DANIEL MOORE (Abd al-Hayy)


4 Ramadan



 A story goes that
 Moses, peace be upon him, went
   to find a saint in the desert
      said to he one of the
    greatest masters alive.

 He went into the arid wastes,
 made a camp, went further, made
 another camp, went further perhaps than
 anyone dared to go being Moses, and

 found, out where the world ends, in a
 blazing nothingness of sand and
 sky, lying face down with his
 chin on the
 ground, his saint,
   saying with each breath, in a
 barely audible voice:


 The sound of his tongue and the
 heartbeat of his body boomed all the
 dunes around him
    to ring in
 harmony with that Name.
 Moses was struck dumb.

 Here, without food, without water,
 lay the Master of the Age, dry as
 bone, nearly naked, more like
 the sand itself than
 a man.

 He sat respectfully, the
 saint not seeing him, but keeping his
 invocation throbbing on dry lips with
 a dry tongue:


 At last the saint opened his eyes and saw
 Moses, who bowed, and asked it there was
  anything the saint needed.

 The saint said, after a while, in a very small voice
 Moses had to bend close to hear:
 “Yes. If you could bring me
 a blanket against the cold nights I should be

 Moses got up
 and set out across the
 dunes again to his
 last camp, grabbed his
 blanket and brought it to the man, who was now


 Shocked, Moses sat in
 wonder at the sight. Then he got
  up and went

 off across the desert to his
 camp again to bring a
 shovel to bury him.

 When he arrived, the body was already

 bones remained.

 Amazed, Moses set
 off again into the
 glare to get a
 receptacle for the
 bones, to bring them back to
 bury them in
the town of the
 saint's birth.

 When he arrived back at the place where
 the saint had died. Moses found
 only a swirling whirlpool of dust where the
 bones had been, and
 nothing left but
 spiraling drifts of white powder
 twisting in the wind.

 Moses sat down, his
 eyes on the ground.

 Then he put his
 face on the ground in the
 ache and questioning of his
 heart, and asked:

    O Allah! What is the
      meaning of this - Your saint gone like a
 breath in the desert wind?

 And Allah's voice in the
 heart of Moses replied:

 So long as My friend needed nothing but Me
 I gave him all he required.

 As soon as he needed something
 other than Me

  I took him.