Learning to Know Yourself from the Devil’s Story
One day, the devil said, “What is this? Unfair! Whatever humans do, whatever bad things happen, they always blame me. What did I do wrong? I’m not guilty! You see, I’ll show you how I’m always accused of all the bad things that happen.”
There was a very strong ram, whose neck was tied with a rope to a peg stuck in the ground. The devil shook the peg, then said, “Well. That’s all I did. Only that.”
The lamb went so far that its peg was pulled from the ground. The owner’s door was open, and on the entrance hall wall was a beautiful antique mirror. The sheep saw its own reflection in the mirror so it crouched down, took a stance and dashed over. The mirror shattered into pieces.
Surprised, the hostess immediately ran down the stairs and found her beautiful mirror had been shattered into pieces. The mirror was his family’s legacy, having been with their family for many years. He shouted to the servants,
“Cut the lamb’s neck! Slaughter!”
The servants immediately cut the ram’s neck.
The lamb was her husband’s favorite animal, who had been fed grass with his own hands since the lamb was very small. He got home and found that his beloved lamb had no head anymore. He was angry.
“Who killed my sheep? Who would dare to do such a heinous act?”
His wife snapped back, “I slaughtered it. I killed him because he destroyed the antique mirror that my parents inherited.”
Her husband who was very angry replied, “Then I’m divorcing you now!”
To the wife’s sister, the neighbors gossiped that she was divorced by her husband only because of “slaughtering goats”.
The wife’s brothers and sisters all became very angry. They immediately gathered all the relatives and immediately hunted down the husband, complete with rifles, pistols, and machetes. The husband heard the news of their arrival, and he immediately called all his relatives to defend him.
The two big families started their big battle, resulting in many people being killed, and many of their houses being burned down.
Said the devil, “You see? What did I do? I’m just shaking the peg. Why is all the bad things they did my fault? I just loosened the pegs a bit.”
The story above is adapted from one of the chapters in the book by Sheikh MuzafferOzak Al-Jerrahi Al-Halveti entitled “Love is the Wine: Talks of a Sufi Master in America”. Which contains a collection of lectures for approximately five years.
Beginning in 1980 and 1981 with visits to California, including regular spring and fall visits to the east coast of America. in 1985 Sheikh Muzaffer died.
one of his students compiled the contents of this book, which are commonly referred to as dervishes, ShaykhRagipFrager, Ph.D.
All of the stories in this book are oral traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation from a Sufi master to his students, which has been going on for hundreds of years. The book Love is The Wine, published by the Philosophical Research Society, indeed presents a new color in the understanding of Sufism and can be considered as a good introduction to understanding the essence of Islam and Sufism itself. One of them is about the story of the Devil as presented above.
Devils or demons are often considered the root of crimes committed by humans. We often hear that many people say that they have been instigated or eaten by the devil’s temptations to commit sins or immoral acts.
In this month of Ramadan, it is said that the devil and the devil are shackled so that they can no longer tempt humans. Special only in this holy month only.
So it can be said that in this month of Ramadan, it should be the right moment for us to recognize ourselves.
If in this holy month, the month when humans are ordered to fast in order to reach the degree of piety, we still commit sins or immorality, then it really comes from ourselves.
When we commit adultery in the month of Ramadan, then it comes from our own lusts. When we steal or commit corruption in this holy month, it seems inappropriate if again the blame is placed on the temptation of the devil or the devil.
Among the Sufis themselves, there is a qudsi hadith (although its authenticity is disputed) which reads Man ArafaNafsahuFaqodArafaRabbahu, which means ‘Whoever knows himself, he knows his Lord, his Lord’. The process of knowing yourself is not just a matter of knowing the potential or talents that exist within each one. But it also includes knowing the passions that are inherent in the person and must be controlled. This is an important and essential thing in the process of repentance, the process of returning to Allah.
So, inevitably there will be interesting questions. Does the absence of the presence of devils and devils in this month of Ramadan, have they actually ‘helped’ humans to recognize themselves?