“When the self is strengthened by love it gains
dominion over the outward and inward forces of the universe,”
A governor’s entourage is passing through
the streets in a city of medieval India. The valets are shouting
at the people to get them out of the way. Unmindful of this is
a Sufi, walking along the road, preoccupied with the discourses
of his master. He fails to get off the road and receives the wrath
of the governor’s staff.
The mentor of this poor man is Bu Ali, who lives
in Panipat. He is a qalandar, one of the most mysterious sects
of Sufis, whose origins are traced back to Mansur Hallaj, who
had said, “I am the Creative Truth.” Now the Qalandar
is enraged, and sends a message to the king. “Your governor
has broken my servant's head. He has cast burning coals on his
own life. Arrest this wicked governor, or else I shall bestow
your kingdom on another.”
The king trembles in every limb. He arrests the
governor. As an ambassador to the angry master he sends Khusrau,
the legendary poet-musician, who was himself a Sufi. The master
melts upon hearing sweet music.
“One strain of poetry bought the grace of a
kingdom that was firm as a mountain,” Iqbal comments.