Rumi: Transmutation



The faithful will say on the last day, "O King!
Was not Hell on the route all of us travelled?
Did not faithful as well as infidels pass through it?
Yet on our way we perceived not the smoke of the fire;
Nay, it seemed Paradise and the mansion of the blessed."
Then the King will answer, "That green garden,
As it appeared to you on your passage through it,
Was indeed Hell and the place of dread torment;
Yet for you it became a garden green with trees.
Since you have laboured to make hellish lusts,
And the fire of pride that courts destruction,-
To make these, I say, pure and clean,-
And, to please God, have quenched those fires,
So that the fire of lust, that erst breathed flame,
Has become a holy garden and a guiding light,-
Since you have turned the fire of wrath to meekness,
And the darkness of ignorance to shining knowledge,
Since you have turned the fire of greed into bounty,
And the vile thorns of malice into a rose-garden;
Since you have quenched all these fires of your own
For my sake, so that those poisons are now pure sweets;-
Since you have made fiery lust as a verdant garden,
And have sowed therein the seed of fidelity,
So that nightingales of prayer and praise
Ever warble sweetly around this garden;-
Since you have responded to the call of God,
And drawn water out of the hell of lust,-
For this cause my hell also, for your behoof,
Becomes a verdant garden and yields leaves and fruit."

Masnavi Book 2 Story 10

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