When Hâtim set out for the sanctuary,--he whom thou callest
Asamm,--when he set out for the Hijâz and the Sacred House, making towards the tomb of the Prophet (on whom be peace!), there remained behind a colt of his household, with no supplies whatever and owning nothing; he left his wife alone in the house, with no means of support, and set forth on the road; alone and in trouble he left her, her life or death the same to him. Her womanhood was a fellow-traveller with him towards trust in God, for she knew her Provider; she had a friend behind the curtain, being a sharer in God's secret.
The men of the quarter assembled, and all went cheerily to the woman; when they saw her alone and in trouble, they all began at once to ask her her affairs, and by way of advice and counsel, in sympathy said, "When thy husband set out for `Arafât did he leave thee any means of support?" She said, "He did; I am quite contented,--my maintenance is what it was before." Again they said, "How much is thy maintenance? for thy heart is contented and happy." She said, "However long my life lasts, He has given into my hands all the support I need." The other said, "Thou knowest not aught thyself, and what does he know, about thy life?"
She said, "The Giver of my daily bread knows; while life lasts, He will not take away my sustenance." They answered, "He does not give it apart from means; He never gives dates from the willow-tree; thou hast no sort of earthly possessions, and He will not send
thee a wallet from heaven." She said, O ye of clouded minds! How long will ye utter folly and perversity? He needs to use a wallet who owns no piece of land; but His are heaven and earth entirely; what He wills He does; His is the authority. He brings it to pass as He desires; sometimes He gives increase, sometimes He takes away."
How long wilt thou talk of trust in God? Thou hearest the name of a man, but art less than a woman. Since on thy journey thou comportest thyself not as men do, go learn how to journey from the women. Thou hast chosen sloth, O body of woman! Alas for the man who is less than a woman!
Look to thy soul, and abandon thy lower nature, for this is as a hawk, and that a heron; that in that place, where it conies to comprehend 'We' and 'Thou', when it has been wholly burnt, 'He' and 'He' shall remain. Reason, that, living in this world, cannot like soul attain to aught, arrives but as far as itself and reaches not to Him.
The ears of the head are two, the ear of love one; this is for religion, those for doubt; though the ear of the head listens to innumerable things, the ear of love listens only to the story of the One. Those two ears are set on each side of thy head like waterspouts, why dost thou still cry and howl? Thou art but a child;--go, turn thine eyes away from the devil, lest he put ears on the sides of thy head.