It is the guide, and the lovers the travellers; it is a rope, and the heedless sit in the pit. Thy soul has its home at the pit's bottom; the Qur'ân's light is a rope let down to it; rise and seize the rope, so thou mayest haply find salvation; else thou art lost in the pit's depth,--flood and storm will destroy thee. Like Yûsuf thou art brought by Satan into the pit; be thy wisdom the glad tidings, thy rope the Qur'ân; if thou desirest to be as Yûsuf, and to enjoy high place, take hold of it and come forth from the well.
The wise use the rope to obtain the water of life, but thou makest ready thy rope to dance on it for daily bread. No one learns two letters of the Qur'ân in a thousand centuries with such an eye as thine; the understanding's arm turns about as does a wheel; body and soul are captives of thy passions. If thou desirest throne and crown and honour, why sittest thou for ever at the well's bottom? Thy Yûsuf is helpless in the well, thy heart reciting the sûra 'safah'; (Qur. 2:12) make of sorrow a rope, of thy sighs a bucket, and draw up thy Yûsuf from the well.