The world you once possessed has taken flight?
Be not in sorrow for that, it is naught.
And a world has been gained to put things alright?
Be not in joy for that, it is naught.
They are but passer-by, pain and delight:
Bypass the world yourself, it is naught.
An Arab king was sick in his state of decrepitude so that all hopes
of life were cut off:
I spent my precious life in hopes, alas!
That every desire of my heart will be fulfilled.
My wishes were realized, but to what profit? Since
There is no hope that my past life will return.
The hand of fate has struck the drum of departure.
O my two eyes, bid farewell to the head.
O palm, forearm, and arm of my hand,
All take leave from each other.
Death, the foe of my desires, has fallen on me
For the last time, O friends. Pass near me.
My life has elapsed in ignorance.
I have done nothing, be on your guard.
A king was casting a glanced of contempt upon a company of ascetics and one of them, understanding by his sagacity the meaning of it, said: 'O king, in this world we are inferior to thee in dignity but more happy in life. In death we are equal and in the resurrection superior to thee.'
Though the master of a country may have enjoyment
And the ascetic may be in need of bread
In that hour when both of them will die
They will take from the world not more than a shroud.
When thou takest thy departure from the realm
It will be better to be a mendicant than a king.
I noticed the son of a rich man, sitting on the grave of his father and quarreling with a ascetic-boy, saying: 'The sarcophagus of my father's tomb is of stone and its epitaph is elegant. The pavement is of marble, tessellated with turquoise-like bricks. But what resembles thy father's grave? It consists of two contiguous bricks with two handfuls of mud thrown over it.' The ascetic-boy listened to all this and then observed: 'By the time thy father is able to shake off those heavy stones which cover him, mine will have reached paradise.'
An ass with a light burden
No doubt walks easily.
A ascetic who carries only the load of poverty
Will also arrive lightly burdened at the gate of death
Whilst he who lived in happiness, wealth and ease
Will undoubtedly on all these accounts die hard.
At all events, a prisoner who escapes from all his bonds
Is to be considered more happy than a prince taken prisoner.
Narrow intestines may be filled with dry bread.
But the wealth of the surface of the world will not fill a greedy eye.
When the term of my father's life had come to an end
He gave me this one advice and passed away:
Lust is fire, abstain therefrom,
Make not the fire of hell sharp for thee.
In that fire the burning thou wilt not be able to bear,
Quench this fire with water today.
What can an old prostitute do but vow to become chaste, and an policeman not to commit oppression upon men?
A youth who sits in a corner is a hero in the path of God
Because an old man is unable to rise from his corner.
A youth must be strong minded to abstain from lust,
Because even the sexual tool of an old man, of sluggish desire,