Here is the reply of Mawlana Rumi from the Masnavi itself to all those who object to Masnavi and say it contains mere fables and stories
Objections of fools to the Masnavi.
A certain goose pops his head out of his coop,
And displays himself as a critic of the Masnavi,
Saying, “This poem, the Masnavi, is childish;
‘Tis but a story of the prophets, and so on.
‘Tis not an account of the arguments and deep mysteries
Whereto holy men direct their attention;
Concerning asceticism, and so on to self-annihilation,
Step by step, up to communion with God;
An explanation and definition of each several state,
Whereto the men of heart ascend in their flight.”
Whereas the Book of God resembles the Masnavi in this,
The infidels abused it, in the same manner,
Saying, ‘It contains old tales and stories;”
There is no deep analysis or lofty investigation therein.
Little boys can understand it;
It only contains commands and prohibitions,
Accounts of Yusuf and his curled locks,
Accounts of Jacob, of Zulaikha and her love,
Accounts of Adam, of the wheat, and of the serpent Iblis,
Accounts of Hud, of Noah, of Abraham, and the fire.”
Know the words of the Koran are simple,
But within the outward sense is an inner secret one.
Beneath that secret meaning is a third,
Whereat the highest wit is dumbfoundered.
The fourth meaning has been seen by none
Save God, the Incomparable and All-sufficient.
Thus they go on, even to seven meanings, one by one,
According to the saying of the Prophet, without doubt.
Do thou, O son, confine not thy view to the outward meaning
Even as the demons saw in Adam only clay