The Gulistan of Sa’di

Author: Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi  | Date: 1258

Story 3

I heard that a dervish, burning in the fire of poverty and sewing patch upon patch, said to comfort his mind:

’We are contented with dry bread and a patched robe

For it is easier to bear the load of one’s own trouble

than that of thanks to others.’

Someone said to him: ’Why sittest thou? A certain man in this town possesses a benevolent nature, is liberal to all, has girded his loins to serve the pious and is ready to comfort every heart. If he becomes aware of thy case, he will consider it an obligation to comfort the mind of a worthy person.’ He replied: ’Hush! It is better to die of inanition than to plead for one’s necessities before any man.’

It is better to patch clothes and sit in the corner of patience

Than to write petitions for robes to gentlemen.

Verily it is equal to the punishment of hell

To go to paradise as a flunkey to one’s neighbour.


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Chicago: Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi, "Story 3," The Gulistan of Sa’di Original Sources, accessed July 17, 2024,

MLA: Shirazi, Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di. "Story 3." The Gulistan of Sa’di, Original Sources. 17 Jul. 2024.

Harvard: Shirazi, SM, 'Story 3' in The Gulistan of Sa’di. Original Sources, retrieved 17 July 2024, from