Response to Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet

Hasan Shushud

Hasan Shushud

When Mr. Shushud was questioned about the validity of the wisdom expressed in The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, he responded with the following::

A poet said, “Tell us about beauty.”

And he answered. “Reach Absence. You won’t need earthly beauty.”

 

An old monk said, “Tell us about religion.”

He answered, “Reach the source of religion. You will be exempt from religion.”

 

“It is time,” they said, “to question you about death.”

And he answered, “You are such that life and death are your appearances.”

 

A young woman said, “Tell us about suffering.”

And he answered, “Nothing but suffering can purify us.”

 

Somebody asked, “Tell us about our faults,”

And he answered, “Your faults and virtues don’t count for much.”

 

A teacher asked, “Tell us about teaching.”

And he answered, “It is not by teaching or learning. It is by annihilation.”

 

A young man asked, “Tell us of friendship.”

He answered, “The one who really knows Himself is in love with Himself.”

 

An astronomer asked, “Tell us about time, oh, saint.”

And he answered, “If you don’t experience timelessness, you don’t know time.”

 

An elder of the town asked, “Tell us about good and bad.”

He answered, “Bad belongs to your existence. Good is your nothingness.”

 

One of the priests asked, “Tell us about prayer.”

And he answered, “Prayers are evidence of weakness and incompleteness.

Have you forgotten your divine destiny?”

 

Then, a visitor who came to town once in a while asked, “Tell us about pleasure.”

And he answered, “The only pleasure of this earth Is the detachment from earth.”

 

A young bride asked, “Tell us about marriage.”

And he answered, “Marriage is the collision of two universes.”

 

And the mother who held a babe in her arms asked, “Tell us about babies.”

And he answered, “Your children are nothing but your extensions.”

 

A rich man asked, “Tell us about giving.”

And he answered, “You cannot give anything, even if you try to give earth and heaven,

They are illusions.”

 

And the grocer asked, “Tell us about food.”

And he answered, “Fasting is the food of saints and prophets.”