Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) mentions in his Mathnavi, a story of Sultan Mahmood : One day the Sultan decided to test his ministers and ordered them to crush the most prized pearl of his treasury. One by one, each of 65 ministers declined, stating that the pearl was far too valuable to be destroyed.
The King then summoned his closest and trusted courtier, Ayaaz, and ordered him to crush the pearl. Without any delay or hesitation, Ayaaz crushed the pearl into fragments. When the ministers expressed disbelief and shock at such audacity, the King asked Ayaaz to inform them as to the reason for him having broken the pearl.
In response, Ayaaz asked these ministers : “ Which is more important, the Royal Decree or the pearl ? ”
The question we pose to ourselves is : “ Which is more important, the command of my Allah or the desire of my heart ?”
The desires of the heart are akin to pearls, which appear to be quite beautiful but we should not fulfil these desires at the cost of breaking the decrees of Allah Ta’ala.
Ayaaz attained closeness to the king through his loyalty and faithfulness and his obedience and submission. Similarly, we will gain the extreme nearness and intimate closeness to the King of Kings through loyalty and faithfulness. This in turn is dependent upon sincere obedience and complete submission to His decrees.
The Test of Imaan
Imaan will not be tested in the Musjid because a Musjid is not a place for the testing of Imaan. It would obviously be very easy to be pious and abstain from sins therein. The testing grounds of Imaan are the streets, universities, bazaars, businesses and airports.
What kind of Imaan do we display, if we indulge in illicit relationships at the high schools, universities, etc., if we cast lustful glances at every woman who passes by us on the streets and if we cheat our customers, commit fraud and employ semi-nude women to work along side us in our businesses, believing that by employing them we will be saving on salary ?
Know that at such places our Imaan will definitely be tested. At such times we have to project and assert our Imaan and Islam. If the person passes the tests here, then this person has tasted of the sweetness of Imaan.