Abu Yazid Al-Bistami and the Dog

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A story of humility and wisdom

One day, when the great saint and gnostic Abu Yazid Al-Bistami was walking through a street, suddenly a dog appeared, approaching him slowly. Being cautious and not wanting his clothes to be in contact with the dog, Abu Yazid pulled up his clothes. Unexpectedly, the dog was communicating to Abu Yazid with a voice like human,” If my fur is dry and accidentally comes into contact with your clothes, there is no need for you to have your clothes cleansed. However, if my skin happens to be wet, all you need to do is to have your clothes cleansed the way God prescribed. But then the prejudice attitude inside you will not be washed away even if you use all the water obtained from seven rivers. The internal or spiritual sins are difficult to clean.” Abu Yazid said,” Dear dog, you are very intelligent. Please come and stay with me for a while.” “No, we can’t stay together as I’m being despised by humans while you are glorified in this world. Furthermore, I do not store any food for the next day while you store your needs for the whole year,” replied the dog. Hearing the words of wisdom from the dog, Abu Yazid whispered to himself:” If even a dog refuses to accompany me, am I eligible to be close to God and attend His functions? All the Praises for God who has shown all the flaws in me and guiding human beings through the minor things.

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