Dervish and the Money

A dervish was praying silently. A wealthy merchant, observing the dervish’s devotion and sincerity, was deeply touched by him. The merchant offered the drevish 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.

— By Sheikh Muzaffer

This Sufi spiritual story is from the book Essential Sufism by James Fadiman and Robert Frager. In addition to excellent information about Sufism, there are also several more Sufi spiritual stories in it.

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