Rumi on Adab, Spiritual Courtesy and Respect


(About) requesting from God, the Protecting Lord of Grace,
the favor of observing (spiritual) courtesy and respect in every
situation, and explaining the harmfulness and losses (which
result) from rudeness

We should seek from God the favor of [behaving with]
(spiritual) courtesy and respect, (since) the rude person is
excluded from the grace of the Lord.

The rude person doesn't keep himself in (a state of) affliction
alone, but sets fire to all the regions (of the world).

A table was arriving from Heaven without (any effort of)
buying and selling and talking and listening.

(But then), in the midst of the people of Moses, some persons
spoke rudely: "Where (are) garlic and lentils?"

The table and bread from Heaven was ended [immediately], (and)
there remained for us the painful toil of farming with shovel [for
planting] and scythe [for reaping].

Again, when Jesus interceded (with prayers), God sent a table
with an abundance (of food) on trays.

(Yet) again, (those) insolent ones ones abandoned courtesy and
respect, (and) took the food [home with them] like beggars.

Jesus asked them earnestly [to be respectful], saying, "(But) this
(food) is enduring and won't be decreased from the earth."

Acting suspiciously and bringing greed to the table of (Divine)
Grandeur is rejection and ingratitude.

(And so), because of those people, with faces like beggars and
blinded by greed, that gate of (Divine) Mercy became shut for
them.

After the refusal of (paying) charity (for the poor), the (rain)
clouds do not come. And when unlawful sex occurs, the plague
(spreads) to (all) directions.

Whatever gloom and grief comes to you is because of reckless
impudence and also insolence.

Whoever acts with bold impudence in the path of the Beloved is
a highway robber of the (true) men [of the spiritual Way] and is
not a man.

By means of (spiritual) courtesy and respect, the Heavens became
full of light, and by means of (such) respect the angels became
innocent and pure.

(But) the sun became eclipsed because of insolence. (And)
because of rashness, an (angel such as) Azazeel was turned away
from the gate [to the angelic realm].


-- From "The Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî" [Rhymed Couplets of Deep Spiritual Meaning] of Jalaluddin Rumi. Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard (Credit: Darul Masnavi)

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Technology of the Heart: Rumi on Adab, Spiritual Courtesy and Respect
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