It happened once upon a time that a certain man, a heartfelt believer in Truth and devoted to the path of the spirit, discovered that he was late for his prayers. He had heard the call from the minaret, but he was delayed by some domestic duty, perhaps attending to the needs of a small child. Such things happen!
When he started on his way to the place of prayer, therefore, he found the street deserted. Realising how late he must be, his step faltered, but then he saw a figure at the corner of the street, waving to him and urging him to hurry. “Run, you might be in time!”
But when the man drew near, he saw to his surprise that the figure urging him on was the Devil himself. Then he stopped, and said, “Now, this is a strange situation. How is it that you, the sworn enemy of the Almighty, are telling me to run to my prayers?”
“I always act in my own interests,” said the Devil, with a bitter smile. “On the days when you miss your prayers, the stink of your longing in my nostrils makes it impossible to come near you.”