The Gulistan of Sa’di

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

Story 17

I noticed an Arab of the desert sitting in a company jewellers at Bosrah and narrating stories to them. He said: ’I had once lost my road in the desert and consumed all my provisions. I considered that I must perish when I suddenly caught sight of a bag full of pearls and I shall never forget the joy and ecstasy I felt on thinking they might be parched grain nor the bitterness and despair when I discovered them to be pearls.’

In a dry desert and among moving sand

It is the same to a thirsty man whether he has pearls or shells in

his mouth.

When a man has no provisions and his strength is exhausted

It matters not whether his girdle is adorned with pearls or



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Chicago: Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi, "Story 17," The Gulistan of Sa’di Original Sources, accessed September 28, 2023,

MLA: Shirazi, Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di. "Story 17." The Gulistan of Sa’di, Original Sources. 28 Sep. 2023.

Harvard: Shirazi, SM, 'Story 17' in The Gulistan of Sa’di. Original Sources, retrieved 28 September 2023, from