was once a man named Mojud. He lived in a town where he had
obtained a post as a small offical, and it seemed likely
that he would end his days as Inspector of Weights and
One day when he was walking through the gardens of an
ancient building near his home, Kidr, the mysterious guide
of the Sufis, appeared to him, dressed in shimmering green.
Khidr said, "Man of bright prospects! Leave your work and
meet me at the riverside in three day's time."
Mojud went to his superior in trepidation and said that he
had to leave. Everyone in the town soon heard of this and
thy said, "Poor Mojud! He has gone mad." But as there were
many candidates for his job, they soon forgot
appointed day, Mojud met Khidr, who said to him, "Tear your
clothes and throw yourself into the stream. Perhaps someone
will save you."
Mojud did so even so he wondered if he were mad. Since he
could swim, he did not drown, but drifted a long way before
a fisherman houled him into his boat, saying, "Foolish man!
The curent is strong. What are you trying to do?" Mojud
said, "I don't realy know." When he discovered, that Mojud
was well-spoken, he learned from him how to read and write.
In exchange Mojud was given food and helped the fisherman
with his work.
After a few month, Khidr again appeared, this time at the
foot of Mojud's bed, and said, "Get up now and leave this
fisherman. You will be provided for." Mojud immediately quit
the hut, dressed as a fisherman, and wandered about until he
came to a highway. As dawn was breaking he saw a framer on a
donkey on his way to market.
"Do you seek work?" asked the farmer, "because I need a man
to help me bring back some purchases."
Mojud followed him. He worked for the farmer for nearly two
years, by which time he had learned a great deal about
agriculture but little else. One afternoon when he was
baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, "Leave that
work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to
become a skin-merchant." Mojud obeyed.
In Mosul he became known as a skin-Merchant, never seeing
Khidr while he plied his trade for three years. He had saved
quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a
house, when Khidr appeared and said, "Give me your money,
walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and
work for a grocer there." Mojud did so.
Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination.
He healed the sick, served his fellow man in the shop during
his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became
deeper and deeper.
Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked,
"Under whom did you study?"
"It is difficult to say," said Mojud.
His disciples asked, "How did you start your career?"
He said, "As a small offical."
"And you gave it up for self-mortification?"
"No, I just gave it up." They did not understand him.
People approached him to write the story of his life.
"What have you been in your life?" they asked.
"I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out
of his reed-hut in the middle of the night. After that a
became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and
went to Mosul, where I became a skin-mechant. I saved some
money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to Samarakand
where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am
"But this inexplicable behaviour throws no light upon your
strange gifts and wonderful examples," said the
"That is so", said Mojud.
So the biographers constucted for Mojud a wonderful and
exciting story: because all saints must have their story,
and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the
listener, not with the realities of life. And nobody is
allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story
is not true. It is the representation of a life. This is the
real life of one of the greatest Sufis.