Fools laud and magnify the mosque,
While they strive to oppress holy men of heart.
But the former is mere form, the latter spirit and truth.
The only true mosque is that in the hearts of saints.
The mosque that is built in the hearts of the saints
Is the place of worship of all, for God dwells there.
So long as the hearts of the saints are not afflicted,
God never destroys the nation.
Our forefathers lifted their hands against the prophets;
Seeing their bodies, they took them for ordinary men.
In you also abide the morals of those men of old;
How can you avoid fearing that you will act like them?
The morals of those unthankful ones dwell in you,
Your urn will not always return unbroken from the well.
Seeing that all these bad symptoms are seen in you,
And that you are one with those men, how can you escape?
Extract from: The Masnavi, Book II Story XIII
by Mawlana Jalal-ud-din Rumi, translation by E.H. Whinfield