Saadi Shirazi

Sa'di] (1814-1291 / Iran

Ch 07 On The Effects Of Education Story 16

A pious man happened to pass near a rich fellow who had a slave and was just chastising him after having tied his feet and hands. He said: ‘My son, God the most high and glorious has given a creature like thyself into thy power and has bestowed upon thee superiority over him. Give thanks to the Almighty and do not indulge in so much violence towards the man because it is not meet that in the morn of resurrection he should be better than thyself and put thee to shame.’

Be not much incensed against a slave.
Oppress him not, grieve not his heart.
Thou hast purchased him for ten dirhems
And hast not after all created him by thy power.
How long is this command, pride and power to last?
There is a Master more exalted than thou.
O thou owner of Arslan and of Aghosh,
Do not forget him who is thy commander.

There is a tradition that the prince of the world, upon whom be the benediction of Allah and peace, has said: ‘It will occasion the greatest sorrow on the day of resurrection when a pious worshipper is conveyed to paradise and a lord of profligacy to hell.’

Upon the slave subject to thy service
Vent not boundless anger but treat him gently
Because on the day of reckoning it will be a shame
To see the slave free and his owner in chains.
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