She walks in beauty like the night…

One of my favorite English poems of all time is reminiscent of Sufi poetry about Layla, whose name means “night,” and who symbolizes the beloved Divine Essence/Essence of the Self.

Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

 

Rumi
Translation:
 You look through my two eyes, you are closer to me than myself
Your light shines brighter than the moon
Come into the garden so that the glory of the rose garden is humbled
that it may be more beautiful and blooming than a hundred gardens and rosebeds
so that the cedar will hide its height in shame
that the tongue of the lily will declare you more lily than itself
When you are kind, you are the candle of the soul, soft and pliable as wax
When you are aloof, you are more iron than iron
Do no be wild because you will meet her face to face
her charm will make you as cool and pliant as the earth
Throw away your armor and bare your chest at the moment of battle
there is no better protection nor armor than her.
That’s why in every Sufi retreat, all the openings are are sealed shut
so that from your light the house becomes more illumined

 

 

Orignal:
در دو چشم من نشین ای آن که از من منتری
تا قمر را وانمایم کز قمر روشنتری
اندرآ در باغ تا ناموس گلشن بشکند
ز آنک از صد باغ و گلشن خوشتر و گلشنتری
تا که سرو از شرم قدت قد خود پنهان کند
تا زبان اندرکشد سوسن که تو سوسنتری
وقت لطف ای شمع جان مانند مومی نرم و رام
وقت ناز از آهن پولاد تو آهنتری
چون فلک سرکش مباش ای نازنین کز ناز او
نرم گردی چون زمین گر از فلک توسنتری
زان برون انداخت جوشن حمزه وقت کارزار
کز هزاران حصن و جوشن روح را جوشنتری
زان سبب هر خلوتی سوراخ روزن را ببست
کز برای روشنی تو خانه را روشنتری

 

Ibn al-Farid

 

Translation:
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

 

Original:

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

 

Translation:

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

 

Original:

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

 

Shushtari

Translation:

You seek Layla, but she reveals herself within you
You think she’s other, but she’s not other than you
And that’s a madness that is apparent to the cult of lovers
So be careful, for otherness is the essence of being cut off
Don’t you see how her beauty envelops you?
She disappears only when you reject part of yourself
“Come close to me,” you say to she who is your All
And when she loves you, she leads you to yourself
Meeting her is bliss beyond description
and none reach her, save those who see meaning without forms
I was so in love with her that I would have vanished in her love
had she not sworn that I only obey her
I concealed her from people with fantasy
After having revealed her, truly, inside my cloak.
I hid her from myself, with the robe of my worlds,
And from my envy, out of the severity of my jealousy
O Dazzling beauty! Should the light of your face
Touch the eyes of a blind man, he would see every atom
She is adorned with each and every charm and grace of beauty
And wherever she appears, she is desired by those who love.

 

Original:

أَتَطلُبُ لَيلى وَهيَ فيكَ تَجَلَّت                  وَتَحسَبُها غَيراً وَغَيرُكَ لَيسَتِ

فَذابلُهُ في مِلَّةِ الحُبِّ ظاهِرٌ                   فَكُن فَطِناً فَالغيرُ عَينُ القَطيعَةِ

أَلَم تَرَها أَلقَت عَلَيكَ جَمالَها               وَلَو لَم تَقُم بِالذاتِ مِنكَ اِضمَحَلَّتِ

تَقولُ لَها اُدنُ وَهيَ كُلَّك ثُمَّ إِن                    حَبَتكَ بِوَصلٍ أَوهَمَتكَ تَدَلَّتِ

عَزيزٌ لِقاها لا يَنالُ وِصالَها                 سِوى مَن يَرى مَعنىً بِغَيرِ هَوِيَّةِ

كَلِفت بِها حَتّى فَنِيتُ بِحُبِّها                       فَلَو أَقسَمَت أَنّيَ إِيّاها لَبَرَّتِ

وَغالَطتُ فيها الناسَ بِالوَهمِ بَعدَما                      تَبَيَّنتها حَقّاً بِداخِلِ بُردَتي

وَغَطَّيتُها عَنّي بِثَوبِ عَوالِمي                 وَعَن حاسِدي فيها لِشِدَّةِ غيرَتي

بَديعَة حُسنٍ أَو بَدا نورُ وَجهِها                 إِلى أَكمَهٍ أَضحى يَرى كُلَّ ذَرَّةِ

تحلّت بأنواع الجمال بأسرها                  فهام بها أهل الهوى حيثُ حلّت

Shushtari—Red, Red Wine

Shushtari

I drink wine from the cup
and from myself I approach myself
In myself it is myself I love
For it is my spirit, my reality
the fine wine that fills me and quenches my thirst
I care not what others may say
I seek in myself what I already have
Drink up in good health
the vintage ancient and pure
My allusions are from me and for me, so learn
Don’t resist me, understand
I am everything, the center of totality—accept this.
Forget about him and her, let go of Zayd and Mayya
Take pleasure in loving truly
What’s passing will pass away—but my life remains
My life is not separate from my qualities
for my essence is my all and my all is my essence
My essence shines like the sun
and from myself, I approach myself
in myself, it is myself I love

Original:

I was poured a cup of timeless love
not of this world, nor of heaven
In it I became unique in my time
bearing my banner amongst men
Mine is an amazing path of love unsurpassed
How lucky I am!
Hey you who love him, [know that] the beautiful one has many followers
If you are unkind to them, what misfortune!
Far be it from you, dear ones of Najd
to cut the ties of hope between you and me

 

Original:

سقيت كأس الهوى قديما      من غير أرضى ولا سمائى
أصبحت به فريدعصرى          بين الورى حاملا لوائى
لي مذهب مذهب عجيب          في الحبّ قد فاق ياهنائى
يامن همو للجميل أهيل نجد          أن تقطعوا منكمو رجائى

 

 

My drink and my ride are sweet
and my beloved takes care of me
O my friends, forgive me
my prostration and approach
A fine and fragrant wine
all light shines forth from it
The pourer pours it
May it be my reckoning
I am drunk on love
and I have no comfort without it
Whenever I call out: “O God!”
My response is: “at your service…”

 

Original:

طَابَ نُقْلِي وَشرَابي             وحَبيبي اعتنابي
فاعْذَرُوني يا صِحابِي       في سُجُودِي واقْترابِي
خمرةٌ رَاقَ شَذاهَا           كلُّ نُورٍ مِن سَناهَا
قَامَ سَاقِيها سَقَاهَا            أجْعَلَوهَا احتِسَابِي
أنَا سَكْرانُ مِن هَواهُ           لَيْسَ لي راحٌ سواهُ
كلَّمَا نَادَيْتُ يا هُو             كان لَبَّيْكَ جَوابي

 

 

My love served me cups
of a wine unpressed
the drink of the pure
in which all things appear
I took a sip
and fell for you, o majestic!
My bride was unveiled to me
and I saw nothing but perfection
My intoxication got me drunk
as it did other men
this wine revives souls
whoever drinks it gets drunk
unveiled to me like a bride
and I saw the sun and moon
Pay attention brother, hold your tongue
and hold on to this wondrous secret
so that the veils will be lifted from you
until you see the beloved
from yourself and in yourself, she is everyhting
if you understand or have insight
Go back to your essence and dive in
but don’t stop on the slopes
the commoners will languish in heedlessness
while you see your love openly
O you ignorant in these affairs
submit to what you see:
the wine goes ’round amongst us
and every one of us is drunk
see the men with us here
present with their hearts so full
See them all dancing
the secret is manifest in them
It was for this, they gave their souls
and their night has turned to day.

 

Original:

Your love served me many cups
Its glow illumined my senses
My night turned to day
The sun is mine and the stars
My throne contains the depths
My heart is the starless sphere

 

Your love served me many cups
When I turned from myself
I saw myself unveiling what was hidden
its meaning beyond the kingdoms of men

 

Your love served me many cups
If you like, I’ll tell you true
I’m a real faqir and wanton
Shushtari is unrepentant
I drink with my friend from the cup

 

Your love served me many cups
Look for me in the monastery
You’ll see me slumped among the casks
I love wantonly the one
who revives the souls of those who join him
Your love served me many cups

 

Original:

UB 40

 

Shustari-If Loving You Is Wrong…

Shushtari

My neglect of you is reprehensible, while your love is a duty
my longing is everlasting, while union is elusive
On the tablet of my heart, your love has been marked
my tears are the ink, and beauty is the writer
The reader of my thoughts constantly recites
lessons on the signs of the beautiful one
My gaze wanders in the heaven of your beauty
its penetrating star pierces my mind
Talk about others, listening to that is forbidden
for all of me is stolen and your beauty is the thief
They said to me: repent of loving your beloved
so I replied: I repent of my neglect
The torments of love are sweet for every lover
even if, for another, they are hard and never-ending

 

Translation modified from: L.M. Alvarez. Abu’l-Hasan Shushtari: Songs of Love and Devotion. p. 55

 

Original:

سُلُوِّيَ مكروهٌ وحُبكَ واجبٌ               وشوقِي مقيمٌ والتَّواصلُ غائبُ

وفي لوح قلبي من وِدَادكِ أسطرٌ            وَدمعي مِدادٌ مثل ما الحسن كاتبُ

وقارىء فكري لْلمحَاسِن تالياً               على دَرْس آيات الجمالِ يواظبُ

أُنَزِّهُ طَرفي في سماء جَمالكمْ                    لِثاقب ذِهني نَجمُها هو ثاقبُ

حَديثُ سواكَ السمع عنهُ محَّرمٌ                    فَكُلِّيَ مسلوبٌ وحسنكَ سالبُ

يقولونَ لي تبْ عن هوى من تُحبُّهُ                 فقلتُ عن السلوان إِنِّيَ تائبُ

عَذابُ الهوى عذبٌ على كل عَاشِق       وإِن كان عندَ الغير صعبٌ وواصبُ

 

 

Bill Withers

 

Luther Ingram

Natural Mystic

Shushtari

Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural
Natural, Natural, ay By God, Natural

 

A poor man like me, with a begging bag around my neck
My heart is free of any care
And I like people who are light-hearted
Such is the natural, he is liked by every natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

First thing in the morning, when I go out to work
I open my mouth and stretch out my hand
And for me, if I saw my granddad, who is not natural
For me, leaving him be, is only natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I cover my body with needle and thread
of rough wool, which, for me, is a lot
“Who is that guy?” the people ask, bewildered
Still I’m just natural, loved by every Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

My head is shaved and I walk around dazed
I beg in the market or at the mansions
Barefoot, walking the earth, saying: “Give for God’s sake,
some natural bread, to a natural man.”
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I might sit down and not want to talk
I might lie on the earth as my bed
I graze on the earth’s grass, living well
The Natural one is loved by every Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I have a begging bag and a sea-shell
And a pot hung on the end of a stick
And my head is polished like a guitar
I walk naturally, naturally used to poverty
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

And when I stop at a town or market, I see the people come up to me
like brothers, their speech is well-intended
You see the Natural welcoming the Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I don’t fake anything, and I have no rule
I don’t crave food or clothes
and this position, is what every hypocrite needs
A natural poor man, loved by every natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I know no jugde nor ruler
that’s more noble and natural for me
that’s how the high levels are described
A natural heart, in this state it is natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

Apart from these deeds, things are incomplete
Whoever humbles himself before a vizier or Sultan
Is arrogant and confused
His garment is natural, and by God, he is natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

Tearing the two sleeves, by this I mean, resurrection
Casting the two worlds from my heart
And I take off my two shoes to arrive at the Presence
Abandoning the unnatural is, for me, natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I have a sitting mat that is pure like my heart
and a presence of intimacy with which I polish my cup
and a bunch of bags, a faqīr murabbī*
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

*A poor man (Sufi) who trains others.

 

Original:

 

Bob Marley

Lyrics:

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
If you listen carefully now you will hear
This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why

 

Things are not the way they used to be
I won’t tell no lie
One and all got to face reality now

 

Though I try to find the answer
To all the questions they ask
Though I know it’s impossible
To go living through the past
Don’t tell no lie

 

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
Can’t keep them down
If you listen carefully now you will hear
Such a natural mystic
Blowing through the air

 

This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
I won’t tell no lie
If you listen carefully now, you will hear
There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air

 

Lyrics:

Old Twinkling Lee
Can’t see the right roads when the streets are paved
The old slave mill, might grind slow
But it grinds fine… yeah

[Verse 1]
African Herbsman, why linger on?
Just concentrate cuz heaven lives on
Retired slaveman, will look with a scorn
With a transplanted heart

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
The remembrance… of today… is the sad feeling of tomorrow…

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Oh, oh yeah

[Verse 2]
African Herbsman, seize your time
I’m taking illusion on the edge of my mind
I’m taking losers down through my life
Down through my life, yeah

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Did they part? Yes they part!
In remembrance of today…

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Repeat Verse 1]

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
In remembrance, of today, brings sad feelings of tomorrow

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Believe me oh, oh lord I praise

African Herbsman
African Herbsman
African, African Herbsman

Chuang Tzu

 

The flowing of the stream does nothing, but follows its nature
The perfect man does the same with regard to virtue
He does nothing to cultivate it, but all is affected by its presence
He is like the height of Heaven: natural
or the solidity of the Earth
or the brightness of sun and moon—all-natural
There is no need to cultivate this.

 

What is meant by ‘the True Man?’ The True men of old did not reject (the views of) the few; they did not seek to accomplish (their ends) like heroes (before others); they did not lay plans to attain those ends. Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tâo.

The True men of old did not dream when they slept, had no anxiety when they awoke, and did not care that their food should be pleasant. Their breathing came deep and silently. The breathing of the true man comes (even) from his heels, while men generally breathe (only) from their throats. When men are defeated in argument, their words come from their gullets as if they were vomiting. Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the Heavenly are shallow.

The True men of old knew nothing of the love of life or of the hatred of death. Entrance into life occasioned them no joy; the exit from it awakened no resistance. Composedly they went and came. They did not forget what their beginning bad been, and they did not inquire into what their end would be. They accepted (their life) and rejoiced in it; they forgot (all fear of death), and returned (to their state before life). Thus there was in them what is called the want of any mind to resist the Tâo, and of all attempts by means of the Human to assist the Heavenly. Such were they who are called the True men.

Being such, their minds were free from all thought; their demeanour was still and unmoved; their foreheads beamed simplicity. Whatever coldness came from them was like that of autumn; whatever warmth came from them was like that of spring. Their joy and anger assimilated to what we see in the four seasons. They did in regard to all things what was suitable, and no one could know how far their action would go.

I looked and all I saw was you…

 

Translation:

If the meaning of your speech is not for me, then I don’t know
For my heart will not be cured and my liver’s fire will not be quenched
I looked and I didn’t see any one I loved but you
If not for you, love would not be sweet for those who love
So when thought unveils you in the retreat of satisfaction
and it disappears, the people say my passions have led me astray
By your life, the lover has not gone astray nor has he erred*
But when they generalized, they made the fatwa miss its mark
If they had seen the meaning of your beauty
just as I saw, with the eye of the heart, they wouldn’t deny the claim
I dropped all shame in your love and
whoever is shameless in love enjoys the pillow talk
I tore the robes of dignity to shreds, exposing myself to you
and so distress becomes sweet in your love
There is no complaint in love even if one’s insides are torn up
and shame on the lovers who complain of your love

 

 

*Paraphrase of Qur’an 53:2

 

 

Original:

إِذا لم يكنْ مَعْنى حديثك لي يُدْرَى             فلا مُهْجْتيِ تُشْفىَ ولا كَبدي تُروَى
نَظرتُ فلم أنْظر سِواكَ أحبُّهُ                  ولَولاكَ ما طَاَب الهَوى لِلَّذي يَهوى
ولَّما اجْتلاَك الفكرُ في خَلوة الرّضا           وغيّبت قال الناس ضَلت بي الاهْوا
لَعمرُك ما ضَلَّ المحبُّ وَما غَوى                ولكَّنهمْ لمَّا عمُوا أخطئوا الفتوى
ولو شَهدوا معنى جمَالِكَ مثْلما              شهدْتُ بعينِ القلبِ ما أنكروا الدَّعوى
خلعت عِذاري في هَواك وَمنْ يكنْ             خليعَ عِذارِ في الهوى سَرَّهُ النجوى
وَمزقتُ أثواب الوقارِ تَهتكا                         عليكَ وطابت في محَبتكَ الْبلوَى
فما في الهْوى شكوىَ ولو مُزِّق الحَشَا         وَعارٌ على العُشاق في حُبِّكَ الشَّكوى

 

 

 

 

Hafiz

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

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

 

In the gangster’s world there is no thought or opinion of self
In this religion, seeing or thinking of yourself is infidelity

 

فکر خود و رای خود در عالم رندی نیست
کفر است در این مذهب خودبینی و خودرایی

 

 

‘Iraqi and Shushtari—The Wealth of Poverty

‘Iraqi

laylamajnunpersianmin

 

Translation:

I have seen that the lane of piety stretches out,
far, far into the distance;
My dearest friends, can you not show me then
the way of the madman?
Bring me a glass of Magian wine
that I may drink deep
for I have given up all thought
of ascetic piety;
or if the pure wine has all been downed
bring me the cloudy dregs
for thick residue lights up the heart
and illuminates the eyes.
Tuppence for the Sufi meeting house!
I flee the company of the righteous;
fill up a row of glasses with wine
and bring me the first.
I have no rules or regulations,
nor heart nor religion –
only I remain, and you, sitting in the corner
and the wealth of Poverty.
All fear of God, all self-denial I deny;
bring wine, nothing but wine
for in all sincerity I repent
my worship which is but hypocrisy.
Yes, bring me wine, for I have renounced all renunciation
and all my vaunted self-righteousness
seems to me but swagger and self-display.
Now for a time let my proof be wine
against the sorrow of Time
for only in drunkenness can one be free
of the hour’s grief.
Once I am thoroughly drunk, what difference
if I end up in a church or in Mecca?
Once I’ve abandoned myself, what matter
if I win Union – or separation?
I’ve been to the gambling house and seen
that the losers there are pure;
I’ve been to the monastery and have found
no one but hypocrites.
Now I’ve broken my repentance, at least
do not break our covenant:
at least welcome this broken heart and say
“How are you? Where have you been?”
I’ve been to Mecca, to circle the Kaaba
but they refused me entrance
saying “Off with you!  What merit have you earned
outside, that we should admit you within?”
Then, last night, I knocked
at the tavern door;
from within came a voice: “‘Iraqi! Come in!
for you are one of the chosen!”

 

from the introduction to Divine Flashes
translation by William Chittick and Peter Wilson

 

squarekuficmosque

 

Original:
پسرا، ره قلندر سزد ار به من نمایی
که دراز و دور دیدم ره زهد و پارسایی
پسرا، می مغانه دهی ار حریف مایی
که نماند بیش ما را سر زهد و پارسایی
قدحی می مغانه به من آر، تا بنوشم
که دگر نماند ما را سر توبهٔ ریایی
می صاف اگر نباشد، به من آر درد تیره
که ز درد تیره یابد دل و دیده روشنایی
کم خانقه گرفتم، سر مصلحی ندارم
قدح شراب پر کن، به من آر، چند پایی؟
نه ره و نه رسم دارم، نه دل و نه دین، نه دنیی
منم و حریف و کنجی و نوای بی‌نوایی
نیم اهل زهد و توبه به من آر ساغر می
که به صدق توبه کردم ز عبادت ریایی
تو مرا شراب در ده، که ز زهد تو به کردم
ز صلاح چون ندیدم جز لاف و خودنمایی
ز غم زمانه ما را برهان ز می زمانی
که نیافت جز به می کس ز غم زمان رهایی
چو ز باده مست گشتم، چه کلیسیا، چه کعبه؟
چو به ترک خود بگفتم، چه وصال و چه جدایی؟
به قمارخانه رفتم همه پاکباز دیدم
چو به صومعه رسیدم همه یافتم دغایی
چو شکست توبهٔ من، مشکن تو عهد، باری
به من شکسته دل گو که: چگونه‌ای؟ کجایی؟
به طواف کعبه رفتم به حرم رهم ندادند
که برون در چه کردی، که درون خانه آیی؟
در دیر می‌زدم من، ز درون صدا بر آمدکه: درآی،
ای عراقی، که تو خود حریف مایی

 

 

Shushtari

 

Translation:

We come to you in poverty, not riches, for you are the generous one.

You accustomed us to every grace, may your grace endure.

These poor disheveled souls of yours are drenched
in your love, because it is the utmost of desires.

There is no one in richness like you
and in poverty there are none like us.

We see you manifest in everything; nothing is ours.

I hid your name out of jealousy. Look at me, lost on a mountain trail and a slope.

Since you are always with me,
I have no need to carry provisions: I am rich.

For you, you are the truth, there is no other
and I – would that I knew – who am I?

From Alvarez, L.M. Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shushtarī: Songs of Love and Devotion, (New York, Paulist Press, 2009), p. 69

 

 

Original:
أتيناك بالفقر لا بالغنى    وأنت الذي لم تزل محسنّا
وعوّدتنا كلّ فضل عسى      يدوم الذي منك عوّدتنا
مسا كينك الشعث قد موهوا      بحبك إذ هو أقصى المنى
فما في الغنى واحد مثلكم      و في الفقر لا عصبة مثلنا
رأيناك في كلّ أمر بدا      وليس من الأمر شيء لنا
سترت اسمكم غيرة ها أنا      أموه بالشعب والمنحنى
إذا كنت في كلّ حال معي      فعن حمل زادي أنا في غنى
فأنتم هم الحق لا غيركم      فياليت شعري أنا من أنا

O you present in my heart…

benyousefmadrasa

dalailkhayratmaghribi

Translation:

O you present in my heart, thinking of you makes me sweet
If no one ever visits my eye, then my heart will take its place for me
I am not gone, but my body is vanishing from wasting away
So no blamer found me, and no chaperone/rival saw me
Had the era known about me, people would have come to me
Nothing remains but passion, ask it about me, and it will answer for me

 

8-khalili-leiden_mss-1138-fol-44b-45a_sandal

 

Orignal:

يَا حاضِراً في فُؤادي ** بِالفكرِ فِيكمْ أطيبُ
إِنْ لمْ يزُرْ شخصُ عيني ** فالقلبُ عِندي ينُوبُ
مَا غِبتُ لَكِنَّ جِسْمي ** من النُّحول يذوبُ
فَلمْ يَجدْني عذولٌ ** وَلاَ رآنِي رَقِيبُ
وَلوْ دَرَى الدَّهْرُ ** عَنِّي جَاءت إِلىَّ شعُوبُ
لَمْ يَبْقَ غَيْرُ غَرامٍ ** فَسَلهُ عَنِّي يِجُيبُ

 

alhambrawall

Original:

Hey you hiding in my heart

I am happy when you’re near

You, my life, my joy and art

Who’s the image, who’s the mirror?

kullushayhalik

Me/not Me


huwayudrikalabsar

Shah Niyaz Barelvi

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

waws wedding

Original:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ali-in-Squared-Kufic-Calligraphy-600x574

Dancing_dervishes

 

Unknown

Translation:

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

 

 

 

 

marocarchyellow

Shushtari

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

 

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

peekouteautwindow

If only they knew the subtleties of Layla’s love…

amazingwindowblaconyamazinggateopen

 

Translation:

If only they understood the subtleties of Layla’s love
Her love would be all they needed to experience of love
If he meets someone from Layla’s neighborhood
he’ll abase himself before him and fall to pieces
If not for her, he wouldn’t have been abased
Kissing this wall and that
until he becomes carried away in love for her
winking at other than her, while she has her disguises

 

 

Original:

وَلَوْ فَهِمُوا دَقَائِقَ حُبِّ لَيْلَىٰ
كَفَاهُمِ فِي صَبَابَتِهِ اخْتِبَارَا
إِذْ يَبْدُو امْرُؤٌ بحَيِّ لَيْلَىٰ
يَذِلُّ لَهُ وَيَنْكَسِرُ انْكِسَارَا
وَلَوْلاَهَا لَمَا أَضْحَى ذَلِيلاً
يُقَبِّلُ دَا الجِدَارَا وَدَا الجِدَارَا
إِلَى أَنْ صَارَ غَيِّبًا فِي هَوَاهَا
يُشِيرُ لِغَيْرِهَا وَلَهَا أَشَارَا

 

 

 

Translation:

The slave to love is well-pleased with his madness.
Let him wear out his life even as he will.
Reprove him not; your blame will nothing serve:
Forsaking love is not his religion.
I swear by him for whom ‘Aqīq is mentioned–
a lover’s oath by his beloved—none
But ye are mine; yet have I to repent me
Remissness in loving, waveringness.
Why, when I hear the dove coo in the glade,
Why yearn I ever at his sorrowing?
And though his way is weeping without tears,
When the lover weeps, the tears pour from his eyes.

 

translation from Martin Lings’ Sufi Poetry: A Medieval Anthology p. 88

 

marocwindow

 

Original:

رَضِىَ المُتَيّمُ فِي الهَوىٰ بِجُنونِهِ
خَلُّوهُ يَفْنَىٰ عُمْرِهِ بفُنُونِهِ
لا تَعْذِلُوهُ فَلَيْسَ يَنْفَعْ عَذْلُكُمْ
ليس السلو عن الهوى من دينه
قَسَمًا بَمَنْ ذُكِرَ العَقِيقَ لأجْلِهِ
قَسَمَ المُحِبِ بِحُبِّهِ ويَمِينِهِ
مَالي سِواكُمُ غَيْرَ أني تائِبٌ
عَن فَاتِراتِ الحُبِّ أو تَلوينِهِ
مالي إذا هَتَفَ الحَمامُ بأيْكةٍ
أبداً أحِنْ لشَجْوِهِ وشِجُونِهِ
وإذا البُكَاءُ بِغَيْرِ دَمْعٍ دأبُهُ
والصَبُّ يَجْرِي دَمْعِهِ بِعِيونِهِ



maghribhall

 

Who am I?

 

 

 

Bulleh Shah

Translation:

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?

 

 

 

Original:

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​

 

 

Rumi

 

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.

Original:

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

 

morocco_djellaba

Shushtari

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; trans.by  Martin Lings)

‘Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology’ by Martin Lings