Sufi Story: The Shaykh and the Maharaja

A great Shaykh from North India, Khwaja Chisti Muhoinuddin (1141-1230) (his secret be sanctified), one day received a letter by the Maharaja of the place, saying that  he had heard about him, that he was curious to meet him, and that the next day he would expected him at the palace. The Shaykh in response begged the messenger to report to the his master this message: “A king never goes on a visit to beggar, it is the beggar that has to go to the king.”

The king hearing the answer, went on a rampage and exclaimed: “Oh, that is fine! Then I’ll go to that insolent. I’ll go with my army and cut off his head! Really he deserves a lesson to be a warning to all.”

At the time, to chop off the head of a disobedient servant was nothing. The Maharaja then began traveling with his army and once arrived about twenty miles from the town of the Shaykh, suddenly the Maharaja was overwhelmed by an indescribable pressure that made him fall by the elephant and crushed to the ground on his stomach. It was a powerful magnetic and irresistible force.

He had to continue his journey in that way, crawling on his belly. It took him two weeks to get to destination. Finally, ragged and without more forces, he reached the presence of the Shaykh. He, sitting by the lake, welcomed him with loving kindness.

The army of the Maharaja was dumbfounded, he was looking confused, but also anxiously waiting to hear what kind of command would have come them from their king who was presenting himself to the Sheikh in such a humiliating way.

The Shaykh then began to chant Allah Hu! (He is Allah) Allah Hu! Allah Hu! “And at every Hu huge waves were creating on the surface of lake crashing the army and sweeping it away. Then the Shaykh
turned to the king and said, “Look how the lake has welcomed you, he wanted to offer a bit of refreshing to your soldiers.”
The maharaja in that moment he threw himself at his feet, leaned his head on the lap of the Shaykh that began to caress his head gently saying, “Oh my great Sultan, What are you looking for? a father? I will be your father, a mother? I will be your mother. A child? I will be thy son, are you looking for a lover? I will be that lover. Whatever you’re looking for, I will be that for you. You do not have to worry, Allah forgives you.”

That same day, millions of people across the country embraced Islam following the example of the sultan. Like that the North India at the time of the Mogul gave birth to a period of wondrous splendor, where Hinduism and Islam merged in an explosion of art and architecture of unparalleled majesty and sweetness, perfection and intelligence, beauty and depth rare in the world.