Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
Essays | Recipes | Gallery

A Well-Cooked Meal
Scene at a Well. Painted ceiling panel, Palermo, 12th century. Click for larger image.

A dervish came to pray in the mosque and remained there night and day. The Imam asked him, "Don't you eat?" "I do," he replied. "And where do you get your food?" "From the king of the heavens." "Does he send it down to you in a basket?" "Yes."

The Imam then took the dervish to his home, bound his hands and feet, lowered him into a dry well, and returned to his business in the bazaar.

Now, the Imam's wife had prepared an unusually good dinner that day. She was eating it with her maid-servant when visitors knocked at the door. Not wanting to share the food, she quickly hid it in a basket and lowered it by a rope into the well. There it swayed before the eyes of the dervish, and he cried,