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The Raven’s excuse

The Raven approached with confidence in his stride,

His manner seeped in nothing short of pride,

Crowing: “I’ve already journeyed to the Simorgh alone,

I’ve been welcomed into the presence of His very throne.

Fair friends, what the hoopoe spoke is entirely true,

His sight alone is enough to fill you with joy anew.

After spending time in His esteemed presence,

I began to miss my very essence,

And yearned for the soul I once had

That I lost it on the journey made me incredibly sad.

The almighty Simorgh saw me and understood,

He gave me the option of leaving him for good.

I bade Him farewell and thus stand before you today,

Perpetually lost and forever stuck on the Way.

To be eternally content in this restless dismay and disarray.


The hoopoe answers him 

The hoopoe’s eyes filled with tears,

The words of the raven confirmed his worst fears,

That those who held the privilege of knowing His Grace

Could choose to turn away from His face.

To the black bird’s words, therefore, he had only to say

To the others: “It is entirely your choice this day

To journey to the Simorgh together with the rest

Or to make the quest alone another day at best.”


One of the sections of The Conference of the Birds that was discussed in section was the part in which each bird that had gathered around the hoopoe after he encouraged and welcomed all to journey with him to see the Simorgh and gave an excuse as to why they could not accompany the group on the journey. Each of their excuses (wealth and riches, for example) represents a vice that keeps them from journeying on the Way to see the Simorgh, who represents God. To this collection of vices/excuses, I felt compelled to add another voice: the voice of one who had seen the light of God and actively chose to reject it–in other words, sin or evil at its purest and most intentional form. While in extreme interpretations of Islam, the love for God seems to have been used to justify jihad, I wonder whether there is any advice or admonishment given to those who actively  seek to not love God and commit crime intentionally without reason. In completing this exercise, I’ve come to realize that I do not know anyone without at least an ounce of goodness in them or who would prefer to operate in this way. Thus, my only explanation for the existence of evil in this world is misunderstanding of goodness and what it can offer.

May 8th, 2016 at 1:28 am