~ 122. Jami and the Would-Be Disciple ~

Jami was a poet and Sufi teacher who lived in fifteenth-century Khorasan; he was born in the city of Jam (in what is now Ghor province in Afghanistan), hence his name: Jami, the man from Jam.
A young man came to Jami, hoping to become his disciple.
Jami had only one question that he asked this prospective pupil: "Have you ever loved anyone with all your heart and all your soul?"
"No," said the would-be disciple.
"Then you must go and love someone," said Jami, "and then you will be ready."
In every heart, there is a spark of fire.

Inspired byBig Tales by Hazrat Inayat Khan, compiled and edited by Mansur Johnson. the Hazrat Inayat Khan Study Database.
Notes: This is a story in Part 1 of the book: Jami. In another version of this story that Inayat Khan includes, Jami recommends "friendship" rather than "love" to the would-be disciple. You can find out more about Jami, and about his great love-poem, Layla and Majnun, at Wikipedia. Compare Ramakrishna's anecdote about the disciple who loved the woman Shyama: The Disciple in the Garden.

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