66. The King's Caravansary


A wandering Sufi demanded an audience with the king, Ibrahim ibn-Adham.
Intrigued, the king asked him, "What do you want?"
"I would like to spend the night here at your caravansary," said the Sufi.
"But this is no caravansary!" exclaimed the king. "This is the royal palace."
"I see only a caravansary," replied the Sufi calmly. "Who owned it before you?"
"My father ruled here before me," said the king. "He passed away."
"And before him?"
"His father," said the king, "who also passed away."
"People stay, and then they go." The Sufi smiled. "A caravansary, just as I said."



Inspired byThe Little Book of Sufi Parables by Nico Neruda
Notes: This is story 76 in the book.  Ibrahim ibn Adham later became a Sufi himself. You can read more at Wikipedia.


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