Saadi Shirazi

Sa'di] (1814-1291 / Iran

Ch 07 On The Effects Of Education Story 10

The wife of a dervish had become enceinte and when the time of her confinement was at hand, the dervish who had no child during all his life said: ‘If God the most high and glorious presents me with a son, I shall bestow everything I possess as alms upon dervishes, except this patched garment of mine which I am wearing.’ It happened that the infant was a son. He rejoiced and gave a banquet to the dervishes, as he had promised. Some years afterwards when I returned from a journey to Syria, I passed near the locality of the dervish and asked about his circumstances but was told that he had been put in prison by the police. Asking for the cause, I was told that his son, having become drunk, quarrelled and having shed the blood of a man, had fled; whereon his father was instead of him loaded with a chain on his neck and heavy fetters on his legs. I replied: ‘He had himself asked God the most high and glorious for this calamity.’

If pregnant women, O man of intellect,
Bring forth serpents at the time of birth,
It is better in the opinion of the wise
Than to give birth to a wicked progeny.
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