The Mesnavi and The Acts of the Adepts, by Jelal-'d-din Rumi and Shemsu-'d-Din Ahmed, tr. by James W. Redhouse, , at sacred-texts.com
Chelebī Husāmu-’l-Haqqi-wa-’d-Dīn, Hasan, son of Muhammed, son of Hasan, son of Akhī-Turk, 1 related to Esh-Sheykhu-’l-Mukerrem. 2
On the death of Sheykh Ferīdūn, Chelebī Husāmu-’d-Dīn was appointed by Jelāl his assistant in place of the deceased saint. For another ten years these two spiritual friends worked together in perfect unity as Superior and Assistant. Husām was surnamed "the Juneyd and the Bāyezīd 3 of the age," "the Key of the Treasuries of God's throne," "the Trustee of the Treasures on earth," and "God's next Friend in the World."
Husām once made his obeisance to Jelāl, and related to him that, when the disciples recited the poetry of the Mesnevī, and became entranced, he had himself seen a company of invisible ones, armed with clubs and scimitars, keeping guard over them. If any one did not listen to those sacred words with reverence and believing, the clubs and swords were brought into play, and he was hurled into the pit of hell-fire. Jelāl confirmed, as being a fact, all Husām had related.
Husāmu-’d-Dīn was very eloquent, pious, and God-fearing. He would never use the water, even, of the college, for drink or for ablutions; but always brought his water from his own home for those purposes. He distributed, to the very last farthing, the whole of the revenues of the college among the disciples.
Sultan Veled and his friends went one day to Husām's garden. Some of the disciples felt a desire to eat of some honey, but had said nothing on the subject. Husām read their thoughts. He therefore ordered his gardener to bring some new honeycomb from a certain hive. More, and more, and still more comb was brought, until all were satisfied; still, the hive was yet full. When they left his garden, Husām sent the hive with them; and for a long time it supplied all their wants.
A severe drought afflicted Qonya and its environs. Prayers for rain were publicly offered without avail.
Recourse was now had to Husāmu-’d-Dīn, who was begged to intercede for the people, and to pray for rain.
He first went to Jelāl's tomb, there performed his devotions to God, and then put up the prayer for rain, his disciples weeping as they chanted "Amen."
Clouds now began to collect and lower; shortly after which an abundance of rain was vouchsafed.
Not only were all the revenues of the college, arising from its endowments, committed by Jelāl to the sole administration of Husām, but, whatever gifts and contributions were offered by princes and friends, in money or in kind, they were all consigned to his care, to augment the
resources of the general fund. Jelāl's family, and also his son, though often pinched, fared as the disciples.
The disciples were both surprised and scandalised, at one time, by Husām's publicly speaking very much in praise of certain individuals who bore an extremely bad character, while he disparaged certain others who were noted for their pious lives.
They complained to Jelāl; but he confirmed what Husām had said, and remarked to them: "God looks only to man's heart. Those seemingly lewd fellows are really God-loving saints, while those outwardly pious livers are merely inward hypocrites."
One day Husām was lecturing. Suddenly he beckoned to one of the disciples, and told him to go with all speed to the royal palace, ask to see the queen, give her his greeting, and say to her: "Instantly quit this apartment thou art in, if thou wouldest avoid impending destruction, the result of God's decree."
The queen believed his word, and at once removed to another part of the palace. The apartment was speedily stripped of its furniture; and scarcely had the last loads been removed, when, with a loud crash, the building fell in. Her faith in his miraculous power was thenceforward increased a hundredfold.
A certain Sheykh died at Qonya, who was rector of two different colleges. The prince who was the trustee of both, elected to nominate Husāmu-’d-Dīn as rector of one of them; and a great entertainment was prepared by the prince for the occasion.
Jelāl was informed of the arrangement, and he expressed the intention to bear himself Husām's carpet to his new
college, and himself spreading it for Husām in his new seat.
A certain brawler, a kinsman of Husām's, Akhī Ahmed by name, was of the company; and he had felt nettled at Husām's appointment. He came forward, snatched away Husām's carpet, gave it to one of his companions to cast out of the building, and exclaimed: "We will not suffer this fellow to be installed here as Sheykh."
Great confusion ensued. Several nobles of the Akhī clan, who were present, drew their swords and knives, a scene of blood appearing to be about to commence.
Jelāl now addressed the crowd, reproaching them for such behaviour. He told them that their family and college would not prosper, but that the Mevlevi order, founded by himself, and his lineal posterity would go on ever steadily increasing. He then related the following anecdote:—
"A certain Sheykh from Samarqand, Abū-’l-Lays by name, went on his travels for about twenty years, with a view to study, partly at Mekka. At length he set out on his return home, whither his reputation, as well as numerous disciples, had preceded him.
"Arrived at the outskirts of his native place, he went to the riverside to perform an ablution. There he found a number of women, occupied with laundry work. From among these, one old woman advanced, looked at him attentively, and then exclaimed: 'Why, if here isn't our little Abū-’l-Lays come back again! Go quickly, girls, and carry the news to our family.'
"The Sheykh returned forthwith to his party of fellow-travellers, and gave orders for their beasts to be at once reloaded for an immediate return to Damascus. On being questioned as to his reason for this sudden change of intention he answered: 'My people still think of me as "little Abū-’l-Lays," and will treat me with familiar indignity accordingly, esteeming me of small account, and thereby committing a grievous sin; for it is an incumbent
duty on all to honour the learned and the wise. To respect them is to show reverence to the apostle of God, and to revere him is to serve the Creator.'
"Now, the truth was that, when a child, his father had always called him 'little Abū-’l-Lays.' But strangers would not so understand that term of endearment; they would think it one of too free and easy familiarity, and as likely to draw down on the city and its inhabitants the divine displeasure. It was not consistent with true affection to allow the possibility of such a visitation to occur."
Having delivered himself of this constructive reprimand, Jelāl left the college barefoot, and in high dudgeon. The chief people came after him to intercede, but he would not be pacified. Their intervention was declined, and he refused to be reconciled with the broiler, Akhī Ahmed. He would not consent to go near that offender, who died soon afterwards; though most of his sons, relatives, and even his fellow-revellers, became disciples of Jelāl's.
The Sultan would have caused him to be put to death at once; but Jelāl would not permit that.
Akhī Ahmed was never again allowed to show himself at any public reception, and was shunned by all, like the wandering Jew.
Eventually, Husāmu-’d-Dīn was appointed rector of both the colleges in question; and Ahmed's son, Akhī ‘Alī, was a disciple of Sultan Veled.
Jelālu-’d-Dīn was of the school of Abū-Hanīfa; but Husām belonged to that of Shāfi‘ī. 1 He thought of joining the Hanefī school, out of deference to his teacher. Jelāl, however, recommended him to remain what he had always been, and to strive to inculcate to all the doctrine of divine love, as set forth by Jelāl.
After Jelāl's death, his widow, Kirā Khātūn, suggested to her stepson, Sultan Veled Bahā’u-’d-Dīn, that he ought to have succeeded his father as Rector of the fraternity, and not Husain.
Sultan Veled answered that it had been his father's bequest that Husain should succeed, that he himself had sworn the oath of fealty to Husām, and that Husām was now become a kind of spiritual beehive, through the incessant and multitudinous visitations of angelic ministers sent to him with messages from on high.
Husāmu-’d-Dīn had a gardener, whose name was Sheykh Muhammed. About four years after Jelāl's death, Husām had reason to reprimand the gardener, who took offence at this, and went away to another garden, resolved never to return to Husām's service.
As he sat reflecting, he fell asleep. In his dreams he saw Jelāl coming towards him, with an executioner by his side, who held up an axe. Jelāl ordered the executioner to cut off Muhammed's head, as the punishment for his having offended Husain.
This was done; and Muhammed saw his own head fall off, and his own blood flow. He knew that he was dead.
After a while he saw Jelāl return, pick up Muhammed's decapitated head, place it in proper junction with the neck of the corpse, and utter the exclamation: "In the name of God, with God, from God, and to God." Muhammed saw himself instantly alive again, felt very penitent, threw himself at Jelāl's feet, and cried out piteously.
He now awoke and arose. No one was in sight. All traces of blood had vanished, and no sign of a wound was discernible on his neck. In all speed he returned to Husām's garden, and resumed his work with alacrity.
But now he saw Husain approaching, who said to him:
"Well, Sheykh Muhammed! Until Jelālu-’d-Dīn chastised thee, thou wert no Muslim, and wert given over to stiffneckedness. Had not I interceded for thee, thou hadst been dead to all eternity, shut out from every hope of heaven."
Muhammed protested his sincere repentance, became a dervish, and professed himself a disciple.
When Husāmu-’d-Dīn had faithfully executed for ten years, as a just and wise steward, all his duties as successor to Jelālu-’d-Dīn, he one day went, with his companions and disciples, to visit the shrine of his predecessor.
As he drew near to the mausoleum, information was brought to him that the gilt crescent surmounting the cupola had fallen down.
On the moment, Husām felt himself to be stricken. He asked for an examination of dates to be made, and found that ten years previously Jelāl had departed this life. He therefore said to those around him: "Lead me back home. The time for my dissolution is at hand."
He was conducted to his chamber, where, a few days later, on Thursday, the twenty-second of Sha‘bān, in the year a.h. 683 (4th November, a.d. 1284), he breathed his last exactly at the time when the gilt crescent was replaced over Jelāl's tomb, and the works brought to a close.
Shortly after the death of Husāmu-’d-Dīn, the widow of Jelāl, Kirā Khātūn, too, departed this life, and was buried by the side of her husband.
As her corpse was being borne towards its last resting-place, the procession passed through one of the gates of the town. Here, the bearers found themselves arrested by some unseen power, so that they could not move, hand or foot. This singular effect lasted for about half an hour.
Her stepson, Sultan Veled, with the other mourners,
struck up a hymn, and commenced a holy dance. Soon after this, the bearers recovered the use of their limbs, and found themselves able to proceed. All now went well, and the interment was completed.
That same night, a holy man of the fraternity saw Kirā Khātūn in heaven near to her husband. 1 He inquired of her concerning the arrestation of the funeral. She informed him thus: "The day previous, a man and a woman had been stoned to death at that gate for the sin of adultery. I took compassion on them, interceded for their forgiveness, and obtained for them admittance to paradise. My preoccupation in their cause was the reason of the delay met with by the funeral procession."
One day, while Jelāl was yet living, Satan appeared in person to Husāmu-’d-Dīn, and complained bitterly of the torments inflicted on him by the continuous pious exercises of Jelāl. He said that such was his deep reverence for Jelāl and his followers, that he dared not attempt to seduce one of them; and that, had he known that, of the seed of Adam, so holy a race of men were to spring, he never would have tempted the father of mankind. He further added: "I entertain a hope that the kindness of heart of his sons will lead them to intercede with Jelāl for me, and so obtain my eventual release and salvation."
Husām related this occurrence to Jelāl, who smiled, and said: "There is reason to hope that he need not despair. God forbid that he should despair!"
Whenever the grandees of Qonya entertained a desire to have an audience of the Sheykh Shemsu-’d-Dīn of Tebrīz, during his lifetime, they used to request Husām to beg
[paragraph continues] Jelāl to intercede for them with Sheens, and so obtain for them the desired interview.
Jelāl and Husām used to tax those nobles for this favour, according to their means and circumstances.
On one occasion the Grand Vazīr solicited an audience, and was taxed at forty thousand pieces of silver; which, after much chaffering, was reduced to thirty thousand.
At his audience with Shems, the Vazīr was so charmed with the mysteries revealed to him, that, on his return therefrom, he voluntarily sent the ten thousand pieces of silver to Husām, which had been abated from the sum originally fixed.
These monies were always expended by Husām, as he saw fit, in relieving the necessities of the holy community, and the families of Jelāl, the Goldbeater, and their various dependants.
113:1 I have not met with any notice of Akhī-Turk.
113:2 The Honoured Elder; by which Abū-Bekr is probably intended; but see a note to the Preface of the Mesnevī.
113:3 Juneyd and Bāyezīd of Bestām were two great doctors of mysticism; the latter died in a.h. 234 or 261 (a.d. 848 or 874), and the former in a.h. 297-8 (a.d. 909-10).
117:1 These are two of the four orthodox schools of Islām; they differ in certain details. There are reputed to be seventy-two schismatic or heretical sects.
120:1 This anecdote directly contradicts the foolish idea, so common in Europe, that, in the religious system of Islām, women are held to have no souls, and no hope of paradise.