A wise Sufi was giving a sermon at the invitation of the Sultan for the opening of the grand mosque in Istanbul. The Sultan and all the dignitaries of the Ottoman Empire were there for the celebration of the consecration of the mosque.
When the sheikh (leader) got up to talk before this learned and sophisticated assembly, a simple-minded man jumped up and said, “O Sheikh, I lost my donkey. The whole Istanbul is here. Please ask them if anyone has seen my donkey.”
Everyone, the dignitaries, the viziers, the grand vizier, even the mighty Sultan himself, burst out laughing. The Sufi Master said, “Sit down. I’ll find you an ass.” He then addressed the multitude, “Are there any of you who do not know what love is, who have not tasted love in any shape of form?”
At first no one moved. Then slowly, one man got up and said, “I have never tasted love. I don’t know what it is and to be honest I really don’t even know what it is to like anyone.” This encouraged two more to stand up and nod in agreement.
The Sheik turned to the man who had lost his donkey and said, “You lost one donkey and here I present you with three.”
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