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Rabia’s love

The stillness of the night was broken by the cries which came from Rabia’s hut: “I am consumed!”

It was a late hour of the night: men and women were fast asleep. But as the cries grew louder, some of them awoke and raised an alarm. “Rabia’s hut has caught fire,” they said; “our beloved saint is burning!”

With pails of water in their hands, the people rushed to Rabia’s rescue. Her hut was bolted from inside. There were no signs of conflagration. But the cries continued: “I am burnt! I am consumed.”

A devotee arrived on the scene. He heard, and he understood. And to the people who had gathered together, he said: “Return to your homes! The fire in which our beloved saint is burning may not be quenched by all the waters of the seven seas. It is the fire in which true lovers of God burn, again and again: it is the fire of separation from the Beloved. And the fire will not be put out until she meets Him who is the Treasurer of her life, the Spouse of her soul.”

He, the Eternal Beloved was the only Treasurer to which Rabia clung in all the days of her poverty and privations.

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