Beaten, Broken, Blessed: A True Story (Before I Travel Light: The Man Who Walked Out of the World)

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Wikipedia article about Jalalu-d'-Din Muhammad i Rumi Wikipedia article about the Masnavi , written between about and Numan's Dream Turkey There was of old time in the city of Cairo a man called Numan, and he had a son. One day when this boy's time to learn to read was fully come he took him to a school and gave to a teacher.

This Numan was exceeding poor, so that he followed the calling of a water seller, and in this way he supported his wife and child. When the teacher had made the boy read through the Koran, he told the boy to fetch him his present.

So the boy came and told his father. His father said, "O son, the Koran is the Word of God Most High, we have nothing worthy of it; there is our camel with which I follow my trade of water seller, take it at least and give it to thy teacher. But that day his father could gain no money, and that night his wife and his son and himself remained hungry. Now his wife was a great scold, and when she saw this thing she said, "Out on thee, husband, art thou mad?

Where are thy senses gone? Thou hadst a camel, and by means of it we made shift to live, and now thou hast taken and given it in a present; would that that boy had not been born, or that thou hadst not sent him to read; what is he and what his reading?

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Numan saw this thing, and he bowed down his head, and from the greatness of his distress he fell asleep. In his dream a radiant elder, white-bearded and clad in white raiment, came and said, "O Numan, thy portion is in Damascus; go, take it. Brief, the elder appeared three times to him that night in his dream and said, "Indeed is thy provision in Damascus; delay not, go to Damascus and take it.

So Numan went forth; and one day he entered Damascus, and he went in through the gate of the Amawi Mosque. That day someone had baked bread in an oven and was taking it to his house; when he saw Numan opposite him and knew him to be a stranger, he gave him a loaf. Numan took it and ate it, and lay down through fatigue and fell asleep. That elder again came to him in his vision and said, "0 Numan, thou hast received thy provision; delay not, go back to thy house.

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One day he entered his house, and the woman looked and saw there was nothing in his hand; and Numan told her. When the woman learned that Numan had brought nothing, she turned and said, "Out on thee, husband, thou art become mad, thou art a worthless man; had thy senses been in thy head, thou hadst not given away our camel, the source of our support, and left us thus friendless and hungry and thirsty; not a day but thou doest some mad thing.

And Numan's heart was broken by the weariness of the road and the complaining of the woman, and he fell asleep. Again in his vision that elder came and said, "O Numan, delay not, arise, dig close by thee, thy provision is there, take it. Three times the elder appeared to him in his dream and said, "Thy provision is indeed close by thee; arise, take it. The woman made mock of Numan and said, "Out on thee, man; the half of the treasure revealed to thee is mine. The woman saw the marble and, saying in herself, "This is not empty," she asked the pick-axe from Numan.

Numan said, "Have patience a little longer. Thereupon grew Numan eager, and he pulled the marble from its place, and below it was a well and a ladder. He caught hold of the ladder and went down and saw a royal vase filled full with red gold, and he called out to the woman, "Come here. Blessed be God, for thy luck and thy fortune.

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The king said, "What is this? The king said, "Go ye and bring some from the bottom of the vase. And the king wondered and said, "Go, poor man, God Most High has given it thee, on my part too be it lawful for thee; come, take these sequins also. And all this felicity was for his respect to the glorious Koran.

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Gibb London: George Redway, , pp. How the Junkman Traveled to Find Treasure in His Own Yard Turkey In one of the towers overlooking the Sea of Marmora and skirting the ancient city of Stamboul, there lived an old junkman, who earned a precarious livelihood in gathering cinders and useless pieces of iron, and selling them to smiths. Often did he moralize on the sad Kismet that had reduced him to the task of daily laboring for his bread to make a shoe, perhaps for an ass.

Surely he, a true Muslim, might at least be permitted to ride the ass. His eternal longing often found satisfaction in passing his hours of sleep in dreams of wealth and luxury. But with the dawning of the day came reality and increased longing. Often did he call on the spirit of sleep to reverse matters, but in vain; with the rising of the sun began the gathering of the cinders and iron. One night he dreamt that he begged this nocturnal visitor to change his night to day, and the spirit said to him, "Go to Egypt, and it shall be so.

So persecuted was he with the thought that when his wife said to him, from the door, "Have you brought home any bread?


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Poor Ahmet went straight on board a boat which he had been told was bound for Iskender Alexandria , and assured the captain that he was summoned thither, and that he was bound to take him. Half-witted and mad persons being more holy than others, Ahmet was conveyed to Iskender. Arriving in Iskender, Hadji Ahmet roamed far and wide, proceeding as far as Cairo, in search of the luxuries he had enjoyed at Constantinople when in the land of Morpheus, which he had been promised to enjoy in the sunshine, if he came to Egypt. Time sped on, sympathy was growing tired of expending itself on Hadji Ahmet, and his crusts of bread were few and far between.


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Wearied of life and suffering, he decided to ask Allah to let him die, and wandering out to the pyramids he solicited the stones to have pity and fall on him. It happened that a Turk heard this prayer, and said to him, "Why so miserable, father? Has your soul been so strangled that you prefer its being dashed out of your body, to its remaining the prescribed time in bondage? Why, were I to obey my dreams, I would at this present moment be in Stamboul, digging for a treasure that lies buried under a tree.

I can even now, although I have never been there, describe where it is. In my mind's eye I see a wall, a great wall, that must have been built many years ago, and supporting or seeming to support this wall are towers with many corners, towers that are round, towers that are square, and others that have smaller towers within them. In one of these towers, a square one, there live an old man and woman, and close by the tower is a large tree, and every night when I dream of the place, the old man tells me to dig and disclose the treasure.

But, father, I am not such a fool as to go to Stamboul and seek to verify this. It is an oft-repeated dream and nothing more. See what you have been reduced to by coming so far. Allah be praised, you have encouraged me; I will return to my home. He certainly had wandered far and long to learn that the treasure was in his own garden.

Hadji Ahmet in due course, much to the astonishment of both wife and neighbors, again appeared upon the scene not a much changed man. In fact, he was the cinder and iron gatherer of old. To all questions as to where he was and what he had been doing, he would answer, "A dream sent me away, and a dream brought me back.

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After digging a short time a heavy case was brought to view, in which he found gold, silver, and precious jewels of great value. Hadji Ahmet replaced the case and earth and returned to bed, much lamenting that it had pleased God to furnish women, more especially his wife, with a long tongue, long hair, and very short wits. Who knows, she might keep the secret. To test her, at no risk to himself and the treasure, he conceived a plan.

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Crawling from his bed, he sallied forth and bought, found, or stole an egg. This egg on the following morning he showed to his wife, and said to her, "Alas! I fear I am not as other men, for evidently in the night I laid this egg; and, wife mine, if the neighbors hear of this, your husband, the long-suffering Hadji Ahmet, will be bastinadoed, bowstrung, and burned to death.

Ah, truly, my soul is strangled. In the evening he returned, heavily laden with his finds, and as he neared home he heard rumors, ominous rumors, that a certain Hadji Ahmet, who had been considered a holy man, had done something that was unknown in the history of man, even in the history of hens: that he had laid a dozen eggs. Needless to add that Hadji Ahmet did not tell his wife of the treasure, but daily went forth with his sack to gather iron and cinders, and invariably found, when separating his finds of the day, in company with his wife, at first one, and then more gold and silver pieces, and now and then a precious stone.

The episode describing the junkman's wife embellishment of his "secret" is classified as a type D folktale. The Peddler of Swaffham England Constant tradition says that there lived in former times in Soffham Swaffham , alias Sopham, in Norfolk, a certain peddler, who dreamed that if he went to London Bridge, and stood there, he should hear very joyful news, which he at first slighted, but afterwards, his dream being doubled and trebled upon him, he resolved to try the issue of it, and accordingly went to London, and stood on the bridge there two or three days, looking about him, but heard nothing that might yield him any comfort.

At last it happened that a shopkeeper there, hard by, having noted his fruitless standing, seeing that he neither sold any wares nor asked any alms, went to him and most earnestly begged to know what he wanted there, or what his business was; to which the peddler honestly answered that he had dreamed that if he came to London and stood there upon the bridge he should hear good news; at which the shopkeeper laughed heartily, asking him if he was such a fool as to take a journey on such a silly errand, adding, "I'll tell you, country fellow, last night I dreamed that I was at Sopham, in Norfolk, a place utterly unknown to me where I thought that behind a peddler's house in a certain orchard, and under a great oak tree, if I dug I should find a vast treasure!

Now think you," says he, "that I am such a fool to take such a long journey upon me upon the instigation of a silly dream? No, no. I'm wiser. Therefore, good fellow, learn wit from me, and get you home, and mind your business. The peddler observing his words, what he had said he dreamed, and knowing they concerned him, glad of such joyful news, went speedily home, and dug and found a prodigious great treasure, with which he grew exceeding rich; and Soffham Church being for the most part fallen down, he set on workmen and rectified it most sumptuously, at his own charges; and to this day there is his statue therein, but in stone, with his pack at his back and his dog at his heels; and his memory is also preserved by the same form or picture in most of the old glass windows, taverns, and alehouses of that town unto this day.

De la Pryme lived from to The Swaffham Legend England Swaffham Church, noted for its architectural beauties, has furnished material for a legend worth recording. According to tradition, the entire expense of erecting this noble edifice was defrayed by a tinker or pedlar residing in the parish named John Chapman, who, if the voice of the legend is to be believed, was marvelously provided for by Divine Providence. It is said that this tinker dreamed that if he went to London Bridge he would, to use the phraseology of a certain class of advertisements, "hear of something greatly to his advantage.

After standing about the bridge for several hours -- some versions of the legend mention the traditional three days -- a man accosted him, and invited him to unfold the nature of his errand. With candor quite equal to his faith, John Chapman replied that he came there on the "vain errand of a dream. But not all of it. The box that he found had a Latin inscription on the lid, which of course John Chapman could not decipher. But though unlettered, he was not without craftiness and a certain kind of wisdom, so in the hope that some unsuspicious wayfarer might read the inscriptiou in his hearing, he placed it in his window.

It was not long before he heard some youths turn the Latin sentence into an English couplet: Under me doth lie Another much richer than I. Again he went to work, digging deeper than before, and found a much richer treasure, than the former. With a heart overflowing with gratitude for his good fortune, the tinker shortly afterwards, when the inhabitants of Swaffham wished to re-edify their church, astonished the whole town by offering to defray the expense of a large portion of the works.

On the ends of the oaken bench nearest the pulpit, there is the carved effigy of John Chapman on one side and that of his dog on the other, and this is sufficient to establish the truth of the legend in the minds of the credulous of the district. A Cobbler in Someretshire England A cobbler in Somersetshire dreamt that a person told him that if he would go to London Bridge he would meet with something to his advantage.