"O Beloved cure my self of selfishness" - essential prayer from an imaginary sufi tale

1.
in my town there lives a saint. we chanced upon one another twice one day as he was feeding the poor and homeless in the streets. i was observing him from a distant for sometime and marveled how he was giving away the lunch packets like a thief lest someone sees him doing. God guided me to observe him else there was no chance i could have spotted him doing this, such was his careful efforts of concealment.

as he finished feeding all homeless and beggars and the mad ones in the neighborhood he starting walking towards me. this first made me nervous, then as he came closer i greeted him with a sincere greetings of holy peace, "as salamu alikum" i said. the first time he lifted his eyes from the ground and smiled at me.

that was our first encounter and after that, two days later we again met, this time again i caught him feeding a person in our street whom many in my neighborhood call 'mad' . he noticed this time that i was watching him keenly.

later as before we crossed and greeted each other holy peace and i asked him if he lives here. yes, he replied and our conversation began. as i asked about him and what he does, he smiled at me silently and i knew that i shouldn't have asked him that. he read my embarrassment and replied me "My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear - a care-woven garment that protects me from questionings and you from my negligence.

The "I" in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.*"

i knew just then i am standing in front of a person of saintly station, i just knew. i already felt that in my heart when i saw him feeding the poors and the mad ones in stealth mode, now his words just confirmed me.

we became friends very easily and often we would walk and occasionally talk, but mostly our walks were silent. as we walked he would be looking for people lying on roadside to feed.

one day he voluntarily told me a story and later i figured this was in response to my heart's recognition of his sainthood. in summary what he (i don't know his name until this day, lets call him A) said is his grandfather, when A was still very young, taught him to pray a single prayer and this prayer changed his life. A informed me that this grandfather from his mother side was a very spiritually attained personality and left his body when A was in his early boyhood.

'A' said, "my grandfather who used to love me very dearly, taught me to pray, 'O Beloved God cure my self of selfishness'. i didn't realize its weight and significant until much later in my adulthood. the day i had a satori like experience was the day i truly understood this prayer, not with my mind, but with my whole being let alone my heart. from that day onwards every single action i do, i am shown through this simple prayer's statement.

there is only one way of missing the mark which religionists call sin, i was shown that this only sin is selfishness. whatever religious scripture i read i was shown this message everywhere. since i realized this to my core, my prayer was answered and i no longer could do or tolerate anything which is selfish and this has expanded and engulfed to every action.

since then i never disobeyed a single command of God which is prescribed in the sacred law as i realized doing otherwise would be nothing but selfishness. we astray ourselves by putting our priorities first, not what God wills is because we are caught up in the selfishness of the moment. leaving what we want for what He wants is the freedom one attains by curing the selfishness and this is the action of true lover. how else one who claim love behave otherwise?

how can we walk away from a hungry human being or an animal in that case if we are not utterly selfish? how can we not help anyone who needs help and we are made aware of one of such - if we are not suffering from selfishness. as long as this disease of selfishness is inside of us, every other action of ours are poisoned.

even more poisoned are our devotions and religious claims that we believe in God or we love God. this is only empty claim if there is tiny amount of selfishness remain within our heart. when there is still selfishness in lover and beloved, 'love' is still a claim, not reality.

till that day since i was awakened to this prayer, i cant sleep at night if any person in my own street remain hungry when i am hungry. i don’t have enough resource to go over to other streets or to feed all in the whole town who needs but i can not neglect my neighbors. here is a secret i tell you, it is not what we do, but the love we put in the doing, because then we give it to God and He makes it infinite. It is not how much we give, but the love that we put in the giving, because then you give it to God and He makes it infinite. that's the secret simplicity of service. this has become my religion and i am faithful to this conviction.

so if you were wondering what i was doing or why, this is the answer. and it all began by a single prayer, "O Beloved God cure my self of selfishness." i don't know why i'm saying all of this to you, but there must be a reason we met. so hear me and know my friend, this is a prayer to attain the first step to saintliness, and that is godliness. God is free of all selfishness and attaining freedom from selfishness will take you to proximity of divine reality. we must pray to cure ourselves from selfishness, for we all children of Adam are more or less selfish most of the time.

fundamentally i don't believe in teaching prayer because its like forcing someone to meditate. both are impossible. i can only transmit the prayer as my grandfather transmitted to me. whether this prayer will flower in your heart or not will depend on the quality of the soil of your heart but above all depends on your readiness to attract God's Grace.

all i can say is remember the essence of the prayer, forget the words but make it as if God is giving birth to Himself pure and empty of selfishness when you say this 'O Beloved cure my self of selfishness.'"

that was his last statement. after that i never saw him again in my street, neighborhood, or in the town. wherever he may be, may God bless him always.

2.
I cannot teach you how to pray in words. God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips. And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart, And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence, "Our God, Who art our winged self, it is Thy will in us that willeth.

- from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

3.
"Ya Habibi, Ishfeeni min anaaniyyati wa hubbi dhaati"

"O Beloved, cure my self of selfishness"


# Related:
. Simple Sainthood

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Technology of the Heart: "O Beloved cure my self of selfishness" - essential prayer from an imaginary sufi tale
"O Beloved cure my self of selfishness" - essential prayer from an imaginary sufi tale
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Technology of the Heart
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