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The Mesnavi and The Acts of the Adepts, by Jelal-'d-din Rumi and Shemsu-'d-Din Ahmed, tr. by James W. Redhouse, [1881], at

p. 110


Sheykh Salāhu-’d-Dīn 1 Ferīdūn, surnamed Zer-Kūb (Goldbeater).


Sheykh Salāhu-’d-Dīn was originally a fellow-disciple with Jelāl, as pupils to Seyyid Burhānu-’d-Dīn. He afterwards became a goldbeater, as his parents were poor.

After a while, when Jelāl's reputation became great, Salāh went and paid him his respects. Jelāl knew how highly Burhān had esteemed Salāh, when his pupil. He therefore received him in a very friendly manner, and their intercourse became warmly renewed.

One day, after the murder of Shemsu-’d-Dīn, and the return of Jelāl from Damascus, he sent for Salāh, and appointed him his own assistant in the government and instruction of the disciples, presenting him also to the king in that capacity.


Jelāl's first royal protector, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn Keyqubād, was now dead, and his son, Gayāsu-’d-Dīn Key-Khusrev, reigned in his stead.

The monarch one day made a feast in the vineyards, and went forth into the fields for a walk, alone. He picked up a young snake, carried it indoors, placed it in a gold box, sealed this up, and then rejoined his courtiers.

To those attendants the king exhibited the sealed packet, as having just then been privately received from the Qaysar 2

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of Constantinople with a message to this effect: "If your religion of Islām be the true faith, some one of your wise men will be able to see into this packet without breaking its seals, and to tell what it contains."

The king then called upon his ministers to prove their loyalty to him, and their faithfulness to their religion, by solving this riddle. None of them was able.

The packet was now sent round in succession to all the eminent teachers and theologians of the city; but none could unravel the enigma.

At last it was brought to Jelāl, as Sheykh Ferīdūn and he were sitting together. Jelāl invited Ferīdūn to tell them the contents of the packet; and he immediately replied: "It is not a dignified act in the king to imprison a young snake in a gold box, sealing this up as a packet, and then tempting his courtiers, ministers, and learned men with a false pretence. A saint, however, knows not only the solution of so paltry a trick as this, but is also aware of every thought in the king's heart, and every secret of earth and heaven."

When this answer was reported to the king, he came to the college, and professed himself a disciple, remarking: "If the disciples of Shemsu-’d-Dīn possess such power, and work such miracles, how great must have been the sanctity of the murdered martyr."

Ferīdūn acted for ten years as assistant to Jelāl.


Fātima, the daughter of Sheykh Salāhu-’d-Dīn Ferīdūn, was married to Sultan Veled, Jelāl's son. Jelāl used to teach her to read the Qur’ān and other books.

Jelāl used to call Fātima his right eye; her sister Hediyya, his left eye; and their mother, Latīfa Khātūn, the personification of God's grace.

When Fātima's marriage was solemnised, all the angels of heaven were present, and wished the young couple all happiness.

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She was a saint, and continually worked miracles. She fasted by day and watched by night, tasting food only once in three days. She was very charitable to the poor, the orphans, and the widows, distributing to them food and raiment.

Sheykh Ferīdūn died on New Year's Day, a.h. 657 (28th December, a.d. 1258).


110:1 Saladin of European writings. The words mean: the Fitness of the Religion (of Islām).

110:2 The Muslim world knows but one Qaysar (Cæsar), the Emperor of Rome (Old or New), which title is now borne by the Emperor of Austria.

Next: Chapter VI