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 The Golden Pegs

Ibrahim Ibn Adham, a great spiritual leader of the Sufis, was wont to live in much pomp and splendor, surrounded by a large number of servants.  Even his tents were pitched with golden pegs.

A wandering dervish once happened to pass by his tents, and was enormously surprised at this display of wealth by a Sufi.  So he went, begging-cup in hand, to Ibrahim and questioned him thus: "It is strange that you call yourself a Sufi, and yet you are surrounded by luxury and material wealth of a kind, that even your tents are fixed with golden pegs."  

Ibrahim welcomed him, and bade him to rest awhile and asked his servants to feed him well.  After some time he asked the dervish if he would like to go along with him to Mecca, and the dervish readily agreed.  They both set out on their pilgrimage, the princely Sufi leaving all his wealth and luxury behind him without a thought.  They had not walked far, when the dervish suddenly remembered that he had left his wooden cup in Ibrahim's tent and wanted to go back to fetch it.  Ibrahim smiled and said, "My friend, I left all my wealth behind without the least worry. Yet you are so much attached to a cup of practically no value that you cannot proceed to Mecca without it.  The golden pegs which so much surprised you were driven into the earth, not into my heart."