Once upon a time one of the students who served in a dervish lodge told his master, Imam Feriduddin Attar:
“Sir, I endeavour to serve your highness as much as I can and try to attain your love. However, some of our brothers in the lodge have different characteristics. Their behaviours and words disturb me a lot. A lot of our brothers are also disturbed similarly. For this reason we are thinking of leaving the lodge.”
Having listened to his student, the master said:
“Son, listen to me carefully. It was a cold morning in winter. It was freezing everywhere. Animals were huddling up in order not to die from cold. A group of hedgehogs did the same and huddled up. But a little later their quills pricked each other and thus they moved away from each other. They got cold in a moment and closed up again. When they were disturbed by the quills, they moved away again. They went between dying of cold and the pain of the quills. Finally, they realized that they can withstand the pain of each others’ quills and they cuddled tightly, thus being saved from freezing. Otherwise, they would all freeze to death.
“See son, if you withstand the quills of each other in this lodge, you will feel pain. In fact, this pain will help you train your lower self. However, if you say that you cannot withstand the quills of your friends and leave this place, you freeze outside and perish. Make your decision accordingly.”
Having listened to this answer, that student repented along with his friends and continued to serve in the lodge.