Chapter 28: Unless the Whole Existence.
You will come to many places where you would like to make your home because it is so blissful, so peaceful; you feel so fulfilled you don’t see the point. Why should you continue? But I say unless you continue, you will never know that there is much more. But if you stop, nobody is going to prevent you. You need a master to go on goading you, to go on destroying every home you make, so finally you decide not to make any home - it is better to be homeless under the sky and continue the journey.
In the life of al-Hillaj Mansoor, a beautiful incident is related. He was a poor man. He collected money from people because he wanted to go to Kaaba, the sacred place of pilgrimage for the Mohammedans. And everybody contributed because he was going to Kaaba, and whoever contributes also gets a share in the virtue that he will get by reaching there. It is according to how much you give. So people gave him money - those who could give more gave more. People even gave beyond their capacity; they borrowed and gave him the money.
The next day he was back. And they said, “So soon?” - because in those days the journey from his place to Kaaba and back used to take three to six months. “What happened? And where is the money?”
He said, “A strange man met me on the way just as I was going out of town. He said, ‘Listen, where are you going?’ I said, ‘I am going to Kaaba.’ He said, ‘There is no need.’ I said, ‘But every scripture says there is a need.’ He said, ‘I am a living master, and I am saying there is no need. Just go around me seven times and put all the money in front of me. I am Junnaid, the great master. Give the money first.’ So I said, ‘If you are Junnaid, then.’”
Junnaid’s name was known all over the country. So al-Hillaj said, “If Junnaid says something he cannot be wrong. I gave the money to Junnaid, went around him seven times, and he told me to go back home.”
Those people said, “You idiot. First, have you inquired whether he is Junnaid or not? It seems some cheat has deceived you. Let us go and find out. If he was really Junnaid, he would be sitting there.”
They reached, and Junnaid was sitting there. Junnaid said, “So you have all come. Put your money here, whatever money you have. Take seven rounds - I am a living Kaaba - and then go home. And whenever you have money you can come again.”
So the poor fellows had to put their money there and take seven rounds, sadly. “This is strange, we never thought that Kaaba would come just outside our village.”
But the news spread. People started coming from other villages. They said, “If Junnaid says so, it must be right. That is a dead stone in Kaaba, and this is a living master.”
Somebody told him, “We have come. We heard that you were here, so we have come for the pilgrimage.”
He said, “Just give the money and do the pilgrimage.”
But the man said, “I have a question: after taking seven rounds around you, is the journey finished? Is the pilgrimage over?”