67. King Ibrahim on the Roof


King Ibrahim ibn-Adham still sat on the throne; he had not yet become a dervish.
One night, the king heard heavy footsteps on the palace roof.
"Who dares disturb my peace?" he wondered, and he went to investigate.
On the roof he saw people, strangers he had never seen before, running back and forth.
"What do you think you're doing?" he shouted.
"We're looking for camels," they said.
"Camels?" exclaimed the king. "Who looks for camels on the roof of a palace?"
"And who looks for God while sitting on a royal throne?" they replied.
And then... the strangers vanished.



Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in More Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 109 in the book. You can read more about Ibrahim ibn-Adham at Wikipedia.


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