Travelers bring sugar-candy from Egypt as a present to their friends. Although I have no candy, yet have I words that are sweeter.
A sagacious youth of noble family landed at a seaport of Turkey, and, as he displayed piety add wisdom, his baggage was deposited in a mosque.
One day the priest said to him, “Sweep away the dust and rubbish from the mosque.”
Immediately, the young man went away and no one saw him there again. Thus, did the elder and his followers suppose he did not care to serve.
The next day, a servant of the mosque met him on the road and said, “Thou didst act wrongly in thy perverse judgment. Knowest thou not, O conceited youth, that men are dignified by service?”
Sorrow fully, the youth began to weep. “O soul-cherishing and heart-illuminating friend!” He answered, “I saw no dirt or rubbish in that holy place but mine own corrupt self. Therefore, I retraced my steps, for a mosque is better cleansed from such.”
Written in thirteenth century, the book is full of similar fables and words of wisdom written in verse. I had no intention of taking away fifth star despite the fact that Saadi is often boosting of his virtues, but towards the end – Saadi ridicules idol worshipers. I could tolerate even that, had Saadi not gone out of his way to do it. I love criticism of religions but only as long as it is not done to promote one at cost of other. Except those couple of pages, it is an awesome book.