Sarmad says only half of the prayer

1001 Tales Discourses

“The One and only God is known only when a person gets beheaded,” comments Osho on this anecdote.

A depiction of the Persian Jewish poet, Sarmad Kashani, 1590 – 1661, who is believed to have translated the Torah into Persian. Image courtesy of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

There was a man by the name of Sarmad.

He did not repeat the full prayer that Muslims repeat continuously. The prayer is “There is no God except One.” Sarmad repeated only the first half of the prayer. He would say “There is no God.”

The priests were distressed by this. They went and complained to Aurangzeb.

Sarmad was called before the emperor and ordered to explain himself. He said he did not say the prayers wrong, what words were, he repeated. He admitted he repeated only half the prayer. When it was pointed out that half the prayer changed the meaning completely, he still insisted on saying only half the prayer.

He said, “As yet, I know only the first half, the other half I have yet to experience. The day I experience the other half of the prayer, I shall include it in my prayers. As long as I have no knowledge of the existence of God, I shall not repeat the second half of the prayer.”

Verily this man was branded an Atheist; what could be more atheistic than this? He was beheaded.

This sweet story is a historical fact. There were thousands who witnessed the beheading of Sarmad. When before the Masjid in Delhi, Sarmad’s head rolled down the steps of the Masjid, it is said that a voice arose from his streaming blood repeating the prayer in full: “There is no God, except One.”

Those who loved and revered Sarmad say that the One and only God is known only when a person gets beheaded. But if we go by the language of the Koran only, Sarmad appears to be an atheist but the fact is, Sarmad alone is a Theist.

The pain and remorse that gnawed at the heart of Aurangzeb till his dying day was the pain of having beheaded Sarmad.

In his last moments he said, “I am not worried about any other sins I committed, for they all could not equal the one sin I committed of having Sarmad killed. If this sin is forgiven me, all other sins will naturally be nullified. If this is not forgiven, there is no hope for me.”

Osho, The Way of Tao – Discourses on Lao Tse’s Tao-Te-King, Vol 1, Ch 21 (excerpt, translated from Hindi)

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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