Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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The Dervish at the Gate
Sufi warming his feet, Persian, 10th/16th century. Click for larger image.

A dervish died and found himself in line at the gate of Paradise. When it was his turn to enter, the angel in charge asked him his name, and he gave it. The man then asked the angel, "What have I done to deserve Paradise? Is my name on your list?" The angel said, "No, your name is not on my list; but you answered in the manner of the students of such-and-such a shaikh." "But I have no attainment of my own! How could I enter Paradise at all?" "This is possible," the angel answered, "because once a vegetable has been parboiled, finishing the process is easy!"