WHICH is thanks and praise to the bounteous Lord for all His bounties. And since the gift of royal power is the greatest of all gifts, every sovereign ought to be con­stant in gratitude and thanksgiving for such a gift. And thanksgiving may be either in the heart, or on the tongue, or by the members and limbs of the body. Now thanks­giving in the heart consists in acknowledging the true Giver of all good things, and in feeling that every blessing which reaches us, comes from His endless bounty and His boundless love. Thanksgiving on the tongue is made by constantly remembering God in expressions of grati­tude; and in frequently uttering the sentence, “Praise be to God:” for the repetition of these words is the fulfil­ment of gratitude for blessings. And thanksgiving by the limbs is shewn by using the faculty of each particular blessing in the service of Him who gave it; and by employing each member of the body in that kind of service which is peculiar to such member. For example: The service of the eye is to behold with reverence the works of creation; to look up with emulation to the wise and the virtuous; and to regard the helpless and oppressed with compassion. The service of the ear is to listen to the word of God and the traditions of the prophetic Personage (Blessings and peace be upon him), and the Histories of the great men of our religion, and the advice and instructions of reverend men and such as possess a knowledge of the truth. The service of the hand is bounty to the poor and needy. And the service of the foot is going to mosques and places of prayer, and the shrines of saints; and seeking out those who are sincere in their profession of poverty; and going to visit those who, having no wordly desires, have retired to the desert. And so of all the rest. And since, according to the text,—“Because ye have given me thanks, I will surely give you increase:”—thanksgiving produces further blessings; the Almighty will add to the domin­ions and wealth, and to the rank and glory of the king.

Thanksgiving leads to the city of happiness;
Whoever gives thanks shall obtain more.

It is related that Sultan Sanjár was passing along, when one who was dressed in a patched garment, standing in the way, saluted him: the Sultan, who was repeating something, just gave a nod of the head, but did not say any thing in reply. The Dervise said to him: “To salute another is a ceremony which we have from the Prophet; but to return an answer to such greet­ing is a positive duty ordained of God: I performed the ceremony; why hast thou neglected the positive duty?” The Sultan, out of a principle of justice, and from the strictness of his faith, pulled the bridle, and, beginning to apologise, said: “I was busy, O Dervise! in giving thanks, and so neglected to answer thy salutation.” The Dervise asked to whom he was giving thanks: and he answered, “To God the Supreme Dispenser of good: for every blessing is a gift from Him, and every benefit is of his sending.

From the moon to the fish; from heaven to earth;
Each atom is overwhelmed in His bounties.”

The Dervise asked him how he was giving thanks: he said, “By the words, ‘Praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds.’ For thanks for every kind of blessing are comprehended in this expression.” The Dervise said, “Thou dost not know, O Prince! the way of thanksgiving; nor dost thou fulfil the duty of gratitude, Thy thanks should be according to the extent of Divine bounty; and should keep pace with the gifts of the Eternal. Now the lot of prosperity is fallen upon thee; and days of pomp surround thee. Thanksgiving then does not consist in letting the melodious nightingale of the tongue warble for a moment on the rose-bush of Praise to God;—and no more. The thanksgiving of Princes, to find acceptance in the presence of the King of Kings, or to reach the height of: “He who is grateful is deserving of further blessings,” should be such, that thou shouldest set forth some suitable form of thanksgiving for all that thou mayest possess.” The Prince besought the holy man to instruct him on this point: and the Dervise replied, “Grati­tude for Sovereignty, consists in justice towards all creatures, and beneficence to the whole of mankind: for width of dominion, and great extent of sway, it should be shown in not coveting the possessions of the people; and for the free exercise of power, there should be regard shewn for the rights of those who are under that authority. For high good fortune and great prosperity, let gratitude be shewn in pity towards those who are fallen into the lowest misery and distress: and for an abundant treasury, let oblations and benefactions be appointed for those who deserve them: power and strength call for kindness towards the weak and helpless: while thanks for sound health are exercised, on a principle of justice, in providing amply for the cure of the sick and injured. To thank God for a numerous army is to keep such a scourge far from the faithful: and for lofty palaces and heavenly gardens, save the home and the resting-place of the peasant from the approach of thy servants and guards. In short, the sum of gratitude is this: that, whether in anger or in pleasure, thou never depart from justice, nor ever prefer thine own indulgence to the comforts of thy people.

No one will repose within thy territories,
If thou seek thine own ease and nothing more.”

The Prince felt the force of the words of the Dervise, and intended to alight and do him reverence; but when he looked about, the Dervise was nowhere to be seen, nor could any man give any information about him. So he commanded that these words should be written down, and made them his rule of conduct:

The advice of the wise gives brightness to the mirror of the mind;
The object of desire in both worlds may be acquired by such advice.