Submitting To God’s Will

April 25th, 2018

Medium: Poetry

Week 9 Response: Sufi Piety II – The Ghazal and Mathnawi

Title: Submitting To God’s Will


Abhi Toh Niyyat-e-Safar Hai Ae Nafs

Aaghaz-e-Safar Abhi Baaqi Hai

O my mind, we’ve decided to go on a journey

But the actual journey is yet to start


Abhi Toh Asbaab-e-Taharat Tak Hain Pohanche

Ghusal-e-Taharat Abhi Baaqi Hai

We have only reached the means to purity

But the purification is yet to start


Karaar Ki Manzil Hai Abhi Dur Bohat

Ikraar Ki Charhai Abhi Baaqi Hai

The destination of tranquility is far away

And the ascent towards submission is yet to start


Kuch Bhi Bayaan Na Ker Paaey Yeh Zubaan

Bohat Kuch Seekhna Abhi Baaqi Hai

This tongue is not able to express anything

It still has a lot yet to learn


Saahil Pey Laaker Khara Ker Dia Ae Nafs

Saamne Samandar Hai, Doobna Abhi Baaqi Hai

O my mind, you have brought me towards the shore

The sea is in front of me but I have yet to drown


During the 8th and 9th weeks of the course we learned about a topic that has always captured my interest: Sufism. We read through several different artforms commonly used to convey Sufi ideas, including the Ghazal and Mathnawi.

In this blogpost, I have tried to write a short poem that is something similar to a Ghazal. Though this poem does not strictly obey all the conventions that were mentioned during our Week 9 reading, “the conventions of the Urdu Ghazal,” I have used an end rhyme consistently throughout the poem.

Fatima Keshavarz describes perhaps Rumi as someone who “understood the searching and restlessness as a kind of arrival.” This searching and restlessness is very common in most of the Sufi works that we have read in this course and is something that I have tried to incorporate in this poem.

The ideas that I have tried to convey through this poem are a juxtaposition of several themes that have come up in relation to Sufism, either in lecture or during the weekly readings. For example, this poem is basically one’s dialogue with his/her own consciousness. It has a sense of longing for the divine and conveys a struggle to reach the divine and therefore fulfill that longing.

Furthermore, the “journey” that I have mentioned in this poem echoes the journey that was portrayed in one of my favorite readings from this course, Attar’s the conference of the birds. The journey of the birds is basically one of stripping away of one’s ego. This is seen as a prerequisite to the birds finally reaching a state of enlightenment.

It was also very wonderfully conveyed in the dance performance of the conference of the birds where all the dancers underwent a painful process where they stripped away their old selves and were born anew. A similar journey is mentioned in this poem as well. The struggle against one’s own ego/mind is conveyed. Even though the destination of fulfillment is nearby, there is a further effort that needs to be made. An effort against the ego that is necessary to connect with the divine.



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