The Great Provider
Allah sets the table for all living things,
and lays out more edibles than eaters!
Everyone has its spirit, its days, its daily bread,
blessings and happiness from Allah.
Allah brings to light everyone's daily bread,
then leaves the larder door wide open!
Unbeliever, believer, wretched and happy alike,
all creatures will find new sustenance and new life there.
While the N of need still sticks in their throats,
the M of His munificence has already provisioned them.
Nothing nurtures us other than bread,
and we eat it only because of our hunger for it.
Allah does not leap to the command of servants!
Having blessed us with our hunger for bread,
He will give us that bread as well.
Your bread and your soul are both in the divine treasury;
they are Allah's buried treasure, if you only knew it!
If your meal waits for you in China,
the horse you will ride to it is already saddled and waiting.
Either you will be carried there quickly,
or your bread will be brought to your side while you sleep.
Did Allah not say,
"I am your Provider, the Knower of things secret, the Knower of things open.
I give you life, and I will give you bread.
Whatever you wish, I will give you in good time"?
Know that the work of daily bread is at your door like the dawn;
and that bread is a souvenir of the day.
The Mean One fears this truth,
and avoids the leftovers of the Wise.
The lion does not devour its prey alone
when it's had its fill, it leaves the rest.
Allah's kindness is with you,
so you trade the life your hold in your hand for a crumb.
Mind your soul, for, just like bread,
loaf follows loaf till the edge of the grave.
Allah grants no one life without granting bread,
because the soul is sustained by it.
Take this seriously eat now,
and soon you will eat the food of the soul...
Your daily bread is granted to you by the Knowing, Powerful One,
so don't shake your fist at the King and the tax-collector!
When the soul flies from your body,
be certain that your daily bread has arrived at last.
It arrives through the gate of Allah,
not the gate of your teeth or throat.
You may sit at the head of the table, but only way of great suffering
especially if you weren't wealthy or wise to begin with!
So forget that place!
To rise to such a rank would assure you nothing but heartache and scattered desires
Let Allah be enough to fill you.
In any state, in any event, it is better that you seek support from Allah
than that you should seek it from an ass-powered mill or a sack.
In any state, in any event, it is better that you depend upon the benevolence of Allah
than that you should depend on an ass-powered mill and the sack.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Kathleen Seidel
Sources of previously published material by other authors used by permission, and print sources for images, may be found at http://www.superluminal.com/cookbook.