“Trust in Allah but tether your camel first” A Sufi saying

I am reading the ‘Wisdom of the Sands’, by Osho, a book given me by my dear friend a while ago.

I started reading it some time ago, but then got distracted with other things and picked it up now, a few years later after it was first given to me. Some parts of it I find very interesting and they ring true.

On part that I like in the book discusses the Sufi saying above and talks about three types of people in this world.

1)      ‘One thinks he has to do something; he himself is the doer. He does not trust the whole…he simply lives on his small energy, and naturally is defeated again and again and proves a failure. If you live on your very small energy against this vast energy that surrounds you, you are going to be a loser.

2)      The second type of person, is on who thinks, “When existence is doing everything, I need not do anything. I’m not supposed to do anything.” He simply sits and waits. His life becomes more and more lazy, and there comes a point when he no longer lives, he simply vegetates.

These two types of people represent the East and West. The West represents the doer, the active type, and the East represents the non-doer, the passive type.

The West is driving itself crazy. The problem of Western humanity is too much action, no trust, too much dependence upon oneself, as if “I have to do everything” as if “I am alone” as if “Existence does not care a bit about me” Naturally it creates anxiety, and the anxiety is too much, unbearable. It creates all kinds of neuroses, psychoses; it keeps people always on the verge, tense, nervous….The West has succeeded in getting rid of the idea of trusting existence, has succeeded in dropping all kinds of trust and surrender. ..knows nothing of let-go …and that’s why in the West people are finding it more and more difficult even to fall asleep, because sleep needs a certain kind of trust.

…The East has succeeded in relaxing too much, …it has become very lazy. People go on dying, starving..they are not worried about it, they trust existence…neither do they do anything…”It must be the will of Allah.!”

3)      The Sufi saying wants to create a third type of man, the real man…This is the meaning of tether the camel: do whatever is possible for you do, don’t shirk your responsibility, and then if nothing happens or something goes wrong, trust existence. Then it knows best. Then maybe it is right for us to travel without the camel. The third type of man is difficult – to trust existence and yet remain a doer. But now you are only instrumental; existence is the real doer you are just instruments in its hands…The religious person is one who goes on doing whatever is humanly possible but creates no tension because of it. The total of the energies will decide the outcome…I have to do, and yet I have to learn not to expect. The doing is a kind of prayerfulness, with no desire that the result should be such. Then there is no frustration. Trust will help you to remain un-frustrated, and tethering the camel will help you to remain intensely alive. The camel is not a fixed entity…It will depend on the context.’



About Maia

My name is Maia, I live in London, UK, and I originally come from the Czech Republic. Maia's World is my blog where I write about life in general, personal development, and about ideas, beliefs and discoveries on how to live a fuller life.
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6 Responses to “Trust in Allah but tether your camel first” A Sufi saying

  1. Raul says:

    Great food for thought Maia! An insightful distinction about East and West. You are correct, we reach our true potentials when we find a way to harmonize these two extremes. What is material success without inner peace? What is inner peace if you refuse to interact in the world? Remembering that success or failure, the fruits of our actions, are not owned by us but is own by something greater than us, helps bring mental balance and a right perspective on life.

  2. Maia says:

    Thanks for the comment Raul. I’m glad you like the post! Maia

  3. chopanmassih@hotmail.com says:

    Thanks Maia for you writing! I can see exactly see myself in the text! I have been hard working on the 3rd person! Sweet…

  4. writerviews says:

    Hi Maia,

    I found you via Raptitude.

    I think your writing (and the inspiration for posts like this one) is pretty cool.

    But it seems like your blog hasn’t got much traction yet.

    This interview on branding might help:



    • Maia says:

      Hi Michael, I’m glad you like the blog. You are right it definitely needs more traction. Thanks of the tip, I’ll check out your interview.

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