Qur’anic meditations

Surat-al-Anam-6-103-Calligraphy-Islamic-Calligraphy-and-Typography-

Qur’an 6:103

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

persianminlandscape2

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.

burningbush

3wawsillumin

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…

4waws

5wawsbrown

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.

persianminnight

 

 

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…

helovesthem

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.

truthascome

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).

 wawsheads

Good news from Shaykh al-‘Alawi

 

maroclightzellij

 

Translation:

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:
http://darqawa.blogspot.com/2009/10/al-arif-bi-allah-sidna-ahmed-al-alawi.html

shaykhalalawi

shaikhSidi_ahmed_alawi_03 (1)

 

Original:

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

marocreflect

Qaṣīdah Luṭfiyyah by Aḥmad al-‘Alawī

quranfront

qasidah-allutfiyyah-blue

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:

cheikhalalawimajlis

 

Translation:
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)

Original:

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.

 

ahmed_al_alaou


alawidrawing

 

 

 

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


illuminmargins

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

 

yazdlookthroughpattern

 

Translation:

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

 

Original:

لو لاكم ما عرفنا الهوى         ولو لا الهوى ما عرفناكم

 

iranpattern

 

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

 

Original:
 فكلّ مليح حسنه من جمالها        معار له بل حسن كلّ مليحة

 

yellowbluetiles

Translation:

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

 

Original:

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

 

yazdpattern

 

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

 

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

 

golddocumentholder
Translation:
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

 

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

 

falliilumin

Keats and the Sufis

moroccanfountains

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

Translation:

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.

 

Hafez

Translation:

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

 

 

Original:

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

 

 

 

Translation:

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

 

Original:

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

 

yariandarkesi

 

Pass round love’s remembrance

Inside-view-of-the-Dome-of-the-Rock

So good it deserves its own post…

 

Translation:
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

 

Original:

أدِرْ ذِكْرَ مَنْ أهْوَى ، ولوْ بمَلامِ
فإنَّ أحاديثَ الحبيبِ مُدامي

لِيَشْهَدَ سَمْعي مَنْ أحبُّ ، وإنْ نأى
بطَيفِ مَلامٍ ، لا بطَيفِ مَنامِ

فلي ذِكْرُها يَحلو على كلِّ صيغَةٍ
وإنْ مَزَجُوهُ عُذَّلي بخِصامِ

كأنَّ عَذولي ، بالوِصالِ ، مُبَشِّري
وإنْ كُنتُ لمْ أطْمَعْ بِرَدِّ سَلامِ

بِرُوحيَ مَنْ أتْلَفْتُ رُوحي بحُبِّها
فَحانَ حِمامي ، قَبْلَ يومِ حِمامي

ومنْ أجلها طابَ افتضاحي ، ولذَّ لي اطِّرا
حي ، وذلِّي ، بعدَ عزِّ مَقامي

وفيها حلا لي ، بَعدَ نُسْكي ، تهتُّكي
وخَلْعُ عِذاري ، وارْتِكابُ أثامي

أُصَلِّي ، فأشدو ، حينَ أتلو ، بذِكرِها
وأطْرَبُ في المِحرابِ ، وهيَ إمامي

وبالحَجِّ ، إنْ أحرَمتُ ، لَبّيتُ باسْمها
وعنها أرى الإمساكَ فِطْرَ صِيامي

وشأني ، بشأني ، مُعْرِبٌ ، وبما جرى
جَرَى ، وانتِحابي مُعْرِبٌ بهَيامي

أروحُ بقلبٍ ، بالصَّبابَةِ ، هائِمٍ
وأغْدُو بطَرْفٍ ، بالكآبَةِ ، هامِ

فقلبي وطرفي : ذا بمَعنى جَمالِها
مُعَنًّى ، وذا مُغْرًى بِلِينِ قَوَامِ

ونَوْميَ مَفقُودٌ ، وصُبحي ، لكَ البقا
وسُهديَ مَوجودٌ ، وشَوْقيَ نامِ

وعَقدي وعَهدي : لمْ يُحَلَّ ولمْ يَحُلْ
ووَجْديَ وجْدي ، والغَرامُ غَرامي

يشِفُّ عنِ الأسرارِ جِسْمي مِنَ الضَّنى
فيَغدوا بها ، معنًى ، نُحولُ عِظامي

طَريحُ جَوى حبٍّ ، جريحُ جَوانحٍ
قَريحُ جُفُونٍ ، بالدَّوامِ دَوَامي

صريحُ هوىً ، جارَيتُ منْ لُطفيَ الهوا
سُحَيْراً ، فأنْفاسُ النَّسيمِ لِمامي

صَحيحٌ ، عليلٌ ، فاطلُبوني مِنَ الصَّبا
ففيها ، كما شاءَ النُّحولُ ، مُقامي

خَفيتُ ضَنىً ، حتَّى خَفيتُ عَنِ الضَّنى
وعَنْ بُرْءِ أسقامي ، وبَرْدِ أُوامي

ولمْ يُبْقِ مِنِّي الحبُّ غَيْرَ كآبَةٍ
وحُزْنٍ ، وتَبريحٍ ، وفَرْطِ سَقامِ

ولمْ أدرِ منْ يدري مكاني ، سوى الهوَى
وكِتمانَ أسراري ورعىَ ذمامي

فأمَّا غَرامي واصطباري وسلوتي
فلمْ يَبْقَ لي منهنَّ غيرُ أسامي

لِيَنْجُ ، خَلِيٌّ مِنْ هَوايَ ، بِنَفْسِهِ
سَليماً ، ويا نَفس : اذْهبي بسَلامِ

وقالَ ، اسْلُ عنها ، لائمي ، وهوَ مُغرَمٌ
بِلَوْمِيَ فيها ، قلتُ : فاسْلُ مَلامي

بمنْ أهتَدي في الحبِّ لو رُمْتُ سَلوَةً
وبي يقتَدي ، في الحبِّ ، كلُّ إمامِ

وفي كلِّ عُضوٍ فيَّ كلُّ صبابَةٍ
إليها ، وشَوْقٍ جَاذِبٍ بِزِمَامي

تَثَنَّتْ ، فَخِلْنا كلَّ عِطْفٍ تهُزُّهُ
قَضيبَ نقاً ، يَعْلُوهُ بَدْرُ تَمامِ

ولي كلُّ عُضوٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ حشىً بها
إذا ما رَنَتْ ، وَقْعٌ لكلِّ سِهامِ

ولوْ بسطتْ جسْمي رأتْ كلَّ جوهرٍ
بهِ كلُّ قلبٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ غَرامِ

وفي وَصْلِها ، عامٌ لدَيَّ كَلَحْظَةٍ
وساعَةُ هِجْرَانٍ عَلَيَّ كَعَامِ

ولمَّا تَلاقَينا عِشاءً ، وضَمَّنا
سواءُ سبيلَيْ دَارِها وخِيامي

ومِلْنا كذا شيئاً عنِ الحيِّ ، حيثُ لا
رَقيبٌ ، ولا وَاشٍ بِزَوْرِ كَلامِ

فرَشْتُ لها خَدِّي ، وِطاءً ، على الثَّرَى
فقالتْ : لكَ البُشرَى بِلَثمِ لِثامي

فما سَمَحَتْ نَفسي بذلِكَ ، غَيْرَةً
على صَوْنِها مِنِّي لِعزِّ مرامي

وبِتْنا ، كما شاءَ اقتراحي ، على المُنى
أرَى المُلكَ مُلكي والزَّمانَ غُلامي

 

qarawiyyin-mosque-geometric-pattern-1-wood-hakon-soreide

Hafez and Surah Qadr

There’s a close relationship between Hafez’s poetry and the Qur’an, and it’s seldom as explicit as in the poem below:

turqillumin

bluequran2

Translation:

This is the night of power and the book of separation is at an end
Therein is happiness until the break of dawn.
O heart, be steadfast in love
For on this path, no work is without reward.
I will not repent of my dissolute ways.
even if you punish me with banishment and separation.
My heart left, but I did not see the face of the sweetheart
weeping from this disdain and oh, from this grief.
Oh heart-illuminating morning, arise for God’s sake.
For the night of separation looks dark to me.
Hafez, if you want fidelity, endure cruelty
for there is gain and loss in trade.

 

illumincolorsbluequran1

 

Original:

شب وصل است و طی شد نامه هجر
سلام فیه حتی مطلع الفجر
دلا در عاشقی ثابت قدم باش
که در این ره نباشد کار بی اجر
من از رندی نخواهم کرد توبه
و لو آذیتنی بالهجر و الحجر
برآی ای صبح روشن دل خدا را
که بس تاریک می​بینم شب هجر
دلم رفت و ندیدم روی دلدار
فغان از این تطاول آه از این زجر
وفا خواهی جفاکش باش حافظ
فان الربح و الخسران فی التجر

 

Surah al-Qadr

 

Translation:

Truly we sent it down in the Night of Power
And what shall apprise thee of the Night of Power?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
The Angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the leave of their Lord, with every command
Peace it is until the break of dawn.

 

 

Original:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم Ra bracket.png إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ Aya-1.png وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ Aya-2.png لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ Aya-3.png تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ Aya-4.png سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ Aya-5.png La bracket.png .[1

 

surahqadrandalusi

angelsillumin

bluequran

turqilluminsmall

Hafez taught me: Three Great Ghazals

These three wonderful ghazals are right next to one another in Hafez’s Divan:

Ghazal 344:

bemuzhgan

 

 

bemuzhganeye

 

Translation:

With your black eyelashes, you poked thousands of holes in my faith
Come, let me pick thousands of pains from your lovesick eyes.

O companion of the heart who has forgotten your friends
Let there be no day when I am without your memory.

The world is old and without foundation—Alas, the fraud and deceit
of this killer of Farhad has made me tired of my sweet life.

The fire of separation drowned me in sweat like the rose
O dawn wind, bring a breeze from the one who wipes my sweat.

I sacrifice the ephemeral and eternal worlds for the young beauty and the Saqi
for I see the sultanate of the world as a parasite of love.

If the Friend chooses another in my place, the choice is His
But God forbid that I choose my life in place of the Friend.

The nightingale sang good morning. Where are you, Saqi? Arise!
For the memory of last night’s dream clamors in my head.

On the night of death, I shall go from my bed to the huri’s palace
if I you are the candle at my bedside as I surrender my soul.

The story of longing that became recorded in this book
is wholly without fault, for Hafez taught it to me.

 

(Translation From The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi, p. 410)

 

Original:
به مژگان سیه کردی هزاران رخنه در دینم
بیا کز چشم بیمارت هزاران درد برچینم
الا ای همنشین دل که یارانت برفت از یاد
مرا روزی مباد آن دم که بی یاد تو بنشینم
جهان پیر است و بی‌بنیاد از این فرهادکش فریاد
که کرد افسون و نیرنگش ملول از جان شیرینم
ز تاب آتش دوری شدم غرق عرق چون گل
بیار ای باد شبگیری نسیمی زان عرق چینم
جهان فانی و باقی فدای شاهد و ساقی
که سلطانی عالم را طفیل عشق می‌بینم
اگر بر جای من غیری گزیند دوست حاکم اوست
حرامم باد اگر من جان به جای دوست بگزینم
صباح الخیر زد بلبل کجایی ساقیا برخیز
که غوغا می‌کند در سر خیال خواب دوشینم
شب رحلت هم از بستر روم در قصر حورالعین
اگر در وقت جان دادن تو باشی شمع بالینم
حدیث آرزومندی که در این نامه ثبت افتاد
همانا بی‌غلط باشد که حافظ داد تلقینم

 


Working Title/Artist: Divan of Hafiz from Allegory…Drunkenness Department: Islamic Art Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 08 Working Date: photography by mma, DP167098.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 9_24_08

 

Ghazal 355:

Translation:

The way I see it, the best thing for me to do now is:
to go to the tavern and sit there happily.

Having no friend nor companion save my book and a cup
so that I see less of the deceitful colleagues.

I boasted of piety so much in my stained robe
that I am shamed by the Saqi’s face and the colorful wine.

I will take the cup of wine and stay away from the hypocrites
That is, of the people of the world, I will choose the one with a pure heart.

If it be possible to gather up my skirt from this world,
I will freely raise my head up above the people like a cypress.

My heart has the dust of many cruelties
O God, do not allow this mirror which is accustomed to love to be tarnished.

If I am the rascal of the tavern or the Hafez of the city,
I am that which you see or even less.

My straightened chest and the burden of his grief? Impossible.
My wretched heart is no match for this heavy burden.

I am the slave of the Asaf of the age. Do not mislead my heart.
For if I complain of the wheel, he will avenge me thereon.

(Translation From The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi, p. 411)

hafezallegory

 

Original:

حالیا مصلحت وقت در آن می‌بینم
که کشم رخت به میخانه و خوش بنشینم
جام می گیرم و از اهل ریا دور شوم
یعنی از اهل جهان پاکدلی بگزینم
جز صراحی و کتابم نبود یار و ندیم
تا حریفان دغا را به جهان کم بینم
سر به آزادگی از خلق برآرم چون سرو
گر دهد دست که دامن ز جهان درچینم
بس که در خرقه آلوده زدم لاف صلاح
شرمسار از رخ ساقی و می رنگینم
سینه تنگ من و بار غم او هیهات
مرد این بار گران نیست دل مسکینم
من اگر رند خراباتم و گر زاهد شهر
این متاعم که همی‌بینی و کمتر زینم
بنده آصف عهدم دلم از راه مبر
که اگر دم زنم از چرخ بخواهد کینم
بر دلم گرد ستم‌هاست خدایا مپسند
که مکدر شود آیینه مهرآیینم

 

hafezreadingbook

 

Ghazal 353:

 

Translation:

I will not renounce love, the young beauty, and the cup of wine
I repented a hundred times and will do so no more.

The garden of paradise, the shade of Tuba, and the palace of heavenly maidens,
I will not compare them to the dust of the friend’s street.

The teaching and guidance of men of vision is but an allusion
I said this as a metaphor and will not repeat it again.

I am never conscious of my own head
until I raise it in the middle of a tavern.

The advisor tauntingly told me not to drink wine, it is forbidden.
I said alright. But I do not listen to every donkey.

The Shaykh told me angrily, “Stop falling in love!”
There is no need to quarrel, brother. I will not.

This much piety is enough for me that I do not wink at
the beautiful youths of the city from the top of the pulpit.

Hafez, the Magian Pīr’s side is a stately place
I will not give up kissing the dust of this door.

 

(Translation From The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi, p. 409)

 

 

Original:

من ترک عشق شاهد و ساغر نمی‌کنم
صد بار توبه کردم و دیگر نمی‌کنم
باغ بهشت و سایه طوبی و قصر و حور
با خاک کوی دوست برابر نمی‌کنم
تلقین و درس اهل نظر یک اشارت است
گفتم کنایتی و مکرر نمی‌کنم
هرگز نمی‌شود ز سر خود خبر مرا
تا در میان میکده سر بر نمی‌کنم
ناصح به طعن گفت که رو ترک عشق کن
محتاج جنگ نیست برادر نمی‌کنم
این تقویم تمام که با شاهدان شهر
ناز و کرشمه بر سر منبر نمی‌کنم
حافظ جناب پیر مغان جای دولت است
من ترک خاک بوسی این در نمی‌کنم

persianminbeauties

 

Ghazal #1 of Hafez’s Divan

shamosquecieling

This first Ghazal of Hafiz’s Divan is as mysterious as it is beautiful and wise:

 

Translation:

 

O Saqi, come pass the cup ’round and fill it up
        for love seemed easy at first, but then came difficulties
Longing for the sweet scent the morning wind unlocks from her locks
        many a heart filled with blood for the curls of her musky tress
Stain the prayer mat with wine if the Magian Pīr tells you to
        for the traveler knows the rules of the road’s stations
What assurance of joy can I have in the beloved’s home/station?
        when every moment the caravan’s bells cry, “pack up and go!”
Dark night, fearful waves, and whirlpools so terrifying
         how can those lightly-burdened on the shore know our plight?
All my work for my own sake gave me a bad name in the end
         how can the secret told at gatherings remain hidden?
Hafez, if you still desire presence, do not be absent from Him/It.
          When you meet the one you love, leave the world, forget it.

 

turkishwaw

 

Original:

الا یا ایها الساقی ادر کاسا و ناولها
که عشق آسان نمود اول ولی افتاد مشکل‌ها
به بوی نافه‌ای کاخر صبا زان طره بگشاید
ز تاب جعد مشکینش چه خون افتاد در دل‌ها
مرا در منزل جانان چه امن عیش چون هر دم
جرس فریاد می‌دارد که بربندید محمل‌ها
به می سجاده رنگین کن گرت پیر مغان گوید
که سالک بی‌خبر نبود ز راه و رسم منزل‌ها
شب تاریک و بیم موج و گردابی چنین هایل
کجا دانند حال ما سبکباران ساحل‌ها
همه کارم ز خود کامی به بدنامی کشید آخر
نهان کی ماند آن رازی کز او سازند محفل‌ها
حضوری گر همی‌خواهی از او غایب مشو حافظ
متی ما تلق من تهوی دع الدنیا و اهملها

 

 

Great Poetic Translation by A.Z. Foreman:

Come wineboy, bring the cup around and pour the spirit free.
Love, at first sight, looked easy. But it soon got hard for me.
In pining for the musk-sweet scent dawn wind bears from her hair
Such tearful blood wells in the hearts of lovers everywhere.
No chance of rest or pleasure at love’s station in my heart.
Life’s bells already ring outside: make ready to depart.
Stain prayer-mats with wine if the wine-seller tells you to.
Pilgrims must know the way, its every stage, and what to do.
The dread of waves, the dark of night, the maelstrom’s monstrous roar…
How can they know my plight, who stay so carefree on the shore?
All my pursuits for my own pleasure ruined my good name.
When gossip-parties learn your secret, it becomes your shame.
Hafiz! If you so wish to be with Him, then do not hide.
That day you meet the One you yearn for, cast this world aside.

 

From: http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.com/2011/08/hafiz-ghazal-1-ars-poetica-from-persian.html

 

 

 

Hafez sung beautifully

hafezieh

This is one of the most beautiful recordings of Hafez’s ghazals that I’ve ever heard:

 

Translation:

 

As long as there is a name and sign on the tavern
My head will be dust on the road of the Magian Pīr
The ring of the Magian Pīr has been in my ear since pre-eternity
I am as I was and will be as I am
When you pass by my grave, pray for a blessing
For this place will be the shrine of the world’s scoundrels
Go away, O self-seeing ascetic! The mystery behind this veil
Is hidden form your eyes and mine, and will remain so
My Turk, the lover-slayer went out drunk today
I wonder what other person’s blood will run from his eye
from the night my head is laid in the grave
till the morning of the Resurrection, my eye will be anxious to see you
If Hafez’s luck helps him in this way,
The Beloved’s tress will be in the hands of the others.

 

(modified from the translation in The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi p. 245)

 

640px-Hafezieh_tomb_inside_ceiling

 

Original:

تا ز میخانه و می نام و نشان خواهد بود
سر ما خاک ره پیر مغان خواهد بود
حلقه پیر مغان از ازلم در گوش است
بر همانیم که بودیم و همان خواهد بود
بر سر تربت ما چون گذری همت خواه
که زیارتگه رندان جهان خواهد بود
برو ای زاهد خودبین که ز چشم من و تو
راز این پرده نهان است و نهان خواهد بود
ترک عاشق کش من مست برون رفت امروز
تا دگر خون که از دیده روان خواهد بود
چشمم آن دم که ز شوق تو نهد سر به لحد
تا دم صبح قیامت نگران خواهد بود
بخت حافظ گر از این گونه مدد خواهد کرد
زلف معشوقه به دست دگران خواهد بود

 

hafeziehsnow