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The Right Lesson – Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Hazrat Shafiq Balkhi and Hazrat Ibrahim Adham were contemporaries. It is said that once Shafiq Balkhi came to his friend Ibrahim Adham and said that I am going on a business trip so I thought to meet you before my departure as it is estimated that the journey will take several months.

A few days after this meeting, Hazrat Ibrahim Adham saw that Shafiq Balkhi was present in the mosque again. He asked, “how did he come back so quickly?” Shafiq Balkhi said, “I went on a business trip and reached a place. It was an uninhabited place. I camped there. There I saw a bird that was unable to fly. I felt sorry for it. I wondered how this bird could find food in this desolate place. While I was thinking this, there came another bird. It had something in its beak. When it landed, the thing in its beak fell in front of crippled bird, it picked it up and ate it. The powerful bird flew away.”

Seeing this scene, I said, “Subhan Allah (God be praised)! When God can provide a bird with sustenance in this way, why do I need to travel from city to city for sustenance? So I gave up the journey and came back”. Hearing this, Hazrat Ibrahim Adham said, “Shafiq! Why did you choose to be like a crippled bird? Why didn’t you want your example to be like that of a bird that eats with its strong arm and also feeds others?” When Shafiq Balkhi heard this, he kissed Ibrahim Adham’s hand and said, “Abu Ishaq! You removed my blindfold. What you said, is exactly right.”

This is just one incident. One person learned the lesson of dismay and the other learned courage. Similarly, every incident has two aspects at the same time. It is man’s own test that how he views an incident through which angel. One thing looks bad when viewed from one angle; the same thing looks good when viewed from another angle. There is a negative lesson in one incident when viewed from one side and a positive one when viewed from another side.