Ghazal- Oh! The straight path is never straight…

Rumi’s Ghazal: Little by Little the Lovedrunk Arrive (Andak Andak)

Little by little, the group of the lovedrunk arrive
Little by little, the worshipers of wine arrive

They are on their way; Comforting and gentle
Like flowers from the flowerfield they arrive

Little by little, from this world of Being and non-Being
The non-existent leave and the existent arrive

They come with hands and clothes full of gold 
For the poor and hungry they arrive

The gaunt, exhausted from the trials of Love
Strong and healthy they arrive

Like the rays of the Sun , the lives of the Pure
From those heights to the lowly valley they arrive

Green and fresh the garden for the pure
With new fruits from the love drunk they arrive

Their essence is grace and grace they unfold and expand
From the garden towards the garden they arrive


My Ghazal: Oh! The straight path is never straight…


Thirst of the tongue, the travelers of dehydration follow the jagged path

Thirst of the tongue, the submitters to dehydration follow the jagged path


Thirst of the tongue, the travelers are not burdened more they can bear

With trust amongst chaos, creation follows the path


The lonely come with their shirts ripped and shoes lost

For the spring water of the path


The lost and confused, exhausted from chaos

With closed eyes and mouths following the path


The flowing water is there, just must be scene

It flows endlessly with no beginning, ending or path


The water gushes from the spring

With movement and progression, the travelers follow the jagged path


How the river must be scene to flow

The travelers of dehydration, drink the purpose of the windy-straight path



The poem I wrote is in style of a Ghazal or a Sufi Love Lyric which became prominent during Islamic Persia. Out of this era came the famous Poet Jalaludin Rumi who is famous for writing many ghazals, The Masnawi which has been termed the ‘Qur’an in Persian’, and other types of spiritual, love poetry. The ghazal I wrote- Oh! The straight path is never straight…– is in the style of Rumi’s famous Little by Little the Lovedrunk Arrive (Andak Andak)ghazal. Throughout his original poem he stirs readers through his use of language and metaphors to express his spiritual experience, and I try to do the same. To keep in touch with the style of traditional ghazals, a refrain (a repeated word or phrase) appears at the end of both lines of the first couplet and at the end of the second line in each succeeding couplet.

My reference to the thirsty traveler is that of a person in life seeking purpose and fulfillment in their lives. The path is jagged because it is not easy, but is instead a challenge to find your path in life.

The second couplet refers to a Surah Al-Baqarah where God promises that the circumstances they are given in life is never more than they can bear. If people can have trust in belief is this and themselves then they can follow a successful path:

“Allah does not burden any human being with more than he can bear” [Qur’an, 2:286]

The next couplets refer to materialism and obsessions in the world that lead people astray, confused, and lost. Through this they have no awareness of the true reality of their and the universes’ existence. This is beautifully constituted by the following:

“And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.” [Qur’an, 7:149]

However, the last few couplets refers to how one must just open their eyes of their heart to the see true reality- God. With this, I bring the beloved intellectual poet Muhammed Iqbal’s reference to Islam being self-development and progression through a spiritual sense for my ghazal. Lastly, I refer to Sura Al-Fatihah where mankind prays to be guided to the straight path. I call this a “windy-straight path” for the fact in our physical world the path may not be clear and easy to follow, but if we trust our awakened hearts, salvation and peace can be found:

“In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.” [Qur’an, 1:1-7]


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