Tuesday, October 2, 2007

House of God

Abu Yazid was going on the hajj. It was his custom, when he entered a city, to go first and visit the shaykhs, then any other business. He arrived in Basra and went to the service of a dervish.

He said, "O Abu Yazid, where are you going?"
He said, "To Mecca, to visit the house of God."
He said, "What provisions do you have for the road?"
He said, "Two hundred dirhams."
He said, "Stand up, circumambulate me seven times, and give me the money."

He stood up, undid the money from his waist, kissed it, and placed it before him.

He said, "O Abu Yazid! Where are you going? That is God's house, and this heart of mine is God's house. But, by that God who is the Lord of that house and the Lord of this house, from the moment they built that house, He's never gone inside, and from the moment they built this house, He's never left."

God said: "Neither My heaven nor My earth embraces Me, but the heart of my believing servant does embrace Me."

... Me & Rumi, The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi, William C Chittick

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