Rumi and Hakuin: Water and Ice


All beings by nature are Buddha,
As ice by nature is water.
Apart from water there is no ice;
Apart from beings, no Buddha.
How sad that people ignore the near
And search for truth afar:
Like someone in the midst of water
Crying out in thirst,
Like a child of a wealthy home
Wandering among the poor.
Lost on dark paths of ignorance,
We wander through the Six Worlds,
From dark path to dark path–
When shall we be freed from birth and death?
Oh, the zazen of the Mahayana!
To this the highest praise!
Devotion, repentance, training,
The many paramitas–
All have their source in zazen.
Those who try zazen even once
Wipe away beginning-less crimes.
Where are all the dark paths then?
The Pure Land itself is near.
Those who hear this truth even once
And listen with a grateful heart,
Treasuring it, revering it,
Gain blessings without end.
Much more, those who turn about
And bear witness to self-nature,
Self-nature that is no-nature,
Go far beyond mere doctrine.
Here effect and cause are the same,
The Way is neither two nor three.
With form that is no-form,
Going and coming, we are never astray,
With thought that is no-thought,
Singing and dancing are the voice of the Law.
Boundless and free is the sky of Samádhi!
Bright the full moon of wisdom!
Truly, is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes,
This very place is the Lotus Land,
This very body, the Buddha.

-Zen Master Hakuin



Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, you come to see me.
Is someone here? I ask.
The moon. The full moon is inside your house.

My friends and I go running out into the street.
I’m in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren’t listening.
We’re looking up at the sky.
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden.
Ringdoves scatter with small cries, Where, Where.
It’s midnight. The whole neighbourhood is up and out
in the street thinking, The cat burglar has come back.
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud,
Yes, the cat burglar is somewhere in this crowd.
No one pays attention.

Lo, I am with you always means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you
There’s no need to go outside.

Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.

A white flower grows in quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.

If you want to learn theory,
talk with theoreticians. That way is oral.
When you learn a craft, practice it.
That learning comes through the hands.
If you want dervishhood, spiritual poverty
and emptiness, you must be friends with a teacher.
Talking about it, reading books,
and doing practices don’t help.
Soul receives from soul that knowing.
The mystery of absence
may be living in your pilgrim heart,
and yet the knowing of it may not yet be yours.
Wait for the illuminated openness,
as though your chest were filling with light,
as when God said, Did we not expand you?
Don’t look for it outside yourself.
You are the source of milk. Don’t milk others!
There is a fountain inside you.
Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.
You have a channel into the ocean,
yet you ask for water from a little pool.
Beg for the love expansion.
Meditate only on That.
The Qur’an says, And He is with you.
There is a basket of fresh bread on your head,
yet you go door to door asking for crusts.
Knock on the inner door, no other.
Sloshing knee-deep in fresh river-water,
yet you keep asking for other people’s water-bags.
Water is everywhere around you, but you see
only barriers that keep you from water.
The horse is beneath the rider’s thighs,
and still you ask, “Where’s my horse?”
Under you! Can’t you see?
“Yes I can see, but whoever saw such a horse?”
Mad with thirst, you can’t drink from the stream
running close by your face.
You are like a pearl on the deep bottom
wondering inside the shell,
Where’s the ocean?
Those mental questionings form the barrier.
Stay bewildered inside God, and only that.
Mathnawī Book V 1063-1084

1940 This arrogance is a product of the skin; hence power and riches are friends to that pride. What is this arrogance?

being oblivious to the essential principle and frozen (insensible)— like the oblivion of ice to the sun.

When it (the ice) becomes conscious of the sun, the ice does not endure: it becomes soft and warm and moves on rapidly.

From seeing the kernel  the whole body becomes desire: it becomes miserable and passionately in love, for “Wretched is he who desires.” When it does not see the kernel, it is content with the skin:  the bondage of “Glorious is he who is content” is its prison.

1945. Here glory is infidelity, and wretchedness is (true) religion: until the stone became naughted, when did it become the gem set in a ring? (To remain) in the state of stoniness and then (to say) “I” (is absurd): ’tis time for thee to become lowly and naughted.
3430. If the ear had heard, how should the ear have remained (in action) or how should it have apprehended words any more?
If the snow and ice were to behold the sun, they would despair of (retaining their) iciness; They would become water (formless and) devoid of roots and knobs:
the air, David-like, would make of the water a mail-coat (of ripples),
And then it (the water) would become a life-giving medicine for every tree: every tree (would be made) fortunate by its advent.
(But) the frozen ice that remains (locked) within itself cries to the trees, Touch me not!
Mathnawi Book V

1110. In this sweet ocean our forms are moving fast, like cups on the surface of water: Until they become full, (they float) like bowls on the top of the sea,

(but) when the bowl is filled it sinks therein. Reason is hidden, and (only) a world (of phenomena) is visible: our forms are the waves or a spray of it (of that hidden ocean).

Whatsoever (thing) the form makes (uses as) a means of approach to It (to Reason), by that (same) means the ocean (of Reason) casts it (the form) far away.

So long as the heart does not see the Giver of (its) conscience, so long as the arrow does not see the far-shooting Archer,

1115. He (who is thus blind) thinks his horse is lost, though (all the while) he is obstinately speeding his horse on the road.

That fine fellow thinks his horse is lost, while his horse is sweeping him onward like the wind. In lamentation and inquiry that scatterbrain (runs) from door to door in every direction, asking and searching:

“Where and who is he that stole my horse?” What is this (animal) under thy thigh, O master? “Yes, this is the horse, but where is the horse?”

O dexterous rider in search of thy horse, come to thyself!

1120. The Spirit is lost (to view) because of its being so manifest and near:

how, having thy belly full of water, art thou drylipped like a jar?

How wilt thou see red and green and russet, unless before (seeing) these three (colours) thou see the light?

But since thy mind was lost (absorbed) in (perception of) the colour, those colours became to thee a veil for the light.

Inasmuch as at night those colours were hidden, thou sawest that thy vision of the colour was (derived) from the light.

There is no vision of colour without the external light: even so it is with the colour of inward phantasy.

Mathnawī Book I 1110-1125

Lovers share a sacred decree:
to seek God, the Beloved.
They roll head over heels,
rushing toward the Beautiful One
like a torrent of water.
In truth, everyone is a shadow of God –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.
At times we flow toward God
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

God breathes into my ear
until my soul takes on His fragrance.
God is the Soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

God will melt your pride
making you thin as a strand of hair,
Yet do not trade, even for both worlds,
One strand of His hair.

We search for God here and there
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side we ask,
“O Beloved, where is the Beloved?”

Enough with such questions! –
Let silence take you to the core of life.
All your talk is worthless
When compared to one whisper
of the Beloved.


You are my soul, my universe:
what do I have to do with
For me you are ever-flowing treasure:
the soul and the universe?
One minute, I am the friend of the wine,
what do I have to do with profit and loss?
I have come to this age of ruins,
another the friend of him who burns me.
so what do I have to do
I am sprung free of the whole world,
with time’s melodrama?
I am terrified by the whole world,
I am drunk on union with you,
I am neither “hidden” no “apparent.”
What do I have to do with existence or space?
what do I care about fate’s bow and its arrows?
I need and want and care about no one else.
Since I am your prey,
I live at the bottom of the stream,
why go on staggering under
why would I go looking for water?
What could or would I say about this stream
that flows and flows?
I have given up existence,
why put up with the pretensions of the shepherd?
The burden of this mountain?
Since the wolf is my shepherd,
What abandon! What drunkenness!
You hold the cup in you hand
and glorious to the eye of the heart.

Blessed is the place you are,
Each atom, by your grace,
No one who has ever had a sign from you
is a universe, each drop of water a soul.
need worry again about “name” or “sign.”
You have to dive, dive head first:

To find the place of splendor,
at the bottom of the Sea of truths
what do I have to do with feet that scurry?
What will I give to the toll-man?
With the sword of the One God
you have hacked a Path for us:
You have stolen all my clothes:
From your beauty ablaze like the sun,
contemplate love, contemplate friendship:
from the curls of your hair,
My heart has become ecstatic:
O my soul, hand me this brimming cup,
Do not weigh pain and misery,
And ask from joy all happiness, all security, all peace.

Do not mull over tyranny and neglect:
think of all those who have their eyes fixed on you.
Surname all grief ‘grace’:
transmute pain and anguish into joy
listen, and don’t say a word.

Demand that security, that peace, demand them,
Choose the company of those withdrawn in love
Listen to those who open a path to you.


Keep walking,
though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings.
Move within,
But don’t move the way fear makes you move.
We are the mirror as well as the face of it.
We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity.
We are pain and what cures pain, both.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute,
so that we can cry out with loving.
Would you rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror and here are the stones.

In the waters of purity, I melted like salt
Neither blasphemy, nor faith, nor conviction, nor doubt remained.
In the center of my heart a star has appeared
And all the seven heavens have become lost in it.


The Book of Sufi is not black ink and words,
It is none other than a pure heart white like snow.

Mathnawi 2:160

My glance at the Beloved’s face…


My glance at the face of the beloved is bliss
and separation from she whom I love is agony to me
I am he who has not been pitied as a lover
until, worn out, I became a mercy for the lovers
O planter of the basil around our tents
Don’t plant the basil for you are not staying
Not all who taste love know love
Not all who drink wine are drinking buddies
Not all who seek happiness attain it
Not all who read the book understand it
My wealth is but a tongue that when I speak I wrong myself
And God knows, I am indeed wronged



نظرى الى وجه الحبيب نعيم
وفراق من أهوى على عظيم

أنا الذي كنت لم أرحــم عـاشــقآ
حتى بليت فصرت بالعاشقين رحيـم
يازارع الـريــحان حـول خيـامـــــنـا
لاتـزرع الريــحـان  لـــست تـقيـــم
ماكل من ذاق الهوى عرف هوئى
ولا كلّ من شرب الـمُـدام  نديــــم
ولاكل من طلب السعادة  نالــها
ولاكل من قـرأ الكـتـاب  فـهـيـــــــم
مالي لسان أن أقول:ظـلـمـتـني
واللـــّــه يـعلم. أنـنـّي مــظـــلـــــوم



‘Afīf al-dīn Tilimsānī and son


The disciple of Ibn ‘Arabi, ‘Afīf al-din Tilimsānī (d. 1291), and his son (known as al-Shab al-Ẓarīf, “The Elegant Youth” ) are known and loved for their poetry, some of which is still sung today.  Here I present one poem from the father, and a more famous poem by the son with special thanks to K.M. for help with the translations.


‘Afīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsānī


Don’t be fooled by the fineness of her cheek
For the sword slays by the fineness of its blade
Leave the eyelids, for their drowsiness has become
a point in the straightened spear of her stature
My sleep, like a gazelle, is constantly fleeing from me
For he unites his opposite with his exile
Frailty flowed into my body from her coldness
And I loved it because it is from her
The enviers were amazed, having seen my drunkenness without limit
while my heart endured the punishment of her limits*
Be easy, for doesn’t the flapping of her sash
resemble my heart or the flame of her cheek?
This is a connection, that were my heart to attain it, ablaze
I would forgive her in its burning
My thanks to my patience with her, for when she betrayed me
I saw betrayal as faithfulness to her promise
My weeping from distance and being crushed
Is a pearl in my hands, not in her necklace
Who can be fair to me in nearness?
for my near one has spurned me, so who then can rescue me from her distance?
O ban tree of the valley, and O its leaves, weep for your branch
since I weep for her loss
you are sad and sad am I—both of us
Today, one who has been pardoned laments his love
My state is like yours, and the neighbor, with his hand on the water
knows its heat from its cold.



لاَ تُخْدَعَنَّ بِرِقَّةٍ فِي خَدِّهِ                 فَالسَّيْفُ قَتَّالٌ بِرِقْةِ حَدِّهِ
وَدَعِ الجُفُونَ فَإِنَّمَا وَسْنَانُهَا             أَضْحَى سِنَاناً فِي مُثَقَّفِ قَدِّهِ
ظَبْيٌّ حَكَى نَوْمِي دَوَامُ نَفَارِهِ            عَنِّى فَواصَلَ ضِدَّهُ مَعَ صَدِّهِ
وَسَرَى إِلى جِسْمِي الضَّنَا مِن خَصرِهِ               فَهَوِيتُ ذَاكَ لإِنَّهُ مِنْ عِنْدِهِ
عَجِبَ الحَسُودُ وَقَدْ رَأَى سُكْرِي بِلاَ                حَدٍّ وقَلْبِي فِي عُقُوبَةِ حَدِّهِ
خَفِّضْ عَلَيْكَ أَلَيْسَ خَفْقُ وِشَاحِهِ              يَحْكِي فُؤَادِي أَوْ تَلَهُّبُ خَدِّهِ
هِيَ نِسْبَةٌ لَوْ أَنَّ قَلْبِيَ نَالَهَا                   مُتَوَقِّداً لَعَذَرْتُهُ فِي وَقْدِهِ
شُكْرِي لِصَبْرِي عَنْهُ إِذْ هُوَ خَانَنِي             وَرَأَى الخِيَانَةَ كَالْوَفَاءِ بِعَهْدِهِ
ولَمْدَمَعِي بُعْداً وَسَحْقاً إِنَّهُ                دُرٌّ لَدَيَّ ولَمْ يَكُنْ فِي عِقْدِهِ
مَنْ مُنْصِفِي مِنْ قُرْبِهِ فَلَقَدْ أَبَى            قُرْبِي وَمَنْ ذَا مُنْقِذِي مِنْ بُعْدِهِ
يا بَانَةَ الوَادِي وَيَا وَرْقَاءَهُ              نُوحِي لِغُصنِكِ إِذْ أَنُوحُ لِفَقْدِهِ
أَنْتِ الحَزِينَةُ والحَزِينُ أَنَا كِلاَنَا                  اليَوْمَ مَعْذُورٌ يَنُوحُ بِوَجْدِهِ
حَالِي كَحَالِكِ وَالمُجَاوِرُ كَفُّهُ               لِلمَاءِ يَعْرِفُ حَرَّهُ مِنْ بَرْدِهِ


al-Shāb al-Ẓarīf (the son)


Don’t hide what love does to you
Express your love—for we are all lovers
[Your] love would have stayed hidden if not for your tears
streaming and your heart pounding
Perhaps he to whom you complain of love will help you
in bearing it, for lovers are kind companions
Don’t fret, for you are not the first to fall in love
[many] cheeks and pupils have bravely faced [the tears]
So be patient in separation from the beloved for perhaps
union will return, and love has its ways
How many nights my pupils spent awake in search of union
while my thoughts crowded around me
O Lord, those whom I love are far from me
and separation has become intimate with these dear friends
My fortune with them blackened when
the burning from the fire of love began
The Arabs, I saw that the surest promise with them
is that no promise with them is ever sure
On their she-camels and in their troops is a display
in which there is constant fleeing and hypocrisy
Whenever he remains aloof, those riding behind him attack
his waist with eyes like belts
The eyes gaze at him as he lowers his in silence
for if he looks back, then they all drop, blinking in shame.



لا تُخْفِ ما صَنَعَتْ بِكَ الأَشْواقُ
وَاشْرَحْ هَواكَ فَكُلُّنَا عُشَّاقُ
قَدْ كَانَ يُخْفي الحُبَّ لَوْلَا دَمْعُكَ ال
جَارِي وَلَوْلا قَلْبُكَ الخَفَّاقُ
فَعَسى يُعينُكَ مَنْ شَكَوْتَ لَهُ الهَوى
في حَمْلِهِ فالعَاشِقُون رِفَاقُ
لا تَجْزَعَنَّ فَلَسْتَ أَوّلَ مُغْرَمٍ
فَتَكَتْ بِهِ الوَجْنَاتُ وَالأَحْدَاقُ
وَاصْبِرْ عَلى هَجْرِ الحَبِيبِ فَرُبَّما
عَادَ الوِصَالُ ولِلْهَوى أَخْلاقُ
كَمْ لَيْلَةٍ أَسْهَرْتُ أَحْداقي بِهَا
مُلْقىً ولِلأَفْكَارِ بِي إِحْدَاقُ
يا رَبِّ قَدْ بَعُدَ الَّذين أُحِبُّهُمْ
عَنِّي وَقَدْ أَلِفَ الرّفاقَ فِراقُ
وَاِسْوَدَّ حَظِّي عِنْدَهُم لَمَّا سَرى
فيهِ بِنَارِ صَبابتِي إِحْرَاقُ
عُرْبٌ رَأَيْتُ أَصَحَّ ميثاقٍ لَهُمْ
أَنْ لا يَصِحَّ لَدَيْهِمُ مِيثَاقُ
وَعَلى النّياقِ وفي الأَكلَّةِ مَعْرِضٌ
فِيهِ نِفارٌ دائمٌ وَنِفاقُ
مَا نَاءَ إِلّا حَارَبَتْ أَرْدافُهُ
خَصْراً عَليهِ مِنَ العُيونِ نِطَاقُ
تَرْنُو العُيونُ إِليه في إطْراقِهِ
فَإِذَا رَنَا فَلِكُلِّها إِطْرَاقُ


IMG_20130318_0004 - Copy





Me/not Me


Shah Niyaz Barelvi

A lover without news I am
I am not I, yet I am I
A Knower with art I am
I am not I, nay I am I


Burning of the heart and liver I am
Restless in seclusion I am
knowledgeable of all cures I am
I am not I, nay I am I


The loveliness and beauty of Truth I am
the glory and majesty of Truth I am
its dignity and rank and splendour I am
I am not I, nay I am I


A sufi with purity I am
without Him and with God I am
the people of the heart and glance I am
I am not I, nay I am I


Jesus of Mary I am
Ahmad the Hashimi I am
‘Ali, the lion of the brave, I am
I am not I, nay I am I


His secret and need I am
His burning and melting I am
the one who walks on his head I am
I am not I, nay I am I


waws wedding


عاشق بى خبرمنم
من نمنم، نمن منم
عارف باهنرمنم
من نمنم، نمن منم


سوز دل و جگر منم
وحشة پرده در منم
 دانش بخية گر منم
من نمنم، نمن منم


حسن و جمال حق منم
عز و  جلال حق منم
حشمة و جا و فر منم
من نمنم، نمن منم


صوفي با صفاء
بي خودى و با خدا
اهل دل و نظر منم
من نمنم، نمن منم
عسى مريمي منم
احمد هاشمي
هيدر شر نار منم
من نمنم، نمن منم


راز و نياز خود منم
سوز و گداز خود منم
كرد قدم به سر منم
من نمنم، نمن منم







O master, say that I am I, I am not I, nay I am I
He is my soul inside my body, I am not I, nay I am I
light fire of love, let burn reason’s rule
the darkness of night has become the light of day
I am not I, nay I am I
I am the arrow, I’m the bow, I am old and I am young
This is me, and that is me
I am not I, nay I am I
I’m His appearance and his hiddenness
I am the diamond of his necklace
I am the the storehouse of his treasure
I am not I, nay I am I
I am His white falcon, I am the shadow of his willow
I am His road of hope
I am not I, nay I am I
I am the soul, I am the breath
I am the bird, I am the cage
I am the thief, I am also the police
I am not I, nay I am I
I am his water camel, I am a worshipper of his cup
I am the force of his arrow,
I am not I, nay I am I
My camel got drunk on wine and became frail
with a howl it broke free
I am not I, nay I am I
I am the Sun, I am the moon, I am the sea, I am the pearl
I am the nectar, I am also the sugar
I am not I, nay I am I
I am the earth and heaven, I am the pole and the harbour
I am both Ka’aba and the wine in the cup,
I am not I, nay I am I
I am the instrument, I am the Voice, I am the saint
I am the king, I am God
I am not I, nay I am I
He said, “I am Shams ad-Din, possessor of both infidelity and faith”
I am not I, nay I am I…







After extinction I came out, and I
Eternal now am, though not as I
And who am I, O I, but I?
خرجت في حين بعد الفنا
ومن هنا بقيت بلا أنا
ومن أنا يا أنا إلا أنا


trans. by  Martin Lings from Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology


Three more ghazals of Hafez


Three more gems, back to back in his Divan:



O you whose road-dust is the blood-price of China musk
and in whose crown’s shade the sun is tenderly nurtured
Strut out, for the narcissus’ pride is getting to be too much
I would die for the way your dark eyes look
Go ahead and drink my blood, for seeing a beauty such as you,
no angel will have the heart to write down your sin
You are the cause of the rest and sleep of the world
so your place is next to my heart and eye
I have an affair with every star every night,
out of desire for the light of your moon-like face
Friends who were together separated from each other,
but I am still in the happy refuge of your threshold
Hafez, do not lose hope in the grace of God
for in the end the fumes of your sigh will set fire to the harvest of grief.

MS 311 (f82r)


ای خونبهای نافه چین خاک راه تو              خورشید سایه پرور طرف کلاه تو
نرگس کرشمه می‌برد از حد برون خرام                   ای من فدای شیوه چشم سیاه تو
خونم بخور که هیچ ملک با چنان جمال                  از دل نیایدش که نویسد گناه تو
آرام و خواب خلق جهان را سبب تویی              زان شد کنار دیده و دل تکیه گاه تو
با هر ستاره‌ای سر و کار است هر شبم                از حسرت فروغ رخ همچو ماه تو
یاران همنشین همه از هم جدا شدند                       ماییم و آستانه دولت پناه تو
حافظ طمع مبر ز عنایت که عاقبت                  آتش زند به خرمن غم دود آه تو




O you who stature decorates the robe of royalty
and whose great nature adorns the crown and the signet
Your moon-like face from beneath the royal crown
makes the sun of victory rise every moment
Although the sun of the sky is the light and sight of the world
the dust under you your feet illumines its sight
Wherever the homa of your sky-high canopy casts a shade,
becomes the land of the bird of happiness
Of the thousands of different laws of religion and philosophy
not a single point was lost from your heart
The water of life drips from the beak of eloquence of
your sweet-speaking parrot, your sugar-chewing pen
What Alexander sought but the world did not give him
was a sip of pure wine from your reviving cup
There is no need to express one’s wish in your presence
no one’s secret remains hidden in the light of your insight
Hafez boasts of being a servant before your presence
in hope of your life-giving and world-granting forgiveness



ای قبای پادشاهی راست بر بالای تو                          زینت تاج و نگین از گوهر والای تو
آفتاب فتح را هر دم طلوعی می‌دهد                          از کلاه خسروی رخسار مه سیمای تو
گر چه خورشید فلک چشم و چراغ عالم است             روشنایی بخش چشم اوست خاک پای تو
جلوه گاه طایر اقبال باشد هر کجا                               سایه‌اندازد همای چتر گردون سای تو
از رسوم شرع و حکمت با هزاران اختلاف                 نکته‌ای هرگز نشد فوت از دل دانای تو
آب حیوانش ز منقار بلاغت می‌چکد                     طوطی خوش لهجه یعنی کلک شکرخای تو
آن چه اسکندر طلب کرد و ندادش روزگار                 جرعه‌ای بود از زلال جام جان افزای تو
عرض حاجت در حریم حضرتت محتاج نیست                  راز کس مخفی نماند با فروغ رای تو
                                            حافظ اندر حضرتت لاف غلامى مى جند
                                              براميد عفو جان بخش جهان بخشاى تو



The violet twists from your musk-spreading tress
the rosebud’s veil tears from your heart-opening laughter
O my sweet smelling rose, do not burn your nightingale
for in all sincerity, every night, all night, he prays for you
I who used to be annoyed even by the angels’ breathing
now I stand a world of vexation for you
love of your face is my nature, the dust of your door is my heaven
your love is my destiny, my comfort is your satisfaction
The robe of the beggar of love has treasure up its sleeve
he who becomes your beggar attains the kingdom quickly
The throne of my eye is the seat of your image
I pray that your seat never be without you, my king
The frenzy of your love’s wine will only go away
when my passionate head has turned into dust at your door
Your face is a pleasant field, especially in the spring of beauty
when sweet-spoken Hafez became your songbird.


(Translations modified from The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi pp.473-5)



تاب بنفشه می‌دهد طره مشک سای تو
پرده غنچه می‌درد خنده دلگشای تو
ای گل خوش نسیم من بلبل خویش را مسوز
کز سر صدق می‌کند شب همه شب دعای تو
من که ملول گشتمی از نفس فرشتگان
قال و مقال عالمی می‌کشم از برای تو
مهر رخت سرشت من خاك درت بهشت من
عشق تو سرنبشت من راحت من رضاى تو
دلق گداى عشق را گنج بود در آستين
زود به سلطنت رسد هر كه بود گداى تو
شاه‌نشین چشم من تکیه گه خیال توست
جای دعاست شاه من بی تو مباد جای تو
شور شراب عشق تو آن نفسم رود ز سر
کاین سر پرهوس شود خاک در سرای تو
خوش چمنیست عارضت خاصه که در بهار حسن
حافظ خوش کلام شد مرغ سخنسرای تو



Qur’anic meditations


Qur’an 21:25 and Qur’an 6:103

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

We never sent a Messenger before thee but we revealed unto him, “There is no God but I, so worship Me.”


لَا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ ۖ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

Sights do not perceive Him, while He perceives the sights; He is the Subtle, the Informed


Qur’an 24:39 and 27:7-9

 أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاءً حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ

Their deeds are as a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one supposeth it to be water till he cometh unto it and findeth it naught, and findeth, in the place thereof, God…

إِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِأَهْلِهِ إِنِّي آنَسْتُ نَارًا سَآتِيكُمْ مِنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ آتِيكُمْ بِشِهَابٍ قَبَسٍ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَصْطَلُونَ

فَلَمَّا جَاءَهَا نُودِيَ أَنْ بُورِكَ مَنْ فِي النَّارِ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

يَا مُوسَىٰ إِنَّهُ أَنَا اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

(Remember) when Moses said unto his household: Lo! I spy afar off a fire; I will bring you tidings thence, or bring to you a borrowed flame that ye may warm yourselves. But when he reached it, he was called: Blessed is Whosoever is in the fire and Whosoever is round about it! And Glorified be God, the Lord of the Worlds! O Moses! Lo! it is I, God, the Mighty, the Wise.



Qur’an 5:73 and 58:7

لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَاثَةٍ ۘ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ إِلَّا إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۚ

They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! God is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God.


أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ مَا يَكُونُ مِنْ نَجْوَىٰ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ

Hast thou not seen that God knoweth all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth? There is no secret conference of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth…



Qur’an 23:115, 44:38, 6:32, 29:64, 57:20

What, did you think that We created you only for sport, and that you would not be returned to Us?’

And We created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, in play.

The present life is naught but play and a diversion; surely the Last Abode is better for those that are godfearing. What, do you not understand?

This present life is naught but a diversion and a sport; surely the Last Abode is Life, did they but know.

Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the planters, but afterward it dries up and you see it turning yellow, then it becomes chaff. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from God and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but the fleeting pleasure of illusion.




Qur’an 6:133 and 5:54

وَرَبُّكَ الْغَنِيُّ ذُو الرَّحْمَةِ ۚ إِنْ يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفْ مِنْ بَعْدِكُمْ مَا يَشَاءُ

Thy Lord is the Absolute, the Lord of Mercy. If He will, He can remove you and can cause what He will to follow after you…


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَنْ يَرْتَدَّ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

O ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion,  Allah will replace him with a people whom He loveth and who love Him…


Qur’an 17:81 and 21:18

وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

And say: Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish.


بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ ۚ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ

Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us).


Good news from Shaykh al-‘Alawi





Good news to you, my friends! News of nearness and drawing near!
You are gathered in security As long as you are in the party of Allah.
Good news to you, my masters! Good news to you, my lovers!
Good news about what is coming —You are in the mercy of Allah.
Your gathering is the source of mercy, Your gathering has a wisdom in it
Whoever loves you, rises — yours is the pleasure of Allah
Pleased with Divine Pleasure And Mercy as well as Forgiveness.
You are the party of the Merciful, You are the friends of Allah.
Your path will not pass away, Your lover will not lose out.
By Allah! You are manifest, In all the creation of Allah
You stood at His door, You were annihilated in His remembrance
Good news to you of His nearness! You are in the Presence of Allah!
Among you is the seeker and the attracted, among you is the lover and beloved —
The veils have departed from you —among you is he who unifies Allah.
Among you are The Suns of the Path, among you are The Men of realization
The annihilated and the lover are among you, among you is he who Knows Allah
Among you are the foremost Men, among you are the lords of presence are among you —
one from whom the veil has lifted, sees nothing but Allah.
Good news for him, he has obtained his desire! Good news for him, He has the meaning!
By Allah! He was accepted in the knowledge of Allah!
The full moon of full moons gave me good news, of victory with manifestation —
Our lover in happiness, surrounded by the kindness of Allah.
By Allah, he spoke the most eloquent word
We helped you in the Assembly, You are in the security of Allah.
The spirit of the Master gave me good news, Al-Buzidi, the source of assistance
When he spoke to me with discernment, after swearing by Allah.
Your lover is secure, your murid is safeguarded.
You are the springs of the Merciful, in your hands is the secret of Allah.
in your hands is the proclamation, yours is the lifting of the veils
You are the lords of presence, You are the friends of Allah.
Mine is the permission of disposal through that secret most subtle
Oh what an excellent obligation, for the pleased, may he be rewarded by Allah
His secret is in our gathering, His wine is in our cup
His knowledge is in our speech. By Allah! We are not other than him.
Our overflowing is from his overflowing, our secret is from his secret.
Our branch is from his root, Oh you who does not understand his meaning.
Secretly and openly, I addressed the people of the journey.
Whoever in my age, Comes to us, finds his desire.
I have counseled all the servants, especially the people of the cities.
Whoever seeks with discernment, he is desiring Allah.
He comes, even if just to test it, and he has a portion from us.
This is a near road, which has come to us from the bounty of Allah.
We give him counsel in the Path, and he makes me a companion in it
We show him the meaning of realization, purely for the face of Allah.
He confirms me in a matter of days days, we do not seek years from him.
If he obtains the desire, He will be a servant of Allah.
I have a cure for creation, I have what effaces otherness
We do not wish to rob with it, for we are rich from the bounty of Allah
I am rich with the goal, what do I or denial have?
We do not see in existence, anyone manifest save Allah.
Sometimes we are annihilated in Him, and we have that meaning.
Sometimes we are rich in Him, free from all creation of Allah.
Sometimes He appears from me, He distances me from my being.
Who am I and where am I, in the resplendence of the essence of Allah?
If not for the witnessed Messenger, if not for the Worshipped’s lover,
We would have transgressed the limits, and divulged the secret of Allah.
May the Lord bless him, and with good pleasure manifest
upon all the Companions, and his family and whoever follows him.


Translation modified from:


shaikhSidi_ahmed_alawi_03 (1)



بشراكمُ خلاني              بالقرب والتداني
جمعكم في أمان        ما دمتم في حزب الله
بشراكمُ ساداتي               بشراكم أحبتي
بشرتكم بالآتي           أنتم في رحمة الله
جمعكم عين الرحمة           جمعكم فيه حكمة
ومَن حبكم سمى         عليكم رضوان الله
الرضى مع الرضوان      والرحمة كذا الغفران
أنتمُ حزب الرحمن              أنتم أولياء الله
طريقكم لا تغور             محبكم لا يبور
تالله لكم ظهور          في جميع خلق الله
وقفتم في بابه              فنيتم في ذكره
بشراكم بقربه          أنتم في حضرة الله
منكم سالك ومجذوب        منكم حبيب ومحبوب
عنكم زالت الحجب             فيكم من وحد الله
فيكم شموس الطريق           فيكم رجال التحقيق
منكم فاني وعاشق            فيكم من عرف الله
فيكم رجال الصدور         فيكم أرباب الحضور
من زالت عنه الستور          لا يرى ما سوى الله
بُشراه نال المنى             بشراه حاز المعنى
والله لقد كانا              مقبولا في علم الله
بشرني بدر البدور            بالنصر مع الظهور
محبنا في سرور              محفوظا بلطف الله
والله لقد قالا                   بأفصح المقالا
نصرناك في الملا                أنت في أمان الله
بشرني روح الأستاذ              البوزيدي ذو المدد
إذ قال لي باجتهاد                  بعد أن قسمْ بالله
محبكم في أمان               مريدكم في ضمان
أنتم عيون الرحمن                      بيدكم سر الله
بيدكمُ المنشور                 لكم ترفع الستور
أنتم أرباب الحضور                    أنتم أولياء الله
أذن لكم بالتصريف            في ذاك السر اللطيف
فيا حبذا التكليف                بالرضى جزاه الله

سره في جمعنا                   خمره في كأسنا 

علمه في نطقنا                     تالله لسنا سواه
فيضنا من فيضه                      سرنا من سره
فرعنا من أصله               يا من لا يفهم معناه
في السر وفي الجهر               خاطبتُ أهل السير
فمن كان في عصري                    يأتنا يجد مناه
نصحت كل العباد             خصوصا أهل البلاد
فمن كان في اجتهاد                    طالبا يريد الله
يأتي ولو بالتجريب                   فله منا نصيب
هذا مسلكٌ قريب                أتانا من فضل الله
ننصحْ له في الطريق                 يجعلني له رفيق
نريه معنى التحقيق                 خالصا لوجه الله
يوافقني في أيام              لا نطلب منه أعوام
فإن حصّل المرام                    يكون عبدا لله
عندي للخلق الدوا             عندي لمحو السوى
لا نرجو به سطوة                  غنيٌّ بفضل الله
أنا غني بالمقصود              ما لي وما للجحود
فلا نرى في الوجود                متجلّي سوى الله
تارةً فيه نفنى                وبذا المعنى كنا
تارةً به نغنى              عن جميع خلق الله
تارة يظهرْ عنّي              يغيبني عن كوني
من أنا ومن أيني؟              في تجلي ذات الله
لولا الرسول المشهود           لولا الحبيب المعبود
لتهنا عن الحدود                 وبحنا بسر الله
عليه المولى صلى               وبالرضى تجلى
على الصحابةْ جملة               والآل ومن والاه


Qaṣīdah Luṭfiyyah by Aḥmad al-‘Alawī



This poem by the Algerian Shaykh Aḥmad al-‘Alāwī  (d.1934) is commonly sung after recitations of the Qur’an in the Maghreb, France, and other areas to which his Tariqah has spread:



Oh Lord, by your kindness, O my hope
be kind to us, and grant us deliverance
We ask You, O Lord, by the Qur’an
and what is in it, and by the seven oft-recited (the Fatihah)
And by him who brought it, and who shared it
and exalted its verses/signs and its love
And led us to our love of the Qur’an
and made it sweeter to us than all else
You revealed it and ordered its compilation
preserve it, O Master, as you have said
For some others have tried to eliminate/leave it
will you allow this, O Lord? by its act
You will never be pleased to allow us to leave the Qur’an
because it is Religion with Faith
And its worth for us surpasses
all existence and all that is contained therein
For the Qur’an is the essence of reality
and the sacred law and the firm handhold
You know our love of the Qur’an
and how it dwells in our hearts and on our tongues
It is intermingled with our blood and our flesh
and our veins and bones and all that is in us
O Lord, by its right, do not afflict us
in our religion, O Lord, do not try us
O Lord, make your religion for us a joy
for one knocking at your door, full of hope
Or the stranger, O Lord, far from his family
who is suffering from separation from his loved ones
Save him o Lord, before his death
and prolong his life for us
Make our homes homes of safety
and preserve us from every deception and distress
And help us, O Lord, by your Spirit
and allow us, O our Lord, to fulfill your command
And have mercy on us, great and small
and safeguard those whom you see are bewildered
And make right for us our worldly and spiritual affairs
and remove the pain of afflictions and poverty
And forgive, O Lord, one who supplicates with our supplication
and be for us and for all our intimates
Raise us to the witnessing of beauty
and from it to the secrets of perfection
And bless, O Lord, with a blessing worthy
of the Chosen One, and upon his family
And his companions, and the Helpers and Those who followed
then all praise to God, Lord of the Worlds

shaikhSidi_ahmed_alawi_03 (1)


يا ربّ بلطفك يا مرتجى
ألطف بينا وهيئ لنا فرجا
سألناك يا ربّ بالقرآن
وما فيه وبسبع المثاني
وبالّذي أتى به وبثّه
وبجّل آياته وحبّه.
وأمر بحبّنا القرآن
فكان أطيب لنا ممّا كان.
نزّلته وبجمعه أمرتا
فلتحفظه يا مولانا كما قلت.
فقد حاول الغير على تركه
وهل تسمح يا مولانا بفعله.
فلا نرضى بتركنا القرآن
لأنّه الّدين مع الإيمان.
فقدره عندنا لا يساويه
كل الوجود وما احتو ى عليه.
فالقرآن هو عين الحقيقة
و الشّريعة والعروة الوثيقة.
أنت تعلم بحبّنا القرآن
وكيف حلّ القلب واللّسان.
فامتزج بدمنا ولحمنا
و العروق و العظام وما فينا.
أ يا ربّ بحقّه لا تفجأنا
في ديننا يا مولانا لا تفتنا.
يا ربّ اجعل لدينك فرجا
إنّه واقف ببابك يرتجى.
آو الغريب يا ربّ لأهله
قد ألّم الفراق في أحبابه.
أدركه يا ربّ قبل وفاته
و زد لنا يا ربّ في حياته.
واجعل ديارنا ديار آمنة
و حفظنا من كلّ مكر ومحنة.
وأيّدنا يا مولانا بروحك
و وفّقنا يا ربّنا لأمرك.
وارحم منّا الكبار والصّغار
و أمّنهم فتراهم حياّرى.
وأصلح لنا دنيانا مع الدّين
وافج كرب المكروب والمسكين.
واغفر ربّ لمن دعا بدعوانا
وكن لنا ولجميع خلاّنا.
وانهض بنا لشهود الجمال
ومن له بأسرار الكمال.
وصلّ ياربّ صلاة تليق
بالمصطفى وعلى الآل تصدق.
وصحبه وأنصاره والتّابعين
ثمّ الحمد لله ربّ العالمين.







Working Title/Artist: Leaf from a Qur'an manuscriptDepartment: Islamic ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 07Working Date: 13th-14th century photography by mma, Digital File DP238067.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 5_31_12

Fragments of Love


Some famous and beautiful fragments (single verses) of Arabic Love poetry, often cited by Sufis.





If not for You, we would not know Love,
If not for Love, we would not know You.



لو لاكم ما عرفنا الهوى         ولو لا الهوى ما عرفناكم




The beauty of every handsome man, and that of each lovely woman
is but what they have on loan from Her Beauty


 فكلّ مليح حسنه من جمالها        معار له بل حسن كلّ مليحة




The sun of your beauty rises from all directions,
and everyone with a heart longs for you
O bestower of wondrous beauty on the deserving
In reality, everyone is in love with your beauty



كلّ الجهات لشمس حسنك مشرق          ولكلّ ذي قلب إليك يشوق
يا واهب الحسن البديع لأهله        كلّ لحسنك في الحقيقة يعسق




My love appeared to me from all directions
and so I witnessed him in every meaning and each form


تجلّى لي المحبوب من كلّ وجهة      فشاهدته في كلّ معنى و صورة


The lover longs to see me
while I long for him more intensely
Souls throb with passion, but fate refuses
so I suffer the moans as they suffer and groan


يحنّ الحبيب إلى رؤيتي                    وإني إليه أشدّ حنينا
وتهفو النفوس و يأبى القضاء        وأشكو الانين ويشكو الانينا



Keats and the Sufis


these poems by John Keats pair nicely with the following poems by Ibn al-Farid and Hafez

John Keats

“Fill for me a brimming bowl”


What wondrous beauty! From this moment I efface from my mind all women.
Terrence, Eunuch, II.3.296
Fill for me a brimming bowl
And in it let me drown my soul:
But put therein some drug, designed
To Banish Women from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That fills the mind with–fond desiring,
But I want as deep a draught
As e’er from Lethe’s wave was quaff’d;
From my despairing heart to charm
The Image of the fairest form
That e’er my reveling eyes beheld,
That e’er my wandering fancy spell’d.
In vain! away I cannot chace
The melting softness of that face,
The beaminess of those bright eyes,
That breast–earth’s only Paradise.
My sight will never more be blest;
For all I see has lost its zest:
Nor with delight can I explore,
The Classic page, or Muse’s lore.
Had she but known how beat my heart,
And with one smile reliev’d its smart
I should have felt a sweet relief,
I should have felt “the joy of grief.”
Yet as the Tuscan mid the snow
Of Lapland dreams on sweet Arno,
Even so for ever shall she be
The Halo of my Memory.


Ibn al-Farid


Pass round the remembrance the one I love, even in reproach
for tales about the beloved are my wine
Let my hearing witness the one I love, though she be far
through specters of reproach, not those of dreams!
Her remembrance delights me in every form
even when my reproachers mingle it with strife
It is as if my reproacher brought me news of union
when I had not even hoped for a response to a greeting
My soul is hers, for whose Iove I destroyed my soul
death came to me before the day of my death
For her sake I relish my disgrace and wallow
in rejection and shame when once my rank was high
After my piety, because of her, dissolution
casting off restraint and committing sins are sweet to me
I pray, singing when I recite remembrance of her
and I am enraptured in the mihrab, for she is my Imam
On hajj, when I don the pilgrim’s robes I call her name
and when I break my fast, it is from her that I refrain
My tear ducts flow due to my state and gush
because of what has passed, and my laments convey my inner fire
At night my heart is driven mad with longing,
at dawn my eyes are pouring in their grief
my heart and eyes are stricken, one afflicted by the meaning
of her beauty, the other tempted by her tender poise
My sleep is lost, my morning too—may you be spared!—
ever present is my wakefulness and still my longing grows
My bond and my covenant have never been undone or changed
my love remains my love and passion is my passion
So wasted is my body that its secrets are made plain
and meaning is disclosed therein through my withered bones
Felled by love’s pain, with wounded heart
and wounded eyelids ever bleeding,
Yet true to love, I have become ethereal like air
with breaths of dawn breeze my only company
Sound I am, yet sick; seek me then from the morning breeze
for my withering has decreed that it is my home
So wasted I am that I have vanished from wasting itself
and from cure to my sickness and coolness for my burning thirst
Love has left nothing of me save grief
sorrow, torment and grave illness
No one I know knows my place save love
nor the concealment of my secrets nor my bond’s custody
And of passion, patience and solace
it has left nothing for me but the names
Whoever is free of my love, may he be saved with his soul
in one piece; O soul of mine, go in peace
“Forget her!” my blamer said to me, fanatically
blaming me. I said, “forget your blaming of me!”
If I sought consolation, who would be there to be my guide
when in love, every leader follows my lead?
In my every limb is every yearning for her
and every longing tugs at my reins
As she bends, I imagine every hip she moves
to be a branch in a sand dune topped by the full moon
Mine is every limb filled with every inner core
wherein, when she glances, is embedded every arrow
And if she dissolved my body she would find every atom
every heart inhabited by every human love
In union with her, a year to me is but an instant,
an hour’s separation like a year.
When we met at nightfall, as the twin straight paths
between her dwelling and my tents brought us together,
We moved away a little from the tribe,
avoiding spies and slanderers with their deceitful talk
I spread my cheek upon the ground for her to walk upon
and she said, “Good news, now you may kiss my veil.”
But this my soul did not permit me, jealously
shielding her from me, for higher is my purpose
We passed the night in hope as my wish decreed
and I saw the world my kingdom and time itself my slave.


Translation modified from Stefan Sperl’s in Stefan Sperl, C. Shackle, Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa, Brill 1996, p. 106-111


John Keats

“The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!”


The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!
Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,
Warm breath, light whisper, tender semi-tone,
Bright eyes, accomplish’d shape, and lang’rous waist!
Faded the flower and all its budded charms,
Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,
Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,
Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise –
Vanish’d unseasonably at shut of eve,
When the dusk holiday – or holinight
Of fragrant-curtain’d love begins to weave
The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight,
But, as I’ve read love’s missal through to-day,
He’ll let me sleep, seeing I fast and pray.




The breath of the zephyr will become musk-diffusing
and the old world will grow young again
The Judas-tree will give a cornelian cup to the lily,
and the eye of the narcissus will me anxious for the anemone.
The nightingale after all that pain of separation,
will roaringly dash all the way to the pavilion of the rose
If I went from mosque to tavern, do not carp
the preaching was too long, and time was passing
O heart if you postpone today’s pleasure until tomorrow,
who will guarantee a lasting life for you?
In the month of Sha’ban do not neglect the cup of wine
this sun will be out of sight until the ‘Eid of Ramadan
The rose is precious, appreciate its company
It came into the garden this way, and will go out through that
O minstrel, this is the intimates’ assembly, sing a song
How long should you say: “Passed like this, and like that will pass?”
Hafez came into the realm of existence for your sake
take a step for his farewell, for he will soon pass.


translation from Reza Saberi, The Divan of Hafez, p. 196




نفس باد صبا مشک فشان خواهد شد
عالم پیر دگرباره جوان خواهد شد
ارغوان جام عقیقی به سمن خواهد داد
چشم نرگس به شقایق نگران خواهد شد
این تطاول که کشید از غم هجران بلبل
تا سراپرده گل نعره زنان خواهد شد
گر ز مسجد به خرابات شدم خرده مگیر
مجلس وعظ دراز است و زمان خواهد شد
ای دل ار عشرت امروز به فردا فکنی
مایه نقد بقا را که ضمان خواهد شد
ماه شعبان منه از دست قدح کاین خورشید
از نظر تا شب عید رمضان خواهد شد
گل عزیز است غنیمت شمریدش صحبت
که به باغ آمد از این راه و از آن خواهد شد
مطربا مجلس انس است غزل خوان و سرود
چند گویی که چنین رفت و چنان خواهد شد
حافظ از بهر تو آمد سوی اقلیم وجود
قدمی نه به وداعش که روان خواهد شد





I don’t see any companionship. What happened to the companions?
when did friendships end? What happened to the friends?
the water of life darkened. Where is the auspicious Khezr?
The rose lost colour. What happened to the spring wind?
None says that a friend has the right of friendship.
what happened to the grateful ones and the companions?
This was the city of friends and the site of kind people
when did kindness end? What happened to the city of friends?
Years past and no ruby came out of the mine of generosity
what happened to the work of rain, the sun, and the wind?
The polo-ball of success and liberality is cast into the field.
None enters the arena. What happened to the horsemen?
A hundred thousand roses blossomed, but no bird sang.
what happened to the nightingales and the starlings?
Venus plays no more happy tunes. Did its lute burn?
no one yearns for drunkenness. What happened to the drinkers?
Silence, Hafez! Divine mysteries are not known to anyone.
whom do you ask, “what happened to the cycle of days?”


translation modified from Reza Saberi’s in The Divan of Hafez p. 203



یاری اندر کس نمی‌بینیم یاران را چه شد
دوستی کی آخر آمد دوستداران را چه شد
آب حیوان تیره گون شد خضر فرخ پی کجاست
خون چکید از شاخ گل باد بهاران را چه شد
کس نمی‌گوید که یاری داشت حق دوستی
حق شناسان را چه حال افتاد یاران را چه شد
لعلی از کان مروت برنیامد سال‌هاست
تابش خورشید و سعی باد و باران را چه شد
شهر یاران بود و خاک مهربانان این دیار
مهربانی کی سر آمد شهریاران را چه شد
گوی توفیق و کرامت در میان افکنده‌اند
کس به میدان در نمی‌آید سواران را چه شد
صد هزاران گل شکفت و بانگ مرغی برنخاست
عندلیبان را چه پیش آمد هزاران را چه شد
زهره سازی خوش نمی‌سازد مگر عودش بسوخت
کس ندارد ذوق مستی میگساران را چه شد
حافظ اسرار الهی کس نمی‌داند خموش
از که می‌پرسی که دور روزگاران را چه شد