Nasheva heard from Sultan Walad that it all happened twenty six years earlier, in 1244.
One fine afternoon, his father, Mawlana Jalaluddin, was teaching by a fountain in a small square close to his madrasa. His pupils were sitting, listening to him attentively and taking notes. Between them were a manifold of books and manuscripts lying on the ground, while some were scattered open on the fountain’s ledge.
Then, out of nowhere, a stranger wearing a black cloak walked quickly through the students and pushed the books and manuscripts into the fountain water. They plunged into the water, all wet.
“Who are you?” Mawlana Jalaluddin said in aghast. “And what are you doing?”
“You must now live what you have been reading about,” the stranger replied.
Mawlana Jalaluddin, who was worried his father’s precious spiritual diary, Al Maarif, was ruined, hurriedly went into the fountain.
But the eccentric stranger prevented him. He said, “We can retrieve them. They will be dry as they were.”
Mawlana and his pupils were befuddled. Some thought the man was insane.
The stranger smiled. Then he raised his right hand, and the books and manuscripts all were lifted without him even touching them. In less than a minute, they were all dry.
“What I had thought of before as God, I met today in a human being,” Mawlana Jalaluddin said about the eccentric stranger.
Later he was known as Shams, the sun, a sufi who came from Tabriz.
The phenomenal encounter changed Mawlana Jalaluddin’s life forever. He took an abrupt mystical turn. As a Mufti, he had taught Islamic laws, the Koran, and the history of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions for years. He had been learning and teaching the structure of religion. But now from Shams he was learning its essence: love.
Within overnight, he was a man inebriated by the meta-spirituality of love.
From Sultan Walad, Nasheva learned Mawlana Jalaluddin’s extraordinary transformation:
Through love, a fatwa-writing Syaikh turned poet
Though ascetic, he grew intoxicate
But not from a wine which is made of grapes-
A spirit of light drinks only wine of light
This post is part of Nasheva Trilogy and has been copyrighted.