Ghazal: Dust to dust, love to Love

Dust to dust, love to Love


With cries opened my soft hands, jelled our hearts

The cord of life cut, and yet still, jelled our hearts.


Secure in sculpted life, nurtured gleaming smile

Each step held, even there to spelled our hearts.


Stars born to fill the night, music born to fill stars

Through crackbook and David Guetta yelled our hearts.


Cosmic winds conjoined two souls together

Ever since, in mesmerising dreams dwelled our hearts.


True blessing, new candle sparked into life

Twisting and playing in my womb, jelled our hearts.


For what? Reflecting inner self; meaning devoid

Fun, success, love, children, yet repelled our hearts.


Heart anguished like bloodied Karbala plains

Furniture washed, Ocean tasted; swelled our hearts.


Still, serene, with awe Sumi journeys further

Beyond all mind and values; weld our hearts.



The ghazal recounts life’s journey, from birth to death, through the prism of experiencing of different facets of love. The inspiration of the poem came from the Conference of Birds. Just as Attar describes how the birds cross the seven valleys to find Truth – from Talab to Fuqur and Fana – this ghazal describes the women’s path as a journey through seven steps of life.


The ghazal starts at birth with the love that the mother shows towards her baby girl. Even when the umbilical cord is cut, the heart connection between mother and newborn remains. The mother raises the child with love, providing a secure environment in which the child can grow and enjoy life with many smiles and laughter. The mother is there at each step of the child’s development, including helping with homework.


In the third couplet, the girl is no longer a child and experiences the love of friendship, clubbing and yelling at concerts. Wine imagery is often used in ghazals to describe forbidden activities as well as mystical wisdom along the path to ultimate intoxication (C Petievich). However, wine (in moderation) is not considered taboo in Western culture so my use of crackbook both symbolises the quasi-addiction that youths have towards Facebook to connect with friends, and alludes to crack-cocaine – considered by most to be very haram! In this couplet, I have attempted a Persian metaphor where the three different ideas of stars, music and a banned substance are combined to show the ecstasy and rapture derived a hedonistic lifestyle.


The woman grows out of her party days and encounters the love that is shared between soul mates. This love, in turn, leads to her experiencing another form of love: The love she has a mother for her own child and acknowledges that the child is a blessing from beyond.


The poem takes a somber turn in the sixth couplet as the women experiences a mid-life crisis. All the pleasures provided by good food, her house, health, loving partner and friends, riches, success etc, which pre-occupied her existence before, now seem hollow. She feels disconnected to herself, her loved ones and to God. In literature it is often after facing the lack of love that the expression of love is the greatest.


This state of depression is difficult and strenuous, leading to all her inner furniture being washed out. This is a literary reference to Rumi’s famous poem ‘The Guest House’ where he implores his readers to welcome all emotions that come their way from momentary joy to despair. All feelings should be welcomed because “even if they are a crowd of sorrows that violently sweep your house empty of its furniture… (they) may be clearing you out for some new delight.” Here, the woman’s mid-life crisis has left here heart feeling as desolate as Karbala but it ultimately readies her heart to truly seek God.


Her heart swells and overflows with Mahabba, the love that thirst to meet the Beloved. And as the time comes for the lady’s soul to depart this world, she is at peace having found Tawheed (Unity of Allah). In keeping with tradition, I sign the ghazal with the pen name Sumi, which is an amalgamation of Suniti and Rumi – my favorite Persian poet.


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