In Jerusalem…

Mahmoud Darwish

In Jerusalem

TRANSLATED BY FADY JOUDAH
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy … ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t be safe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Muhammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me … and I forgot, like you, to die.
From : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52551/in-jerusalem
Original:

في القدس، أَعني داخلَ السُّور القديمِ،
أَسيرُ من زَمَنٍ إلى زَمَنٍ بلا ذكرى
تُصوِّبُني. فإن الأنبياءَ هناك يقتسمون
تاريخَ المقدَّس… يصعدون إلى السماء
ويرجعون أَقلَّ إحباطاً وحزناً، فالمحبَّةُ
والسلام مُقَدَّسَان وقادمان إلى المدينة.
كنت أَمشي فوق مُنْحَدَرٍ وأَهْجِسُ: كيف
يختلف الرُّواةُ على كلام الضوء في حَجَرٍ؟
أَمِنْ حَجَر ٍشحيحِ الضوء تندلعُ الحروبُ؟
أسير في نومي. أَحملق في منامي. لا
أرى أحداً ورائي. لا أرى أَحداً أمامي.
كُلُّ هذا الضوءِ لي. أَمشي. أخفُّ. أطيرُ
ثم أَصير غيري في التَّجَلِّي. تنبُتُ
الكلماتُ كالأعشاب من فم أشعيا
النِّبَويِّ: ((إنْ لم تُؤْمنوا لن تَأْمَنُوا)).
أَمشي كأنِّي واحدٌ غيْري. وجُرْحي وَرْدَةٌ
بيضاءُ إنجيليَّةٌ. ويدايَ مثل حمامتَيْنِ
على الصليب تُحلِّقان وتحملان الأرضَ.
لا أمشي، أَطيرُ، أَصيرُ غَيْري في
التجلِّي. لا مكانَ و لا زمان . فمن أَنا؟
أَنا لا أنا في حضرة المعراج. لكنِّي
أُفكِّرُ: وَحْدَهُ، كان النبيّ محمِّدٌ
يتكلِّمُ العربيَّةَ الفُصْحَى. ((وماذا بعد؟))
ماذا بعد؟ صاحت فجأة جنديّةٌ:
هُوَ أَنتَ ثانيةً؟ أَلم أَقتلْكَ؟
قلت: قَتَلْتني… ونسيتُ، مثلك، أن أَموت.

 

Tamim Al-Barghouti

In Jerusalem:
(Translated by Houssem Ben Lazreg in Transference 5(1) Fall 2017:61-65)

We passed by the home of the beloved
but the enemy’s laws and wall turned us away
I said to myself, “Maybe, that is a blessing”
What will you see in Jerusalem when you visit?
You will see all that you can’t stand
when her houses become visible from all sides When meeting her beloved, not every soul rejoices Nor does every absence harm
If they are delighted when meeting before departure such joy cannot remain kindled
For once your eyes have seen Jerusalem
You will only see her, wherever you look.
In Jerusalem, a greengrocer from Georgia,
annoyed with his wife,
thinks of going on vacation or painting his house
In Jerusalem, a middle-aged man from Upper Manhattan holds a Torah and teaches Polish boys its commandments In Jerusalem, an Ethiopian policeman
seals off a street in the marketplace,
A machine gun hangs from the shoulder of a teenage settler, A person wearing a yarmulke
bows at the Wailing Wall,
Blonde European tourists who don’t see Jerusalem at all but spend most of the time taking pictures of each other

beside a Palestinian woman selling radishes in public squares all day long

In Jerusalem, there are walls of basil
In Jerusalem, there are barricades of concrete
In Jerusalem, the soldiers marched with heavy boots over the clouds
In Jerusalem, we were forced to pray on the asphalt

In Jerusalem, everyone is there but you.
And History turned to me and smiled:
“Have you really thought that you would overlook them
and see others?
Here they are in front of you;
They are the text while you are the footnote and margin
O son, have you thought that your visit would remove, from the city’s face, the thick veil of her present, so that you may see what you desire?
In Jerusalem, everyone is there but you.
Jerusalem is the wandering deer
As fate sentenced it to departure
You still chase her since she bid you farewell
O son, calm down for a while, I see that you began to faint” In Jerusalem, everyone is there but you.
O historian, wait,
The city has two timelines:
One foreign, serene, with steady steps as if it is walking asleep

The other wears a mask and walks secretly with caution
And Jerusalem knows herself,
Ask the people there, everyone will guide you
Everything in the city
has a tongue which, when you ask, will reply
In Jerusalem, the crescent becomes more curved like an embryo

Bending towards other crescents over the domes
And over the years, their relation developed to be like a father to a son

In Jerusalem, the stones of the buildings are quoted from the Bible and the Quran
In Jerusalem, beauty is octagonal and blue

On top of it, lies a golden dome
that looks like, I think, a convex mirror

Reflecting the face of the heavens
Playing with it, drawing it near
Distributing the sky, like aid in a siege for those in need

If people appeal to God after Friday sermon
In Jerusalem, the sky is shared by everyone,

We protect it and it protects us
And we carry it on our shoulders
If time oppresses its moons.
In Jerusalem, the marble columns are dark
as though their veins were smoke
Windows, high in mosques and churches,
took dawn by hand, showing him how to paint with colors

He says, “like this”
but the windows reply, “no, like this”
And after long debate, they compromise
as the dawn is free when outside the threshold

But if he wants to enter through God’s Windows

He has to abide by their rules
In Jerusalem there’s a school built by a Mameluke who came from beyond the river,
was sold at a slave market in Isfahan
to a merchant from Baghdad, who traveled to Aleppo,
and gave the Mameluke to Aleppo’s Prince
Fearing the blueness in the Mameluke’s left eye,
the Prince gave him to a caravan heading for Egypt
where soon, he became the vanquisher of the Moguls and the Sovereign Sultan
In Jerusalem, the scent of Babylon and India
are at an herbalist’s shop in Khan El Zeit
I swear, it is a scent with a language that you will understand if you listen;

It says to me
when tear gas canisters are being fired
“Don’t worry”
And as the gas wanes, that scent fills the air again and says:
“You see?”
In Jerusalem, contradictions get along, and wonders cannot be denied

People check them out like pieces of old and new fabric
and miracles there are tangible.
In Jerusalem, if you shake hands with an old man or touch a building you will find, engraved on your palm, my friend, a poem or two
In Jerusalem, despite successive calamities
a breeze of innocence and childhood fills the air
And you can see doves fly high
announcing, between two shots, the birth of an independent state

In Jerusalem, the rows of graves
are the lines of the city’s history while the book is the soil
Everyone has passed through
For Jerusalem welcomes all visitors, whether disbelievers or believers

Walk through, and read the headstones in all languages
You will find the Africans, the Europeans, the Kipchaks, the Slavs, the Bosniaks, the Tatars, the Turks, the believers, the disbelievers,
the poor and the rich, the hermits, and the miscreants
Here lie all sorts of people that ever walked the earth
They were the footnotes of the book, now they are the main text before us.
Is it just for us that the city has become too small?
Oh chronicler! What made you exclude us?
Re-write and think again, for I see that you made a grave mistake
The eyes close, then look again
The driver of the yellow car heads north, away from the city’s gates. And now Jerusalem is behind us
I could glance at her through the right wing-mirror
Her colors have changed before the sunset
Then, a smile sneaked onto my face
and said to me when I looked close and careful,
“Oh you who weep behind the wall, are you a fool?
Have you lost your mind?
Do not weep because you were excluded from the main text
O Arab, do not weep, and know for sure
that whomever is in Jerusalem
It is only you I see.”

Original:
مَرَرْنا عَلــى دارِ الحبيب فرَدَّنا
عَنِ الدارِ قانونُ الأعادي وسورُهافَقُلْتُ لنفســي رُبما هِيَ نِعْمَةٌ
فماذا تَرَى في القدسِ حينَ تَزُورُها
تَرَى كُلَّ ما لا تستطيعُ احتِمالَهُ
إذا ما بَدَتْ من جَانِبِ الدَّرْبِ دورُهاوما كلُّ نفسٍ حينَ تَلْقَى حَبِيبَها تُـسَرُّ
ولا كُلُّ الغـِيابِ يُضِيرُهافإن سـرَّها قبلَ الفِراقِ لِقاؤُه
فليسَ بمأمـونٍ عليها سـرُورُهامتى تُبْصِرِ القدسَ العتيقةَ مَرَّةً
فسوفَ تراها العَيْنُ حَيْثُ تُدِيرُها***
في القدسِ، بائعُ خضرةٍ من جورجيا برمٌ بزوجته
يفكرُ في قضاءِ إجازةٍ أو في في طلاءِ البيتْفي القدس، توراةٌ وكهلٌ جاءَ من مَنْهاتِنَ العُليا يُفَقَّهُ فتيةَ البُولُونِ في أحكامها
في القدسِ شرطيٌ من الأحباشِ يُغْلِقُ شَارِعاً في السوقِ..
رشَّاشٌ على مستوطنٍ لم يبلغِ العشرينَ،
قُبَّعة تُحَيِّي حائطَ المبكَىوسياحٌ من الإفرنجِ شُقْرٌ لا يَرَوْنَ القدسَ إطلاقاً
تَراهُم يأخذونَ لبعضهم صُوَرَاًمَعَ امْرَأَةٍ تبيعُ الفِجْلَ في الساحاتِ طُولَ اليَومْفي القدسِ دَبَّ الجندُ مُنْتَعِلِينَ فوقَ الغَيمْفي القدسِ صَلَّينا على الأَسْفَلْتْ
في القدسِ مَن في القدسِ إلا أنْتْ!***
وَتَلَفَّتَ التاريخُ لي مُتَبَسِّماً
أَظَنَنْتَ حقاً أنَّ عينَك سوفَ تخطئهم،! وتبصرُ غيرَهم
ها هُم أمامَكَ، مَتْنُ نصٍّ أنتَ حاشيةٌ عليهِ وَهَامشٌ

أَحَسبتَ أنَّ زيارةً سَتُزيحُ عن وجهِ المدينةِ، يا بُنَيَّ، حجابَ واقِعِها السميكَ
لكي ترى فيها هَواكْ
في القدسِ كلًّ فتى سواكْ

وهي الغزالةُ في المدى، حَكَمَ الزمانُ بِبَيْنِها
ما زِلتَ تَرْكُضُ إثْرَهَا مُذْ وَدَّعَتْكَ بِعَيْنِها
رفقاً بِنَفسكَ ساعةً إني أراكَ وَهَنْتْ
في القدسِ من في القدسِ إلا أَنْتْ

***
يا كاتبَ التاريخِ مَهْلاً، فالمدينةُ دهرُها دهرانِ

دهر أجنبي مطمئنٌ لا يغيرُ خطوَه وكأنَّه يمشي خلالَ النومْ
وهناك دهرٌ، كامنٌ متلثمٌ يمشي بلا صوتٍ حِذار القومْ

والقدس تعرف نفسها..
إسأل هناك الخلق يدْلُلْكَ الجميعُ
فكلُّ شيء في المدينة
ذو لسانٍ، حين تَسأَلُهُ، يُبينْ

في القدس يزدادُ الهلالُ تقوساً مثلَ الجنينْ
حَدْباً على أشباهه فوقَ القبابِ
تَطَوَّرَتْ ما بَيْنَهم عَبْرَ السنينَ عِلاقةُ الأَبِ بالبَنينْ

في القدس أبنيةٌ حجارتُها اقتباساتٌ من الإنجيلِ والقرآنْ

في القدس تعريفُ الجمالِ مُثَمَّنُ الأضلاعِ أزرقُ،
فَوْقَهُ، يا دامَ عِزُّكَ، قُبَّةٌ ذَهَبِيَّةٌ،
تبدو برأيي، مثل مرآة محدبة ترى وجه السماء مُلَخَّصَاً فيها
تُدَلِّلُها وَتُدْنِيها

تُوَزِّعُها كَأَكْياسِ المعُونَةِ في الحِصَارِ لمستَحِقِّيها
إذا ما أُمَّةٌ من بعدِ خُطْبَةِ جُمْعَةٍ مَدَّتْ بِأَيْدِيها

***

وفي القدس السماءُ تَفَرَّقَتْ في الناسِ تحمينا ونحميها
ونحملُها على أكتافِنا حَمْلاً إذا جَارَت على أقمارِها الأزمانْ

في القدس أعمدةُ الرُّخامِ الداكناتُ
كأنَّ تعريقَ الرُّخامِ دخانْ

ونوافذٌ تعلو المساجدَ والكنائس،
أَمْسَكَتْ بيدِ الصُّباحِ تُرِيهِ كيفَ النقشُ بالألوانِ،

وَهْوَ يقول: ?لا بل هكذا?،
فَتَقُولُ: ?لا بل هكذا?،

حتى إذا طال الخلافُ تقاسما
فالصبحُ حُرٌّ خارجَ العَتَبَاتِ لَكِنْ
إن أرادَ دخولَها
فَعَلَيهِ أن يَرْضَى بحُكْمِ نوافذِ الرَّحمنْ

***
في القدس مدرسةٌ لمملوكٍ أتى مما وراءَ النهرِ،
باعوهُ بسوقِ نِخَاسَةٍ في أصفهانَلتاجرٍ من أهلِ بغدادٍ
أتى حلباً فخافَ أميرُها من زُرْقَةٍ في عَيْنِهِ اليُسْرَى،
فأعطاهُ لقافلةٍ أتت مصراً
فأصبحَ بعدَ بضعِ سنينَ غَلاَّبَ المغولِ وصاحبَ السلطانْ

في القدس رائحةٌ تُلَخِّصُ بابلاً والهندَ في دكانِ عطارٍ بخانِ الزيتْ
واللهِ رائحةٌ لها لغةٌ سَتَفْهَمُها إذا أصْغَيتْ

وتقولُ لي إذ يطلقونَ قنابل الغاز المسيِّلِ للدموعِ عَلَيَّ: ?لا تحفل بهم?
وتفوحُ من بعدِ انحسارِ الغازِ، وَهْيَ تقولُ لي: ?أرأيتْ!?

في القدس يرتاحُ التناقضُ، والعجائبُ ليسَ ينكرُها العِبادُ،
كأنها قِطَعُ القِمَاشِ يُقَلِّبُونَ قَدِيمها وَجَدِيدَها،
والمعجزاتُ هناكَ تُلْمَسُ باليَدَيْنْ

في القدس لو صافحتَ شيخاً أو لمستَ بنايةً
لَوَجَدْتَ منقوشاً على كَفَّيكَ نَصَّ قصيدَةٍ
يا بْنَ الكرامِ أو اثْنَتَيْنْ

في القدس، رغمَ تتابعِ النَّكَباتِ، ريحُ براءةٍ في الجوِّ، ريحُ طُفُولَةٍ،
فَتَرى الحمامَ يَطِيرُ يُعلِنُ دَوْلَةً في الريحِ بَيْنَ رَصَاصَتَيْنْ

***
في القدس تنتظمُ القبورُ، كأنهنَّ سطورُ تاريخِ المدينةِ والكتابُ ترابُها
الكل مرُّوا من هُنا

فالقدسُ تقبلُ من أتاها كافراً أو مؤمنا
أُمرر بها واقرأ شواهدَها بكلِّ لغاتِ أهلِ الأرضِ

فيها الزنجُ والإفرنجُ والقِفْجَاقُ والصِّقْلابُ والبُشْنَاقُ
والتتارُ والأتراكُ، أهلُ الله والهلاك، والفقراءُ والملاك، والفجارُ والنساكُ،
فيها كلُّ من وطئَ الثَّرى

كانوا الهوامشَ في الكتابِ فأصبحوا نَصَّ المدينةِ قبلنا

يا كاتب التاريخِ ماذا جَدَّ فاستثنيتنا
يا شيخُ فلتُعِدِ الكتابةَ والقراءةَ مرةً أخرى، أراك لَحَنْتْ

العين تُغْمِضُ، ثمَّ تنظُرُ، سائقُ السيارةِ الصفراءِ، مالَ بنا شَمالاً نائياً عن بابها
والقدس صارت خلفنا

والعينُ تبصرُها بمرآةِ اليمينِ،
تَغَيَّرَتْ ألوانُها في الشمسِ، مِنْ قبلِ الغيابْ

إذ فاجَأَتْني بسمةٌ لم أدْرِ كيفَ تَسَلَّلَتْ للوَجْهِ
قالت لي وقد أَمْعَنْتُ ما أَمْعنْتْ

يا أيها الباكي وراءَ السورِ، أحمقُ أَنْتْ؟
أَجُنِنْتْ؟

لا تبكِ عينُكَ أيها المنسيُّ من متنِ الكتابْ
لا تبكِ عينُكَ أيها العَرَبِيُّ واعلمْ أنَّهُ

في القدسِ من في القدسِ لكنْ
لا أَرَى في القدسِ إلا أَنْت.

June Jordan

Apologies to All the People in Lebanon

Dedicated to the 600,000 Palestinian men, women, and children who lived in Lebanon from 1948-1983.

I didn’t know and nobody told me and what
could I do or say, anyway?
They said you shot the London Ambassador
and when that wasn’t true
they said so
what
They said you shelled their northern villages
and when U.N. forces reported that was not true
because your side of the cease-fire was holding
since more than a year before
they said so
what
They said they wanted simply to carve
a 25 mile buffer zone and then
they ravaged your
water supplies your electricity your
hospitals your schools your highways and byways all
the way north to Beirut because they said this
was their quest for peace
They blew up your homes and demolished the grocery
stores and blocked the Red Cross and took away doctors
to jail and they cluster-bombed girls and boys
whose bodies
swelled purple and black into twice the original size
and tore the buttocks from a four month old baby
and then
they said this was brilliant
military accomplishment and this was done
they said in the name of self-defense they said
that is the noblest concept
of mankind isn’t that obvious?
They said something about never again and then
they made close to one million human beings homeless
in less than three weeks and they killed or maimed
40,000 of your men and your women and your children
But I didn’t know and nobody told me and what
could I do or say, anyway?
They said they were victims. They said you were
Arabs.
They called      your apartments and gardens      guerrilla
strongholds.
They called      the screaming devastation
that they created       the rubble.
Then they told you to leave, didn’t they?
Didn’t you read the leaflets that they dropped
from their hotshot fighter jets?
They told you to go.
One hundred and thirty-five thousand
Palestinians in Beirut and why
didn’t you take the hint?
Go!
There was the Mediterranean: You
could walk into the water and stay
there.
What was the problem?
I didn’t know and nobody told me and what
could I do or say, anyway?
Yes, I did know it was the money I earned as a poet that
paid
for the bombs and the planes and the tanks
that they used to massacre your family
But I am not an evil person
The people of my country aren’t so bad
You can expect but so much
from those of us who have to pay taxes and watch
American TV
You see my point;
I’m sorry.
I really am sorry.
From : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48757/apologies-to-all-the-people-in-lebanon
Lisa Suhair Majaj
https://beladi.org/2021/05/21/conversation-a-poem-by-lisa-suhair-majaj/
Yehuda Ha-Levi:
My Heart Is In The East
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
My heart is in the east, and the rest of me at the edge of the west.
How can I taste the food I eat? How can it give me pleasure? 
How can I keep my promise now, or fulfill the vows I’ve made
While Zion remains in the Cross’s reign1, and I in Arab chains? 
With pleasure I would leave behind all the good things of Spain,
If only I could gaze on the dust of our ruined Holy Place.
Original:
לִבִּי בְמִזְרָח וְאָנֹכִי בְּסוֹף מַעֲרָב
אֵיךְ אֶטְעֲמָה אֵת אֲשֶׁר אֹכַל וְאֵיךְ יֶעֱרָב
אֵיכָה אֲשַׁלֵּם נְדָרַי וָאֱסָרַי, בְּעוֹד
צִיּוֹן בְּחֶבֶל אֱדוֹם וַאֲנִי בְּכֶבֶל עֲרָב
יֵקַל בְּעֵינַי עֲזֹב כָּל טוּב סְפָרַד, כְּמוֹ
יֵקַר בְּעֵינַי רְאוֹת עַפְרוֹת דְּבִיר נֶחֱרָב.
1-The Crusaders had taken Jerusalem (1099) at the time of the poem’s composition and forbidden Jews to live there.
http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.com/2014/08/yehuda-halevi-my-heart-is-in-east-from.html

The Troubadour of Love

Translation:
The troubadour of love has such a wonderful voice and song
      Every melody in his repertoire has a path to a place
May the world never be empty of the cry of lovers
      Because it has a sweet and joyful voice
Although our dreg-draining Pir has neither gold nor power,
     He has a sin-forgiving and fault-concealing God
My heart should respect this sugar-worshipping fly
     Since You became his desire, he has the splendor of the Homa
It is not far from justice, if he asks around,
     that king who has a beggar for a neighbor
I showed my bloody tears to the physicians, they said:
     “It’s love’s pain and the burning of the liver has the cure”
Learn tyranny from flirtatiousness, for in the religion of Love
      Every action has a reaction, and every deed, a repercussion
How pithy was the word of the idol of a young Christian wine-worshipper:
      “Enjoy the happiness on the face of a pure one”
O Great King!  Hafiz, a member of your court, recites the Fatiha
     And desires a prayer from your tongue

 

 

Original:
          مطرب عشق عجب ساز و نوایی دارد
 نقش هر نغمه که زد راه به جایی دارد
                    عالم از ناله عشاق مبادا خالی
که خوش آهنگ و فرح بخش صدايى دارد
     پیر دردی کش ما گر چه ندارد زر و زور
 خوش عطابخش و خطاپوش خدایی دارد
             محترم دار دلم کاین مگس قندپرست
 تا هواخواه تو شد فر همایی دارد
             از عدالت نبود دور گرش پرسد حال
 پادشاهی که به همسایه گدایی دارد
               اشک خونین بنمودم به طبیبان گفتند
 درد عشق است و جگرسوز دوایی دارد
         ستم از غمزه میاموز که در مذهب عشق
 هر عمل اجری و هر کرده جزایی دارد
           نغز گفت آن بت ترسابچه باده فروش
 شادی روی کسی خور که صفایی دارد
 خسروا حافظ درگاه نشین فاتحه خواند
 و از زبان تو تمنای دعایی دارد

Rumi-Looking for a true human

 

Translation:

Show your face, for the orchard and rose garden is what I long for
Open your lips, for heaps of sugar are what I long for
O Sun of beauty, come out of the cloud for a moment
For that shining, radiant face is what I long for
From your air, I heard the sound of the falcon-drum
I returned, for the sultan’s arm is what I long for
You said flirtatiously, “Stop bothering me, get lost!”
That “stop bothering me” of yours is what I long for
Your refusal, “Be gone, the king is not at home”
and the aloofness and sternness of the doorkeeper are what I long for
In the hand of everyone that is, there are scraps of goodness
It is the mine of elegance and that quarry that I long for
The bread and water of heaven’s wheel are like a treacherous torrent
I am a fish, a whale, [the sea of] Oman is what I long for
Like Jacob, I cry alas, alack!
Seeing the fair face of Joseph of Canaan is what I long for
By God, without you, the city is a prison for me
Wandering out in the mountains and desert is what I long for
My heart is tired of these weak-spirited companions
The Lion of God and Rostam of Dastan are whom I long for
My soul is sick of Pharaoh and his oppression
the light of the face of Moses the son of Imran is what I long for
I’m tired of these crybabies always complaining
that ranting and raving of drunks is what I long for
I am more eloquent than the nightingale, but because of common envy
there’s a seal on my tongue and mourning is what I long for
Last night the shaykh went around the city, lamp in hand, crying
“I am tired of devils and beasts, a true human is what I long for.”
They said, “He is not be found, we too have searched”
He said “He who is not found is whom I long for.”
Though I am broke, I will not accept a small carnelian
For that rare, precious carnelian is what I long for
Hidden from every eye, while all things seen are from Him
that hidden One manifest in works is whom I long for
My state has gone beyond every desire and longing
From being and place to the foundations is what I long for
My ear heard the tale of belief and became drunk
What of sight’s portion? The image/face of belief is what I long for
In one hand, the winecup, in the other, the Beloved’s curl
to dance so much in the middle of the square is what I long for
That guitar says, “I am dying of expectation
the hand and pick of ‘Uthman are what I long for”
I am Love’s guitar and Love is the guitarist
these graces of the picking of the All-Merciful are what I long for
The rest of this ghazal, o clever singer
continue it on in this style, for this style is what I long for
Show your face, Shams (Sun), the pride of Tabriz, from the East
I am the hoopoe, the presence of Solomon is what I long for

Modified from A.J. Arberry’s translation in his 1968 Mystical Poems of Rumi, Number 51,

 

 

Original:

بنمای رخ که باغ و گلستانم آرزوست
بگشای لب که قند فراوانم آرزوست
ای آفتاب حسن برون آ دمی ز ابر
کآن چهره مشعشع تابانم آرزوست
بشنیدم از هوای تو آواز طبل باز
باز آمدم که ساعد سلطانم آرزوست
گفتی ز ناز بیش مرنجان مرا برو
آن گفتنت که بیش مرنجانم آرزوست
وآن دفع گفتنت که برو شه به خانه نیست
وآن ناز و باز و تندی دربانم آرزوست
در دست هر که هست ز خوبی قراضه‌هاست
آن معدن ملاحت و آن کانم آرزوست
این نان و آب چرخ چو سیل است بی وفا
من ماهیم نهنگم عمانم آرزوست
یعقوب وار وا اسفاها همی‌زنم
دیدار خوب یوسف کنعانم آرزوست
والله که شهر بی تو مرا حبس می‌شود
آوارگی و کوه و بیابانم آرزوست
زین همرهان سست عناصر دلم گرفت
شیر خدا و رستم دستانم آرزوست
جانم ملول گشت ز فرعون و ظلم او
آن نور روی موسی عمرانم آرزوست
زین خلق پرشکایت گریان شدم ملول
آن های هوی و نعره مستانم آرزوست
گویاترم ز بلبل اما ز رشک عام
مهر است بر دهانم و افغانم آرزوست
دی شیخ با چراغ همی‌گشت گرد شهر
کز دیو و دد ملولم و انسانم آرزوست
گفتند یافت می‌نشود جسته‌ایم ما
گفت آنک یافت می‌نشود آنم آرزوست
هر چند مفلسم نپذیرم عقیق خرد
کان عقیق نادر ارزانم آرزوست
پنهان ز دیده‌ها و همه دیده‌ها از اوست
آن آشکار صنعت پنهانم آرزوست
خود کار من گذشت ز هر آرزو و آز
از کان و از مکان پی ارکانم آرزوست
گوشم شنید قصه ایمان و مست شد
کو قسم چشم؟ صورت ایمانم آرزوست
یک دست جام باده و یک دست جعد یار
رقصی چنین میانه میدانم آرزوست
می‌گوید آن رباب که مردم ز انتظار
دست و کنار و زخمه عثمانم آرزوست
من هم رباب عشقم و عشقم ربابی است
وآن لطف‌های زخمه رحمانم آرزوست
باقی این غزل را ای مطرب ظریف
زین سان همی‌شمار که زین سانم آرزوست
بنمای شمس مفخر تبریز رو ز شرق
من هدهدم حضور سلیمانم آرزوست

Between you and me…

 

al-Ḥallāj

Translation:

Is it you or me? In this there are two gods

yet You forbid, You forbid affirming duality

Your selfhood is in my negation eternally

My all clothes the all in two respects

So where is your self [hidden] from me when I see?

For my self became clear where there’s no where for me

So where is your face, the goal of my gaze?

in the the heart’s interior or the glance of the eye

Between me and you, my “I-ness” torments me

So lift, with your “I-ness,” my “I-ness” from in between

 

Original:

أَأَنتَ أَم أَنا هَذا في إِلَهَينِ
حاشاكَ حاشاكَ مِن إِثباتِ اِثنَينِ
هُوِيَّةٌ لَكَ في لائِيَّتي أَبَداً
كُلّي عَلى الكُلِّ تَلبيسُ بِوَجهَينِ
فَأَينَ ذاتُكَ عَنّي حَيثُ كُنتُ أرى
فَقَد تَبَيَّنَ ذاتي حَيثُ لا أَيني
فَأَينَ وَجهُكَ مَقصوداً بِناظِرَتي
في باطِنِ القَلبِ أَم في ناظِرِ العَينِ
بَيني وَبَينَكَ إِنِيٌّ يُنازِعُني
فَاِرفَع بِلُطفِكَ إِنِيِّ مِنَ البَينِ

Hafez

Translation:

Come! For last night, the tavern’s unseen voice told me

to be pleased with the divine decree and not to flee from destiny

Between Lover and Beloved there is no barrier

You yourself are your own veil, Hafez. Remove yourself!

 

Original:

بیا که هاتف میخانه دوش با من گفت
که در مقام رضا باش و از قضا مگریز
میان عاشق و معشوق هیچ حائل نیست
تو خود حجاب خودی حافظ از میان برخیز

Translation:

When the bubble fills its head with the air of arrogance
It blows its head off as it rises to the top of the wine
You are the obstacle on the road, Hafez, get out of the way!
Blessed is he who walks on this road without obstacle.

 

Original:

حباب را چو فتد باد نخوت اندر سر
کلاه داریش اندر سر شراب رود
حجاب راه تویی حافظ از میان برخیز
خوشا کسی که در این راه بی‌حجاب رود

 

Mawlid 2020, Muḥammad Majdhūb’s Praise

One of my favorite poems in praise of the Prophet is this gem from the Sudanese Sufi Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Qamar al-dīn al-Majdhūb (d. 1831) a friend and student of Aḥmad ibn Idrīs (d. 1837).

 

Translation:

Upon you be God’s blessing, and then His peace too
O Messenger of God, I am so enamored with you
I shed tears from witnessing the sorrow that they
Brought up from a heart in longing, enthralled
But there is not, for this infatuation an explanation
Without seeing its beloved and greeting him
The beloved said to me, don’t fear after this
Any veil or exile, for my covenant is fulfilled
Whenever you want closeness with me, then call on me
O Messenger of God, I am enamored with you
I will answer you from a distance while I am seated with
Whomever is lovingly busy with my remembrance, describing me
I swear that a heart that loves you
For it the torment of the fire is absolutely forbidden
So what of one who waits on you at each hour?
Such a one is certainly in paradise delighting
Greetings of peace be upon you and this greeting grants me
The perfection of witnessing Beauty, inspiring
My tongue with salutations worthy of your rank
Repeating them, saluting you, murmuring
Greetings of peace be upon the head of the Messenger, Muhammad
A majestic head with Majesty turbaned
Greetings of peace be upon the face of Muhammad
O what a wondrous face in brightness veiled!
Greetings of peace be upon the eyes of the prophet Muhammad
Eyes of the deepest black with black lined
Greetings of peace be upon the nose of the prophet Muhammad
A nose straight and bright and aquiline
Greetings of peace be upon the cheeks of the Beloved, Muhammad
Cheeks luminous, soft, and fragrant
Greetings of peace be upon the mouth of the Prophet Muhammad
A mouth in which precious pearls are arrayed
For other than God’s speech and remembrance and the call
to the presence of his Master, he would not speak
Greetings of peace be upon the neck of the prophet Muhammad
A neck flashing bright and shapely
Greetings of peace be upon the chest of the beloved Muhammad
A chest wide, with knowledge brimming
Greetings of peace be upon the heart of the beloved Muhammad
A heart in the Light of God perpetually abiding
It witnesses the Lord of the Throne at every instant
For if the eyes rest, it does not, so know this!
Greetings of peace be upon the palm of the prophet Muhammad
A wide-open palm, how generous and ennobling
By which how many a poor man became after his poverty
Rich, and how many a tyrant by it was harmed
Greetings of peace be upon the feet of the Beloved, Muhammad
that trampled the veils of glory that were offered
By which he stood in the Mihrab for God devoutly
In intimate converse with the Lord of the Throne, while people slept
His persistence continued every night
Until they colored and swelled
Greetings of peace be upon the essence/body (dhāt) of the prophet Muhammad
For in its loveliness, all Beauty is completed
Greetings of peace be upon all of the prophet Muhammad
A magnificent prophet, by the Majestic, magnified
A Prophet [who is] from His Exalted Master, a solicitude
Which appears as creation in the gathering is dumbfounded
Raising the banner of praise as a standard
While the prophets and messengers crowd beneath it
In him, each wayward one in the resurrection is seeking refuge
And each lover is triumphant and spoken to
By him, Majdhūb hopes to be delivered with his companions
Without trial, O intercessor, safe and sound.
Upon you be the blessings of God and then His peace too
Including all [his] family, and here we conclude.

Original:

عليك صلاة الله ثم سلامه       ألا يا رسول الله إنى مغرم

صَبَبتُ دُمُوعاً يَشهَدُ الحُزنُ أَنَّها     أَتَت مِن فُؤَادٍ بالغَرَامِ مُتَيَّمُ

وَلَيسَ لَهُ مِن ذَا التَّتَيُّمِ مُشرِحٌ        سِوَى أن يَرَى مَعشُوقَهُ فَيُسَلِّمُ

يَقُولُ لِى المَعشُوقُ لاَ تَخشَ بَعدَ ذَا   حِجاباً وَلاَ طَرداً فَعَهدِى مُتَمَّمُ

مَتَى ما أردَتَ القُربَ مِنّىِ فَنادِنِى     أَلاَ يا رَسُولَ اللهِ إِنِّىَ مُغرَمُ

أُجُيبُكَ مِن بُعدٍ وَإِنِّى جَلِيسُ مَن      بِحُبِّىَ مَشغولٌ بِذِكرى مُتَرجِمُ

حَلَفتُ يَمِيناً إِنَّ قَلباً يُحِبُّكُم         عَلَيهِ عَذابُ النَّارِ قَطعاً مُحرَّمُ

فَكَيفَ بمَن قَد شامَكُم كُلَّ ساعَةٍ    فَهذَا يَقِيناً في الجِنانِ يُنَعَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَيكُم وَالسَّلاَمُ يُنِيلُنِى       كَمالَ شُهُودِ لِلجَمالِ وَيُلهِمُ

لِسانِى تَحِيَّاتٍ تَلِيقُ بِقَدرِكُم       أُكُرِّرُها في حَيَّكُم وَأُهمهِم

سَلاَمٌ علَى رَأسِ الرَّسُولِ مُحَمَّدٍ     لَرَأسٌ جَلِيلٌ بالجَلاَلِ مُعَمَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ علَى وَجهِ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ        فَيا نِعمَ وَجهٌ بالضِّياءِ مُلَثَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلى طَرفِ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ      لَطَرفٌ كَحِيلٌ أَدعجٌ وَمُعَلَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلى أنفِ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ       لأَنفٌ عَدِيلٌ أنوَرٌ وَمُقَوَّمُ

سَلامٌ علَى خَدّ الحَبيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ      لَخَدٌ مُنِيرٌ أسهَلٌ وَمُشَمَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ علَى فَمِّ النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ        لَفَمٌّ بِهِ دُرٌّ نَفِيسٌ مُنَظَّمُ

بِغَيرِ كَلاَمِ اللهِ وَالذِّكرِ وَالنّدَا        لِحَضرَةِ مَولاَهُ فَلاَ يَتَكَلمُ

سَلامٌ علي عُنق النَّبِىِّ مُحَمَّدٍ        لَعُنقٌ سَطِيعٌ نَيِّرٌ وَمُبَرَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ على صَدرِ الحَبِيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ      لَصَدرٌ وَسِيعٌ بالعُلُومِ مُطَمطَمُ

سَلاَمٌ على قَلبِ الحَبيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ        لَقلبٌ بِنُورِ اللهِ دَوماً مُقَيَّمُ

يُشَاهِدُ رَبَّ العَرشِ في كُلِّ لَحظَةٍ     فإن نامَتِ العَينانِ ما نامَ فاعلَمُوا

سَلاَمٌ على كَفِّ النبي مُحَمَّدٍ         لَكَفٌ رَحيبٌ كَم يَجُودُ وَيُكرِمُ

بهِ كَم فَقِيرٍ صَارَ مِن بَعدِ فَقرِهِ       غَنِيًّا وَكَم طاغٍ بهِ مُتَضَيِّمُ

سَلاَمٌ على قَدَمٍِ الحَبيبِ مُحَمَّدٍ        بهِ دَاسَ حُجبَ العِزِّ ذَاكَ المُقَدِّمُ

بهِ قامَ في المِحرَابِ لِلهِ قانِتاً          يُناجى لِرَبِّ العَرشِ وَالنَّاسُ نُوَّمُ

فَما زَالَ هذَا دَأبُهُ كُلَّ لَيلَةٍ            إِلى أَن بهِ بانَ الوَنا وَالتَّوَرُّمُ

سَلاَمٌ على ذَاتِ النبي مُحَمَّدٍ         فَيا حُسنَها فِيها الجَمالُ مُتَمَّمُ

سَلاَمٌ عَلى كُلِّ النبي مُحَمَّدٍ          نبي عَظِيمٌ بالجَلالِ مُعَظَّمُ

نَبِىٌ لِمَولاَهُ العَلِّى عِنايَةٌ               بِهِ تَبدُو إِذ ما الخَلقُ في الحَشرِ يُفحَمُ

عَلَيهِ لِوَاءُ الحَمدِ يُنصَبُ رِفعَةً        وَمِن تَحتِهِ الانباءُ وَالرُّسلُ يُزحَمُ

بِهِ كُلُّ عاص في القِيامةِ لاَئِذٌ        وَكُلُّ مُحِبٍّ فائِزٌ وَمُكلَّمُ

بِهِ يَرتَجِى المَجذُوبُ يَنجُو بِصَحبهِ   بِغَيرِ امتِحانٍ يا شَفِيعُ وَيَسلَمُ

عليك صلاة الله ثم سلامه          يَعُمَّانِ كلَّ الآلِ ها نحن نختمُ

Lament for Nigeria

Lament for Nigeria

In response to the Lekki massacre, inspired by the words of Ṣeun Kuti and Aisha Yesufu

dear god
I come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water
-warsan shire

A new moon rose up in the ember months over Nigeria
A new spring burst forth as the fires fell over Nigeria
To God I complain of the pain in my heart over Nigeria
Because of the loss of family, my friends over Nigeria
My eyes fill with tears, hot, heavy as lead over Nigeria
But what good are tears for the bullet-pierced dead all over Nigeria?
The lions are silent, the eagles have fled over Nigeria
My grief turns me away from my bed over Nigeria
Nigeria is dead, long reign her people over Nigeria
But she’s long been dead, vultures overhead all over Nigeria
Fighting for carrion, squawking with bald heads, all over Nigeria
As they carry on, feasting on the dead all over Nigeria
This poem was written and traced in the blood all over Nigeria
That’s reddened the skies, our eyes, and the mud all over Nigeria
Tears flow ceaselessly, flooding all the streams all over Nigeria
Grief’s withered the hearts, and dried out our dreams all over Nigeria
How many dark nights have swallowed up screams all over Nigeria?
How many have vanished, never to be seen, all over Nigeria?
How many have fled the hunger, the dread, all over Nigeria?
How many enslaved, with chains on their heads all over Nigeria?
How many have died, how many more bled, all over Nigeria?
How many have lied, how many misled, all over Nigeria?
How many gone blind, how many lives shed, all over Nigeria?
How many prayers un—heard stories misread all over Nigeria?
And how many sighs like smoke still yet rise all over Nigeria?
How many more till we stand tall once more over Nigeria?
But God will not change our state until we, all over Nigeria
‘Till we change our state, decide to be free all over Nigeria
For it is no sin to lament and grieve all over Nigeria
The sin is for us to stay on our knees all over Nigeria
Will we be slaves or will we be free all over Nigeria?
Who’s sacrificed for whose gluttonous greed all over Nigeria?
Ọlọrun! give youth the wisdom we need all over Nigeria
To uproot oppression, corruption’s disease all over Nigeria
And give our elders the eyes that can see, all over Nigeria
The root is rotten, so down fall the trees all over Nigeria
Long fingers and robes, eyes never at rest, all over Nigeria
The arms of the law serve these masters the best, all over Nigeria
The nation was built to steal our wealth all over Nigeria
Can you make a gun a fountain of health all over Nigeria?
The leopard changed skin, but not his dark spots all over Nigeria
Is it a wonder he never gets caught all over Nigeria?
But one day the prey go catch the hunter all over Nigeria
Is this just proverb, or this na today, all over Nigeria?
Our leaders are fingers of an empty glove all over Nigeria
Keeping the hands clean that pillage and reave all over Nigeria
Oyinbo chop, plump up on the pain all over Nigeria
Their glove sated with the palm oil stains all over Nigeria
Our life has flowed out into foreign banks all over Nigeria
Now Kwara, Ọya, overruns its banks all over Nigeria
Orimili rise, sweep rubbish aside all over Nigeria
Maayo Jaaliba come drown all the lies all over Nigeria
Eeepa! Ọya, the mother of nine, all over Nigeria
Let winds of change leave no place left to hide all over Nigeria
Eṣu Ẹlẹgbara, who tests every side all over Nigeria
Take the sacrifice and transform our lives all over Nigeria
Move us beyond strife, man of the crossroads, all over Nigeria
Dance to the drum and tickle its toes all over Nigeria
Untie our feet, transform our sorrows all over Nigeria
Speak with power, turn back all the blows all over Nigeria
Confound all of those killing us on your road and all over Nigeria
Let it be so, Aṣẹ, a maa n sọ, all over Nigeria
Ogun! ti n ru minimini, all over Nigeria
Who bathes in the blood of his enemies, all over Nigeria
Take up your cutlass and open the way all over Nigeria
The liars have come to mock and to play all over Nigeria
Devour the dogs, split them where they stand all over Nigeria
Let truth and justice return to the land all over Nigeria
Kabiyesi! Oronigbagbe all over Nigeria
Ọba to ko so, let your thunder fall all over Nigeria
Lightning touches heaven as it touches earth all over Nigeria
Ewe Ilere, dry tears with fire’s mirth all over Nigeria
Ọbaluaye sweep illness away all over Nigeria
The pox and the cancer that’s stolen our days all over Nigeria
Ọṣun, Iya mi, leader of women all over Nigeria
Stop the marauding invaders again all over Nigeria
Wealthy mother, with dye, beads, and fans all over Nigeria
O flowing water, with your strong, long hands all over Nigeria
Heal us, revive us, help us understand all over Nigeria
O re yeye o, bring peace to the land all over Nigeria
Ọrunmila, Ẹlẹri Ipin wa all over Nigeria
Aboru boye, abo rubo ṣiṣẹ all over Nigeria
Mightier-than-charms, please mend our bad heads all over Nigeria
Grant us wisdom, let’s not lose the thread all over Nigeria
Ẹlẹda ma sun! Ori iya mi all over Nigeria
Awake and fight! cut through bush for me all over Nigeria
Chineke me! How many must die all over Nigeria?
The earth is stuffed full, the sun will not rise over Nigeria
The ground is bleeding, the air choked with flies all over Nigeria
Achikwu oji , come, now is your time, all over Nigeria

Jesu, come clear out the temples again all over Nigeria
The moneylenders pretend they’re your friends all over Nigeria
They blaspheme your name and slaughter your flock all over Nigeria
Hiding behind scriptures they shamelessly mock all over Nigeria

Is this not the land that holds walis’ bones all over Nigeria?
Is this not where Queen Amina laid stones all over Nigeria?
Where Kalumfardo and then Sokoto all over Nigeria
Raised banners of truth and fought the shadows all over Nigeria?
Did not the Shehu, Bello, Asma’u all over Nigeria
Fight with their lives and their pens for truth all over Nigeria?
Would they be slaves of Lugard’s estate ruling over Nigeria?
Or would they revolt against the mandate of an unjust Nigeria?
Is there a way to travel swiftly from all over Nigeria
to justice and tranquil prosperity spread all over Nigeria?
If not, then put this charade to bed—it’s over for Nigeria
The proud lions and great ones all fled, overwhelmed by Nigeria
Compatriots arise, Protest! Disobey! For all over Nigeria
The unjust laws of unjust men are killing our Nigeria
Is this alright? Tell me is this OK? To die all over Nigeria?
If not, Ẹ ba mi sọrọ soke tonight all over Nigeria

In this year of Ogundimeji, we ask safety for our Nigeria
Make our legs strong, we’ve suffered too long, all for this Nigeria
Our diaspora, our people at home, fighting for this Nigeria
This time will be the cradle or grave for this our Nigeria
We seek refuge in God from the evils that swarm all over Nigeria
And blessings upon the best of us all from all over Nigeria
As long as a new moon continues to rise over our Nigeria
As long as the rain comes down from the skies over our Nigeria

-Oludamini Ogunnaike
October 21, 2020

A thread on how to support the protests
For more information, follow @feminist.co; https://feministcoalition2020.com/

Hard times

Skip James’ haunting depression-era blues song seems to only get more relevant with each passing day…

Lyrics:

Hard times is here and everywhere you go
Times are harder than ever been before
You know that people, they are are driftin’ from door to door
But you can’t find no heaven, I don’t care where they go
People, if I ever can get up off of this old hard killin’ floor
Lord, I’ll never get down this low no more
When you hear me singin’ this old lonesome song
People, you know these hard times can last us so long
You know, you say you had money, you better be sure
Lord, these hard times gon’ kill you, just drag on slow

The Iwan of Chosroes

The Iwan of Chosroes in Iraq is the only visible structure remaining of the Sassanid capital of Ctesphion (Madā’in in Arabic), about 35 km south of present-day Baghdad. Its Iwan, or arch, the largest vault of unreinforced brickwork in the world, is considered an architectural marvel. Possibly constructed during the reign of Anushirwan (Chosroes I) c 540 AD, the ruins of this palace have served as inspiration for many poets, particularly due to Islamic legends that this Iwan cracked upon the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, signaling the emergence of Islam as a new empire and civilization that would replace that of the Sassanids.

Below are three of the most famous poems inspired by these ruins. The first, written by the Senegalese Sufi shaykh, Ibrahim Niasse, upon his visit to the site in 1960, references many of the miraculous legends surrounding the Prophet’s birth and life; it is a celebration of the coming of the spiritual reality of the Prophet Muhammad into the world, eclipsing all other temporal power, and representing the miraculous, but inevitable triumph of truth, justice and spiritual authority over seemingly invincible political authority and power. The second, by the Persian poet al-Khaqānī, inspired by his visit to the site on his way back from ḥajj, is one of the most-celebrated Persian qasidas and takes the ruins as a moralizing reminder of the transience of power, wealth and glory, and the inevitable march of time which tramples all underfoot. The third, and oldest of these poems is by the ‘Abbasid court poet al-Buḥturī, and is a complex and vibrant celebration of the glory of the Sassanid kings, an appropriation and alliance of their civilization and time with that of the poet, and a textured reflection on memory, time, decay, and renewal. Whereas al-Buḥturī’s poem is largely celebratory of the memory of bygone glory and nobility, Khāqāni’s verse emphasizes its transience and evanescence, and the moral renewal such contemplation can provoke (as described in Qur’an 3:137, 6:6, 30:9, 40:21, 40:82, 44:25 etc.), and Niasse’s shorter, more straightforward and repetitive poem takes the ruins as a reminder of the glory of the spiritual reality of the Prophet and the once, future, and always victory of the truth over earthly power. All three poems are filled with literary allusions, creative and evocative imagery, literary devices, and profound musicality, as you can hear in the recordings below.

 

 

Ibrahim Niasse (d. 1975)

Translation:

Was it Chosroes’ Iwan that was crushed, heralding
            The emergence of the Prophet and Chosroes’ evanescence?
O Chosroes Anushirvan, when Muhammad came with
            His greatest signs, was it your castle that he saw?[1]
O Chosroes Anushirvan, when Muhammad came
            Did the rivers run dry? Or did they gush forth?
O Chosroes Anushirvan, when Muhammad came
            Did not the Magi come to you extolling him?
O Chosroes Anushirvan, did not Muhammad come
            Reciting, reminding, warning and giving glad tidings?
While the idols had prostrated to God, speaking [of his coming]
            And the soothsayers had told of what was hidden?
Greetings of peace to the light of God that
            Overshadowed, by his lights, the lights of Chosroes and Caesar
Greetings of peace to he who brought, while he was in Mecca
            A light by which Chosroes’ Iwan was cracked
Greetings of peace to being’s secret and its mystery
            For God’s alone is what is more exalted, and precious, and dazzling
Greetings of peace to he who came, while existence, all of it
            Was darkness, and from his lights it was illumined
Greetings of peace to him from a lovelorn servant
            In Baghdad, exhausted from having spent the night in sleepless contemplation
So he who razed this castle while he was a child in Mecca
            did not leave behind any appearance of that infidelity
So he who razed this castle while he was in Mecca
            He will demolish the castles of infidelity whenever he is remembered
Upon him be the blessings of God and then His peace too
            For I see that the lot of Muslims is abundant fortune
Upon him be the blessings of God and then His peace too
            And the share of the enemies of religion is a scourge of destruction

 

[1] An allusion to a miracle of the Prophet at the Battle of the Trench: when attempting to split a rock while digging a trench to protect the Medinan community, the Prophet’s three blows produced three flashes of light by which he reported that he saw three landmarks: the palace of Chosroes, the castles of the Yemen and those of Syria, each representing an opening of a direction for the spread of Islam (East, South, and North/West).

 

Original:

أإيوان كسرى هل دهاك وأنذرا        بروز نيبيّي إنّ كسرى تقهقرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد         بآياته الكبرى وقصرك أبصرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد        وهل قطع الأنهار أم هل تفجّرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد           وهل قد أتاك الموبذان مكبّرا
أكسرى أنوشروان جاء محمّد               يرتِّل ذكراً منذراً ومبشّرا
وقد سجد المعبود لله ناطقاً            وقد أبنأ الكهان ما كان مضمرا
سلام على نور الإله الذي خبت          بأنواره أنوار كسرى وقيصرا
سلام على من جاءوهو بمكّةٍ               بنورٍ به إيوان كسرى تكسّرا
سلام على سرّ الوجود ورمزه             فللّه ما أعلى وأغلى وأبهارا
سلام على من جاء والكون كلّه             ظلام ومن أنواره قد  تنوّرا
سلام عليه من خديمٍ متيّمٍ                      بببداد وهناً لا ينام تفكّرا
فمن هدّ هذا القصر وهو بمكّةٍ          وليداً فلا يبقي لذا الكفر مظهرا
ومن هدّ هذا القصر وهوبمكةٍ           سيهدم قصر الكفر حين تذكّرا
عليه صلاة الله ثمّ سلامه                    وأبصر حظّ المسلمين موفّرا
عليه صلاة الله ثمّ سلامه                  يلقى عدوّ الدّين سوطاً مدمّرا

al-Khَāqānī (d. 1199)

Translation:

(By Julie Meisami, from Qasida Poetry in Islamic Africa and Asia: Eulogy’s Bounty, Stefan Sperl and Christopher Shackle, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 1996), 163-169.

Awake!, O heart that sees portents, reflect on what you see,
Awake! Consider Madaʾin’s great arch as admonition’s mirror.
Leaving the banks of the Tigris, alight at Madaʾin,
on its ground let spill from your eyes, another Tigris
The very Tigris weeps a hundred Tigrises of blood; you’d say
Heat makes its bloody torrent pour fire from its lashes
Consider how the Tigris’ lips have caused its mouth to foam;
You’d say its fevered sighs of pain have caused its lips to blister
Consider how the fire of grief is grilling Tigris’ liver;
Have you ever heard of water that was roasted by a fire?
Again and again weep over the Tigris; give it alms from your eyes,
Even though the Tigris itself bestows its alms on the seashore.
Should the Tigris mingle its lips’ cold sighs with the burning of its heart,
Half of it would freeze over, half become a fiery grate
When the Aivan’s chain of justice broke apart in Madā’in,
The maddened Tigris was enchained, its waves twisted like chains
Now and again, in the tongue of tears, call out to the Aivan
In the hope that with your heart’s ear you will hear an answer from it.
Each palace battlement will give you counsel again and again;
Heed the advice of the battlement’s head from the bottom of your heart.
It says: ‘You are of earth and we are now your earth; so take
Two or three steps upon us; scatter two or three tears as well.
‘Truly the owl’s lamenting wail has caused our heads to ache.
‘Pour rosewater from your eyes to ease our headache and grief.
Indeed why should you marvel so? For in the world’s pleasance
‘The owl follows the nightingale; laments follow sweet songs.’
‘We are the court of justice, yet have suffered this injustice.
‘Say, what reversal will befall the castles of the unjust!’
‘You’d say this Aivan, lofty as the sky, had been overturned by command
Of the turning of the sky itself, or of Him who turns the sky.
You laugh at my eyes, as if to say, ‘What does he weep for here?’
But in this place they weep at those eyes that are not moved to tears
The white-haired crone of Madā’in is no less than Kufa’s old woman
The narrow chamber of the one is not less than the other’s oven
Do you know then what you must do? Make Madā’in equal Kufa
Make your breast a fiery oven; seek the flood from your eyes.
This is that very Aivan where, from the impress of men’s faces,
The dirt of its threshold was transformed to an idol-temple’s wall
This is that very court wherein, of the rulers of the world
Babylon’s king was a Daylami, Turkestan’s king, and Indian
This is that very portico whose grandeur was so awesome
That the lion of its hangings assaulted Lion’s heaven
Imagine it is that very age, and look, with reflection’s eye
On the chain before the court, the splendid assembly in the field
Dismount from your horse, and place your face upon the mat of earth and see
How great Nu’man is checkmated beneath its elephants’ feet
Nay, nay: see, like Nu’man, those elephant-felling kings themselves
Slain by the elephants Night and Day in the winding turns of time
How many an elephant-slaying king has been slain with a king-elephant
By the chess-player of his destiny, mated, deprived of hope.
The earth is drunk, for it has drunken deep–instead of wine—
From the cup of Hurmuz’s skull, the heart’s blood of Anushirvan
So many words of counsel then showed plainly in his crown
That now a hundred fledgling kites are hidden in his brains.
Kisrā and his golden citron, Parviz and his golden quince
Were swiftly carried off the wind, became as one with the earth
Parviz at every feast would scatter herbs of gold; transform
his golden carpet into a garden sprouting golden herbs
Parviz has vanished now; speak less of that vanished one.
where now is his feast, his golden herbs? Go and recite ‘How many…’
You ask, ‘Where have they gone, those crowned heads?’ Behold!
The belly of the earth swells pregnant with them ever more.
The pregnant earth takes long in giving birth. Indeed,
The task of giving birth is difficult, though impregnation’s easy.
It is the blood in Shirin’s heart, that wine the vine gives forth;
It is Parviz’s clay that forms the jar its grower offers
How many tyrants’ bodies have been swallowed by the earth?
No matter, she of greedy eyes is still not sated by them.
She mixes rouge to paint her face from the blood of children’s hearts,
This aged crone with whitened brows, this mother with black dugs
Khāqānī: like a beggar, seek admonition from this court,
That at your door, hereafter, the Khāqān [regal] will seek charity.
If today a traveller seeks provision from the sultan,
Tomorrow at the traveller’s door the sultan will seek provision.
If gifts from every town provision Mecca’s road,
Then you take Madā’in’s provision as a gift for Sharvan’s sake
Everyone takes from Mecca prayer-beads of Hamza’s clay
Then you take from Madā’in prayer-beads from the clay of Salman.
Look on this sea of insight, don’t pass by without a drink;
One cannot leave the shore of such a sea with thirsting lips.
When friends return from journeying, they bring with them a gift.
This bit of poetry is a gift brought for the hearts of friends.
Observe then in this poem what magic he displays,
The dead man with a Christlike heart, the madman with a wise soul.

!هان! ای دل ِ عبرتبین! از دیده عبر کن! هان
ایوان ِ مدائن را آیینهی عبرت دان!
یکره زِ لب ِ دجله منزل به مدائن کن
وَ ز دیده دُوُم دجله بر خاک ِ مدائن ران
خود دجله چنان گرید صد دجلهی خون گویی
کاز گرمی ِ خوناباش آتش چکد از مژگان
بینی که لب ِ دجله چون کف به دهان آرد؟
گوئی زِ تَف ِ آهاش لب آبله زد چندان
از آتش ِ حسرت بین بریان جگر ِ دجله
خود آب شنیدهستی کآتش کُنَد اَش بریان
بر دجله گِری نونو! وَ ز دیده زکاتاش ده
گرچه لب ِ دریا هست از دجله زکاتاِستان
گر دجله درآمیزد باد ِ لب و سوز ِ دل
نیمی شود افسرده، نیمی شود آتشدان
تا سلسلهی ایوان بگسست مدائن را
در سلسله شد دجله، چون سلسله شد پیچان
گهگه به زبان ِ اشک آواز ده ایوان را
تا بو که به گوش ِ دل پاسخ شنوی ز ایوان
دندانهی هر قصری پندی دهد اَت نو نو
پند ِ سر ِ دندانه بشنو زِ بن ِ دندان
گوید که تو از خاکی، ما خاک تو ایم اکنون
گامی دو سه بر ما نه و اشکی دو سه هم بفشان
از نوحهی جغدالحق مائیم به درد ِ سر
از دیده گلابی کن، درد ِ سر ِ ما بنشان
آری! چه عجب داری؟ کاندر چمن ِ گیتی
جغد است پی ِ بلبل؛ نوحهست پی ِ الحان
ما بارگه ِ دادیم این رفت ستم بر ما
بر قصر ِ ستمکاران تا خود چه رسد خذلان
گوئی که نگون کردهست ایوان ِ فلکوش را
حکم ِ فلک ِ گردان؟ یا حکم ِ فلکگردان؟
بر دیدهی من خندی کاینجا زِ چه میگرید!
خندند بر آن دیده کاینجا نشود گریان
نی زال ِ مدائن کم از پیرزن ِ کوفه
نه حجرهی تنگ ِ این کمتر زِ تنور ِ آن
دانی چه؟ مدائن را با کوفه برابر نه!
از سینه تنوری کن وَ ز دیده طلب طوفان
این است همان ایوان کاز نقش ِ رخ ِ مردم
خاک ِ در ِ او بودی دیوار ِ نگارستان
این است همان درگَه کاورا زِ شهان بودی
دیلم مَلِک ِ بابِل، هندو شه ِ ترکستان
این است همان صفّه کاز هیبت ِ او بردی
بر شیر ِ فلک حمله شیر ِ تن ِ شادروان
پندار همان عهد است. از دیدهی فکرت بین!
در سلسلهی درگَه، در کوکبهی میدان
از اسب پیاده شو، بر نَطع ِ زمین رُخ نه
زیر ِ پی ِ پیلاش بین شهمات شده نُعمان
نی! نی! که چو نُعمان بین پیلافکن ِ شاهان را
پیلان ِ شب و روز اَش کُشته به پی ِ دوران
ای بس شه ِ پیلافکن کافکند به شهپیلی
شطرنجی ِ تقدیر اَش در ماتگَه ِ حرمان
مست است زمین. زیرا خوردهست بهجایِ می
در کاس ِ سر ِ هرمز، خون ِ دل ِ نوشروان
بس پند که بود آنگه بر تاج ِ سر اَش پیدا
صد پند ِ نو است اکنون در مغز ِ سر اَش پنهان
کسری و ترنج ِ زر، پرویز و ترهی زرّین
بر باد شده یکسر، با خاک شده یکسان
پرویز به هر خوانی زرّینتره گستردی
کردی زِ بساط ِ زر، زرّینتره را بستان
پرویز کنون گم شد! زآن گمشده کمتر گو
زرّین تره کو برخوان؟ رو «کَم تَرَکوا» برخوان
گفتی که کجا رفتند آن تاجوران اینک؟
ز ایشان شکم ِ خاک است آبستن ِ جاویدان
بس دیر همیزاید آبستن ِ خاک، آری
دشوار بود زادن، نطفه ستدن آسان
خون ِ دل ِ شیرین است آن می که دهد رَزبُن
ز آب و گِل ِ پرویز است آن خُم که نهد دهقان
چندین تن ِ جبّاران کاین خاک فرو خوردهست
این گرسنهچشم آخر هم سیر نشد ز ایشان
از خون ِ دل ِ طفلان سرخاب ِ رخ آمیزد
این زال ِ سپید ابرو، وین مام ِ سیهپستان
خاقانی ازین درگه دریوزهی عبرت کن
تا از در ِ تو زینپس دریوزه کند خاقان
امروز گر از سلطان رندی طلبد توشه
فردا زِ در ِ رندی توشه طلبد سلطان
گر زاد ِ ره ِ مکه تحفهست به هر شهری
تو زاد ِ مدائن بَر تحفه ز پی ِ شروان
هرکس برَد از مکّه سبحه زِ گِل ِ جمره
پس تو ز مدائن بَر سبحه ز گل ِ سلمان
این بحر ِ بصیرت بین! بیشربت از او مگذر
کاز شطّ ِ چنین بحری لبتشنه شدن نتوان
اِخوان که زِ راه آیند، آرند رهآوردی
این قطعه رهآورد است از بهر ِ دل ِ اِخوان
بنگر که در این قطعه چه سحر همی راند
معتوه ِ مسیحا دل، دیوانهیِ عاقل جان

From:

 https://ganjoor.net/khaghani/divankh/gha…

Al-Buḥturī (d. 897)

Translation:

(by Samer Ali from Reinterpreting al-Buḥturī’s “Īwān Kisrā Ode”: Tears of Affection for the Cycles of History, Journal of Arabic Literature , 2006, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2006), pp. 65-67)

I saved myself from what defiles my self
and rose above the largess of every craven coward.
I endured when Time shook me,
seeking misery and reversal for me.
Mere subsistence from the dregs of life have I.
Days have rationed it inadequately.
Stark is the difference between him who drinks at will twice a day
and him who drinks every fourth day.
As if Time’s inclinations are predicated on the vilest of the vile.
My purchase of Iraq was a swindler’s ploy,
after my sale of Syria, a trickster’s sale.
Do not test me endlessly about my knowledge
of these ordeals to deny my misfortunes.
You once knew me as a man of qualities,
disdaining petty matters, undaunted.
But the scorn of my cousin,
after heartfelt kindness and amity, disturbs me.
When I am scorned, I am likely
to be seen rising not where I spent the night.
Sorrows attend my saddle. I direct
my stout she-camel to Mada’in [Ctesiphon].
I console myself for such luck
and find solace in a site for the Sasanians, ruined.
Perpetual misfortune reminds me of them;
misfortune makes one remember and forget.
They live the good life, shaded by guarded peaks,
which tire and baffle the gaze.
Its gates, on Qabq Mountain, are secure, extending to the uplands of Khilat and Muks.
The abodes are unlike the ruins of Su’da,
in a wasteland, bare and plantless.
Heroic feats-were it not for my partiality-the
feats of ‘Ans and ‘Abs would not surpass them.
Time despoiled their era of vitality. It
devolved to worn-out rags.
As if the Arched Hall, for lack of humanity, and sheer abandonment,
is a grave’s edifice.
 If you saw it, you would know that the nights
are holding a funeral in it after a wedding.
It would inform you of a troop’s marvels,
their record does not gray with obscurity.
When you see a panel of the Battle at Antioch,
you tremble among Byzantines and Persians.
The Fates stand still, while Anushirvan
leads the ranks onward under the banner
In a deep green robe over yellow.
It appears dyed in saffron.
 Men in combat are under his command.
Some are quiet and hushed.
Some are intense, rushing forward with spear-points.
Others are cautious of them, using shields.
The eye depicts them very much alive:
they have between them speechless signs.
My wonder about them boils till
my hand explores them with a touch.
Abu al-Ghawth [poet’s son] had poured me a drink without stinting,
for the two armies, a draft
of wine. You would think it a star
lighting the night or sun’s luscious kiss.
You see, when it renews joy and
contentment for the drinker, one sip after the other,
That it was poured into glasses-into every heart.
It is beloved to every soul.
I fancied Kisra Aparviz handing me
a drink and al-Balahbadh [king’s minstrel] my companion.
A dream that closes my eye to doubt?
Or desire that alters my fancy and guesses?
As if the Arched Hall, by its wondrous craftsmanship,
were hollowed in the cliff of a mountain side.
It would be thought, from its sadness-
to the eyes of morning and evening visitors-
Distraught like a man torn from the company of loved ones,
or distressed by the breaking of nuptials.
Nights have reversed its luck. There, Jupiter
whiled the night but as a star of misfortune.
It shows hardiness, but the cruel weight of Time
is fixed upon it.
It’s no stigma that it was ravished of
silken carpets, stripped of damask drapes.
Towering, its ramparts rise high,
It looms over the summits of Ridwd and Quds.
Donning white clouds, you do not
glimpse of them but cotton tunics.
It is not quite known: Is it the work of humans for jinn
to live in or the work of jinn for humans?
Yet, as I gaze upon it, it attests
its builder is among kings not the least a cipher.
As though I see generals and troops,
as far as the eye can see.
As though foreign embassies suffer in the sun.
They are dismayed standing behind crowds, kept waiting.
As though minstrels in the Hall’s center
croon lyrics between plum-like lips.
As though the gathering were the day before yesterday
and the hurry of departure just yesterday.
As though the seeker of their trail could hope
to catch up with them the morning of the fifth day.
It was built up for joy forever, but
their domain is for condolence and consolation now.
It deserves that I lend it my tears,
tears committed to affection, devoted.
I feel this, though the abode is not my abode
-by blood-nor this race my race.
Beyond their graces toward my people,
they seeded, out of their goodness, fine sprouts.
They backed our dominion and buttressed its might
with warriors under armor, zealous.
They helped against Aryat’s regiment
by stabbing chests and spearing.
I find myself thereafter completely enamored
by noble men of every race and origin.

Original:

صنت نفسي عما يدنس نفسي *** وَتَرَفَّعتُ عَن جَدا كُلِّ جِبسِ
وَتَماسَكتُ حينَ زَعزَعَني الدَهـ *** ـرُ التِماسًا مِنهُ لِتَعسي وَنَكسي
بُلَغٌ مِن صُبابَةِ العَيشِ عِندي *** طَفَّفَتها الأَيّامُ تَطفيفَ بَخسِ
وَبَعيدٌ مابَينَ وارِدِ رِفْهٍ *** عَلَلٍ شُربُهُ وَوارِدِ خِمسِ
وَكَأَنَّ الزَمانَ أَصبَحَ مَحمو *** لًا هَواهُ مَعَ الأَخَسِّ الأَخَسِّ
وَاشتِرائي العِراقَ خُطَّةُ غَبنٍ *** بَعدَ بَيعي الشَآمَ بَيعَةَ وَكسِ
لاتَرُزني مُزاوِلًا لِاختِباري *** بَعدَ هَذي البَلوى فَتُنكِرَ مَسّي
وَقَديمًا عَهِدَتني ذا هَناتٍ *** آبِياتٍ عَلى الدَنِيّاتِ شُمسِ
وَلَقَد رابَني نُبُوُّ ابنُ عَمّي *** بَعدَ لينٍ مِن جانِبَيهِ وَأُنسِ
وَإِذا ماجُفيتُ كُنتُ جَديرًا *** أَن أَرى غَيرَ مُصبِحٍ حَيثُ أُمسي
حَضَرَت رَحلِيَ الهُمومُ فَوَجَّهـ *** ـتُ إِلى أَبيَضِ المَدائِنِ عَنسي
أَتَسَلّى عَنِ الحُظوظِ وَآسى *** لِمَحَلٍّ مِن آلِ ساسانَ دَرسِ
أَذكَرتِنيهُمُ الخُطوبُ التَوالي *** وَلَقَد تُذكِرُ الخُطوبُ وَتُنسي
وَهُمُ خافِضونَ في ظِلِّ عالٍ *** مُشرِفٍ يَحسِرُ العُيونَ وَيُخسي
مُغلَقٍ بابُهُ عَلى جَبَلِ القَبـ *** ـقِ إِلى دارَتَي خِلاطَ وَمُكسِ
حِلَلٌ لَم تَكن كَأَطلالِ سُعدى *** في قِفارٍ مِنَ البَسابِسِ مُلسِ
وَمَساعٍ لَولا المُحاباةُ مِنّي *** لَم تُطِقها مَسعاةُ عَنسٍ وَعَبسِ
نَقَلَ الدَهرُ عَهدَهُنَّ عَنِ الـ *** ـجِدَّةِ حَتّى رَجَعنَ أَنضاءَ لُبسِ
فَكَأَنَّ الجِرْمازَ مِن عَدَمِ الأُنـ *** ـسِ وَإِخلالِهِ بَنِيَّةُ رَمسِ
لَو تَراهُ عَلِمتَ أَنَّ اللَيالي *** جَعَلَت فيهِ مَأتَمًا بَعدَ عُرسِ
وَهوَ يُنبيكَ عَن عَجائِبِ قَومٍ *** لايُشابُ البَيانُ فيهِم بِلَبسِ
وَإِذا مارَأَيتَ صورَةَ أَنطا *** كِيَّةَ اِرتَعتَ بَينَ رومٍ وَفُرسِ
وَالمَنايا مَواثِلٌ وَأَنوشِر *** وانَ يُزجى الصُفوفَ تَحتَ الدِرَفسِ
في اخضِرارٍ مِنَ اللِباسِ عَلى أَصـ *** ـفَرَ يَختالُ في صَبيغَةِ وَرسِ
وَعِراكُ الرِجالِ بَينَ يَدَيهِ *** في خُفوتٍ مِنهُم وَإِغماضِ جَرسِ
مِن مُشيحٍ يَهوى بِعامِلِ رُمحٍ *** وَمُليحٍ مِنَ السِنانِ بِتُرسِ
تَصِفُ العَينُ أَنَّهُم جِدُّ أَحيا *** ءَ لَهُم بَينَهُم إِشارَةُ خُرسِ
يَغتَلي فيهِم ارتِابي حَتّى *** تَتَقَرّاهُمُ يَدايَ بِلَمسِ
قَد سَقاني وَلَم يُصَرِّد أَبو الغَو *** ثِ عَلى العَسكَرَينِ شَربَةَ خُلسِ
مِن مُدامٍ تَظُنُّها وَهيَ نَجمٌ *** ضَوَّأَ اللَيلَ أَو مُجاجَةُ شَمسِ
وَتَراها إِذا أَجَدَّت سُرورًا *** وَارتِياحًا لِلشارِبِ المُتَحَسّي
أُفرِغَت في الزُجاجِ مِن كُلِّ قَلبٍ *** فَهيَ مَحبوبَةٌ إِلى كُلِّ نَفسِ
وَتَوَهَّمتُ أَنَّ كِسرى أَبَرويـ *** ـزَ مُعاطِيَّ وَالبَلَهبَذَ أُنسي
حُلُمٌ مُطبِقٌ عَلى الشَكِّ عَيني *** أَم أَمانٍ غَيَّرنَ ظَنّي وَحَدسي
وَكَأَنَّ الإيوانَ مِن عَجَبِ الصَنـ *** ـعَةِ جَوبٌ في جَنبِ أَرعَنَ جِلسِ
يُتَظَنّى مِنَ الكَآبَةِ إِذ يَبـ *** ـدو لِعَينَي مُصَبِّحٍ أَو مُمَسّي
مُزعَجًا بِالفِراقِ عَن أُنسِ إِلفٍ *** عَزَّ أَو مُرهَقًا بِتَطليقِ عِرسِ
عَكَسَت حَظُّهُ اللَيالي وَباتَ الـ *** ـمُشتَري فيهِ وَهوَ كَوكَبُ نَحسِ
فَهوَ يُبدي تَجَلُّدًا وَعَلَيهِ *** كَلكَلٌ مِن كَلاكِلِ الدَهرِ مُرسي
لَم يَعِبهُ أَن بُزَّ مِن بُسُطِ الديـ *** ـباجِ وَاستَلَّ مِن سُتورِ الدِّمَقسِ
مُشمَخِّرٌ تَعلو لَهُ شُرُفاتٌ *** رُفِعَت في رُؤوسِ رَضوى وَقُدسِ
لابِساتٌ مِنَ البَياضِ فَما تُبـ *** ـصِرُ مِنها إِلّا غَلائِلَ بُرسِ
لَيسَ يُدرى أَصُنعُ إِنسٍ لِجِنٍّ *** سَكَنوهُ أَم صُنعُ جِنٍّ لِإِنسِ
غَيرَ أَنّي أراه يَشهَدُ أَن لَم *** يَكُ بانيهِ في المُلوكِ بِنُكسِ
فَكَأَنّي أَرى المَراتِبَ وَالقَو *** مَ إِذا ما بَلَغتُ آخِرَ حِسّي
وَكَأَنَّ الوُفودَ ضاحينَ حَسرى *** مِن وُقوفٍ خَلفَ الزِحامِ وَخنسِ
وَكَأَنَّ القِيانَ وَسطَ المَقاصيـ *** ـرِ يُرَجِّعنَ بَينَ حُوٍ وَلُعسِ
وَكَأَنَّ اللِقاءَ أَوَّلَ مِن أَمـ *** ـسٍ وَوَشكَ الفِراقِ أَوَّلَ أَمسِ
وَكَأَنَّ الَّذي يُريدُ اتِّباعًا *** طامِعٌ في لُحوقِهِم صُبحَ خَمسِ
عُمِّرَت لِلسُرورِ دَهرًا فَصارَت *** لِلتَعَزّي رِباعُهُم وَالتَأَسّي
فَلَها أَن أُعينَها بِدُموعٍ *** موقَفاتٍ عَلى الصَبابَةِ حُبسِ
ذاكَ عِندي وَلَيسَت الدارُ داري *** باِقتِرابٍ مِنها وَلا الجِنسُ جِنسي
غَيرَ نُعمى لِأَهلِها عِندَ أَهلي *** غَرَسوا مِن زَكائِها خَيرَ غَرسِ
أَيَّدوا مُلكَنا وَشَدّوا قُواهُ *** بِكُماةٍ تَحتَ السَنَّورِ حُمسِ
وَأَعانوا عَلى كَتائِبِ أَريا *** طَ بِطَعنٍ عَلى النُحورِ وَدَعسِ
وَأَراني مِن بَعدُ أَكلَفُ بِالأَشـ *** ـرافِ طُرًّا مِن كُلِّ سِنخِ وَأُسِّ

Words of Bewilderment…

 

Say: My Lord increase me in knowledge!

قل ربّي زدني علماً

Quran 20:114

 

My Lord increase me in bewilderment in Thee!

ربّي زدني فيك تحيراً

-Saying of the Prophet Muḥammad

Rumi

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

for cleverness is mere opinion and bewilderment is vision.

زیرکی بفروش و حیرانی بخر

زیرکی ظنست و حیرانی نظر

 

Ibn al-‘Arabi

“Now guidance is that man should be guided to bewilderment, and know that the affair is bewilderment and that bewilderment is unrest and motion, and that motion is life, without stillness and so without death, and is existence without non-existence.”

“And thus there is nothing but bewilderment, shattering one’s vision, although the one who knows what we are saying shall not be bewildered.”

“…Drowned in the sea which the knowledge of God is, and which is bewilderment”

Hafez

As the sprout of bewilderment, your love came
As the perfection of bewilderment, your union came
Many a drowned one, in the ecstasy of union
to whom in the ecstasy itself, bewilderment came
Neither union nor united remain
where the specter of bewilderment came
Show me one heart on his path
in whose face no mole of bewilderment came
From every direction that I listened
the sound of the question of bewilderment came
From head to foot, Hafez’s existence
In love, a sprout of bewilderment became

 

Original:
عشق تو نهال حیرت آمد         وصل تو کمال حیرت آمد
بس غرقه حال وصل کآخر        هم بر سر حال حیرت آمد
یک دل بنما که در ره او     بر چهره نه خال حیرت آمد
نه وصل بماند و نه واصل       آن جا که خیال حیرت آمد
از هر طرفی که گوش کردم            آواز سؤال حیرت آمد
شد منهزم از کمال عزت         آن را که جلال حیرت آمد
سر تا قدم وجود حافظ          در عشق نهال حیرت آمد

 

Ibn al-Fāriḍ

Translation:

Give me an excess of love for you, bewildered
And have mercy on a heart scorched by a glance of your love
And if I ask to see you truly
Then allow me, graciously
And let not your answer be, “Thou shalt not see
O heart, you have promised me to be patient in loving them
So be sure to bear it do not dismay
Passion is life, so die in it lovingly.
 Your duty is to die and be absolved
 My heart, say to those ahead of me, and those behind me,
Whoever has seen the sacrifice of my sorrow
“Follow my example and listen to me
And tell the tale of my love amongst mankind”
I was alone with the Beloved and between us there was
A secret more subtle than the dawn breeze when it blows
And he allowed my eyes a glance
So I became famous, having been unknown before
I was awestruck between his beauty and majesty
And tomorrow, the tongue of my state will explain
Turn your gaze to the beauties of his face,
Where all beauty has been gathered
If all beauty were perfected into one form
on seeing him, it would exclaim [in wonder],
“There is no god but God, and God is greater.”

 

 

Original:
زِدْني بفَرْطِ الحُبّ فيك تَحَيّرا          وارْحَمْ حشىً بلَظَى هواكَ تسعّرا
وإذا سألُتكَ أن أراكَ حقيقةً          فاسمَحْ ولا تجعلْ جوابي لن تَرى
يا قلبُ أنتَ وعدَتني في حُبّهمْ          صَبراً فحاذرْ أن تَضِيقَ وتَضجرا
إنَّ الغرامَ هوَ الحياةُ فمُتْ بِهِ             صَبّاً فحقّك أن تَموتَ وتُعذرا
قُل لِلّذِينَ تقدَّموا قَبلي ومَن        بَعدي ومَن أضحى لأشجاني يَرَى
عني خذوا وبي اقْتدوا وليَ اسمعوا             وتحدّثوا بصَبابتي بَينَ الوَرى
ولقد خَلَوْتُ مع الحَبيب وبَيْنَنَا              سِرٌّ أرَقّ منَ النسيمِ إذا سرى
وأباحَ طَرْفِي نَظْرْةً أمّلْتُها               فَغَدَوْتُ معروفاً وكُنْتُ مُنَكَّرا
فَدُهِشْتُ بينَ جمالِهِ وجَلالِهِ             وغدا لسانُ الحال عنّي مُخْبِرا
فأَدِرْ لِحَاظَكَ في محاسنِ وجْهه            تَلْقَى جميعَ الحُسْنِ فيه مُصَوَّرا
لو أنّ كُلّ الحُسْنِ يكمُلُ صُورةً                    ورآهُ كان مُهَلِّلاً ومُكَبِّر

 

 

Madīḥ for the Mawlid

For the Mawlid 1441/2019

Chorus:

صلاة ربّي مع السلام
على الحبيب سيّد الكيان
Ṣalaatu rabbi ma‘ as-salaami
‘alā’l-ḥabeebi seyyidil-Kiyaani

 

حمداً لربّي لمن يربّ
كلّ الانام و قد كافان
ḥamdan li rabbi li man yurabbi
kullal-anaami wa qad kafaani
Praise be to my Lord for the one who cares for
All creatures, and has sufficed me

بدر البدور بحر البحور
سرّ السرور سرّ ربّاني
Badril-Budoori Baḥril-Buḥoori
Sirris-suroori, sirrin-Rabbaani
Moon of moons, sea of seas
The secret of joy, a divine secret

نور الانوار ضوء الابصار
اوج الافكار فخر الانسان
Nuril-anwaari, ḍaw’il-abṣaari
Awjil-afkaari, fakhril-insaani
Light of lights, light of sights
The summit of thoughts, the pride of mankind

شمس الشموس رأس الرؤوس
تاج العروس سبع المثان
Shamsish-shumoosi Ra’sir-ru’oosi
Tajil-‘aroosi, Sab‘il-mathaani
Sun of suns, chief of chiefs
Bridegroom’s crown, the seven oft-repeated

نفس النفوس رمزالرموز
في خلق الله ما له ثاني
Nafsin-nufoosi, Ramzir-rumoozi
Fi khalqiLlahi Ma lahu thaani
The Soul of souls, mystery of mysteries
In God’s creation, he has no peer

غوث العباد صوت إنشادي
يوم الميلاد معنى المعاني
Ghawthil-‘ibadi ṣawti inshaadi
Yawmal-meeilaadi, Ma‘na’l-ma‘aani
Saviour of servants, the voice of my song,
On the birthday, the meaning of meanings

عين الجمال زين الجلال
قطب الكمال روح الرحمان
‘aynil-Jamaali, zaynil-jalaali
qutbil-kamaali, Ruuhil-Raḥmaani
The essence of beauty, the beauty of Majesty
The pole of perfection, the spirit of the Merciful

خير الرجال جمع الخصال
ماحي الضلال طول الزماني
khayrir-rijaali, jam‘il-khiṣaali
Maaḥiḍ-ḍalaali, ṭoolal-zamaani
The best of men, totality of all virtues
The eraser of error, throughout all time

رمز الوجود نور الشهود
معدن الجود رَوح الريحان
Ramzil wujoodi, nuurish-shuhoodi
Ma‘dinil-joodi, rawhir-rayhaani
the mystery of existence, the light of witness
treasury of good, the rest of repose

شرح الصدور، قرب الحضور
فتح الشكور بحر الاوان
Sharḥiṣ-suduuri, qurbil-ḥudoori
Fatḥish-shakoori, Bahril-awaani
The expansion of chests, the closeness of presence
The opening of the grateful, the sea of time

لبّ الباب اصل الأسباب
صب الاصحاب نور الاكوان
lubbil-lubaabi, aslil-asbaabi
ṣabbil-aṣhaabi, nooril-akwaani
the kernel of the kernel, the origin of causes
the love of friends, the light of existence

فتح الأبواب، سكر الشراب
ذكر الاقطاب، ختم القرآن
fathil-Abwaabi, sukrish-sharaabi
dhikril-aqtaabi, khatmil-Quraani
the opening of doors, the intoxication of the drink
the invocation the of poles, the seal of the Qur’an

صفو القلوب كفّر ذنوبي
واكشف كروبي، خير الكنان
Safwil-quloobi, kaffir dhunuubi
Wakshif kuruubi, khayral-kinaani
The purity of hearts, cover my sins,
Lift my sorrows, O best of refuges

انت حبيب انت قريب
انت مجيب في كلّ الان
Anta habeebun, anta qareebun
Anta mujeebun, fi kullil ani
You are beloved, you are near
You respond at every moment

انت محمود حامد احمد
و مدحي فيك مسك الزمان
Anta Mahmoodun, Ḥaamidun, Aḥmad
Wa madhee feeka miskul-zamaani
You are praised, praiser, and the most praised
And my praise of you is the perfume of time

شوق أشواقي ذوق أذواقي
فمدحي باقي و فيك فاني
shawqi-ashwaaqi, dhawqi-adhwaaqi
famadhee baaqi, wa fiika faani
the longing of my longings, the taste of my tastings
my praise endures, while I am annihilated in you

وفي الطريق انت رفيق
انا فقير و بك غاني
Wa fī’l-Ṭareeqi, Anta rafeequn
Ana faqeerun, wa bika ghaani
Upon the path, you are a companion
I am poor, yet by you, rich

وسكري راق وانت الساقي
يقوت الحق عين الإنسان
Wa sukri raaqin, Wa anta’s-saaqi
Yāqootul-Ḥaqqi, ‘aynul-Insaani
My drunkenness is refined, and you are the Saqi
The Ruby of the Real, the Eye of the Pupil/Essence of Mankind

فوق الافاق عمق العماق
برق المحاق عين الجنان
Fawqal-afaaqi, ‘amqul-‘amaaqi
Barqul-Maḥāqi, ‘aynul-Jinaani
Above the horizons, the deep of the depths
The lightning of the moonless nights, the fountain of the Gardens

و نعم المولى و انت أولى
علوالأعلى، روح المعاني
Wa ni’ma’l-Mawlā, Wa anta Awlā
‘uluuwul-‘Alaa, Ruuḥul-Ma‘aanī
What a great master, yet you are nearer
The exaltation of the exalted, the spirit of meaning

أطلب بك، عين السلام
من السلام حسن الختام
Aṭlubu bika, ‘aynas-salaami,
Min as-Salaami, husnal-khitaami
I seek from you, O essence of peace
From the Peace, a good end.