The Reality Of Our Existence

Al-Asma‘ee reported that the ruler Ar-Rasheed once ordered for many delicacies to be prepared for him. He wanted to have a party for himself, so he had a hall decorated for him and invited the famous poet Abul-‘Ataahiyah.

When the party began, Ar-Rasheed looked at Abul-‛Ataahiyah and said, "Describe the pleasures of the world that we are enjoying."

Abul-‘Ataahiyah began:

Live in comfort as long as you please; under
the shades of high and wonderful castles

Ar-Rasheed said, "Wonderful, wonderful. Please continue,".

Abul-‘Ataahiyah continued,

All that you desire is brought to you;
quickly, both in the morning and in the evening

Ar-Rasheed said,"Wonderful, wonderful, please continue."

Abul-‘Ataahiyah resumed:

Then when the souls are parting,
through the breast with a croaking sound,

It is then that one comes to know, I have
lived nothing but a life of deception!

Ar-Rasheed began to weep profusely, and some of those present looked reproachfully at Abul-‘Ataahiyah and said, "The Commander of the Faithful has invited you to make him happy, yet all that you have succeeded in doing is making him sad!"

Ar-Rasheed said,"Leave him alone. He simply noticed that we were in a state of blindness, and disliked adding to it with even more blindness."