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A long time ago in Afghanistan............

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  • Sheikh Mehdi abd al Qadir Malang
    A long time ago in Afghanistan, there lived a man named Aziz. People called him sheikh. A sheikh is a Sufi teacher. Sheikh Aziz was very worried about the fact
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2006
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      A long time ago in Afghanistan, there lived a man named Aziz. People
      called him sheikh. A sheikh is a Sufi teacher. Sheikh Aziz was very
      worried about the fact that the country was in a drought and no one
      could find oil. Oil at that time came not from an oil well but from
      plant and animal sources. The highest grade of oil had not been seen
      in the market for many months. The Sheikh prayed. "Oh, Allah, I
      always thanked you for all the good and bad in life, but this time
      so many people are freezing. The winter has been cold and very long.
      Please, Allah, help the suffering."
      Several weeks passed, and the Sheikh was busy in his small shop when
      a stranger walked in. "Would you like to buy some oil?" the
      stranger said very abruptly. "You have oil?" asked the
      Sheikh. "Yes," said the stranger, "The finest oil that can be
      had." The stranger took the goatskin oil bag off of his back and
      drew out some oil. "This is the finest oil I have ever seen," said
      the Sheikh. "How much is it? For I have very little money, and this
      oil must be very expensive." The stranger said, "It is only 10
      Afghani's." "Why, I have never heard of oil so cheap," said the
      Sheikh, "I paid a lot more for the lowest grade of oil last fall.
      Do you have any more? There are a lot of people in great need of
      oil." The stranger said, "As much as you want." "From where?"
      asked the Sheikh, but the stranger had unloaded the oil and was
      Day after day, the mysterious stranger filled oil container after
      oil container. Even the poorest people received oil, and money was
      found lying under numerous oil containers. One day Sheikh Aziz
      decided to find out where this oil came from, so he followed the
      stranger all over Kabul. In Kabul there is a place that is filled
      with water in the summer; but in the fall, it is drained; and by
      winter, the water that remains is stagnant and smelly. It is to this
      place that Sheikh Aziz followed this stranger and saw him fill his
      oilskin with water. "Peace be with you," said Sheikh Aziz. The
      stranger jumped and said, "Please do not tell anyone what you have
      seen." Sheikh Aziz replied, "I will never say a word; please just
      tell me your story."
      "Ah yes, my story…" began the stranger. "I was a general in an
      army. I was cruel and heartless in battle. When I was discharged, I
      took a job as governor of a western province. I was just as cruel as
      when I was a general. All the people were suffering, and I was
      happy. One day a dervish came to my door and said, `You will die
      this day or serve Allah.' `I serve no one but myself,' I replied
      and went to kick the dervish. Suddenly the dervish was smiling down
      at me as I lay on my back on the floor. I have no idea what had just
      happed, but I could not move. I started to cry like a little baby
      and begged the dervish not to kill me. The dervish said, `Only
      Allah can give and take life,' and asked if I was ready to serve
      Allah. `Yes!' I cried, `Oh Allah, I wish to be forgiven!' The
      dervish spoke to me, `I was told in a dream by the prophet Muhammad
      to tell you to go to Kabul and fill this goatskin bag with water.
      When you have done so, take the goatskin bag to someone in need of
      oil. When you reopen the bag, you will find the finest grade of oil.
      Sell oil to those who can afford it. Provide the money and the oil
      for those who cannot. Do this until all who need oil are provided
      for.' I am now doing as the dervish asked. That is my story."
      Sheikh Aziz went back to his store and kept the oil seller's
      secret. At the end of winter, the oil seller disappeared, and Sheikh
      Aziz had a dream and was told that he could tell the story as a
      lesson. And so it comes to you.
      Live in the world as a wayfarer /stranger the Nabi Muhammad may
      peace and blessings be upon him said.
      Isk Ma'bub lailala
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