10 SEC READING: Purifying the world

EM PORTUGUES: Purificando o mundo
EN ESPANOL: Purificando el mundo


Illustration by Ken Crane

How do we purify the world?- asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied:

– There was once a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone honored him for his great wisdom, but no one knew whether he was a good man.

“One afternoon, a construction fault caused the house where the sheik lived with his wife, to collapse. The desperate neighbors began to dig the ruins; eventually, they managed to locate the sheik’s wife.

“She said: “Don’t worry about me. First save my husband, who was sitting somewhere over there.”

“The neighbors removed the rubble from the area she indicated, and found the sheik. He said: “Don’t worry about me. First save my wife, who was lying somewhere over there.”

“When someone acts as this couple did, she/he is purifying the whole world.”

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE



  1. Ellen-Ananda Linde says:

    Dearest Paulo!
    We Are All
    One Great
    Heart-Chakra –
    Has Just Forgotten
    This Truth
    For A Short Moment:-) (-:

    Love And Bliss
    Your Devoted
    Ellen-Ananda Linde.

  2. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the story of unselfish love. I find that I make more of an effort in the relationship that im in than what my partner does. I thought relationships would have both people contributing the same amount of energy? I just came across your facebook page as I cannot sleep. The content is great so thank you Paulo. Deb from Australia

  3. D says:

    Dear Paulo i found this video in which the girl is asking the medics to help her brother before her… this happened now… same place Syria, same people… different time…

    the scene is offensive, viewers are advised. http://youtu.be/XKgQit57yQ0

  4. Varsha Welankar says:

    The Hindi version of the blog

    पवित्र दुनिया

    दुनिया को पवित्र कैसे बनाया जाता है? एक शागिर्दने पूछा

    इब्न अल हुस्सैन ने जवाब दिया:

    दमास्कस मे कभी अबू मूसा अल-क़ुमसी नाम का एक शेख रहा करता था. उसकी बुद्धिमानता के तो सब कायल थे मगर वो अच्छा इन्सान है या नही ये तय करना लोगोके लिए मुश्किल था.
    ” शेख जिस घर मे रहता था वो एक दिन दोपहर को किसी कारणवश गिर गया. परेशान पड़ोसियोने जल्दी जल्दी मलबा हटाना शुरू किया और उन्हे जल्द ही शेख की बीवी नज़र आई.”

    जैसे ही वो लोग उसे बाहर निकालने के लिए आगे गये बीवीने कहा, “मेरी चिंता छोड़ो. पहले मेरे पति को बचाओ. वो उस तरफ कही बैठे थे.”
    उसने जिस तरफ इशारा किया लोगोने वहा से मलबा हटाना शुरू किया और उन्हे शेख दिखाई दिए. जैसे ही लोग उनके तरफ बढ़े उन्होने कहा, ” मेरी चिंता मत कीजिए पहले मेरी बीवी को बचाईए. वो वहा कही लेती हुई थी.”

    “जब कोई भी इंसान इन दोनो की तराहा सोचने लगता है तो वो दुनिया को पवित्र करने का काम करते है. “

  5. Varsha says:

    I thank god. I am living with one such purifier…my husband…

  6. LÄ«va says:

    Thank you,Paulo.

  7. Wolfe says:

    No se preocupen por mi, asegurense de que mi suegra quedí² enterrada y si no lo estí  ponganle unas cuantas rocas encima!!

    1. johanna says:


  8. Elena says:

    Great history!!!!love you Paulo!!!

  9. Everyone here has shared so many beautiful, touching stories!!! I enjoyed reading all of them. Thank you so much for sharing:)

    I will share one as well that is somewhat related…a trued story about my niece!

    Daniela had been playing hockey from a very young age, one day, during a game, she was body checked against the boards. The bang was so loud, it send both me and my sister running on the ice, we thought for sure she cracked her head.

    She got up, looked at us and said she she was fine. A few months later, she told my sister that she was having trouble seeing clearly with her right eye. My sister took her to the eye doctor, thinking she probably needed a new prescription for her glasses. Her examination started off great, until she was asked to cover her left eye and read the letters on the board with her right eye…. “I can not see anything!” There had been damaged caused when she hit the board, she did not say anything not to worry her mom…She had lost 80% of her vision, she would need a surgery to stop the damage from getting further, it would be impossible to restore all the damage already caused…My sister lost consciousness, she had to be treated for shock….My niece approached her and said, “Mommy, it is going to be fine, I am not dying, the worst that can happen is that I will be blind. That is ok, I will have all my other senses, there is so much more that I will be able to do, don’t you see that! You can not make yourself sick over me, you have 3 other kids who need you as well, they are younger than me, they need you more, I will be fine.”

    1. Catherine says:

      What a beautiful loving child. Thanks for sharing Daniela’s story.

  10. Suneetra says:

    We all benefit from caring for one another. If we all helds hands and circled the world, we’d be able to heal every little hurt in every heart. Too many people are seeking healing, too little find it.

  11. Nori Yadni says:

    This is the simplest story I’ve read…but a very moving one..

  12. criststar11 says:

    Take care Paulo. I´still on the mountain… everywhere is full of snow here ;)
    Sending you Light, Cris

    Please find here the italian translation: :)
    – Come purificare il mondo? – Chiese un discepolo.

    Ibn al-Husayn, ha dichiaro:

    – “C’è stato uno sceicco a Damasco, di nome Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Tutti l´onoravano a causa della sua sapienza, ma nessuno sapeva se era un uomo buono o no.

    Un pomeriggio, un difetto di costruzione causó il crollo della casa dove lo sceicco viveva con sua moglie. I vicini, in preda alla disperazione, cominciarono a scavare nelle rovine, ad un certo punto riuscirono a localizzare la moglie dello sceicco.

    Lei disse: “Lascia a me. In primo luogo salva il mio marito, che era seduto pií¹ o meno lí¬. ”

    I vicini rimossero le macerie nel posto giusto e trovarono lo sceicco. Lui disse: “Lascia a me. In primo luogo salva mia moglie, che giace lí¬ su. ”

    “Quando le persone agiscono come questa coppia, purificano il mondo”.

  13. In the real world and online world the ones who act this way are the real winners.

  14. Julie El Sayed says:

    Truly beautiful, a very rare thing selflessness X

  15. abi says:

    simply awsome

  16. claudete says:

    quando preocupamos com o próximo,preocupamos com o mundo,porque coisas poderosas acontecem,porque DEUS é supremo.

  17. Barbara Labarthe Medrano says:

    Puryfing is teaching the world “love”. Love is one of the strongest emotions which exists and is so easy to give but I find that the world is filled with selfishness instead of giving. A smile, a hello, is all it takes to make a difference in this world and yet people can’t seem to find in themselves to do such simple acts of love towards each other. So next time when you are walking down the street just smile and say hello, it cost absolutly nothing and can give so much to person in need. Make your smile change the world do not let the world change you smile!

  18. Cindia Thelma says:

    Es hermoso, es el amor incondicional, es muy ideologico. Creo en los milagros, nunca lo e visto y experimentado todavia, pero sera algun dia!

  19. coolguy1609 says:

    Before you purify the world, purify yourself! First wake yourSelf up, then start to wake others up!


  20. amit says:

    hey a very good text…..

  21. Mila says:

    world can be cleansed, when the newly born.

  22. Hi, nice 10 seconds text. I like it a lot.

  23. hope says:

    yes indeed…hope n pray that i can say those lines from the core of my heart.

  24. Ligia Cardenas says:

    La reaccion de dicha pareja es unicamente “AMOR” ….. sin amor , nada se logra y todo es negativo….. y , en muchas ocaciones una catastrofe logra reaccionar a las peronas el amor que esta muy escondido!!!!

  25. ernesto says:

    muchos creen que el mundo se purifica atraves de no contaminarlo con quimicos y sin destruir la naturaleza y toda su bellesa , pero mas aun salvariamos al mundo con simples actitudes como el matrimo~o de esta historia , pensando primero en el otro y luego en nosotros mismos .
    vivimos en un mundo donde la individualidad prima por sobre todas las cosas y debemos aprender a mirar acia nuestro costado y entender que podemos salvar este mundo entregando mas amor y respeto por los demas y por nosotros mismos

  26. nikita says:

    “stories sre very greate….
    love is always pure n love is only the source of reality…”

  27. “Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
    – A.A. Milne

    10 seconds can make a huge difference. Thankyou, best wishes for the day.
    Jane xo

    1. beahayat says:

      so you also (would) love ..the little prince by antoine de saint exupery….love and peace beahayat

  28. Marivic Vergel-Roldan says:

    Indeed, acts like these are “purifiers” in a world where selfishness and self-centeredness have become a norm… a way of life.

  29. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    German Translation/Deutsche íœbersetzung

    Die Reinigung der Welt

    Wie reinigen wir die Welt? – fragte ein Schüler.
    Ibn al-Husain sagte:
    – Es war einmal ein Scheich in Damaskus genannt Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Jeder ehrte ihn für seine große Weisheit, aber niemand wusste, ob er ein guter Mann war.
    Eines Nachmittags, verursachte einen Konstruktionsfehler des Hauses, in welchem der Scheich mit seiner Frau lebte, den Einsturz des Hauses. Die verzweifelten Nachbarn begannen in den Ruinen zu graben; schließlich gelang es ihnen, die Frau des Scheichs der Frau zu finden.
    Sie sagte:” Mach euch keine Sorgen um mich. Rettet zuerst meinen Mann, der irgendwo da drüben gesessen ist. ”
    Die Nachbarn entfernten die Trümmer aus dem Bereich den sie gezeigt hatte, und fanden den Scheich. Er sagte: “Mach euch keine Sorgen um mich. Rettet zuerst meine Frau, die irgendwo dort drüben gelegen ist ”

    Wenn jemand handelt wie es dieses Paar getan hat, hat sie / er die ganze Welt gereinigt.

  30. Marjan says:

    Thank you dear Paulo <3

  31. Marie-christine Grimard says:

    Si ton amour est en danger, et disparaí®t, comment vouloir survivre.
    Le Monde sans lui paraí®t si vide …

  32. Liz says:

    yepp – absolute purification …

    and whoever acts like this knows, this (wichever) life is just a journey

  33. Ryan Tremayne says:

    Paolo, I can’t say in words how much I appreciate your readings. You really have something special and I am amazed. God Bless you!!


  34. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    The story is beautiful. And I love it. But one thought I would want to comment. Of course I know how it is meant, it is not wrong to think of others first. But I would not generalize. If on an airplane oxygen masks fall, then take yours first, then take care of the rest. I think a lot depends on the situation.

    I wish you all a wonderful day

  35. Sreedevi says:

    Another beautiful story..
    Two deers were roaming the forest very thirstily… Finally after lot of search, male deer found little later in a pool and happily called the female drink asking her to drink first.. She seeing that there was so little water in the pool told “No you drink” first. Finally, they both agreed both they will drink together. But after a while also, the water in the pool remained same without reducing a bit..
    That is because, both the deers were acting as if they are drinking thinking “Let the other deer drink”….

    1. Annie says:

      what a wonderful story!!! thank you for sharing!

      love and gratitude

    2. sarfaraz says:


    3. Pamela Gordon says:

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful story Sree Devi!

  36. coolguy1609 says:

    When each of us realises that we are all one, the world would be purified… The darkness that makes us look separate shall be removed with the light of love!


  37. Arto Hutto says:

    In Swedish:
    10 SEKUNDERS Lí„SNING: Att rena världen

    Hur renar vi världen -? Frågade en lärjunge.
    Ibn al-Husayn svarade:
    – Det var en gång en shejk i Damaskus som kallas Abu Musaal-Qumasi. Alla hedrade honom för hans stora visdom, men ingen visste om han egentligen var en god människa.
    “En eftermiddag, orsakade ett konstruktionsfel i huset där shejken bodde med sin fru, att det kollapsade. De desperata grannarna började gräva i ruinerna och till slut lyckades de hitta schejkens fru.
    “Hon sa:” Oroa er inte för mig. Rädda först min man, som satt där borta någonstans. ”
    “Grannarna rensade bort spillrorna från område hon visat och hittade schejken. Han sa: “Oroa er inte för mig. Rädda först min fru, som låg någonstans där borta. ”
    “När någon agerar som detta par gjorde, renar hon/ han hela världen.”

    Paulo Coelho på svenska: http://www.facebook.com/PauloCoelhoSverige
    í–versättning: O La Vie

  38. Juvy Junasa says:

    pure and true love. when your love is pure and true you care about not just yourself but with others. How it cleanses the world? By having a pure heart, pure love comes from a pure heart.

  39. Dobri says:

    This is similar to the following story:
    Husband and wife were very poor and had no money to donate gifts for wedding anniversary. Without knowing her husband, she sold her long thick hair and bought a bracelet for her “‹”‹husband’s favorite watch. The husband, in turn, sold his watch to buy a comb for his beloved wife.
    Really touching story, which helps me to appreciate the small gestures in my family life :)

    1. john ray says:

      How nice……………..!!!!! heart touching story………how i wish i can have someone special that’s true forever until the end

  40. dr. shivanjali sandhir says:

    heart touching… i wish we all had this kind of great love once in our life… :)

  41. Happy Woman says:

    Yes Love pure Love

  42. Ken Crane says:

    translation in Japanese:


    「私たちはどうすれば世界を浄化する事ができるのでしょうか?」 弟子は尋ねた。


    – ダマスカスにアブ・ムーサ・アルクマシという名の族長が居た。





  43. zeinab says:

    Unfortunately, those are rare in the world especially in our time!!!

  44. kim alfred says:

    the love that manifest in each of this couple radiates to cleanse the word.
    i think love brings out my worst and good side but i wonder how does it cleanses me or the world….

  45. Krishna Chandrika says:

    I am just amazed by these ’10 second reads’. Its just the name, but really they relate to whole life, and yes they are wonderful!

  46. Mathilde says:

    unconditional Love, just Love..

  47. gigi says:

    si es refrescante leer esta historia ,especialmente en estos ultimos tiempos en donde el individualismo y los egos agrandados imperan, casi nadia pode en primer lugar a su vecino, solo el yo, solo yo soy importante,

  48. Rosa says:

    Impresionante lección de humanidad, me encantó.

  49. Muhammad Gillani says:

    There’s a true story just like that in Islamic history. I do not know the exact date but there was a war going on and one warrior got injured and cried for water. There was a man in the battle field with a “Sabeel” (a leather bag full of water)he approached to him; before he gave him water a cry “water” came from nearby. The warrior refused to drink and asked the man to give water first to the other wounded warrior.

    The man went to other wounded warrior and offered him water. Suddenly a cry “water” came from nearby and the second warrior rejected to drink and requested to give it to the third one first.

    Same happened again and the third asked for the fourth one.

    When the water man reached the fourth person he was dead. He came back to the third; he was dead. He came back to the second; he was dead and in the last the first one was dead too.