Mawlid 2020, Muḥammad Majdhūb’s Praise

One of my favorite poems in praise of the Prophet is this gem from the Sudanese Sufi Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Qamar al-dīn al-Majdhūb (d. 1831) a friend and student of Aḥmad ibn Idrīs (d. 1837).

 

Translation:

Upon you be God’s blessing, and then His peace too
O Messenger of God, I am so enamored with you
I shed tears from witnessing the sorrow that they
Brought up from a heart in longing, enthralled
But there is not, for this infatuation an explanation
Without seeing its beloved and greeting him
The beloved said to me, don’t fear after this
Any veil or exile, for my covenant is fulfilled
Whenever you want closeness with me, then call on me
O Messenger of God, I am enamored with you
I will answer you from a distance while I am seated with
Whomever is lovingly busy with my remembrance, describing me
I swear that a heart that loves you
For it the torment of the fire is absolutely forbidden
So what of one who waits on you at each hour?
Such a one is certainly in paradise delighting
Greetings of peace be upon you and this greeting grants me
The perfection of witnessing Beauty, inspiring
My tongue with salutations worthy of your rank
Repeating them, saluting you, murmuring
Greetings of peace be upon the head of the Messenger, Muhammad
A majestic head with Majesty turbaned
Greetings of peace be upon the face of Muhammad
O what a wondrous face in brightness veiled!
Greetings of peace be upon the eyes of the prophet Muhammad
Eyes of the deepest black with black lined
Greetings of peace be upon the nose of the prophet Muhammad
A nose straight and bright and aquiline
Greetings of peace be upon the cheeks of the Beloved, Muhammad
Cheeks luminous, soft, and fragrant
Greetings of peace be upon the mouth of the Prophet Muhammad
A mouth in which precious pearls are arrayed
For other than God’s speech and remembrance and the call
to the presence of his Master, he would not speak
Greetings of peace be upon the neck of the prophet Muhammad
A neck flashing bright and shapely
Greetings of peace be upon the chest of the beloved Muhammad
A chest wide, with knowledge brimming
Greetings of peace be upon the heart of the beloved Muhammad
A heart in the Light of God perpetually abiding
It witnesses the Lord of the Throne at every instant
For if the eyes rest, it does not, so know this!
Greetings of peace be upon the palm of the prophet Muhammad
A wide-open palm, how generous and ennobling
By which how many a poor man became after his poverty
Rich, and how many a tyrant by it was harmed
Greetings of peace be upon the feet of the Beloved, Muhammad
that trampled the veils of glory that were offered
By which he stood in the Mihrab for God devoutly
In intimate converse with the Lord of the Throne, while people slept
His persistence continued every night
Until they colored and swelled
Greetings of peace be upon the essence/body (dhāt) of the prophet Muhammad
For in its loveliness, all Beauty is completed
Greetings of peace be upon all of the prophet Muhammad
A magnificent prophet, by the Majestic, magnified
A Prophet [who is] from His Exalted Master, a solicitude
Which appears as creation in the gathering is dumbfounded
Raising the banner of praise as a standard
While the prophets and messengers crowd beneath it
In him, each wayward one in the resurrection is seeking refuge
And each lover is triumphant and spoken to
By him, Majdhūb hopes to be delivered with his companions
Without trial, O intercessor, safe and sound.
Upon you be the blessings of God and then His peace too
Including all [his] family, and here we conclude.

Original:

عليك صلاة الله ثم سلامه       ألا يا رسول الله إنى مغرم

صَبَبتُ دُمُوعاً يَشهَدُ الحُزنُ أَنَّها     أَتَت مِن فُؤَادٍ بالغَرَامِ مُتَيَّمُ

وَلَيسَ لَهُ مِن ذَا التَّتَيُّمِ مُشرِحٌ        سِوَى أن يَرَى مَعشُوقَهُ فَيُسَلِّمُ

يَقُولُ لِى المَعشُوقُ لاَ تَخشَ بَعدَ ذَا   حِجاباً وَلاَ طَرداً فَعَهدِى مُتَمَّمُ

مَتَى ما أردَتَ القُربَ مِنّىِ فَنادِنِى     أَلاَ يا رَسُولَ اللهِ إِنِّىَ مُغرَمُ

أُجُيبُكَ مِن بُعدٍ وَإِنِّى جَلِيسُ مَن      بِحُبِّىَ مَشغولٌ بِذِكرى مُتَرجِمُ

حَلَفتُ يَمِيناً إِنَّ قَلباً يُحِبُّكُم         عَلَيهِ عَذابُ النَّارِ قَطعاً مُحرَّمُ

فَكَيفَ بمَن قَد شامَكُم كُلَّ ساعَةٍ    فَهذَا يَقِيناً في الجِنانِ يُنَعَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَيكُم وَالسَّلاَمُ يُنِيلُنِى       كَمالَ شُهُودِ لِلجَمالِ وَيُلهِمُ

لِسانِى تَحِيَّاتٍ تَلِيقُ بِقَدرِكُم       أُكُرِّرُها في حَيَّكُم وَأُهمهِم

سَلاَمٌ علَى رَأسِ الرَّسُولِ مُحَمَّدٍ     لَرَأسٌ جَلِيلٌ بالجَلاَلِ مُعَمَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ علَى وَجهِ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ        فَيا نِعمَ وَجهٌ بالضِّياءِ مُلَثَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلى طَرفِ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ      لَطَرفٌ كَحِيلٌ أَدعجٌ وَمُعَلَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلى أنفِ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ       لأَنفٌ عَدِيلٌ أنوَرٌ وَمُقَوَّمُ

سَلامٌ علَى خَدّ الحَبيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ      لَخَدٌ مُنِيرٌ أسهَلٌ وَمُشَمَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ علَى فَمِّ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ        لَفَمٌّ بِهِ دُرٌّ نَفِيسٌ مُنَظَّمُ

بِغَيرِ كَلاَمِ اللهِ وَالذِّكرِ وَالنّدَا        لِحَضرَةِ مَولاَهُ فَلاَ يَتَكَلمُ

سَلامٌ علي عُنق النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ        لَعُنقٌ سَطِيعٌ نَيِّرٌ وَمُبَرَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ على صَدرِ الحَبِيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ      لَصَدرٌ وَسِيعٌ بالعُلُومِ مُطَمطَمُ

سَلاَمٌ على قَلبِ الحَبيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ        لَقلبٌ بِنُورِ اللهِ دَوماً مُقَيَّمُ

يُشَاهِدُ رَبَّ العَرشِ في كُلِّ لَحظَةٍ     فإن نامَتِ العَينانِ ما نامَ فاعلَمُوا

سَلاَمٌ على كَفِّ النبي مُحَمَّدٍ         لَكَفٌ رَحيبٌ كَم يَجُودُ وَيُكرِمُ

بهِ كَم فَقِيرٍ صَارَ مِن بَعدِ فَقرِهِ       غَنِيًّا وَكَم طاغٍ بهِ مُتَضَيِّمُ

سَلاَمٌ على قَدَمٍِ الحَبيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ        بهِ دَاسَ حُجبَ العِزِّ ذَاكَ المُقَدِّمُ

بهِ قامَ في المِحرَابِ لِلهِ قانِتاً          يُناجى لِرَبِّ العَرشِ وَالنَّاسُ نُوَّمُ

فَما زَالَ هذَا دَأبُهُ كُلَّ لَيلَةٍ            إِلى أَن بهِ بانَ الوَنا وَالتَّوَرُّمُ

سَلاَمٌ على ذَاتِ النبي مُحَمَّدٍ         فَيا حُسنَها فِيها الجَمالُ مُتَمَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلى كُلِّ النبي مُحَمَّدٍ          نبي عَظِيمٌ بالجَلالِ مُعَظَّمُ

نَبِىٌ لِمَولاَهُ العَلِّى عِنايَةٌ               بِهِ تَبدُو إِذ ما الخَلقُ في الحَشرِ يُفحَمُ

عَلَيهِ لِوَاءُ الحَمدِ يُنصَبُ رِفعَةً        وَمِن تَحتِهِ الانباءُ وَالرُّسلُ يُزحَمُ

بِهِ كُلُّ عاص في القِيامةِ لاَئِذٌ        وَكُلُّ مُحِبٍّ فائِزٌ وَمُكلَّمُ

بِهِ يَرتَجِى المَجذُوبُ يَنجُو بِصَحبهِ   بِغَيرِ امتِحانٍ يا شَفِيعُ وَيَسلَمُ

عليك صلاة الله ثم سلامه          يَعُمَّانِ كلَّ الآلِ ها نحن نختمُ

Lament for Nigeria

Lament for Nigeria

In response to the Lekki massacre, inspired by the words of Ṣeun Kuti and Aisha Yesufu

dear god
I come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water
-warsan shire

A new moon rose up in the ember months over Nigeria
A new spring burst forth as the fires fell over Nigeria
To God I complain of the pain in my heart over Nigeria
Because of the loss of family, my friends over Nigeria
My eyes fill with tears, hot, heavy as lead over Nigeria
But what good are tears for the bullet-pierced dead all over Nigeria?
The lions are silent, the eagles have fled over Nigeria
My grief turns me away from my bed over Nigeria
Nigeria is dead, long reign her people over Nigeria
But she’s long been dead, vultures overhead all over Nigeria
Fighting for carrion, squawking with bald heads, all over Nigeria
As they carry on, feasting on the dead all over Nigeria
This poem was written and traced in the blood all over Nigeria
That’s reddened the skies, our eyes, and the mud all over Nigeria
Tears flow ceaselessly, flooding all the streams all over Nigeria
Grief’s withered the hearts, and dried out our dreams all over Nigeria
How many dark nights have swallowed up screams all over Nigeria?
How many have vanished, never to be seen, all over Nigeria?
How many have fled the hunger, the dread, all over Nigeria?
How many enslaved, with chains on their heads all over Nigeria?
How many have died, how many more bled, all over Nigeria?
How many have lied, how many misled, all over Nigeria?
How many gone blind, how many lives shed, all over Nigeria?
How many prayers un—heard stories misread all over Nigeria?
And how many sighs like smoke still yet rise all over Nigeria?
How many more till we stand tall once more over Nigeria?
But God will not change our state until we, all over Nigeria
‘Till we change our state, decide to be free all over Nigeria
For it is no sin to lament and grieve all over Nigeria
The sin is for us to stay on our knees all over Nigeria
Will we be slaves or will we be free all over Nigeria?
Who’s sacrificed for whose gluttonous greed all over Nigeria?
Ọlọrun! give youth the wisdom we need all over Nigeria
To uproot oppression, corruption’s disease all over Nigeria
And give our elders the eyes that can see, all over Nigeria
The root is rotten, so down fall the trees all over Nigeria
Long fingers and robes, eyes never at rest, all over Nigeria
The arms of the law serve these masters the best, all over Nigeria
The nation was built to steal our wealth all over Nigeria
Can you make a gun a fountain of health all over Nigeria?
The leopard changed skin, but not his dark spots all over Nigeria
Is it a wonder he never gets caught all over Nigeria?
But one day the prey go catch the hunter all over Nigeria
Is this just proverb, or this na today, all over Nigeria?
Our leaders are fingers of an empty glove all over Nigeria
Keeping the hands clean that pillage and reave all over Nigeria
Oyinbo chop, plump up on the pain all over Nigeria
Their glove sated with the palm oil stains all over Nigeria
Our life has flowed out into foreign banks all over Nigeria
Now Kwara, Ọya, overruns its banks all over Nigeria
Orimili rise, sweep rubbish aside all over Nigeria
Maayo Jaaliba come drown all the lies all over Nigeria
Eeepa! Ọya, the mother of nine, all over Nigeria
Let winds of change leave no place left to hide all over Nigeria
Eṣu Ẹlẹgbara, who tests every side all over Nigeria
Take the sacrifice and transform our lives all over Nigeria
Move us beyond strife, man of the crossroads, all over Nigeria
Dance to the drum and tickle its toes all over Nigeria
Untie our feet, transform our sorrows all over Nigeria
Speak with power, turn back all the blows all over Nigeria
Confound all of those killing us on your road and all over Nigeria
Let it be so, Aṣẹ, a maa n sọ, all over Nigeria
Ogun! ti n ru minimini, all over Nigeria
Who bathes in the blood of his enemies, all over Nigeria
Take up your cutlass and open the way all over Nigeria
The liars have come to mock and to play all over Nigeria
Devour the dogs, split them where they stand all over Nigeria
Let truth and justice return to the land all over Nigeria
Kabiyesi! Oronigbagbe all over Nigeria
Ọba to ko so, let your thunder fall all over Nigeria
Lightning touches heaven as it touches earth all over Nigeria
Ewe Ilere, dry tears with fire’s mirth all over Nigeria
Ọbaluaye sweep illness away all over Nigeria
The pox and the cancer that’s stolen our days all over Nigeria
Ọṣun, Iya mi, leader of women all over Nigeria
Stop the marauding invaders again all over Nigeria
Wealthy mother, with dye, beads, and fans all over Nigeria
O flowing water, with your strong, long hands all over Nigeria
Heal us, revive us, help us understand all over Nigeria
O re yeye o, bring peace to the land all over Nigeria
Ọrunmila, Ẹlẹri Ipin wa all over Nigeria
Aboru boye, abo rubo ṣiṣẹ all over Nigeria
Mightier-than-charms, please mend our bad heads all over Nigeria
Grant us wisdom, let’s not lose the thread all over Nigeria
Ẹlẹda ma sun! Ori iya mi all over Nigeria
Awake and fight! cut through bush for me all over Nigeria
Chineke me! How many must die all over Nigeria?
The earth is stuffed full, the sun will not rise over Nigeria
The ground is bleeding, the air choked with flies all over Nigeria
Achikwu oji , come, now is your time, all over Nigeria

Jesu, come clear out the temples again all over Nigeria
The moneylenders pretend they’re your friends all over Nigeria
They blaspheme your name and slaughter your flock all over Nigeria
Hiding behind scriptures they shamelessly mock all over Nigeria

Is this not the land that holds walis’ bones all over Nigeria?
Is this not where Queen Amina laid stones all over Nigeria?
Where Kalumfardo and then Sokoto all over Nigeria
Raised banners of truth and fought the shadows all over Nigeria?
Did not the Shehu, Bello, Asma’u all over Nigeria
Fight with their lives and their pens for truth all over Nigeria?
Would they be slaves of Lugard’s estate ruling over Nigeria?
Or would they revolt against the mandate of an unjust Nigeria?
Is there a way to travel swiftly from all over Nigeria
to justice and tranquil prosperity spread all over Nigeria?
If not, then put this charade to bed—it’s over for Nigeria
The proud lions and great ones all fled, overwhelmed by Nigeria
Compatriots arise, Protest! Disobey! For all over Nigeria
The unjust laws of unjust men are killing our Nigeria
Is this alright? Tell me is this OK? To die all over Nigeria?
If not, Ẹ ba mi sọrọ soke tonight all over Nigeria

In this year of Ogundimeji, we ask safety for our Nigeria
Make our legs strong, we’ve suffered too long, all for this Nigeria
Our diaspora, our people at home, fighting for this Nigeria
This time will be the cradle or grave for this our Nigeria
We seek refuge in God from the evils that swarm all over Nigeria
And blessings upon the best of us all from all over Nigeria
As long as a new moon continues to rise over our Nigeria
As long as the rain comes down from the skies over our Nigeria

-Oludamini Ogunnaike
October 21, 2020

A thread on how to support the protests
For more information, follow @feminist.co; https://feministcoalition2020.com/

Hard times

Skip James’ haunting depression-era blues song seems to only get more relevant with each passing day…

Lyrics:

Hard times is here and everywhere you go
Times are harder than ever been before
You know that people, they are are driftin’ from door to door
But you can’t find no heaven, I don’t care where they go
People, if I ever can get up off of this old hard killin’ floor
Lord, I’ll never get down this low no more
When you hear me singin’ this old lonesome song
People, you know these hard times can last us so long
You know, you say you had money, you better be sure
Lord, these hard times gon’ kill you, just drag on slow

The Iwan of Chosroes

The Iwan of Chosroes in Iraq is the only visible structure remaining of the Sassanid capital of Ctesphion (Madā’in in Arabic), about 35 km south of present-day Baghdad. Its Iwan, or arch, the largest vault of unreinforced brickwork in the world, is considered an architectural marvel. Possibly constructed during the reign of Anushirwan (Chosroes I) c 540 AD, the ruins of this palace have served as inspiration for many poets, particularly due to Islamic legends that this Iwan cracked upon the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, signaling the emergence of Islam as a new empire and civilization that would replace that of the Sassanids.

Below are three of the most famous poems inspired by these ruins. The first, written by the Senegalese Sufi shaykh, Ibrahim Niasse, upon his visit to the site in 1960, references many of the miraculous legends surrounding the Prophet’s birth and life; it is a celebration of the coming of the spiritual reality of the Prophet Muhammad into the world, eclipsing all other temporal power, and representing the miraculous, but inevitable triumph of truth, justice and spiritual authority over seemingly invincible political authority and power. The second, by the Persian poet al-Khaqānī, inspired by his visit to the site on his way back from ḥajj, is one of the most-celebrated Persian qasidas and takes the ruins as a moralizing reminder of the transience of power, wealth and glory, and the inevitable march of time which tramples all underfoot. The third, and oldest of these poems is by the ‘Abbasid court poet al-Buḥturī, and is a complex and vibrant celebration of the glory of the Sassanid kings, an appropriation and alliance of their civilization and time with that of the poet, and a textured reflection on memory, time, decay, and renewal. Whereas al-Buḥturī’s poem is largely celebratory of the memory of bygone glory and nobility, Khāqāni’s verse emphasizes its transience and evanescence, and the moral renewal such contemplation can provoke (as described in Qur’an 3:137, 6:6, 30:9, 40:21, 40:82, 44:25 etc.), and Niasse’s shorter, more straightforward and repetitive poem takes the ruins as a reminder of the glory of the spiritual reality of the Prophet and the once, future, and always victory of the truth over earthly power. All three poems are filled with literary allusions, creative and evocative imagery, literary devices, and profound musicality, as you can hear in the recordings below.

 

 

Ibrahim Niasse (d. 1975)

Translation:

Was it Chosroes’ Iwan that was crushed, heralding
            The emergence of the Prophet and Chosroes’ evanescence?
O Chosroes Anushirvan, when Muhammad came with
            His greatest signs, was it your castle that he saw?[1]
O Chosroes Anushirvan, when Muhammad came
            Did the rivers run dry? Or did they gush forth?
O Chosroes Anushirvan, when Muhammad came
            Did not the Magi come to you extolling him?
O Chosroes Anushirvan, did not Muhammad come
            Reciting, reminding, warning and giving glad tidings?
While the idols had prostrated to God, speaking [of his coming]
            And the soothsayers had told of what was hidden?
Greetings of peace to the light of God that
            Overshadowed, by his lights, the lights of Chosroes and Caesar
Greetings of peace to he who brought, while he was in Mecca
            A light by which Chosroes’ Iwan was cracked
Greetings of peace to being’s secret and its mystery
            For God’s alone is what is more exalted, and precious, and dazzling
Greetings of peace to he who came, while existence, all of it
            Was darkness, and from his lights it was illumined
Greetings of peace to him from a lovelorn servant
            In Baghdad, exhausted from having spent the night in sleepless contemplation
So he who razed this castle while he was a child in Mecca
            did not leave behind any appearance of that infidelity
So he who razed this castle while he was in Mecca
            He will demolish the castles of infidelity whenever he is remembered
Upon him be the blessings of God and then His peace too
            For I see that the lot of Muslims is abundant fortune
Upon him be the blessings of God and then His peace too
            And the share of the enemies of religion is a scourge of destruction

 

[1] An allusion to a miracle of the Prophet at the Battle of the Trench: when attempting to split a rock while digging a trench to protect the Medinan community, the Prophet’s three blows produced three flashes of light by which he reported that he saw three landmarks: the palace of Chosroes, the castles of the Yemen and those of Syria, each representing an opening of a direction for the spread of Islam (East, South, and North/West).

 

Original:

أإيوان كسرى هل دهاك وأنذرا        بروز نيبيّي إنّ كسرى تقهقرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد         بآياته الكبرى وقصرك أبصرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد        وهل قطع الأنهار أم هل تفجّرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد           وهل قد أتاك الموبذان مكبّرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد               يرتِّل ذكراً منذراً ومبشّرا
وقد سجد المعبود لله ناطقاً            وقد أبنأ الكهان ما كان مضمرا
سلام على نور الإله الذي خبت          بأنواره أنوار كسرى وقيصرا
سلام على من جاءوهو بمكّةٍ               بنورٍ به إيوان كسرى تكسّرا
سلام على سرّ الوجود ورمزه             فللّه ما أعلى وأغلى وأبهارا
سلام على من جاء والكون كلّه             ظلام ومن أنواره قد  تنوّرا
سلام عليه من خديمٍ متيّمٍ                      بببداد وهناً لا ينام تفكّرا
فمن هدّ هذا القصر وهو بمكّةٍ          وليداً فلا يبقي لذا الكفر مظهرا
ومن هدّ هذا القصر وهوبمكةٍ           سيهدم قصر الكفر حين تذكّرا
عليه صلاة الله ثمّ سلامه                    وأبصر حظّ المسلمين موفّرا
عليه صلاة الله ثمّ سلامه                  يلقى عدوّ الدّين سوطاً مدمّرا

al-Khَāqānī (d. 1199)

Translation:

(By Julie Meisami, from Qasida Poetry in Islamic Africa and Asia: Eulogy’s Bounty, Stefan Sperl and Christopher Shackle, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 1996), 163-169.

Awake!, O heart that sees portents, reflect on what you see,
Awake! Consider Madaʾin’s great arch as admonition’s mirror.
Leaving the banks of the Tigris, alight at Madaʾin,
on its ground let spill from your eyes, another Tigris
The very Tigris weeps a hundred Tigrises of blood; you’d say
Heat makes its bloody torrent pour fire from its lashes
Consider how the Tigris’ lips have caused its mouth to foam;
You’d say its fevered sighs of pain have caused its lips to blister
Consider how the fire of grief is grilling Tigris’ liver;
Have you ever heard of water that was roasted by a fire?
Again and again weep over the Tigris; give it alms from your eyes,
Even though the Tigris itself bestows its alms on the seashore.
Should the Tigris mingle its lips’ cold sighs with the burning of its heart,
Half of it would freeze over, half become a fiery grate
When the Aivan’s chain of justice broke apart in Madā’in,
The maddened Tigris was enchained, its waves twisted like chains
Now and again, in the tongue of tears, call out to the Aivan
In the hope that with your heart’s ear you will hear an answer from it.
Each palace battlement will give you counsel again and again;
Heed the advice of the battlement’s head from the bottom of your heart.
It says: ‘You are of earth and we are now your earth; so take
Two or three steps upon us; scatter two or three tears as well.
‘Truly the owl’s lamenting wail has caused our heads to ache.
‘Pour rosewater from your eyes to ease our headache and grief.
Indeed why should you marvel so? For in the world’s pleasance
‘The owl follows the nightingale; laments follow sweet songs.’
‘We are the court of justice, yet have suffered this injustice.
‘Say, what reversal will befall the castles of the unjust!’
‘You’d say this Aivan, lofty as the sky, had been overturned by command
Of the turning of the sky itself, or of Him who turns the sky.
You laugh at my eyes, as if to say, ‘What does he weep for here?’
But in this place they weep at those eyes that are not moved to tears
The white-haired crone of Madā’in is no less than Kufa’s old woman
The narrow chamber of the one is not less than the other’s oven
Do you know then what you must do? Make Madā’in equal Kufa
Make your breast a fiery oven; seek the flood from your eyes.
This is that very Aivan where, from the impress of men’s faces,
The dirt of its threshold was transformed to an idol-temple’s wall
This is that very court wherein, of the rulers of the world
Babylon’s king was a Daylami, Turkestan’s king, and Indian
This is that very portico whose grandeur was so awesome
That the lion of its hangings assaulted Lion’s heaven
Imagine it is that very age, and look, with reflection’s eye
On the chain before the court, the splendid assembly in the field
Dismount from your horse, and place your face upon the mat of earth and see
How great Nu’man is checkmated beneath its elephants’ feet
Nay, nay: see, like Nu’man, those elephant-felling kings themselves
Slain by the elephants Night and Day in the winding turns of time
How many an elephant-slaying king has been slain with a king-elephant
By the chess-player of his destiny, mated, deprived of hope.
The earth is drunk, for it has drunken deep–instead of wine—
From the cup of Hurmuz’s skull, the heart’s blood of Anushirvan
So many words of counsel then showed plainly in his crown
That now a hundred fledgling kites are hidden in his brains.
Kisrā and his golden citron, Parviz and his golden quince
Were swiftly carried off the wind, became as one with the earth
Parviz at every feast would scatter herbs of gold; transform
his golden carpet into a garden sprouting golden herbs
Parviz has vanished now; speak less of that vanished one.
where now is his feast, his golden herbs? Go and recite ‘How many…’
You ask, ‘Where have they gone, those crowned heads?’ Behold!
The belly of the earth swells pregnant with them ever more.
The pregnant earth takes long in giving birth. Indeed,
The task of giving birth is difficult, though impregnation’s easy.
It is the blood in Shirin’s heart, that wine the vine gives forth;
It is Parviz’s clay that forms the jar its grower offers
How many tyrants’ bodies have been swallowed by the earth?
No matter, she of greedy eyes is still not sated by them.
She mixes rouge to paint her face from the blood of children’s hearts,
This aged crone with whitened brows, this mother with black dugs
Khāqānī: like a beggar, seek admonition from this court,
That at your door, hereafter, the Khāqān [regal] will seek charity.
If today a traveller seeks provision from the sultan,
Tomorrow at the traveller’s door the sultan will seek provision.
If gifts from every town provision Mecca’s road,
Then you take Madā’in’s provision as a gift for Sharvan’s sake
Everyone takes from Mecca prayer-beads of Hamza’s clay
Then you take from Madā’in prayer-beads from the clay of Salman.
Look on this sea of insight, don’t pass by without a drink;
One cannot leave the shore of such a sea with thirsting lips.
When friends return from journeying, they bring with them a gift.
This bit of poetry is a gift brought for the hearts of friends.
Observe then in this poem what magic he displays,
The dead man with a Christlike heart, the madman with a wise soul.

!هان! ای دل ِ عبرتبین! از دیده عبر کن! هان
ایوان ِ مدائن را آیینهی عبرت دان!
یکره زِ لب ِ دجله منزل به مدائن کن
وَ ز دیده دُوُم دجله بر خاک ِ مدائن ران
خود دجله چنان گرید صد دجلهی خون گویی
کاز گرمی ِ خوناباش آتش چکد از مژگان
بینی که لب ِ دجله چون کف به دهان آرد؟
گوئی زِ تَف ِ آهاش لب آبله زد چندان
از آتش ِ حسرت بین بریان جگر ِ دجله
خود آب شنیدهستی کآتش کُنَد اَش بریان
بر دجله گِری نونو! وَ ز دیده زکاتاش ده
گرچه لب ِ دریا هست از دجله زکاتاِستان
گر دجله درآمیزد باد ِ لب و سوز ِ دل
نیمی شود افسرده، نیمی شود آتشدان
تا سلسلهی ایوان بگسست مدائن را
در سلسله شد دجله، چون سلسله شد پیچان
گهگه به زبان ِ اشک آواز ده ایوان را
تا بو که به گوش ِ دل پاسخ شنوی ز ایوان
دندانهی هر قصری پندی دهد اَت نو نو
پند ِ سر ِ دندانه بشنو زِ بن ِ دندان
گوید که تو از خاکی، ما خاک تو ایم اکنون
گامی دو سه بر ما نه و اشکی دو سه هم بفشان
از نوحهی جغدالحق مائیم به درد ِ سر
از دیده گلابی کن، درد ِ سر ِ ما بنشان
آری! چه عجب داری؟ کاندر چمن ِ گیتی
جغد است پی ِ بلبل؛ نوحهست پی ِ الحان
ما بارگه ِ دادیم این رفت ستم بر ما
بر قصر ِ ستمکاران تا خود چه رسد خذلان
گوئی که نگون کردهست ایوان ِ فلکوش را
حکم ِ فلک ِ گردان؟ یا حکم ِ فلکگردان؟
بر دیدهی من خندی کاینجا زِ چه میگرید!
خندند بر آن دیده کاینجا نشود گریان
نی زال ِ مدائن کم از پیرزن ِ کوفه
نه حجرهی تنگ ِ این کمتر زِ تنور ِ آن
دانی چه؟ مدائن را با کوفه برابر نه!
از سینه تنوری کن وَ ز دیده طلب طوفان
این است همان ایوان کاز نقش ِ رخ ِ مردم
خاک ِ در ِ او بودی دیوار ِ نگارستان
این است همان درگَه کاورا زِ شهان بودی
دیلم مَلِک ِ بابِل، هندو شه ِ ترکستان
این است همان صفّه کاز هیبت ِ او بردی
بر شیر ِ فلک حمله شیر ِ تن ِ شادروان
پندار همان عهد است. از دیدهی فکرت بین!
در سلسلهی درگَه، در کوکبهی میدان
از اسب پیاده شو، بر نَطع ِ زمین رُخ نه
زیر ِ پی ِ پیلاش بین شهمات شده نُعمان
نی! نی! که چو نُعمان بین پیلافکن ِ شاهان را
پیلان ِ شب و روز اَش کُشته به پی ِ دوران
ای بس شه ِ پیلافکن کافکند به شهپیلی
شطرنجی ِ تقدیر اَش در ماتگَه ِ حرمان
مست است زمین. زیرا خوردهست بهجایِ می
در کاس ِ سر ِ هرمز، خون ِ دل ِ نوشروان
بس پند که بود آنگه بر تاج ِ سر اَش پیدا
صد پند ِ نو است اکنون در مغز ِ سر اَش پنهان
کسری و ترنج ِ زر، پرویز و ترهی زرّین
بر باد شده یکسر، با خاک شده یکسان
پرویز به هر خوانی زرّینتره گستردی
کردی زِ بساط ِ زر، زرّینتره را بستان
پرویز کنون گم شد! زآن گمشده کمتر گو
زرّین تره کو برخوان؟ رو «کَم تَرَکوا» برخوان
گفتی که کجا رفتند آن تاجوران اینک؟
ز ایشان شکم ِ خاک است آبستن ِ جاویدان
بس دیر همیزاید آبستن ِ خاک، آری
دشوار بود زادن، نطفه ستدن آسان
خون ِ دل ِ شیرین است آن می که دهد رَزبُن
ز آب و گِل ِ پرویز است آن خُم که نهد دهقان
چندین تن ِ جبّاران کاین خاک فرو خوردهست
این گرسنهچشم آخر هم سیر نشد ز ایشان
از خون ِ دل ِ طفلان سرخاب ِ رخ آمیزد
این زال ِ سپید ابرو، وین مام ِ سیهپستان
خاقانی ازین درگه دریوزهی عبرت کن
تا از در ِ تو زینپس دریوزه کند خاقان
امروز گر از سلطان رندی طلبد توشه
فردا زِ در ِ رندی توشه طلبد سلطان
گر زاد ِ ره ِ مکه تحفهست به هر شهری
تو زاد ِ مدائن بَر تحفه ز پی ِ شروان
هرکس برَد از مکّه سبحه زِ گِل ِ جمره
پس تو ز مدائن بَر سبحه ز گل ِ سلمان
این بحر ِ بصیرت بین! بیشربت از او مگذر
کاز شطّ ِ چنین بحری لبتشنه شدن نتوان
اِخوان که زِ راه آیند، آرند رهآوردی
این قطعه رهآورد است از بهر ِ دل ِ اِخوان
بنگر که در این قطعه چه سحر همی راند
معتوه ِ مسیحا دل، دیوانهیِ عاقل جان

From:

 https://ganjoor.net/khaghani/divankh/gha…

Al-Buḥturī (d. 897)

Translation:

(by Samer Ali from Reinterpreting al-Buḥturī’s “Īwān Kisrā Ode”: Tears of Affection for the Cycles of History, Journal of Arabic Literature , 2006, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2006), pp. 65-67)

I saved myself from what defiles my self
and rose above the largess of every craven coward.
I endured when Time shook me,
seeking misery and reversal for me.
Mere subsistence from the dregs of life have I.
Days have rationed it inadequately.
Stark is the difference between him who drinks at will twice a day
and him who drinks every fourth day.
As if Time’s inclinations are predicated on the vilest of the vile.
My purchase of Iraq was a swindler’s ploy,
after my sale of Syria, a trickster’s sale.
Do not test me endlessly about my knowledge
of these ordeals to deny my misfortunes.
You once knew me as a man of qualities,
disdaining petty matters, undaunted.
But the scorn of my cousin,
after heartfelt kindness and amity, disturbs me.
When I am scorned, I am likely
to be seen rising not where I spent the night.
Sorrows attend my saddle. I direct
my stout she-camel to Mada’in [Ctesiphon].
I console myself for such luck
and find solace in a site for the Sasanians, ruined.
Perpetual misfortune reminds me of them;
misfortune makes one remember and forget.
They live the good life, shaded by guarded peaks,
which tire and baffle the gaze.
Its gates, on Qabq Mountain, are secure, extending to the uplands of Khilat and Muks.
The abodes are unlike the ruins of Su’da,
in a wasteland, bare and plantless.
Heroic feats-were it not for my partiality-the
feats of ‘Ans and ‘Abs would not surpass them.
Time despoiled their era of vitality. It
devolved to worn-out rags.
As if the Arched Hall, for lack of humanity, and sheer abandonment,
is a grave’s edifice.
 If you saw it, you would know that the nights
are holding a funeral in it after a wedding.
It would inform you of a troop’s marvels,
their record does not gray with obscurity.
When you see a panel of the Battle at Antioch,
you tremble among Byzantines and Persians.
The Fates stand still, while Anushirvan
leads the ranks onward under the banner
In a deep green robe over yellow.
It appears dyed in saffron.
 Men in combat are under his command.
Some are quiet and hushed.
Some are intense, rushing forward with spear-points.
Others are cautious of them, using shields.
The eye depicts them very much alive:
they have between them speechless signs.
My wonder about them boils till
my hand explores them with a touch.
Abu al-Ghawth [poet’s son] had poured me a drink without stinting,
for the two armies, a draft
of wine. You would think it a star
lighting the night or sun’s luscious kiss.
You see, when it renews joy and
contentment for the drinker, one sip after the other,
That it was poured into glasses-into every heart.
It is beloved to every soul.
I fancied Kisra Aparviz handing me
a drink and al-Balahbadh [king’s minstrel] my companion.
A dream that closes my eye to doubt?
Or desire that alters my fancy and guesses?
As if the Arched Hall, by its wondrous craftsmanship,
were hollowed in the cliff of a mountain side.
It would be thought, from its sadness-
to the eyes of morning and evening visitors-
Distraught like a man torn from the company of loved ones,
or distressed by the breaking of nuptials.
Nights have reversed its luck. There, Jupiter
whiled the night but as a star of misfortune.
It shows hardiness, but the cruel weight of Time
is fixed upon it.
It’s no stigma that it was ravished of
silken carpets, stripped of damask drapes.
Towering, its ramparts rise high,
It looms over the summits of Ridwd and Quds.
Donning white clouds, you do not
glimpse of them but cotton tunics.
It is not quite known: Is it the work of humans for jinn
to live in or the work of jinn for humans?
Yet, as I gaze upon it, it attests
its builder is among kings not the least a cipher.
As though I see generals and troops,
as far as the eye can see.
As though foreign embassies suffer in the sun.
They are dismayed standing behind crowds, kept waiting.
As though minstrels in the Hall’s center
croon lyrics between plum-like lips.
As though the gathering were the day before yesterday
and the hurry of departure just yesterday.
As though the seeker of their trail could hope
to catch up with them the morning of the fifth day.
It was built up for joy forever, but
their domain is for condolence and consolation now.
It deserves that I lend it my tears,
tears committed to affection, devoted.
I feel this, though the abode is not my abode
-by blood-nor this race my race.
Beyond their graces toward my people,
they seeded, out of their goodness, fine sprouts.
They backed our dominion and buttressed its might
with warriors under armor, zealous.
They helped against Aryat’s regiment
by stabbing chests and spearing.
I find myself thereafter completely enamored
by noble men of every race and origin.

Original:

صنت نفسي عما يدنس نفسي *** وَتَرَفَّعتُ عَن جَدا كُلِّ جِبسِ
وَتَماسَكتُ حينَ زَعزَعَني الدَهـ *** ـرُ التِماسًا مِنهُ لِتَعسي وَنَكسي
بُلَغٌ مِن صُبابَةِ العَيشِ عِندي *** طَفَّفَتها الأَيّامُ تَطفيفَ بَخسِ
وَبَعيدٌ مابَينَ وارِدِ رِفْهٍ *** عَلَلٍ شُربُهُ وَوارِدِ خِمسِ
وَكَأَنَّ الزَمانَ أَصبَحَ مَحمو *** لًا هَواهُ مَعَ الأَخَسِّ الأَخَسِّ
وَاشتِرائي العِراقَ خُطَّةُ غَبنٍ *** بَعدَ بَيعي الشَآمَ بَيعَةَ وَكسِ
لاتَرُزني مُزاوِلًا لِاختِباري *** بَعدَ هَذي البَلوى فَتُنكِرَ مَسّي
وَقَديمًا عَهِدَتني ذا هَناتٍ *** آبِياتٍ عَلى الدَنِيّاتِ شُمسِ
وَلَقَد رابَني نُبُوُّ ابنُ عَمّي *** بَعدَ لينٍ مِن جانِبَيهِ وَأُنسِ
وَإِذا ماجُفيتُ كُنتُ جَديرًا *** أَن أَرى غَيرَ مُصبِحٍ حَيثُ أُمسي
حَضَرَت رَحلِيَ الهُمومُ فَوَجَّهـ *** ـتُ إِلى أَبيَضِ المَدائِنِ عَنسي
أَتَسَلّى عَنِ الحُظوظِ وَآسى *** لِمَحَلٍّ مِن آلِ ساسانَ دَرسِ
أَذكَرتِنيهُمُ الخُطوبُ التَوالي *** وَلَقَد تُذكِرُ الخُطوبُ وَتُنسي
وَهُمُ خافِضونَ في ظِلِّ عالٍ *** مُشرِفٍ يَحسِرُ العُيونَ وَيُخسي
مُغلَقٍ بابُهُ عَلى جَبَلِ القَبـ *** ـقِ إِلى دارَتَي خِلاطَ وَمُكسِ
حِلَلٌ لَم تَكن كَأَطلالِ سُعدى *** في قِفارٍ مِنَ البَسابِسِ مُلسِ
وَمَساعٍ لَولا المُحاباةُ مِنّي *** لَم تُطِقها مَسعاةُ عَنسٍ وَعَبسِ
نَقَلَ الدَهرُ عَهدَهُنَّ عَنِ الـ *** ـجِدَّةِ حَتّى رَجَعنَ أَنضاءَ لُبسِ
فَكَأَنَّ الجِرْمازَ مِن عَدَمِ الأُنـ *** ـسِ وَإِخلالِهِ بَنِيَّةُ رَمسِ
لَو تَراهُ عَلِمتَ أَنَّ اللَيالي *** جَعَلَت فيهِ مَأتَمًا بَعدَ عُرسِ
وَهوَ يُنبيكَ عَن عَجائِبِ قَومٍ *** لايُشابُ البَيانُ فيهِم بِلَبسِ
وَإِذا مارَأَيتَ صورَةَ أَنطا *** كِيَّةَ اِرتَعتَ بَينَ رومٍ وَفُرسِ
وَالمَنايا مَواثِلٌ وَأَنوشِر *** وانَ يُزجى الصُفوفَ تَحتَ الدِرَفسِ
في اخضِرارٍ مِنَ اللِباسِ عَلى أَصـ *** ـفَرَ يَختالُ في صَبيغَةِ وَرسِ
وَعِراكُ الرِجالِ بَينَ يَدَيهِ *** في خُفوتٍ مِنهُم وَإِغماضِ جَرسِ
مِن مُشيحٍ يَهوى بِعامِلِ رُمحٍ *** وَمُليحٍ مِنَ السِنانِ بِتُرسِ
تَصِفُ العَينُ أَنَّهُم جِدُّ أَحيا *** ءَ لَهُم بَينَهُم إِشارَةُ خُرسِ
يَغتَلي فيهِم ارتِابي حَتّى *** تَتَقَرّاهُمُ يَدايَ بِلَمسِ
قَد سَقاني وَلَم يُصَرِّد أَبو الغَو *** ثِ عَلى العَسكَرَينِ شَربَةَ خُلسِ
مِن مُدامٍ تَظُنُّها وَهيَ نَجمٌ *** ضَوَّأَ اللَيلَ أَو مُجاجَةُ شَمسِ
وَتَراها إِذا أَجَدَّت سُرورًا *** وَارتِياحًا لِلشارِبِ المُتَحَسّي
أُفرِغَت في الزُجاجِ مِن كُلِّ قَلبٍ *** فَهيَ مَحبوبَةٌ إِلى كُلِّ نَفسِ
وَتَوَهَّمتُ أَنَّ كِسرى أَبَرويـ *** ـزَ مُعاطِيَّ وَالبَلَهبَذَ أُنسي
حُلُمٌ مُطبِقٌ عَلى الشَكِّ عَيني *** أَم أَمانٍ غَيَّرنَ ظَنّي وَحَدسي
وَكَأَنَّ الإيوانَ مِن عَجَبِ الصَنـ *** ـعَةِ جَوبٌ في جَنبِ أَرعَنَ جِلسِ
يُتَظَنّى مِنَ الكَآبَةِ إِذ يَبـ *** ـدو لِعَينَي مُصَبِّحٍ أَو مُمَسّي
مُزعَجًا بِالفِراقِ عَن أُنسِ إِلفٍ *** عَزَّ أَو مُرهَقًا بِتَطليقِ عِرسِ
عَكَسَت حَظُّهُ اللَيالي وَباتَ الـ *** ـمُشتَري فيهِ وَهوَ كَوكَبُ نَحسِ
فَهوَ يُبدي تَجَلُّدًا وَعَلَيهِ *** كَلكَلٌ مِن كَلاكِلِ الدَهرِ مُرسي
لَم يَعِبهُ أَن بُزَّ مِن بُسُطِ الديـ *** ـباجِ وَاستَلَّ مِن سُتورِ الدِّمَقسِ
مُشمَخِّرٌ تَعلو لَهُ شُرُفاتٌ *** رُفِعَت في رُؤوسِ رَضوى وَقُدسِ
لابِساتٌ مِنَ البَياضِ فَما تُبـ *** ـصِرُ مِنها إِلّا غَلائِلَ بُرسِ
لَيسَ يُدرى أَصُنعُ إِنسٍ لِجِنٍّ *** سَكَنوهُ أَم صُنعُ جِنٍّ لِإِنسِ
غَيرَ أَنّي أراه يَشهَدُ أَن لَم *** يَكُ بانيهِ في المُلوكِ بِنُكسِ
فَكَأَنّي أَرى المَراتِبَ وَالقَو *** مَ إِذا ما بَلَغتُ آخِرَ حِسّي
وَكَأَنَّ الوُفودَ ضاحينَ حَسرى *** مِن وُقوفٍ خَلفَ الزِحامِ وَخنسِ
وَكَأَنَّ القِيانَ وَسطَ المَقاصيـ *** ـرِ يُرَجِّعنَ بَينَ حُوٍ وَلُعسِ
وَكَأَنَّ اللِقاءَ أَوَّلَ مِن أَمـ *** ـسٍ وَوَشكَ الفِراقِ أَوَّلَ أَمسِ
وَكَأَنَّ الَّذي يُريدُ اتِّباعًا *** طامِعٌ في لُحوقِهِم صُبحَ خَمسِ
عُمِّرَت لِلسُرورِ دَهرًا فَصارَت *** لِلتَعَزّي رِباعُهُم وَالتَأَسّي
فَلَها أَن أُعينَها بِدُموعٍ *** موقَفاتٍ عَلى الصَبابَةِ حُبسِ
ذاكَ عِندي وَلَيسَت الدارُ داري *** باِقتِرابٍ مِنها وَلا الجِنسُ جِنسي
غَيرَ نُعمى لِأَهلِها عِندَ أَهلي *** غَرَسوا مِن زَكائِها خَيرَ غَرسِ
أَيَّدوا مُلكَنا وَشَدّوا قُواهُ *** بِكُماةٍ تَحتَ السَنَّورِ حُمسِ
وَأَعانوا عَلى كَتائِبِ أَريا *** طَ بِطَعنٍ عَلى النُحورِ وَدَعسِ
وَأَراني مِن بَعدُ أَكلَفُ بِالأَشـ *** ـرافِ طُرًّا مِن كُلِّ سِنخِ وَأُسِّ

Words of Bewilderment…

 

Say: My Lord increase me in knowledge!

قل ربّي زدني علماً

Quran 20:114

 

My Lord increase me in bewilderment in Thee!

ربّي زدني فيك تحيراً

-Saying of the Prophet Muḥammad

Rumi

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

for cleverness is mere opinion and bewilderment is vision.

زیرکی بفروش و حیرانی بخر

زیرکی ظنست و حیرانی نظر

 

Ibn al-‘Arabi

“Now guidance is that man should be guided to bewilderment, and know that the affair is bewilderment and that bewilderment is unrest and motion, and that motion is life, without stillness and so without death, and is existence without non-existence.”

“And thus there is nothing but bewilderment, shattering one’s vision, although the one who knows what we are saying shall not be bewildered.”

“…Drowned in the sea which the knowledge of God is, and which is bewilderment”

Hafez

As the sprout of bewilderment, your love came
As the perfection of bewilderment, your union came
Many a drowned one, in the ecstasy of union
to whom in the ecstasy itself, bewilderment came
Neither union nor united remain
where the specter of bewilderment came
Show me one heart on his path
in whose face no mole of bewilderment came
From every direction that I listened
the sound of the question of bewilderment came
From head to foot, Hafez’s existence
In love, a sprout of bewilderment became

 

Original:
عشق تو نهال حیرت آمد         وصل تو کمال حیرت آمد
بس غرقه حال وصل کآخر        هم بر سر حال حیرت آمد
یک دل بنما که در ره او     بر چهره نه خال حیرت آمد
نه وصل بماند و نه واصل       آن جا که خیال حیرت آمد
از هر طرفی که گوش کردم            آواز سؤال حیرت آمد
شد منهزم از کمال عزت         آن را که جلال حیرت آمد
سر تا قدم وجود حافظ          در عشق نهال حیرت آمد

 

Ibn al-Fāriḍ

Translation:

Give me an excess of love for you, bewildered
And have mercy on a heart scorched by a glance of your love
And if I ask to see you truly
Then allow me, graciously
And let not your answer be, “Thou shalt not see
O heart, you have promised me to be patient in loving them
So be sure to bear it do not dismay
Passion is life, so die in it lovingly.
 Your duty is to die and be absolved
 My heart, say to those ahead of me, and those behind me,
Whoever has seen the sacrifice of my sorrow
“Follow my example and listen to me
And tell the tale of my love amongst mankind”
I was alone with the Beloved and between us there was
A secret more subtle than the dawn breeze when it blows
And he allowed my eyes a glance
So I became famous, having been unknown before
I was awestruck between his beauty and majesty
And tomorrow, the tongue of my state will explain
Turn your gaze to the beauties of his face,
Where all beauty has been gathered
If all beauty were perfected into one form
on seeing him, it would exclaim [in wonder],
“There is no god but God, and God is greater.”

 

 

Original:
زِدْني بفَرْطِ الحُبّ فيك تَحَيّرا          وارْحَمْ حشىً بلَظَى هواكَ تسعّرا
وإذا سألُتكَ أن أراكَ حقيقةً          فاسمَحْ ولا تجعلْ جوابي لن تَرى
يا قلبُ أنتَ وعدَتني في حُبّهمْ          صَبراً فحاذرْ أن تَضِيقَ وتَضجرا
إنَّ الغرامَ هوَ الحياةُ فمُتْ بِهِ             صَبّاً فحقّك أن تَموتَ وتُعذرا
قُل لِلّذِينَ تقدَّموا قَبلي ومَن        بَعدي ومَن أضحى لأشجاني يَرَى
عني خذوا وبي اقْتدوا وليَ اسمعوا             وتحدّثوا بصَبابتي بَينَ الوَرى
ولقد خَلَوْتُ مع الحَبيب وبَيْنَنَا              سِرٌّ أرَقّ منَ النسيمِ إذا سرى
وأباحَ طَرْفِي نَظْرْةً أمّلْتُها               فَغَدَوْتُ معروفاً وكُنْتُ مُنَكَّرا
فَدُهِشْتُ بينَ جمالِهِ وجَلالِهِ             وغدا لسانُ الحال عنّي مُخْبِرا
فأَدِرْ لِحَاظَكَ في محاسنِ وجْهه            تَلْقَى جميعَ الحُسْنِ فيه مُصَوَّرا
لو أنّ كُلّ الحُسْنِ يكمُلُ صُورةً                    ورآهُ كان مُهَلِّلاً ومُكَبِّر

 

 

Madīḥ for the Mawlid

For the Mawlid 1441/2019

Chorus:

صلاة ربّي مع السلام
على الحبيب سيّد الكيان
Ṣalaatu rabbi ma‘ as-salaami
‘alā’l-ḥabeebi seyyidil-Kiyaani

 

حمداً لربّي لمن يربّ
كلّ الانام و قد كافان
ḥamdan li rabbi li man yurabbi
kullal-anaami wa qad kafaani
Praise be to my Lord for the one who cares for
All creatures, and has sufficed me

بدر البدور بحر البحور
سرّ السرور سرّ ربّاني
Badril-Budoori Baḥril-Buḥoori
Sirris-suroori, sirrin-Rabbaani
Moon of moons, sea of seas
The secret of joy, a divine secret

نور الانوار ضوء الابصار
اوج الافكار فخر الانسان
Nuril-anwaari, ḍaw’il-abṣaari
Awjil-afkaari, fakhril-insaani
Light of lights, light of sights
The summit of thoughts, the pride of mankind

شمس الشموس رأس الرؤوس
تاج العروس سبع المثان
Shamsish-shumoosi Ra’sir-ru’oosi
Tajil-‘aroosi, Sab‘il-mathaani
Sun of suns, chief of chiefs
Bridegroom’s crown, the seven oft-repeated

نفس النفوس رمزالرموز
في خلق الله ما له ثاني
Nafsin-nufoosi, Ramzir-rumoozi
Fi khalqiLlahi Ma lahu thaani
The Soul of souls, mystery of mysteries
In God’s creation, he has no peer

غوث العباد صوت إنشادي
يوم الميلاد معنى المعاني
Ghawthil-‘ibadi ṣawti inshaadi
Yawmal-meeilaadi, Ma‘na’l-ma‘aani
Saviour of servants, the voice of my song,
On the birthday, the meaning of meanings

عين الجمال زين الجلال
قطب الكمال روح الرحمان
‘aynil-Jamaali, zaynil-jalaali
qutbil-kamaali, Ruuhil-Raḥmaani
The essence of beauty, the beauty of Majesty
The pole of perfection, the spirit of the Merciful

خير الرجال جمع الخصال
ماحي الضلال طول الزماني
khayrir-rijaali, jam‘il-khiṣaali
Maaḥiḍ-ḍalaali, ṭoolal-zamaani
The best of men, totality of all virtues
The eraser of error, throughout all time

رمز الوجود نور الشهود
معدن الجود رَوح الريحان
Ramzil wujoodi, nuurish-shuhoodi
Ma‘dinil-joodi, rawhir-rayhaani
the mystery of existence, the light of witness
treasury of good, the rest of repose

شرح الصدور، قرب الحضور
فتح الشكور بحر الاوان
Sharḥiṣ-suduuri, qurbil-ḥudoori
Fatḥish-shakoori, Bahril-awaani
The expansion of chests, the closeness of presence
The opening of the grateful, the sea of time

لبّ الباب اصل الأسباب
صب الاصحاب نور الاكوان
lubbil-lubaabi, aslil-asbaabi
ṣabbil-aṣhaabi, nooril-akwaani
the kernel of the kernel, the origin of causes
the love of friends, the light of existence

فتح الأبواب، سكر الشراب
ذكر الاقطاب، ختم القرآن
fathil-Abwaabi, sukrish-sharaabi
dhikril-aqtaabi, khatmil-Quraani
the opening of doors, the intoxication of the drink
the invocation the of poles, the seal of the Qur’an

صفو القلوب كفّر ذنوبي
واكشف كروبي، خير الكنان
Safwil-quloobi, kaffir dhunuubi
Wakshif kuruubi, khayral-kinaani
The purity of hearts, cover my sins,
Lift my sorrows, O best of refuges

انت حبيب انت قريب
انت مجيب في كلّ الان
Anta habeebun, anta qareebun
Anta mujeebun, fi kullil ani
You are beloved, you are near
You respond at every moment

انت محمود حامد احمد
و مدحي فيك مسك الزمان
Anta Mahmoodun, Ḥaamidun, Aḥmad
Wa madhee feeka miskul-zamaani
You are praised, praiser, and the most praised
And my praise of you is the perfume of time

شوق أشواقي ذوق أذواقي
فمدحي باقي و فيك فاني
shawqi-ashwaaqi, dhawqi-adhwaaqi
famadhee baaqi, wa fiika faani
the longing of my longings, the taste of my tastings
my praise endures, while I am annihilated in you

وفي الطريق انت رفيق
انا فقير و بك غاني
Wa fī’l-Ṭareeqi, Anta rafeequn
Ana faqeerun, wa bika ghaani
Upon the path, you are a companion
I am poor, yet by you, rich

وسكري راق وانت الساقي
يقوت الحق عين الإنسان
Wa sukri raaqin, Wa anta’s-saaqi
Yāqootul-Ḥaqqi, ‘aynul-Insaani
My drunkenness is refined, and you are the Saqi
The Ruby of the Real, the Eye of the Pupil/Essence of Mankind

فوق الافاق عمق العماق
برق المحاق عين الجنان
Fawqal-afaaqi, ‘amqul-‘amaaqi
Barqul-Maḥāqi, ‘aynul-Jinaani
Above the horizons, the deep of the depths
The lightning of the moonless nights, the fountain of the Gardens

و نعم المولى و انت أولى
علوالأعلى، روح المعاني
Wa ni’ma’l-Mawlā, Wa anta Awlā
‘uluuwul-‘Alaa, Ruuḥul-Ma‘aanī
What a great master, yet you are nearer
The exaltation of the exalted, the spirit of meaning

أطلب بك، عين السلام
من السلام حسن الختام
Aṭlubu bika, ‘aynas-salaami,
Min as-Salaami, husnal-khitaami
I seek from you, O essence of peace
From the Peace, a good end.

al-Tilimsānī: Loving you is a gilded religion

Some beautiful poems of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Maghrebi student, ‘Afīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsānī:

 

Translation:

I have, in loving you, a golden religion
and a quest like it as a goal
I became a slave well-pleased with what
pleases you, having neither hope nor fear
When the cup of your saki appears
I am the first to drink it
And when your name is sung in poetry
I am the first to thrill in ecstasy
O moon, in my heart’s blood
the breaking of the dawn and falling of the dusk never cease
O Gazelle, in my heart, you have a meadow
and from my tears, a spring
There is no life but your love
from which every joy’s derived

 

Orginal:

لِي فِي هَوَاكُمْ مَذْهَبٌ مُذْهَبُ                   ومَطْلَبٌ مَامِثْلُهُ مَطْلَبُ
أًَصْبَحْتُ عَبْداً رَاضِياً بالَّذِي            تَرْضُونَ لاَ أَرْجُو وَلاَ أَرْهَبُ
إِذَا تَجَلَّى كَاسُ سَاقِيكُمُ                  كُنْتُ لَهُ أَوَّلَ مَنْ يَشْرَبُ
وَإِنْ تَغَنَّى بِاسْمِكُمْ مُنْشِدٌ                    فَإِنَّني أَوَّلُ مَنْ يَطْرَبُ
يَا قَمَراً في مُهْجَتِي لَمْ يَزَلْ               مَطْلَعُهُ المَّشْرقُ وَالمَغْرِبُ
وَيَا غَزَالاً في فُؤادِي لَهُ           مَرْعىً وَمِنْ دَمْعِي لَهُ مَشْرَبُ
مَا العَيْشُ إلاَّ في هَوَاكَ الَّذِي                      كُلُّ نَعِيمٍ فَلَهُ يُنْسَبُ

 

Translation:

O you living in my heart
when will I win intimacy?
You robbed me
but I am happy with my theft
O nomads of the blazing valley
You are the best of nomads
Your guest seeks refuge
and the contract of his clientage is a captive heart
I have not forgotten your love
May I never forget my passion, my love!
If you are pleased by my removal
then that is my heart’s desire
My spirit is yours if you accept it
and the spirit is the lover’s utmost
You are the treasure of my heart
on the Day of Return and my sufficiency
I love you and by my right
I was perplexed by my share of amazement
I leaned drunkenly, and why not?
For my drink was from you
And my beloved poured drinks for me
and singled me out without my friends
My eyes were not blind, beholding
openly, the brilliance of my Lord’s face
I long for the sweet myrtle and tamarisk
and the remembrance of the laurel and the dune

 

 

Original:

يَا ساكِنينَ بِقَلْبِي            مَتَى أَفُوزُ بِقُرْبِ
سَلَبَتُمُونِي وَلَكِنْ             أَنَا السَّعِيدُ بِسَلْبِي
يَا عُرْبَ وَاديَ المُصَلاَّ             لأَنْتُمُ خَيْرُ عُرْبِ
نَزِيلُكُم مُسْتَهَامُ            مُوَلَّهُ القَلْبِ مَسْبي
وَلَسْتُ أَسْلُو هَوَاكُمْ         حَاشَا غَرَامِي وَحُبِّي
إذا رَضِيتُمْ تَلاَفِي           فَذَاكَ مَطْلُوبُ قَلْبِي
رُوحِي لَكُمْ إِنْ قَبِلْتُمْ         وَالرُّوحُ جَهْدُ المُحِبِّ
أَنْتُمْ ذَخِيرَةُ قَلْبِي           يَوْمَ المَعَادِ وَحَسْبِي
عَشِقْتُكُمْ وَبِحَقِّي     إِنْ تِهْتُ مِنْ فَرْطِ عُجْبي
وَمِلْتُ سُكْراً وَلِمْ لاَ            وَمِنْكُمُ كَانَ شُرْبي
وَقَدْ سَقَانِي حَبِيبي       وَخَصَّنِي دُونَ صَحْبِي
وَلَسْتُ بَعْدَ عَيَانِي         جَهْراً سَنَا وَجْهِ رَبِّي
أَصْبُو لِرَنْدٍ وَبَانٍ            وَذِكْرِ غَارٍ وَكُثْبِ

Translation:

I witnessed your self in us, while it is singular,
as multiple possessing attributes and names
In you we witnessed, after our manyness
an essence in which the seen and seer are united

 

Original:

شهدت نفسك فينا وهي واحده       كثيرةً ذات اوصاف واسماءي

ونحن فيك شهدنا بعد كثرتنا       عيناً بها اتّحد المرئي والرائي

 

Night

“The Night” by Henry Vaughan

 There is in God, some say,
A deep but dazzling darkness, as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
             See not all clear.
    O for that night! where I in Him
    Might live invisible and dim!

 

Rumi

Translation:

Truth is the Night of Power,
hidden amid the other nights
so the soul may try each one.
Not all nights are the Night of Power,
yet all nights aren’t empty of it either.

 

Original:

Haqq Shab-e Qadrast dar shab-hâ nehân
tâ konad jân har shabi-râ emtehân
Nah hameh shab-hâ bovad Qadr ay javân
nah hameh shab-hâ bovad khâli az ân

حق شب قدراست در شبها نهان
تا كند جان هر شب را امتهان
نه همه شبها بود قدر اط جوان
نه همه شبها بود خال از ان

 

— Mathnawi II: 2935-2936
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Daylight”
Threshold Books, 1994

Shabistari

The Rose Garden of Mystery (verses 122-130)

Reason’s light applied to the Essence of Lights
is like the eye of the head looking at the brilliance of the Sun
when the object seen is very close to the eye
The eye is darkened so that it cannot see it
This blackness, if you know it, is the very light of Being
in the land of darkness is the fountain of life
Since the darkness destroys the light of vision
Give up loooking, for this is no place for looking
What connection has dust with the pure world?
Its perception is the inability to perceive perception
What shall I say? since this saying is fine,
“A bright night in the midst of a dark day”
In this place of witnessing, which is the light of manifestation
 I have much to say, but silence is best.

 

Original:

بود نور خرد در ذات انور              به سان چشم سر در چشمه خور
چو مبصر با بصر نزدیک گردد              بصر ز ادراک آن تاریک گردد
سیاهی گر بدانی نور ذات است              به تاریکی درون آب حیات است
سیه جز قابض نور بصر نیست               نظر بگذار کین جای نظر نیست
چه نسبت خاک را با عالم پاک        که ادراک است عجز از درک ادراک
سیه رویی ز ممکن در دو عالم                       جدا هرگز نشد والله اعلم
سواد الوجه فی الدارین درویش                 سواد اعظم آمد بی کم و بیش
چه می‌گویم که هست این نکته باریک              شب روشن میان روز تاریک
در این مشهد که انوار تجلی است           سخن دارم ولی نا گفتن اولی است

 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Glances of Love

Two of my favorite Nusrat classics, Tumhein Dillagi Bhool and Mast Naszron Say illuminate each other nicely:

Tumhein dillagi bhool

Translation (modified from Sur Street) and transliteration:

Chorus:

Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Muhabbat ki raahon mein aa kar to dekho

You will have to forget about playing games
You will have to forget about playing games
Come into the ways of love and see

 

Tarapne pe mere na phir tum hanso ge
Tarapne pe mere na phir tum hanso ge
Kabhi dil kissi se laga kar to dekho

Then you will not laugh at my torment
Then you will not laugh at my torment
Give your heart to someone once and see

 

Honton ke paas aye hansi, kya majaal hai
Dil ka muamla hai koi dillagi nahin

A smile dare not creep over the lips…
This is a matter of the heart, not a mere game

 

Zakhm pe zakhm kha ke ji
Apne lahoo ke ghont pi
Aah na kar labon ko si
Ishq hai dillagi nahin

Take wound upon wound, yet live
Drink sips of your own blood
Drink sips of your own blood
Let out not a single sigh, seal your lips
This is love, not a game

 

Dil laga kar pata chaley ga tumhein
Aashiqui dillagi nahin hoti

When you have given your heart you will realize
Love is not a game

 

Kuch khel nahin hai ishq ki laag
Paani na samajh ye aag hai aag

Love is not child’s play
Don’t think of it as water, this is fire!

 

Khoon rulaye gi ye lagi dil ki
Khel samjho na dillagi dil ki

It makes you shed bloody tears
Don’t think of it as child’s play

 

Yeh ishq nahin aasaan
Bas itna samajh leejay
Ik aag ka darya hai
Aur doob ke jaana hai

This love is not easy
think of it this way:
It is a river of fire
and to cross you must drown!

 

Wafaaon ki hum se tawaqo nahin hai
Wafaaon ki hum se tawaqo nahin hai
Magar ek baar aazma kar to dekho
Zamanay ko apna bana kar to dekha
Humein bhi tum apna bana kar to dekho

You may not expect me to be faithful
You may not expect me to be faithful
But you have to try me at least once
You gave yourself to the whole world
Now try making me your own!

 

Khuda ke liya chor do ab yeh parda…

Rukh se naqab utha, ke bari der ho gayi
Mahol ko tilaawat-e-quraan kiye hoye
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…
Lift the veil now, it has been long since
the world burst into songs of praise…
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Hum na samjhe teri nazron ka taqaza kya hai
Kabhi parda kabhi jalwa yeh tamasha kya hai
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

I couldn’t understand the meaning of your glace
Withdrawn this moment, and open the next, what is this play?
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Jan-e-jan hum se uljhan nahin dekhi jaati
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

My darling, I cannot bear to see this struggle now
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Khuda ke liya chor do ab yeh parda
Keh hain aaj hum tum nahin ghair koi
Shab-e-wasl bhi hai hijaab iss kadar kyon
Zara rukh se aanchal utha kar to dekho

For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…
For you and I are strangers no more
Why the veil on the night of the union?
Uncover your face and look up now…

 

Jafaaein buhat kien buhat zulm dhaye
Kabhi ik nigah-e-karam iss taraf bhi
Humesha huay dekh kar mujh ko barham
Kissi din zara muskura kar to dekho

So much oppression, so much cruelty
Perhaps a kind glance this way now?
Forever my sight offended you
Perhaps direct a smile my way now?

 

Jo ulfat mein har ek sitam hai gawara
Yeh sab kuch hai paas-e-wafa tum se warna
Satate ho din raat jiss tarha mujh ko
Kissi ghair ko youn sata kar to dekho

In love, I have borne every wound inflicted
All of this out of loyalty to you
The way that you tease me day and night…
Go tease another and see what happens!

 

Agarche kissi baat par woh khafa hain
To acha yehi hai tum apni si kar lo
Woh maanein na mannein yeh marzi hai unki
Magar un ko pur-nam mana kar to dekho

Though she seems upset about something
Perhaps it is better to just move on
To accept me or not, that is her will
But try to convince her with all your passion!

 

Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Muhabbat ki raahon mein aa kar to dekho

You will have to forget about playing games
Come into the ways of love and see

 

 

Mast Nazron Se Allah Bacchaye

Translation (from Music from Pakistan and this site)

Entire life spent in splendor, it need not be
Every night of sorrow has a dawn, it need not be
Slumber can arise in a bed of pain, in  the arms of my love, it need not be
Fire is considered by the moths as child’s play, every moth is afraid of its fate, it need not be
A shaykh who prays to god in the mosque, his prostration is effective, it need not be

O God save us from the intoxicated glances! O God save us from the moon-faced ones!
Let any affliction come upon us [but] God save us from the pretty ones.

Don’t let their innocence fool you; don’t let them make you a fool
they rob with just a smile, O God save us from their spells!

Innocent appearance and innocuous talk, but there is a difference between what they say and what they mean
though their face is like that of moon, O God save us from the schemes of their hearts!

In the hearts there is a desire for beautiful companions in heaven, but they show their love of prayers [to the world].
Now, from the likes of the abstinent, O God save us from these “Godly” ones!

In their nature is infidelity, it is known by all and sundry
they beguile even the smart ones, O God save us from the innocuous ones!

Poetry by Nasir Iqbal Maikash

Original (in transliteration):

umr jalwon mein basar ho yeh zarori to nahi
her shab e gham ki sahr ho yeh zarori to nahi
neend to dard ke bistar pe bhi aa sakti hai
unki aaghosh mein sir ho yeh zarori to nahi

aag ko khail patangon ne samajh rakh hai
sub ko anjaam ka dar ho yeh zarori to nahi
shaikh karta hai jo masjid mein khuda ko sajde
iske sajdoon mein asar ho yeh zarori to nahi

Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye
Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye

Har bala sar pe aa jaye lekin
Husn walon se Allah bachaye

Inki maasoomiyat par na jaana
Inke dhoke mein har giz na aana
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
In ki chalon se Allah bachaye

Inki maasoomiyat par na jaana
Inke dhoke mein har giz na aana
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye

Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye
Loot lete hain ye, loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain

Jalakrukhi dikha kar, muskura kar loot lete hain
Nigao se nigao ko mila kar loot lete hain
Ye atchi pardadaadi hain, ye atchi dilnawazi hain
Hasa kar loot lete hain, rula kar loot lete hain

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain

Husn waale wafa nahi karte
Ishq waale dagha nahi karte
Zulm karna to inki aadat hain
Ye kisi ka bhala nahi karte

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Amir is raaste se jo guzrte hain woh kehte hain
Muhalla hain haseeno ka, ke ki basti hain

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye

Inki fitrat mein hain be-wafaai
Jaanti hain ye saari khudaaee
Atche-atcho ko dete hain dhoka
Bhole-bhalo se Allah bachaye

Atche-atcho ko dete hain dhoka
Bhole-bhalo se Allah bachaye
Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye

 

Original (inspired by the above poems)

Forget about your poetry,
forget music, and dance
This love is not a game, my friend
it’s real life, not romance
It’s serious as death again
and twice as hard to stand
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance

Since my eyes fell on your beauty
Swarms of evil eyes pursued me
I swatted them away like flies
But your one glance shot right through me
They seek my blood, I seek your heart
Because you stole mine so cruelly

Planted ‘neath your balcony
wat’ring flowers with my eyes
chasing storm clouds with my sighs
too weak to live, too strong to die

Waiting for your glance to fall
On me like a guillotine
Setting body and head free
from this wishful, hopeless dream

This love is not a river,
it’s an ocean of fire
a broad desert of ceaseless sighs,
wide skies of vast desire

And there’s no way get across,
it’s too hard to swim down
So keep away from the edge or
plunge in and burn and drown!

The candle flame has hitched a ride
on this moth bound for the sun
Climbing moonbeams to your face
your eyes become my drop’s ocean

Don’t blame me for this smoke
it was you who lit the fire
don’t complain of the heat
it’s my body on the pyre

It’s your fault that I hope, my dear
and you caused all this pain
sweet as it is, please stop playing—
I can’t take this and the blame

I dreamed that I kissed you
and I prayed I’d never wake
I heard that I missed you
and my life I tried to take

but found that you’d beat me to it
My life was yours before I knew it

Don’t leave me stumbling in the dark
With flashes of your lightning smile
Please light my path and guide my ark
have mercy on a heart beguiled!

Let me be your veil, my love
kissing your lips with every breath
Let me be your hair, above
your bright eyes, glinting dark as death

Your eyes are blinding eclipses
within these magic ellipses
See all that was, will be, and is
but only if you hush—listen!

It seems like I’m your shadow
I can’t even get away
so cast me anywhere you will
all I can do is sway

Where you fly is where I run
and where you stop is where I’m through
Waiting for high noon to come
and return me back to you

Beneath your feet is where I’m from
between your finger and your thumb
My heart is spinning, sick, struck dumb
by this love, what I—you’ve become

Forget about your poetry,
forget music, and dance
This love is not a game, my friend
it’s real life, not romance
It’s serious as death again
and twice as hard to stand
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance

When I die—Rumi and al-Ghazali

Two of the most beautiful death-bed poems from two great Sufis. I pray to live in such a way that someone will recite these at my burial.

Rumi

Translation:

When my bier moveth on the day of death
Think not my heart is in this world.
Do not weep for me and cry “woe, woe!”
Thou wilt fall in the devil’s snare: that is woe
When thou seest my hearse, cry not, “gone, gone!”
Union and meeting are mine in that hour
If thou commit me to the grave, say not “Farewell, farewell”
For the grave is a curtain hiding the communion of paradise
After beholding descent, consider resurrection
Why should setting be injurious to the sun and moon?
To thee it seems a setting, but ’tis a rising’
Tho’ the vault seems a prison, ’tis the release of a soul
What seed went down into the earth but it grew?
Why this doubt of thine as regards the seed of man?
What bucket was lowered but it came out brimful?
Why should the Joseph of the Spirit complain of the well?
Shut thy mouth on this side, and open it beyond
For in placeless air will by thy triumphal song.

(From R.A. Nicholson, Selected Poems form the Divani Shamsi Tabriz, p. 94-96)

Original:

به روز مرگ چو تابوت من روان باشد
گمان مبر که مرا درد این جهان باشد
برای من مگری و مگو دریغ دریغ
به دوغ دیو درافتی دریغ آن باشد
جنازه‌ام چو ببینی مگو فراق فراق
مرا وصال و ملاقات آن زمان باشد
مرا به گور سپاری مگو وداع وداع
که گور پرده جمعیت جنان باشد
فروشدن چو بدیدی برآمدن بنگر
غروب شمس و قمر را چرا زبان باشد
تو را غروب نماید ولی شروق بود
لحد چو حبس نماید خلاص جان باشد
کدام دانه فرورفت در زمین که نرست
چرا به دانه انسانت این گمان باشد
کدام دلو فرورفت و پر برون نامد
ز چاه یوسف جان را چرا فغان باشد
دهان چو بستی از این سوی آن طرف بگشا
که های هوی تو در جو لامکان باشد

 

al-Ghazali

Translation:

Say unto brethren when they see me dead,
And weep for me, lamenting me in sadness:
“Think ye I am this corpse ye are to bury?
I swear by God, this dead one is not I.
 I in the Spirit am, and this my body
My dwelling was, my garment for a time.
I am a treasure: hidden I was beneath
This talisman of dust, wherein I suffered.
I am a pearl; a shell imprisoned me,
 But leaving it, all trials I have left.
I am a bird, and this was once my cage;
But I have flown, leaving it as a token.
I praise God who hath set me free,
and made For me a dwelling in the heavenly heights.
 Ere now I was a dead man in your midst,
But I have come to life, and doffed my shroud.”

(Translation by Martin Lings)

Original:

 قل لإخوان رأوني ميتا                فبكوني ورثوني حزنا
أتظنون بأني ميتكم                   ليس هذا الميت والله أنا
أنا في الصور وهذا جسدي        كان لباسي وقميصي زمنا
أنا در قد حواني صدف               طرت عنه وبقى مرتهنا
أنا عصفور وهذا قفصي           كان سجني فتركت السجنا
أشكر الله الذي خلصني              وبنا لي في المعالي وطنا
كنت قبل اليوم ميتا بينكم                 فحييت وخلعت الكفنا