By Sheikh Muzaffer
A dervish was praying silently. A wealthy merchant, observing the dervish’s devotion and sincerity, was deeply touched by him. The merchant offered the dervish a bag of gold. “I know you will use the money for God’s sake. Please take it.”
“Just a moment,” the dervish replied. “I’m not sure if it is lawful for me to take your money. Are you a wealthy man? Do you have more money at home?” “Oh yes. I have at least one thousand gold pieces at home,” claimed the merchant proudly.
“Do you want a thousand gold pieces more?” asked the dervish.
“Why yes, of course. Every day I work hard to earn more money.”
“And do you wish for yet a thousand gold pieces more beyond that?”
“Certainly. Every day I pray that I may earn more and more money.”
The dervish pushed the bag of gold back to the merchant. “I am sorry, but I cannot take your gold,” he said. “A wealthy man cannot take money from a beggar.”
“How can you call yourself a wealthy man and me a beggar?” the merchant spluttered.
The dervish replied, “I am a wealthy man because I am content with whatever God sends me. You are a beggar, because no matter how much you possess, you are always dissatisfied, and always begging God for more.”