The Veil of Affliction

To the great Sufi teacher, Dhu al-Nun,—who in his own days was revered as a Qutab (chief of saints) and who had the power to work miracles – a friend wrote, “From my sick-bed I appeal to you, O Friend of God! Pray for me that I may be relieved of this intolerable agony and soon become well again.”

And Dhu al-Nun answered thus: “You know not what you ask. How can I pray to God to take away His grace from you? “Veiled within the veil of affliction the Beloved Himself cometh to us to bless us, to beautify our lives, to give us the only gift that counts – the gift of the Spirit.
“So it is that the Sufis pray that sickness may be their constant companion. And the Sufis rejoice in the midst of misfortune. And with open arms, the Sufis welcome disapprobation of the crowd and calumny and disgrace.

“For such things truly lead to healing of the Spirit. “Therefore, my brother, I pray that God may make you ashamed of what you ask. “And may He so bless you that you may complain not, but for every affliction give gratitude to Him! “The true lover of God entrusts all he is and all he has to the care of Him whose Name is Compassion and Love!”

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