A leading scholar of Basra visited Rabi`a al-Adawiyya while she was ill. Sitting beside her pillow, the scholar spoke about how terrible the world was.
In reply, Rabi`a told him:
"You love the world very dearly. If you did not love the world, you would not mention it so much. It is always the purchaser who first disparages what he wants to buy. If you were done with the world, you would not mention it either for good or evil. As it is, you keep mentioning it because, as the proverb says, whoever loves a thing mentions it frequently."
[Adapted from the "Memorial of the Saints" by Fariduddin Attar, in the abridged translation called "Muslim Saints and Mystics" by A. J. Arberry, p. 50.]
Return to Sufi Stories