This is a beautiful story from none other than the greatest travel writers of our times - William Dalrymple. From his best selling book titled “Nine Lives,” I bring you this Sufi story from the Chapter titled ‘The Red Fairy.’ Ready?
This story is narrated by a Sufi follower about Lal Shahbaz Qalander. One day, Lal Shahbaz Qalander was wandering in the desert with his friend Sheikh Baha ud- Din Zakariya. It was winter and evening time, so they began to build a fire to keep warm. They found some wood but they realized they had no fire. So Baha ud- Din suggested that Lal Shahbaz turn himself into a falcon and get fire from hell.
Off he flew, but an hour later, he came back empty handed. “There is no fire in hell,” he reported. “Every one who goes there brings their own fire and their own pain from this world.”
In life and in death, it is we who create our own fire and our own pain. The choice has and is always ours to make.
Now you decide. Go ahead. Choose how hot and painful you want your Hell to be.