I greeted her with Salaam. She replied accordingly and then said, “Are you Zun-Noon?” I replied, “How did you recognise me?” She replied, “Through Allah’s recognition”. She then asked, “What is generosity?” I replied to her, “To give”. She added, “That is in regards to worldly things. What is it in regards to Deen?” I replied, “To hasten to the obedience of the creator.” She pursued, “When you hasten to the creator do you seek a reward?” I replied, “For every single deed, a reward multiplied by ten”. “This is considered bad in love”, she remarked. “Hasten to God in such a manner that when he looks into your heart he sees that you want nothing from him in return. Oh Zun Noon I have been waiting for 20 years but I am ashamed to ask fearing that I become like a bad labourer, one who wants his wage as soon as he has done his work. I work only to seek his honour and glory”.
Sufyaan Thawri relates Shaibaan and I left for hajj. On the way a lion came before us, I said to Shaibaan, “Do you not see this lion that has come before us” Shaibaan responded, “Do not fear oh Sufyaan”. As soon as the lion heard what Shaibaan said it came wagging its tale like a dog and Shaibaan began to rub its ear. I said, “What is this glory?” He replied “This is not a glory Oh Thawri, if I did not fear fame I would have carried my provisions on his back to Makkah.”
A pious saint relates, Once I was very angry with my nafs. I said to it that I am going to throw it in some place of destruction. I used to live near a jungle in which was a den of lions and I went and lay in the midst of two cubs, hoping to be devoured by their parents. After a short while their father came carrying a piece of meat in his mouth. When he saw me he threw the meat and it sat a distance from me. Then their mother came, carrying a piece of meat. She too threw the meat, roared and came to attack me, but the lion stopped her with his head. She sat down with the father and both of them did not move. After a while the lion walked towards me and one by one carried the cubs to their mother.