Kings may be good or bad. They may often symbolize the human lion or predator, the harmful Ego running wild, yet they may also represent the best qualities of selflessness and service to the state.
Ten dervishes may sleep under the same blanket
but one country cannot hold two kings.
When a pious man eats half a loaf of bread
He bestows the other half upon dervishes.
If a king were to conquer the seven climates
He would still in the same way covet another.
An unjust king asked a devotee
what kind of worship is best?
He replied: ‘For you the best
is to sleep one half of the day so as
not to injure the people for a while.’
Two sons of emirs were in Egypt,
the one acquiring science,
the other accumulating wealth,
till the former became
the scholars of Islam of the period
and the other the prince of Egypt;
whereon the rich man
looked with contempt upon the faqih and said:
‘I have reached the sultanate
whilst you hast remained in poverty as before.’
‘O brother, I am bound to be grateful
to the most high Creator for having
obtained the inheritance of prophets
whilst you have attained the inheritance of Pharaoh and of Haman,
namely the kingdom of Egypt.’
I am that ant which is trodden under foot,
not a wasp, the pain of whose sting causes lament.
How shall I give due thanks for the blessing,
that I don’t posses
the strength of injuring mankind?
A king glanced in contempt at a company of
dervishes. One of them, understanding by his sagacity the meaning of it, said:
‘O king, in this world we are inferior to thee in dignity but more happy in life.
In death we are equal and in the
resurrection superior to thee.’
Though the master of a country
may have enjoyment
And the dervish may be in need of bread
In that hour when both of them will die
they will take from the world
not more than a shroud.
When you take
your departure from the realm
It will be better to be a mendicant
than a king.