A Sultan built a palace and decorated the walls with gold gilt. It cost him one hundred thousand drachmas.
He furnished it so well that once complete it looked like Paradise.
People from all over the world came and offered the Sultan many gifts. The Sultan then invited the wise ones from among them and asked,
“Please take a look around and tell me, can you find any fault in this magnificent Palace?”
They all answered in reply
“Nobody in this world has seen or will ever see a Palace like this.”
A Sufi man stood up and said,
“My sultan everything in this Palace is magnificent, however, there is one big fault. There is a hole and with this hole here, this palace can never be a paradise.”
At this the Sultan was angry and said,
“I didn’t see a hole with my accurrate eyes, so how can an unwise man like you see this?!”
The Sufi modestly answered,
“O my Sultan, Azrael (the angel of death) can find the hole at anytime and enter. Death will plague it, like everything else! Therefore don’t be disobedient and don’t forget death!”
Special thanks to Janet Gascoigne and Samantha Spinks for the translation.