Turning the Other Cheek / A Story of Mevlana Khlaid

Jesus Christ advised his followers, that if a person hits
you on the cheek, you should turn the other. He was
a great Prophet, and even coming to us without our

Prophet’s sayings, we accept. He was showing people
how to avoid fitna, discord. No one but real sufi people
can listen to and follow that advice. By listening to that
word only, there would be no more war in the world.
Even those who say that they are Christians cannot fol-
low that advise.
Here in Damascus on Jabal Qasiyûn, a holy moun-
tain, is a great saint, Mevlana Khâlid al-Baghdâdî. He
was training people, and is one of our Grandsheikhs in
the golden chain of Naqshabandia. Our Grandsheikh
told a tale about him. A person came from Daghestan to
Mevlana Khâlid to take Tariqat. They are very proud
people, and this one came wearing pistols and daggers
and his turban at a slant over one eye. «Where are you
coming from?» he was asked. «From Daghestan.» «I
don’t give Tariqat to people coming from Daghestan»,
Mevlana Khâlid told him. «O sheikh, did Allah not send
the Prophet for Daghestan people?» He grabbed for his
pistols. «He sent for all, but I cannot give to one with
such a bad character.» Here the man became milder and
straightened his turban. «I want this Tariqat.» Mevlana
Khâlid replied: «With your anger, you cannot carry out
our orders, but you may go to some of our mureeds and
observe their state. Now go to the meat market in the
city and find a person with a long stick on his shoulder,
with unwashed sheep’s stomachs hanging from it which
he is selling. Give him a slap on the neck and then come
to me.»
That person he was sent to find was a learned man.
All learned men are so proud, wearing big turbans like
me. In order to break his pride, he was sent to sell the

stomachs of sheep. Here is another tale within this tale
for the benefit of every proud person. One learned man
came to Abû Yazîd, Sultan al-‘ârifîn, and asked to be
his disciple. «Oh scholar, we have some conditions.» he
said. «Yes, I am ready to accept them.» «You will shave
your head and beard and take a bag of walnuts to the
main square, where there are many children playing.
Sit there and call to all boys, «Who gives me one slap on
the head, I will give him one walnut.» «Oh sheikh, what
kind of order is that? Like this is your Tariqat?» «Yes.
If you like, come. If you don’t like, go.» Abû Yazîd was
doing this to make the man’s pride come down. If you
say to an architect, ‘Build for me a building here,’ and
yet not giving him permission to destroy the old ones,
then he cannot build anything. Sheikhs must, destroy
the ego’s old building before building a new one. There-
fore that man was ordered to sell unwashed sheeps’ sto-
He found him and slapped him on the neck, shouting:
«Oh you dirty person, why don’t you wash these before
selling them?» The man turned and said: «Oh my brot-
her, give me one more slap.» Returning to the sheikh,
he told him what had happened. Mevlana Khâlid said:
«You will go to another market. There is an auctioneer
there. Spit in your hand and give him a slap.» He went
there quickly, and found the man shouting prices. He
gave him a strong slap, saying: «Why are you shouting,
no one is deaf here.» The auctioneer only smiled.
He returned to Mevlana Khâlid and told him what
had happened. «There is another I shall send you to,»
he said. Sitting in the zawiya they could see from the

window an old farmer ploughing in the fields below.
«Take this stick and hit him.» directed the sheikh. He
went and struck him on the back, whereat the farmer
took up his stick and hit one of his oxen, saying: «Yalla,
we are so lazy, get up, plough faster.» The man retur-
ned to the sheikh and was told, «You were not hitting
hard enough, go and hit strongly.» He went and struck
the farmer again; all the farmer did was hit the second
ox, saying: «Get up, we are so lazy.» Returning, he was
told, «Go again, you must hit him with all your power.»
This time when he hit him, the stick broke and the
farmer fell down; but turning over, he took the man’s
hand and began apologizing: «My sheikh sent you to
me, because I am so lazy, and now your hand is sore
from striking me. I ask forgiveness for the Judgement
Day.» «Oh my son», Mevlana Khâlid said to him after-
wards «Look now at these three people, their positions.
The first is a beginner. The second is ready for this Ta-
riqat, and that farmer is my mureed, a real follower. If
you can be patient like them, then come to me. When
you are satisfied with those conditions, then I shall give
you Tariqat.»
Who is going to keep the reality of Jesus Christ’s sa-
ying? That is high character from all religions, high cha-
racter of all Tariqat followers. The Prophet, peace be
upon him, was asked: «What is faith?» he replied with
one word: ‘Sabr’, patience. When you have patience
you have faith. Lose patience and no more faith is with
you. You may try yourself in so many unliked things.
Don’t say, ‘For so long I am patient, but at last my pa-
tience gives out’. That is like a person drawing water

from a deep well, with the rope and bucket with great
difficulty, being patient up to the last foot, and then
saying ‘Iam tired now,’ and then letting go of the rope.
What is its benefit? Patience is up to the end, taking
the water out and using it. Remember this example all
your life. So many people are harmed for their lack of
patience. Some people read, read, and read until the
last pages and then they say ‘I am fed up’ and quit; or
fasting all day until one hour before sunset and then
breaking it. With your wife, your children, your neigh-
bours, you must be patient. Whoever is patient, will
reach victory.
That man returned home and after three months he
came back. No pistol, no dagger, ready for the condi-
tions. Mevlana Khâlid said to him: «Take this axe and
rope and go to the mountain and cut some wood and
bring it here.» Then he sent after him a powerful man,
with instructions to frighten him and take his axe and
rope. They met on the mountain, where he cursed him
and took away the axe and rope, and chased him away.
Returning to the sheikh, the man was asked: «Oh my
son, did you see a bear on the mountain?» «Such a bad
person there, he took my axe and rope and threatened
me.» «Oh my son, you are useless. When he took them
from you, you must go to the market and sell your
watch and buy another axe and rope and go back and
try again. My mureed gives his soul for my order.» He
said: «Oh my lord, just now I know what you are as-
king. I am giving you my soul.» Then Mevlana Khâlid
gave him authority and sent him to the Chechen peo-
ple. Precious things are not given cheaply, no.

Mercy Oceans: Book 2


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