The Story Of The Tray Of Sweets


A well-known mystical experience in Sufi Lore, is when a Great Sufi can be at two places at one and the same time. The story below narrates one such occurrence by Mowlana Rumi.

A merchant of a certain town who was a devoted disciple of Rumi, went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. During the last days of the pilgrimage, the wife of the pilgrim-merchant prepared some sweets and distributed them to the poor and her relatives as thanksgiving for her absent husband. A quantity of sweets was sent to Rumi, who invited other disciples to share them with him. The disciples helped themselves as much as they could, and yet the sweets did not finish.

Then Rumi took the plate upstairs to the roof of the seminary and called out to no one apparently visible saying, "Take your share."

He then returned to where the disciples were sitting, without the large tray of sweets and said, "I have sent a share to the merchant who is in Mecca." The disciples were quite mystified by his words.

When the merchant returned home after performing his pilgrimage, he came to pay his respects to Rumi. Later that day, when the merchant's wife was unpacking his things, she saw the tray among his belongings and was taken aback. She asked her husband how the tray had gotten into his luggage.

He said, "One day when I was in the camp outside Mecca, I saw the tray full of sweets pushed through the curtain of my tent. The servants ran outside to see who was the bearer of the tray, but the owner of the hand could not be found."

Both the husband and the wife, marvelling at this manifestation of Rumi, went to him and made their further allegiance to the master. Rumi stated that all this was due to their faithfulness toward him, and that God in His Greatness had enabled him to perform this wonderful action.

Note: This story was narrated by Rumi and is from, "Teachings Of Rumi: The Masnavi" translated by E.H. Whinfield. I titled and rewrote it in parts.