One Love



Ibn al-Fāriḍ


As for my way in love, I have no way
If I neglect my love for a day, then I have left my sect
And if the thought of other than you occurs to me
Inadvertantly, I would consider it as my apostasy
You govern my life as you will,
so do what you will with me, for I have ever only desired you….



عن مذهبي في الحب مالي مذهب                وان ملت يوما عنه فارقت ملتي
وان خطرت لي في سواك ارادة             علي خاطري سهوا , قضيت بردتي
لك الحكم في أمري فما شئت            فأصنعي فلم تك الا فيك لا عنك رغبتي

Unknown Authors

Various positions have those who love from (mere) passion
But I have a unique place, in which I dwell alone.



مذاهب شتى للمحبّين في الهوى            و لي مدهب فرد أعيش به وحدي


Our expressions our many,
and your beauty is one
And it is to your beauty
that all of them allude



عباراتنا  شتّى و حسنك واحد      و كلّ إلى ذاك الجمال يشير


The sect of Love is different from all other religions
 For lovers, their sect and religion is simply God



ملت عشق از همه دین‌ها جداست
 عاشقان را ملت و مذهب خداست


Wisdom is bewildered by the religion of love
Although it knows all other religions



خرد نداند و حیران شود ز مذهب عشق
اگر چه واقف باشد ز جمله مذهب‌ها


Bob Marley


One Love! One Heart!
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Hear the children cryin’ (One Love!);
Hear the children cryin’ (One Heart!),
Sayin’: give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Sayin’: let’s get together and feel all right. Wo wo-wo wo-wo!Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love!);
There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!):
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love!);
So shall it be in the end (One Heart!),
All right!
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.
One more thing!

Let’s get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One Love!),
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!).
Have pity on those whose chances grows t’inner;
There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation.

Sayin’: One Love! What about the One Heart? (One Heart!)
What about the – ? Let’s get together and feel all right.
I’m pleadin’ to mankind! (One Love!);
Oh, Lord! (One Heart) Wo-ooh!

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.

Rumi: Dead yet I was, then came to life…

One of my favorite poems of Rumi’s, its rhythm is intoxicating:


Translation (some liberties taken to approximate the rhythm of the original):

Dead yet I was, then came to life, weeping I was, then came to laugh
Love’s kingdom came, I came to be, the kingdom of eternity
My eye is full, my soul is bold, a lion’s heart is what I have, the morning star, bright I became
Said: “You’re not mad, don’t belong here,” then I went mad, bound up in chains
Said: “You are drunk, get out of here,” then I got drunk, bubbling with joy
Said: “You’re not dead, not in joy drowned,” before his face, I died and bowed
Said: “You’re so smart, drunk on your doubt,” a fool I became, straight lifted out
Said: “You’re the candle of this folk,” I said, “I’m not, I’m wisps of smoke”
Said: “You’re a shaykh, you’re the leader.” “I’m but a slave to your command.”
He said: “You have feathers and wings. I will not give you feathered wings.” Seeking these wings, I lost my wings.
New fortune said: “Don’t come my way, I’ll come to you.”
Old love then said: “Don’t leave my heart.” I said, “I won’t, I’ll stay, I’m still.”
You are the fountain of the sun, I am the shade of the willow, You strike my head, I drop and melt
Heart felt the new glow of my soul, my heart opened, wove a new stole, I turned against that tattered one
Form of the soul swaggered with pride, slave though I was, Lord I became
Thanks your paper gives for your sweets, limitless it came to me and I dwelt in it
Thanks my dark earth gives for my curved sky and its sphere, for through its gaze, and its turning, I too became light-receiving
Thanks heaven’s sphere gives for the king and the kingdom and the angel, for through his grace I have become bright and graceful
Thanks the Knower of Truth gives for the fact that we’ve outstripped the rest; high up above the seven lay-ers I became a shining star
I was Venus, became the moon, and I became two-hundred skies; I was Joseph, now I became the Joseph seed
O famous moon, I am all yours, look upon me, and on yourself, for from the trace of your smile, I have become a garden of roses smiling
Move silently, like a chessman, yourself all tongue, for through the king of the world’s face, I have become happy and blessed.





مرده بدم زنده شدم گریه بدم خنده شدم
دولت عشق آمد و من دولت پاینده شدم
دیده سیر است مرا جان دلیر است مرا
زهره شیر است مرا زهره تابنده شدم
گفت که دیوانه نه‌ای لایق این خانه نه‌ای
رفتم دیوانه شدم سلسله بندنده شدم
گفت که سرمست نه‌ای رو که از این دست نه‌ای
رفتم و سرمست شدم وز طرب آکنده شدم
گفت که تو کشته نه‌ای در طرب آغشته نه‌ای
پیش رخ زنده کنش کشته و افکنده شدم
گفت که تو زیرککی مست خیالی و شکی
گول شدم هول شدم وز همه برکنده شدم
گفت که تو شمع شدی قبله این جمع شدی
جمع نیم شمع نیم دود پراکنده شدم
گفت که شیخی و سری پیش رو و راهبری
شیخ نیم پیش نیم امر تو را بنده شدم
گفت که با بال و پری من پر و بالت ندهم
در هوس بال و پرش بی‌پر و پرکنده شدم
گفت مرا دولت نو راه مرو رنجه مشو
زانک من از لطف و کرم سوی تو آینده شدم
گفت مرا عشق کهن از بر ما نقل مکن
گفتم آری نکنم ساکن و باشنده شدم
چشمه خورشید تویی سایه گه بید منم
چونک زدی بر سر من پست و گدازنده شدم
تابش جان یافت دلم وا شد و بشکافت دلم
اطلس نو بافت دلم دشمن این ژنده شدم
صورت جان وقت سحر لاف همی‌زد ز بطر
بنده و خربنده بدم شاه و خداونده شدم
شکر کند کاغذ تو از شکر بی‌حد تو
کآمد او در بر من با وی ماننده شدم
شکر کند خاک دژم از فلک و چرخ به خم
کز نظر وگردش او نورپذیرنده شدم
شکر کند چرخ فلک از ملک و ملک و ملک
کز کرم و بخشش او روشن بخشنده شدم
شکر کند عارف حق کز همه بردیم سبق
بر زبر هفت طبق اختر رخشنده شدم
زهره بدم ماه شدم چرخ دو صد تاه شدم
یوسف بودم ز کنون یوسف زاینده شدم
از توام ای شهره قمر در من و در خود بنگر
کز اثر خنده تو گلشن خندنده شدم
باش چو شطرنج روان خامش و خود جمله زبان
کز رخ آن شاه جهان فرخ و فرخنده شدم

Rumi and Hakuin: Water and Ice


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

-Zen Master Hakuin



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

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

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

Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mathnawī Book I 1110-1125

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Mathnawi 2:160

I carry your heart

This lovely poem by e.e. cummings sounds like it could have been written by Rumi:

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)



Stealthily as the soul, you are going in the midst of my soul; O luster of my garden, you are my gracefully moving cypress.
When you go, go not without me; soul of my soul, go not without my body, and depart not out of my sight, O my blazing torch.
I tear up the seven heavens and pass beyond the seven seas, when lovingly you gaze into my giddy soul.
Since you came into my bosom, infidelity and faith are my servitors, O you whose vision is my religion, whose face is my faith.
You have made me headless and footless, you have made me sleepless and foodless;
enter drunken and laughing, O my Joseph of Canaan.
Through your grace I have become soul-like and have become hidden from myself,
O you whose being has become hidden in my hidden being.
The rose rends its garment because of you, O you with whom the narcissus’ eye is intoxicated, of whom the branches are pregnant, O you my infinite garden.
One moment you brand me, the next you draw me into the garden; you draw me before the lamp so that my eyes may be opened.
O soul before all souls, O mine before all mines, O moment before all moments, O my very own, O my very own!
 Our resting place is not earth; though the body crumbles, it matters not. My thought is not the skies, O you, union with whom is my heaven.
The grave of mariners is the sea forevermore; in the water of life where is death, O you, my Sea, my Ocean?
O you whose scent is in my sigh, whose sigh is my fellow traveler, in the hope of my Emperor color and scent have become distraught with me.
My soul, since like a mote in the air it has become separated from all heaviness, why should it be without you, O origin of my four elements?
O my king Ṣalāh al-Dīn, you who know my way and see my way, you who are free of concern with my little dignity, loftier than my potentiality.





دزدیده چون جان می روی اندر میان جان من
سرو خرامان منی ای رونق بستان من
چون می روی بی‌من مرو ای جان جان بی‌تن مرو
وز چشم من بیرون مشو ای شعله تابان من
هفت آسمان را بردرم وز هفت دریا بگذرم
چون دلبرانه بنگری در جان سرگردان من
تا آمدی اندر برم شد کفر و ایمان چاکرم
ای دیدن تو دین من وی روی تو ایمان من
بی‌پا و سر کردی مرا بی‌خواب و خور کردی مرا
سرمست و خندان اندرآ ای یوسف کنعان من
از لطف تو چو جان شدم وز خویشتن پنهان شدم
ای هست تو پنهان شده در هستی پنهان من
گل جامه در از دست تو ای چشم نرگس مست تو
ای شاخ‌ها آبست تو ای باغ بی‌پایان من
یک لحظه داغم می کشی یک دم به باغم می کشی
پیش چراغم می کشی تا وا شود چشمان من
ای جان پیش از جان‌ها وی کان پیش از کان‌ها
ای آن پیش از آن‌ها ای آن من ای آن من
منزلگه ما خاک نی گر تن بریزد باک نی
اندیشه‌ام افلاک نی ای وصل تو کیوان من
مر اهل کشتی را لحد در بحر باشد تا ابد
در آب حیوان مرگ کو ای بحر من عمان من
ای بوی تو در آه من وی آه تو همراه من
بر بوی شاهنشاه من شد رنگ و بو حیران من
جانم چو ذره در هوا چون شد ز هر ثقلی جدا
بی‌تو چرا باشد چرا ای اصل چار ارکان من
ای شه صلاح الدین من ره دان من ره بین من
ای فارغ از تمکین من ای برتر از امکان من



Rumi and Bossa Nova


Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes


Me without you, there’s no reason
Because without you, I can’t even cry
I’m flame without light, garden without moonlight
Moonlight without love, love that’s not given

And without you I’m only lovelorn
A ship without sea, a field without flower
Sadness that goes, sadness that comes
Without you, my love, I’m no one

Ah, what longing
How I wish to see our life reborn
Come back, darling
My arms need yours
Your arms need mine

I’m so alone
My eyes weary of looking into the distance
Come see life
Without you, my love, I’m no one
Without you, my love, I’m no one


Eu sem você não tenho porquê
Porque sem você não sei nem chorar
Sou chama sem luz, jardim sem luar
Luar sem amor, amor sem se dar

Em sem você sou só desamor
Um barco sem mar, um campo sem flor
Tristeza que vai, tristeza que vem
Sem você, meu amor, eu não sou ninguém

Ah, que saudade
Que vontade de ver renascer nossa vida
Volta, querida
Os meus braços precisam dos teus
Teus braços precisam dos meus

Estou tão sozinho
Tenho os olhos cansados de olhar para o além
Vem ver a vida
Sem você, meu amor, eu não sou ninguém
Sem você, meu amor, eu não sou ninguém.

Lyrics From:…

More about the song here






I can be without anyone, but without you, I just can’t
My wand’ring heart bears your brand, go without you, it just can’t
Reason’s eye is drunk off you, Heaven’s wheel whirls under your thumb
Pleasure’s nose is in your hand, but without you, I just can’t
From you, the soul comes to a boil, and from you, the heart is fed
From you, reason starts to roar, but without you, I just can’t
You’re my wine and poison, my garden and spring
My sleep and my resting place, and without you, I just can’t
You’re my rank and my glory, dominion and wealth
You’re my crystal water, and without you, I just can’t
Sometimes you are faithful, and sometimes you’re untrue
Where are you going without me? For I just can’t, without you
They offer their hearts, you take it; they make repentance, you break it
All this and still more you do, but I just can’t, without you
If it were possible to be without you, the whole world would turn inside-out
The Garden of Eden would be a hell, for I just can’t, without you
If you’re the head, I’ll be the foot; if the hand, then I’m your flag
If you go, I’ll be nothing, for without you, I just can’t
You’ve bewitched me from my sleep, you’ve erased my own outline
You’ve cut me off from everything, for without you, I just can’t
If you won’t be my partner, all my work will lie in ruin
My companion and comfort—without you, I simply can’t
Without you, there’s no joy in life, nor is there relief in death
How can I kill my grief for you, when without you, I simply can’t?
Whatever I say, o my love, is not separate from my good and bad
From your sweet kindness, won’t you please say too:
That I simply cannot be without you






بی همگان به سر شود بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
داغ تو دارد این دلم جای دگر نمی‌شود
دیده عقل مست تو چرخه چرخ پست تو
گوش طرب به دست تو بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
جان ز تو جوش می‌کند دل ز تو نوش می‌کند
عقل خروش می‌کند بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
خمر من و خمار من باغ من و بهار من
خواب من و قرار من بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
جاه و جلال من تویی ملکت و مال من تویی
آب زلال من تویی بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
گاه سوی وفا روی گاه سوی جفا روی
آن منی کجا روی بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
دل بنهند برکنی توبه کنند بشکنی
این همه خود تو می‌کنی بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
بی تو اگر به سر شدی زیر جهان زبر شدی
باغ ارم سقر شدی بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
گر تو سری قدم شوم ور تو کفی علم شوم
ور بروی عدم شوم بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
خواب مرا ببسته‌ای نقش مرا بشسته‌ای
وز همه‌ام گسسته‌ای بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
گر تو نباشی یار من گشت خراب کار من
مونس و غمگسار من بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
بی تو نه زندگی خوشم بی‌تو نه مردگی خوشم
سر ز غم تو چون کشم بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود
هر چه بگویم ای سند نیست جدا ز نیک و بد
هم تو بگو به لطف خود بی‌تو به سر نمی‌شود







Who am I?




Bulleh Shah


Bulleh, what do I know about who I am?

I am not a believer in the mosques, nor do I follow the rites of unbelief. I am not among the pure or polluted. I am neither Moses nor Pharoah.

I am not in the Vedas or in the scriptures; I am neither in drugs nor alcohol. I am not among the drunks, neither in waking nor sleeping.

I am not in joy or sadness, neither pollution nor purity. I am not of water or of earth, nor am I of fire or air.

I am not an Arab nor from Lahore, nor an Indian from Nagaur. I am neither Hindu nor a Turk form Peshawar. Nor do I live in Nadaun.

I have not discovered the secret of religion; nor am I born of Adam and Eve. I have not given myself a name, nor am I found sitting still or moving around.

I know I am the First, I know I am Last, I do not recognize anyone else. None is wiser than I. Bulleh, who is the Lord standing here?





بلھا کی جاناں میں کون
نہ میں مومن وچ مسیت آں
نہ میں وچ کفر دی ریت آں
نہ میں پاکاں وچ پلیت آں
نہ میں موسٰی، نہ فرعون
بلھا کی جاناں میں کون
نہ میں اندر بید کتاباں
نہ وچ بھنگاں، نہ شراباں
نہ رہنا وچ خراباں
نہ وچ جاگن، نہ سون
بلھا کی جاناں میں کون
نہ وچ شادی نہ غمناکی
نہ میں وچ پلیتی پاکی
نہ میں آبی نہ میں خاکی
نہ میں آتش نہ میں پون
بلھا کی جاناں میں کون
نہ میں عربی، نہ لاہوری
نہ میں ہندی شہر رنگوری
نہ ہندو نہ ترک پشوری
نہ میں رہنا وچ ندون
بلھا کی جاناں میں کون
نہ میں بھیت مذہب دا پایاں
نہ میں آدم حوا جایا
نہ میں اپنا نام دھرایا
نہ وچ بھٹن، نہ وچ بھون
بلھا کی جاناں میں کون
اول آخر آپ نوں جاناں
نہ کوئی دوجا پچھاناں
میتھوں ہور نہ کوئی سیانا
بلھا! او کھڑا ہے کون؟
بلھا کی جاناں میں کون​





What is to be done, O Muslims? for I do not know myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Magian, nor Muslim.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature’s quarry, nor of the heaven circling above.
I am not made of earth, nor of water, nor of wind, nor fire;
nor of the Divine Throne, nor the carpet, nor the cosmos, nor mineral.
I am not from India, nor China, nor Bulgaria, nor Turkestan;
I am not from the kingdom of the two Iraqs, nor from the earth of Khurasan.
Neither of this world, nor the next, I am, nor of Heaven, nor of Hell;
Nor from Adam, nor from Eve, nor from Eden nor Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless;
‘Tis neither body nor soul, for I myself am the Beloved.
I have cast aside duality, I have seen the two worlds as one;
One I seek, One I know, One I see, One I say.

He is the First, He is the Last, He is the Outward, He is the Inward;
I know no one other than He, none but he who is He
Drunk with Love’s cup, the two worlds have been lost to me;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without you,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this retreat I win a moment with you,
I will trample on both worlds, and dance in ecstasy
O Shams of Tabriz, I am so drunk in this world,
That except for drunkenness and revelry, I have no tale to tell.


چه تدبیر ای مسلمانان که من خود را نمیدانم
نه ترسا و یهودیم نه گبرم نه مسلمانم

نه شرقیم نه غربیم نه بریم نه بحریم
نه ارکان طبیعیم نه از افلاک گردانم

نه از خاکم نه از بادم نه از ابم نه از اتش
نه از عرشم نه از فرشم نه از کونم نه از کانم

نه از دنیی نه از عقبی نه از جنت نه از دوزخ
نه از ادم نه از حوا نه از فردوس رضوانم

مکانم لا مکان باشد نشانم بی نشان باشد
نه تن باشد نه جان باشد که من از جان جانانم

دویی از خود بیرون کردم یکی دیدم دو عالم را
یکی جویم یکی گویم یکی دانم یکی خوانم

ز جام عشق سرمستم دو عالم رفت از دستم
بجز رندی و قلاشی نباشد هیچ سامانم

اگر در عمر خود روزی دمی بی او بر اوردم
از ان وقت و از ان ساعت ز عمر خود پشیمانم

الا ای شمس تبریزی چنان مستم در ین عالم
که جز مستی و قلاشی نباشد هیچ درمانم




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


(Abul-l-Hassan ash-Shushtari of Andalusia;  Martin Lings)

‘Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology’ by Martin Lings 

Rumi-I am not wandering aimlessly




by Farah Aziz

No I am not roaming aimlessly
through the alleys and bazaar
I am a lover searching for his beloved

God have mercy on me
I am walking around troubled

I have done wrong and sinned
and am walking around wounded

I have drunk the wine of desire
and am walking around lovelorn

Though I may seem drunk
I am quite sober



نه من بيهوده گرد کوچه و بازار می گردم
مذاق عاشقی دارم پی ديدار ميگردم
خدايا رحم کن بر من پريشان وار می گردم
خطا کارم گناهکارم به حال زار می گردم
شراب شوق می نوشم به گرد يار می گردم
سخن مستانه می گويم ولی هوشيار می گردم




Hafez: the rose began to burn

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
If you have news of the state of the heart, tell me!
or if you have any idea of where He is, tell me!
I know death, but until to alley of the Friend
if you have a shortcut, tell me!
گر ز حال دل خبر داری بگو
ور نشانی مختصر داری بگو
مرگ را دانم ، ولی تا کوی دوست
راه اگر نزدیک تر داری بگو



Friends, it is better to work for joy in the season of the rose
    this is the talk of the people of the heart, let us listen closely
No one is generous and the time for pleasure is going fast
    so let’s sell our prayer mats for wine
The weather is lovely and joyful
    O God, send us a beauty to whose face we can drink rosy wine
The organist of heaven is the artists’ bandit
    how can we not cry from this grief? 
The rose began to burn, but we didn’t splash water on it
    so we are boiling with the fire of lack and desire
From the tulip’s cup we drink imaginary wine
    evil eye begone! We are drunk without musician or wine.
Hafez, whom can we tell about this strange state?
    We are nightingales silent in the season of the rose.


Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset


دوستان وقت گل آن به که به عشرت کوشیم
سخن اهل دل است این و به جان بنیوشیم
نیست در کس کرم و وقت طرب می‌گذرد
چاره آن است که سجاده به می بفروشیم
خوش هواییست فرح بخش خدایا بفرست
نازنینی که به رویش می گلگون نوشیم
ارغنون ساز فلک رهزن اهل هنر است
چون از این غصه ننالیم و چرا نخروشیم
گل به جوش آمد و از می نزدیمش آبی
لاجرم ز آتش حرمان و هوس می‌جوشیم
می‌کشیم از قدح لاله شرابی موهوم
چشم بد دور که بی مطرب و می مدهوشیم
حافظ این حال عجب با که توان گفت که ما
بلبلانیم که در موسم گل خاموشیم

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

The Religion of Love

In addition to Ibn ‘Arabi’s famous poem (see this post), the “religion of love,” the root of all religion and worship beyond all distinctions and differentiations, plays an important role in other Sufi poetry, especially that of Rumi, Hafez, and Ibn al-Fariḍ:


ملت عشق از همه دین‌ها جداست
 عاشقان را ملت و مذهب خداست
The sect of Love is different from all other religions
 For lovers, their sect and religion is simply God


طریق عشق ز هفتاد و دو برون باشد
چو عشق و مذهب تو خدعه و ریاست بخسب
The way of love is outside of the seventy-two sects
Go to sleep, for your love and religion are deceit and conceit



خرد نداند و حیران شود ز مذهب عشق
اگر چه واقف باشد ز جمله مذهب‌ها
Wisdom is bewildered by the religion of love
Although it knows all other religions


بسگل ز جز این عشق اگر در یتیمی
زیرا که جز این عشق تو را خویش و پدر نیست
در مذهب عشاق به بیماری مرگست
هر جان که به هر روز از این رنج بتر نیست

Leave all that is other than this love, if you are an orphaned pearl
For apart from this love, you have neither family nor father
In the religion of lovers, whosoever’s suffering does not make him better
He is possessed of the sickness of death



تا شب میگو که روز ما را شب نیست
در مذهب عشق و عشق را مذهب نیست
عشق آن بحریست کش کران ولب نیست
بس غرقه شوند و ناله و یارب نیست
Until night, say that there is no night for our day
In religion, there is no Love, and Love has no religion
Love is that ocean without boundary or shore
Where lovers drown without sigh or cry

در راه طلب عاقل و دیوانه یکیست
در شیوهٔ عشق خویش و بیگانه یکیست
آن را که شراب وصل جانان دادند
در مذهب او کعبه و بتخانه یکیست


In the way of seeking, the sane and the mad are one
On the path of love, friend and stranger are one
That one who has tasted the wine of union with the supreme soul
In his religion, the Ka’aba and idol-temple are one


عاشق تو یقین دان که مسلمان نبود
در مذهب عشق کفر و ایمان نبود
در عشق تن و عقل و دل و جان نبود
هرکس که چنین نگشت او آن نبود

In loving you there are certainly no Muslims
In the religion of Love, there is no infidelity or disbelief
In Love, there is neither body nor reason nor heart nor soul
Everyone who does this is not separate from that


در عشق موافقت بود چون جانی
در مذهب هر ظریف معنی دانی
از سی و دو دندان چو یکی گشت دراز
بی‌دندان شد از چنان دندانی


In love there is harmony because you become pure spirit
you will know the essence of the religion of each subtle one
If one of the 32 teeth grows large
from that tooth, you will become toothless


با دو عالم عشق را بیگانگی
اندرو هفتاد و دو دیوانگی
سخت پنهانست و پیدا حیرتش
جان سلطانان جان در حسرتش
غیر هفتاد و دو ملت کیش او
تخت شاهان تخته‌بندی پیش او


Love is a stranger to the two worlds: in it are seventy-two madnesses.
It is hidden; only its bewilderment is manifest:
The soul of the spiritual sultan longs for it.
Love’s religion is other than the seventy-two sects:
Beside it the throne of kings is just a floorboard.



unverified “Rumi”


I was unable to find Persian poems attributed to Rumi that correspond to these English verses that have been attributed to him.  If these are indeed translations and you know the original from which they are derived please let me know in the comments section.  In any event, I am sure Malwana wouldn’t object to these verses, even if they never came from his pen.


“I belong to no religion.
My religion is Love.
Every heart is My temple”


Whatever you think of War, I am far, far from it
Whatever you think of Love, I am that, only that, all that
Like a compass I stand firm with one leg on my faith
And, with the other leg, roam all over the seventy-two nations
The Seventy-Two nations learn their secrets from us:
We are the reed-flute whose song unites all nations and faiths
In all mosques, temples, and churches, I find one shrine alone


I profess the religion of love,
Love is my religion and my faith.
My mother is love, My father is love
My prophet is love My God is love
I am a child of love
I have come only to speak of love


Ibn al-Fāriḍ

The sights do not swerve in any faith
nor do the thoughts stray in any sect.


وما زاعت الابصار من كل مّلة
وما غحارات الاكار من كل نحلة



Every part of me kissed her veil
With every mouth whose touch held every kiss
If she dissolved my body, she would see in every atom
each and every heart filled with each and every love


ويلثم مني كلّ جزء لثامها
بكلّ فم فى لثمه كلّ قبلة
فلو بسطت جسمي رأت كلّ جوهر
به كلّ قلب فيه كلّ محبة


As for my way in love, I have no way
If I turn from it (Love) for a day, then I have left my religion
And if I think of other than you, even momentarily
I would consider it as my apostasy


عن مذهبي في الحب ما لي مذهب
وإن ملت عنه يوما فارقت ملتي
وإن خطرت لي في سواك ارادة
سهوا على خاطري قضيت بردتي


And part of my way is love of lands for the sake of their people
and people, in what they love, have many ways
-Abu Firas Hamadani


و منْ مذهبي حبُّ الديارِ لأهلها                      وَللنّاسِ فِيمَا يَعْشَقُونَ مَذَاهِبُ
لابو فراس الحمداني-



He saw the lightning in the East and longed for the East,
but if it had flashed in the West he would have longed for the West.
My desire is for the lightning and its gleam, not for places and  earth.

Ibn ‘Arabi


رأى البرْقَ شرقيّاً، فحنّ إلى الشرْقِ،       ولو لاحَ غربيَّاً لحنَّ إلى الغربِ
فإنّ غَرامي بالبُرَيْقِ ولمحِهِ        وليسَ غرَامي بالأماكِنِ والتُّرْبِ


لابن عربي




  تَفَكَّرتُ في الأَديانِ جِدّ مُحَقّق          فَأَلفَيتُها أَصلاً لَهُ شَعبٌ جَمّا
فَلا تَطلُبَن لِلمَرءِ ديناً فَإِنَّهُ          يَصُدُّ عَنِ الأَصلِ الوَثيقِ وَإِنَّما
يُطالِبُهُ أَصلٌ يُعَبِّرُ عِندَهُ         جَميعَ المَعالي وَالمَعاني فَيَفهَما
Earnest for truth, I thought on the religions:
They are, I found, one root with many a branch.
Therefore impose on no man a religion,
Lest it should bar him from the firm-set root.
Let the root claim him, a root wherein all heights
And meanings are made clear, for him to grasp.


Diwan al-Hallaj, trans. Martin Lings, Sufi Poems, p. 34.


همه كس طالب يارند چه هشيار و چه مست
همه جا خانه عشق است چه مسجد چه كنشت
Everyone, sober or drunk, seeks the beloved.
Every place, be it mosque or synagogue, is the house of love

در عشق خانقاه و خرابات فرق نيست
هر جا كه هست پرتو روى حبيب هست
In love, there is no difference between the monastery and the tavern
the rays of the beloved’s face shine every where that is


سراسر بخشش جانان طریق لطف و احسان بود
اگر تسبیح می‌فرمود اگر زنار می‌آورد
Whatever the beloved bestowed was all through grace and kindness
Whether praying with a tasbih or putting on a Christian belt



خمِ زلفِ تو دامِ کفر و دین است
ز کارستان او یک شمه این‌است
The curve of your tress is the snare of belief and unbelief.
This is only a small part of its gallery of works


بجز ابروی تو محراب دل حافظ نیست
 طاعت غیر تو در مذهب ما نتوان كرد
Except for your eyebrow, Hafez’s heart has no mihrab
No one but you can be worshipped in our religion



در صومعه زاهد و در خلوت صوفی
جز گوشه ابروی تو محراب دعا نیست
In the ascetic’s monastery and the Sufi’s khalwah (retreat)
There is no mihrab (prayer niche) save the curve of your brow


گر پیر مغان مرشد من شد چه تفاوت
در هیچ سری نیست که سری ز خدا نیست
If the Magian Pir became my master, what difference would it make?
There is no head that is without a divine secret


روشن از پرتو رويست نظرى نيست كه نيست
منت خاك درت بر بصرى نيست كه نيست
There is no vision unillumined with the light of your face
There is no eye unindebted to the dust of your door


ناظر روی تو صاحب نظرانند آری
سر گیسوی تو در هیچ سری نیست که نیست

Those who see your face are the seers of truth
There is no head that does not have the secret of your tress



  در طريقت هرخه پيش سالك آيد خير اوست
بر صراط مشتقيم ايدل كسى گمراه نيست
In the Way, whatever befalls the traveler is for his own good
No one loses his way on a straight path, my dear


هر که خواهد گو بیا و هر چه خواهد گو بگو
کبر و ناز و حاجب و دربان بدین درگاه نیست

Whoever wants to enter, let him do so and say what he may
In this court, there is neither conceit nor vanity, nor spokesman nor guard


مردم دیده ما جز به رخت ناظر نیست
دل سرگشته ما غیر تو را ذاکر نیست

The pupil of my eye sees naught but your face
My bewildered heart recalls none but you



فکر خود و رای خود در عالم رندی نیست
کفر است در این مذهب خودبینی و خودرایی
In the gangster’s world there is no thought or opinion of self
In this religion, seeing or thinking of yourself is infidelity


روی تو کس ندید و هزارت رقیب هست
در غنچه‌ای هنوز و صدت عندلیب هست
No one has seen your face, and yet a thousand rivals hound you
You are still a bud, and yet a hundred deer surround you

یا رب به که شاید گفت این نکته که در عالم
رخساره به کس ننمود آن شاهد هرجایی
O Lord, to whom should I explain this fine point
That beauty who is everywhere, showed her face to no one

معشوقه چون نقاب ز رخ بر نمى كشد 
هر كسى حكايتى به تصوّر چرا كنند
Since the beloved does not remove the veil from her face
Why does everyone make up a story from his imagination?

ترا خنانكه توئى هر نظر كجا بيند
به قدر بينش خود هر كسى كند ادراك
How can every eye see you as you are?
Each perceives only to the extent of his vision

ميدمد هر كسش افسونى و معلوم نشد
كه دل نازك او مايل افسانه كيست
Everyone tells her a tale, but no one knows
Whose tale her tender heart appreciates


هر كسى با شمع ر خسارت به وجهى عشق باخت
زان ميان پروانه را در اضطراب اندختى
Each person made love to the candle of your face in a different way
But it was only the moth that made you shake

مسلمان گر بدانستی که بت چیست
بدانستی که دین در بت‌پرستی است
If a muslim but knew what an idol is,
he would know that all religion is idolatry

حنیفی شو ز هر قید و مذاهب
 درآ در دیر دین مانند راهب
تو را تا در نظر اغیار و غیر است
اگردر مسجدی آن عین دیر است
چو برخیزد ز پیشت کسوت غیر
شود بهر تو مسجد صورت دیر


Become primordial, from each restriction and every sect
and come to the monastery of the religion, like the monk
So long as others and otherness appear in your sight
Even if you are in a mosque, it is the same as monastery
When the veil of otherness is removed from you
The monastery’s form becomes a mosque for you


من و تو در میان مانند برزخ
چو برخیزد تو را این پرده از پیش
نماند نیز حکم مذهب و کیش
همه حکم شریعت از من توست
که این بربستهٔ جان و تن توست
من تو چون نماند در میانه
چه کعبه چه کنشت چه دیرخانه
I and You are the barzakh between them
When this veil is lifted up from before you
There remains not the bond of sects and creeds
All the rules of Shari’ah are from your ego
since it is bound to your soul and body
When I and You remain not in the midst
What is Ka’aba, what is synagogue, what is monastery?


trans. Whinfield. The Mystic Rose-Garden of Sa’ad ud-din Mahmud Shabistari. 1880


The Guitar


We are pain and what cures pain, both.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute,
so that we can cry out with loving.
Would you rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror and here are the stones.

In the lover’s heart is a lute
Which plays the melody of longing
You say he looks crazy
But that’s only because your ears are not attuned
to the music he’s dancing to
You are sitting here with us,
but you are also out walking in a field at dawn.


You are yourself the animal we hunt
when you come with us on the hunt.


You are in your body
like a plant is solid in the ground,
yet you are wind.


You are the diver’s clothes
lying empty on the beach.
You are the fish.


In the ocean are many bright strands
and many dark strands like veins that are seen
when a wing is lifted up.


Your hidden self is blood in those,
those veins that are lute strings
that make ocean music,
not the sad edge of surf,
but the sound of no shore.

Venus touches the strings of her lute
 to lure out essence of this poem
My heart is like a lute each chord crying with longing and pain.
My Beloved is watching me wrapped in silence.



aan zamzameyam ze paye taa sar hame ‘eshq
Haqqa keh be ‘ahdha nayaayam birun
Bar ‘ude delam nawaakht yak zamzameye ‘eshq
Az ‘ahdeye haqq gozaari yakdameye ‘eshq


On the lute of my heart plays only one song of love:
Because of this melody, from head to foot, I am in love.
Truly, for ages I’ll never be able
To pay what I owe for one moment of love.



Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi 
(trans. William Chittick and P.L. Wilson)
Love plays its lute behind the screen –
where is a lover to listen to its tune?
With every breath a new song,
each split second a new string plucked.
The world has spilled Love’s secret –
when could music ever hold its tongue?
Every atom babbles the mystery –
Listen yourself, for I’m no tattletale!





The Guitar

by Federico García Lorca translated by Cola Franzen

The weeping of the guitar
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
to silence it.
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
to silence it.
It weeps for distant 
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.
Weeps arrow without target
evening without morning
and the first dead bird
on the branch.
Oh, guitar!
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords.


Six bars cage my lonely heart
And rattle with its sad love moans
Six stars cluster round my eye
and dance, shimmering on silver thrones


Six dark girls, three bronze, three thin
Sing sighing for their distant homes
Six hairs heave with love’s breath
Braid flames into my wooden bones


Six rivers run over my mouth
And ripple with its quiet groans
Six threads from your skirt’s wide hem
Have hooked my ear and won’t let go


Six barbed lines make a net to catch
My spirit in its shadowed grove
Six bolts of lightning flash across
My mouth, smiling as thunder rolls


My body pierced by music from
The six strings of this compound bow
These six veins wrap around my heart
And bleeding song from five swords’ strokes


Form six paths for your love to flow
Through my heartsick and stricken soul
And weave love’s sweet, sad melodies
Between your fingers; strikes and blows



Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.

“The guitar is fit for tender and sweet dialogue
with the girl we love
if the girl becomes disloyal to us
the cello—to confide our sorrow to a friend
and if the friend is also unfaithful
then the organ, to communicate
our affliction to God” ‘
– Andres Segovia The Guitar and I, Vol. 2 (1972. LP: MCA-2536)



In the violin and cello, we feel the human warmth of their timbres; and the guitar–the guitar condenses and refines the music played on it as the hundred fragrances of the forest are refined and condensed in a tiny flask.

I like very much the true flamenco, which is played with heavy fingers, roughly but from the soul. But flamenco has departed from the good simple tradition. The flamencos should not be professionals.







I belong to the scarce minority of artists who work in good faith, around whom the phenomenal world vanishes, as it happens to the mystics when they give themselves to prayer.





Among God’s creatures two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes, in order not to be separated from the man.



The advice I am giving always to all my students is above all to study the music profoundly….



Music is like the ocean, and the instruments are little or bigger islands, very beautiful for the flowers and trees.



The guitar is a small orchestra. It is polyphonic. Every string is a different color, a different voice The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself.

― Ludwig van Beethoven