reality, which the favorites student knew. You cannot go anywhere where Allah is not. You cannot do anything in the absence of His presence. We all know this to some degree but this student reached the level of ‘Ihsan’ (excellence) where it was a complete reality for him. In sha Allah, we could learn a lot from him and maybe the result would be that we to become a favorite, of Allah, the most high.

=One should be as one was before when God was and nothing besides=


  • musty87

    In sha Allah, Ameen…

  • Zaakir

    Alhumdullilah, good piece.

  • musty87

    According to a Prophetic saying, Ihsan or Perfect Goodness is that you worship Allah as if seeing him; for even if you do not see him, He certainly sees you. (Muslim, “Iman” 37).

    When the consciousness of goodness or Ihsan invades one’s heart like clouds of rain, Divine favors begin to descend in downpours. The possessors of such a heart feels the profound pleasure of having been created as a human being.( Fethullah Gulen)

    May our Lord allows us to reach the degree of Ihsan: Ameen

All rights reserved © Fig & Olive 2015 · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie