The book of rumi: 105 stories and fables that illumine, delight, and inform
TWO men had been friends since childhood; one was a Moslem and the other a Zoroastrian. One day as they were drinking coffee, the Moslem turned to his friend and suggested: “My friend, how about you finally becoming a good Moslem?”
“If God wills it, I will convert,” said the Zoroastrian cunningly.
“Allah wants you to turn to Him so that He can save you from hell, but it’s your menacing ego that pulls you back toward disbelief” “I know you as a fair man, my friend,” replied the Zoroastrian gravely. “When that which you call the ego has conquered and continues to rule me, I’ve no choice but to obey it, for 1t is far more powerful than me. I would never dare think that anything in the world can be done without the will of God; therefore, I conclude that if He truly wanted me not to be a Zoroastrian, He wouldn’t have made me one!
“If your Allah holds absolute supremacy and dominates all realms but still can’t pull me toward Him, then His will does not exceed all. So, what’s the use of me converting? He has bestowed free will on us, and we’re responsible for putting 1t to good use, which I hope I’m doing!”
Having spoken his mind, the Zoroastrian continued to sit beside the Moslem, both quietly sipping their coffee in peace.