Sa di

Here you will find the Long Poem Ch 07 On The Effects Of Education Story 20 of poet Sa di

Ch 07 On The Effects Of Education Story 20

Contention of Sa?di with a Disputant concerning Wealth and Poverty

I saw a man in the form but not with the character of a dervish, sitting in an assembly, who had begun a quarrel; and, having opened the record of complaints, reviled wealthy men, alleging at last that the hand of power of dervishes to do good was tied and that the foot of the intention of wealthy men to do good was broken.

 The liberal have no money. 
 The wealthy have no liberality. 

I, who had been cherished by the wealth of great men, considered these words offensive and said: `My good friend, the rich are the income of the destitute and the hoarded store of recluses, the objects of pilgrims, the refuge of travellers, the bearers of heavy loads for the relief of others. They give repasts and partake of them to feed their dependants and servants, the surplus of their liberalities being extended to widows, aged persons, relatives and neighbours.?

 The rich must spend for pious uses, vows and hospitality, 
 Tithes, offerings, manumissions, gifts and sacrifices. 
 How canst thou attain their power of doing good who art able 
 To perform only the prayer-flections and these with a hundred distractions? 

If there be efficacy in the power to be liberal and in the ability of performing religious duties, the rich can attain it better because they possess money to give alms, their garments are pure, their reputation is guarded, their hearts are at leisure. Inasmuch as the power of obedience depends upon nice morsels and correct worship upon elegant clothes, it is evident that hungry bowels have but little strength, an empty hand can afford no liberality, shackled feet cannot walk, and no good can come from a hungry belly.

 He sleeps troubled in the night 
 Who has no support for the morrow. 
 The ant collects in summer a subsistence 
 For spending the winter in ease. 

Freedom from care and destitution are not joined together and comfort in poverty is an impossibility. A man who is rich is engaged in his evening devotions whilst another who is poor is looking for his evening meal. How can they resemble each other?

 He who possesses means is engaged in worship. 
 Whose means are scattered, his heart is distracted. 

The worship of those who are comfortable is more likely to meet with acceptance, their minds being more attentive and not distracted or scattered. Having a secure income, they may attend to devotion. The Arab says: `I take refuge with Allah against base poverty and neighbours whom I do not love. There is also a tradition: Poverty is blackness of face in both worlds.? He retorted by asking me whether I had heard the Prophet?s saying: Poverty is my glory. I replied: `Hush! The prince of the world alluded to the poverty of warriors in the battlefield of acquiescence and of submission to the arrow of destiny; not to those who don the patched garb of righteousness but sell the doles of food given them as alms.?

 O drum of high sound and nothing within, 
 What wilt thou do without means when the struggle comes? 
 Turn away the face of greed from people if thou art a man. 
 Trust not the rosary of one thousand beads in thy hand. 

A dervish without divine knowledge rests not until his poverty, culminates in unbelief; for poverty is almost infidelity, because a nude person cannot be clothed without money nor a prisoner liberated. How can the like of us attain their high position and how does the bestowing resemble the receiving hand? Knowest thou not that God the most high and glorious mentions in his revealed word the Pleasures of paradise-They shall have a certain provision in paradise-to inform thee that those who are occupied with cares for a subsistence are excluded from the felicity of piety and that the realm of leisure is under the ring of the certain provision.

 The thirsty look in their sleep 
 On the whole world as a spring of water. 

Wherever thou beholdest one who has experienced destitution and tasted bitterness, throwing himself wickedly into fearful adventures and not avoiding their consequences, he fears not the punishment of Yazed and does not discriminate between what is licit or illicit.

 The dog whose head is touched by a clod of earth 
 Leaps for joy, imagining it to be a bone. 
 And when two men take a corpse on their shoulders, 
 A greedy fellow supposes it to be a table with food. 

But the possessor of wealth is regarded with a favourable eye by the Almighty for the lawful acts he has done and preserved from the unlawful acts he might commit. Although I have not fully explained this matter nor adduced arguments, I rely on thy sense of justice to tell me whether thou hast ever seen a mendicant with his hands tied up to his shoulders or a poor fellow sitting in prison or a veil of innocence rent or a guilty hand amputated, except in consequence of poverty? Lion-hearted men were