The Bird

Once a bird in a cage sang for her master. He took delight in her song and grew fond of her. When he had to go on a journey he asked for her wish. ‘I will go through the forest where you were born past the birds of your neighbourhood. What message should I give them?’ ‘Tell them I sit locked in a cage. My heart is grieved and I hope it won’t be long before I see them again and fly in freedom. What message do they have for me that will set my heart at ease?’
The merchant went through the wood. When he got to where his bird was from he said, ‘Oh birds, greetings from my pretty bird locked in her cage. She is alone with bars all around her. What message do you have for her?’ The birds listened, then suddenly one bird fell from its branch to the ground, dead. The merchant was astounded. He traded his goods then returned home. His bird asked him what message came from the other birds and he said, ‘I told them your message and one bird fell dead.’ Suddenly, his own bird shrieked and fell on her head onto the floor for her cage. ‘Oh, what have I done?’ he wept, ‘Now my own bird is dead.’
He opened the door, reached in and took her into his hand, but, once out in the air, she flew out the window. ‘Thank you, master, for delivering my plea.’ She sang out, ‘Those birds sent me a message that instructed me on how to win my freedom and fly free. So I go now to my loved one waiting for me. All I did was play dead.’

[by Jalal al-Din Rumi]

Whoever kills his own pleasure to please Allah, Allah shall let him out of the cage of this world to the true freedom of Islam

The Plant

The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way (yet it does not break); and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake - until it is uprooted all at once (and completely destroyed).

[Bukhari and Muslim]