The qibla of love

Qu’ran 2:144

We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven. And now verily We shall turn you toward a qibla [direction of prayer] which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye, wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.

Qur’an 10:87

We revealed to Moses and his brother, “Appoint houses for your people in Egypt and make your houses a qibla [direction of prayer], and establish worship. And give good news to the believers.”

 

Qur’an 2:155

To god belong the East and West, and wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God.

 

“Do you think my qibla is only here [before me]? By God, your bowing and prostrating are not concealed from me; I can see you even though you are behind my back.”

-Hadith

 

Rumi

Since the qibla of the soul has been hidden

everyone has turned his face to a different corner

(Masnavi 5:328-337)

Original:

قبله‌ی جان را چو پنهان کرده‌اند
هر کسی رو جانبی آورده‌اند

 

 

The Kaaba of Gabriel and the celestial spirits is a Lote-tree;
the glutton’s qibla is a cloth laden with dishes of food.
The qibla of the Knower is the light of union with God;
the qibla of the philosopher’s mind is fantasy.
The qibla of the ascetic is God, the Gracious;
the qibla of the flatterer is a purse of gold.
The qibla of the spiritual is patience and long-suffering;
the qiblah of form-worshippers is an image of stone.
The qibla of those who live in the inward is the Bounteous One;
the qibla of those who worship the outward is a woman’s face.
(Masanvi 6, 1896–1900)

 

Original:

کعبه‌ی جبریل و جانها سدره‌ای ** قبله‌ی عبدالبطون شد سفره‌ای
قبله‌ی عارف بود نور وصال  ** قبله‌ی عقل مفلسف شد خیال
قبله‌ی زاهد بود یزدان بر ** قبله‌ی مطمع بود همیان زر
قبله‌ی معنی‌وران صبر و درنگ ** قبله‌ی صورت‌پرستان نقش سنگ
قبله‌ی باطن‌نشینان ذوالمنن ** قبله‌ی ظاهرپرستان روی زن

 

By virtue of that Light the calf becomes a qibla of (Divine) grace;
without that Light the qibla becomes (a symbol of) infidelity and an idol.
The licence that comes from self-will is error;
the licence that comes from God is perfection.
In that quarter where the illimitable Light has shone,
infidelity has become faith and the Devil has attained unto Islam.

 

Original:
عجل با آن نور شد قبله‌ی کرم ** قبله بی آن نور شد کفر و صنم
هست اباحت کز هوای آمد ضلال ** هست اباحت کز خدا آمد کمال
کفر ایمان گشت و دیو اسلام یافت ** آن طرف کان نور بی‌اندازه تافت

(Masnavi 6: 2073)

 

 

Within the Ka‘ba the rule of the qibla does not exist:
what matter if the diver has no snow-shoes?
Do not seek guidance from the drunken:
why dost thou order those whose garments are rent in pieces to mend them?
The religion of Love is apart from all religions:
for lovers, the (only) religion and creed is—God.

 

Original:

در درون کعبه رسم قبله نیست ** چه غم ار غواص را پاچیله نیست‏
تو ز سر مستان قلاووزی مجو ** جامه چاکان را چه فرمایی رفو
تو ز سر مستان قلاووزی مجو ** جامه چاکان را چه فرمایی رفو

(Masnavi 6:1768-1770)

 

 

Since the Hand of God has made the Qibla manifest,
henceforth deem searching to be disallowed.
Hark, avert your face and head from searching,
now that the Destination and Dwelling-place has come into view.
If you forget this Qibla for one moment, you will become in thrall to every worthless qibla (object of desire).
When you show ingratitude to him that gives you discernment, the thought that recognises the Qibla will dart away from you.

 

Original:

قبله را چون کرد دست حق عیان ** پس تحری بعد ازین مردود دان
هین بگردان از تحری رو و سر ** که پدید آمد معاد و مستقر
ک زمان زین قبله گر ذاهل شوی ** سخره‌ی هر قبله‌ی باطل شوی
چون شوی تمییزده را ناسپاس ** بجهد از تو خطرت قبله‌شناس

 

 

 

Amīr Khusrow

Every sect has a faith, a  Qibla to which they turn,
I have turned my face towards the crooked cap (of Nizamudin Aulia)
The whole world worships something or the other,
Some look for God in Mecca, while some go to Kashi (Banaras),
So why can’t I, Oh wise people, fall into my beloved’s feet?
Every sect has a faith, a Qibla.

 

Original:

هر قوم راست راهي، ديني و قبله گاهي

من قبله راست كرديم ،‌بر سمت كج كلاهي

 

Transliteration:
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay,
Mun qibla raast kardam, bar samt kajkulaahay.
Sansaar har ko poojay, kul ko jagat sarahay,
Makkay mein koyi dhoondhay, Kaashi ko koi jaaye,
Guyyian main apnay pi kay payyan padun na kaahay.
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay…

 

Mirza Ghālib

The one to whom I bow is beyond senses’ boundaries

The qiblah itself’s a pointer for those who can see

 

Original:

ہے پرے سرحدِ ادراک سے اپنا مسجود

قبلے کو اہلِ نظر قبلہ نما کہتے ہیں

 

 

 

Ibn ‘Arabi:

Contemplate the house: for sanctified hearts,
its lights shine openly
They look at it through God, without a veil,
and its august and sublime secret appears to them.

 

and famously:

My heart has become receptive to every form
A meadow for gazelles, and a cloister for the monks
A house for the idols, and the pilgrim’s Ka’aba
The tablets of the Torah, pages of the Qur’an
My religion is love’s own and wheresoever turn
Her caravan, that love is my religion and my faith
We have an example in Bishr, lover of Hind and her sister,
And Qays and Layla, and Mayya and Ghaylan*

 

Original:
لقدْ صارَ قلبي قابلاً كلَّ صورة ٍ                فمَرْعًى لغِزْلاَنٍ وديرٌ لرُهْبانِ
وبَيْتٌ لأوثانٍ وكعبة ُ طائفٍ،                 وألواحُ توراة ٍ ومصحفُ قرآنِ
أدينُ بدينِ الحبِّ أنَّى توجَّهتْ                   رَكائِبُهُ فالحُبُّ ديني وإيماني
لنا أُسْوَة ٌ في بِشْرِ هندٍ وأُخْتِهَا               وقيسٍ وليلى ، ثمَّ مي وغيلانِ

 

Also see:

P | A | Chodkiewicz: The Paradox of the Ka‘ba

and

I am the smoke of a blown out candle

Another beautiful death poem, so good it deserves its own post

 

Poetry by Ali Akbar Natiq, sung by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Translation by A. Changezi:

I am the smoke of a blown out candle, returning to my source
My heart’s desires erased, I now efface my existence
Last night, your lost remembrance came into my heart
Like the silent arrival of spring in the wilderness
Like the soft movement of the morning breeze in the desert
Like an ailing man finding stillness, without a reason
How You have changed, like the times
Whenever we have met, as if for the first time
Should I call it your cruelty – or your favor, this?
That even grief comes to me like a precious souvenir
When the fires of sorrow were stoked in the heart
We cried the way water bursts from the sky
What offerings could we have made to your Beauty?
There is only this one life, received like charity
I am the smoke of a blown out candle, returning to my source
My heart’s desires erased, I now efface my existence
Solely to see Your face, I bring forth images of idols
That I may collect their various splendours, into a likeness of You
I have hidden myself in a shroud, so trouble Yourself not with concealment
In creating a cloak for myself, it is your Veil that I lift
There, You have already departed home – here, my breath is departing
Lord, what is this calamity? You approach just as I am leaving
Love is man’s nature – where is the possibility of abandoning it?
The more I try to forget, the more You are present in my remembrance
“Here I am” on every tongue, on every breath – my brow in prostration at every step
You travel to the home of idols, Naatiq, as if you were journeying to the House of God
Original:

بجھی ہوئی شمع کا دھواں ھوں اور اپنے مرکز کو جا رہا ھوں
کہ دل کی حسرت تو مٹ چکی ھے اب اپنی ہستی مٹا رہا ھوں

تیری ہی صورت کے دیکھنے کو بتوں کی تصویریں لا رہا ھوں
کہ خوبیاں سب کی جمع کر کے تیرا تصور جما رہا ھوں

کفن میں خود کو چھپا لیا ھے کہ تجھ کو پردے کی ھو نہ زحمت
نقاب اپنے لیے بنا کر حجاب تیرا اٹھا رہا ھوں

ادھر وہ گھر سے نکل پڑے ہیں ادھر میرا دم نکل رہا ہے
الہی کیسی ہے یہ قیامت وہ آ رہیں ہیں میں جا رہا ہوں

محبت انسان کی ھے فطرت کہاں ھے امکان ترک الفت
وہ اور بھی یاد آ رہے ہیں میں ان کو جتنا بھلا رھا ھوں

زبان پہ لبیک ہر نفس میں جبیں پہ سجدہ ہے ہر قرم پہ
یوں جا رہا بت کدے کو ناطق کہ جیسے کعبے کو جا رہا ہوں

بجھی ہوئی شمع کا دھواں ھوں اور اپنے مرکز کو جا رہا ھوں
کہ دل کی حسرت تو مٹ چکی ھے اب اپنی ہستی مٹا رہا ھوں

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Glances of Love

Two of my favorite Nusrat classics, Tumhein Dillagi Bhool and Mast Naszron Say illuminate each other nicely:

Tumhein dillagi bhool

Translation (modified from Sur Street) and transliteration:

Chorus:

Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Muhabbat ki raahon mein aa kar to dekho

You will have to forget about playing games
You will have to forget about playing games
Come into the ways of love and see

 

Tarapne pe mere na phir tum hanso ge
Tarapne pe mere na phir tum hanso ge
Kabhi dil kissi se laga kar to dekho

Then you will not laugh at my torment
Then you will not laugh at my torment
Give your heart to someone once and see

 

Honton ke paas aye hansi, kya majaal hai
Dil ka muamla hai koi dillagi nahin

A smile dare not creep over the lips…
This is a matter of the heart, not a mere game

 

Zakhm pe zakhm kha ke ji
Apne lahoo ke ghont pi
Aah na kar labon ko si
Ishq hai dillagi nahin

Take wound upon wound, yet live
Drink sips of your own blood
Drink sips of your own blood
Let out not a single sigh, seal your lips
This is love, not a game

 

Dil laga kar pata chaley ga tumhein
Aashiqui dillagi nahin hoti

When you have given your heart you will realize
Love is not a game

 

Kuch khel nahin hai ishq ki laag
Paani na samajh ye aag hai aag

Love is not child’s play
Don’t think of it as water, this is fire!

 

Khoon rulaye gi ye lagi dil ki
Khel samjho na dillagi dil ki

It makes you shed bloody tears
Don’t think of it as child’s play

 

Yeh ishq nahin aasaan
Bas itna samajh leejay
Ik aag ka darya hai
Aur doob ke jaana hai

This love is not easy
think of it this way:
It is a river of fire
and to cross you must drown!

 

Wafaaon ki hum se tawaqo nahin hai
Wafaaon ki hum se tawaqo nahin hai
Magar ek baar aazma kar to dekho
Zamanay ko apna bana kar to dekha
Humein bhi tum apna bana kar to dekho

You may not expect me to be faithful
You may not expect me to be faithful
But you have to try me at least once
You gave yourself to the whole world
Now try making me your own!

 

Khuda ke liya chor do ab yeh parda…

Rukh se naqab utha, ke bari der ho gayi
Mahol ko tilaawat-e-quraan kiye hoye
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…
Lift the veil now, it has been long since
the world burst into songs of praise…
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Hum na samjhe teri nazron ka taqaza kya hai
Kabhi parda kabhi jalwa yeh tamasha kya hai
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

I couldn’t understand the meaning of your glace
Withdrawn this moment, and open the next, what is this play?
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Jan-e-jan hum se uljhan nahin dekhi jaati
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

My darling, I cannot bear to see this struggle now
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Khuda ke liya chor do ab yeh parda
Keh hain aaj hum tum nahin ghair koi
Shab-e-wasl bhi hai hijaab iss kadar kyon
Zara rukh se aanchal utha kar to dekho

For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…
For you and I are strangers no more
Why the veil on the night of the union?
Uncover your face and look up now…

 

Jafaaein buhat kien buhat zulm dhaye
Kabhi ik nigah-e-karam iss taraf bhi
Humesha huay dekh kar mujh ko barham
Kissi din zara muskura kar to dekho

So much oppression, so much cruelty
Perhaps a kind glance this way now?
Forever my sight offended you
Perhaps direct a smile my way now?

 

Jo ulfat mein har ek sitam hai gawara
Yeh sab kuch hai paas-e-wafa tum se warna
Satate ho din raat jiss tarha mujh ko
Kissi ghair ko youn sata kar to dekho

In love, I have borne every wound inflicted
All of this out of loyalty to you
The way that you tease me day and night…
Go tease another and see what happens!

 

Agarche kissi baat par woh khafa hain
To acha yehi hai tum apni si kar lo
Woh maanein na mannein yeh marzi hai unki
Magar un ko pur-nam mana kar to dekho

Though she seems upset about something
Perhaps it is better to just move on
To accept me or not, that is her will
But try to convince her with all your passion!

 

Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Muhabbat ki raahon mein aa kar to dekho

You will have to forget about playing games
Come into the ways of love and see

 

 

Mast Nazron Se Allah Bacchaye

Translation (from Music from Pakistan and this site)

Entire life spent in splendor, it need not be
Every night of sorrow has a dawn, it need not be
Slumber can arise in a bed of pain, in  the arms of my love, it need not be
Fire is considered by the moths as child’s play, every moth is afraid of its fate, it need not be
A shaykh who prays to god in the mosque, his prostration is effective, it need not be

O God save us from the intoxicated glances! O God save us from the moon-faced ones!
Let any affliction come upon us [but] God save us from the pretty ones.

Don’t let their innocence fool you; don’t let them make you a fool
they rob with just a smile, O God save us from their spells!

Innocent appearance and innocuous talk, but there is a difference between what they say and what they mean
though their face is like that of moon, O God save us from the schemes of their hearts!

In the hearts there is a desire for beautiful companions in heaven, but they show their love of prayers [to the world].
Now, from the likes of the abstinent, O God save us from these “Godly” ones!

In their nature is infidelity, it is known by all and sundry
they beguile even the smart ones, O God save us from the innocuous ones!

Poetry by Nasir Iqbal Maikash

Original (in transliteration):

umr jalwon mein basar ho yeh zarori to nahi
her shab e gham ki sahr ho yeh zarori to nahi
neend to dard ke bistar pe bhi aa sakti hai
unki aaghosh mein sir ho yeh zarori to nahi

aag ko khail patangon ne samajh rakh hai
sub ko anjaam ka dar ho yeh zarori to nahi
shaikh karta hai jo masjid mein khuda ko sajde
iske sajdoon mein asar ho yeh zarori to nahi

Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye
Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye

Har bala sar pe aa jaye lekin
Husn walon se Allah bachaye

Inki maasoomiyat par na jaana
Inke dhoke mein har giz na aana
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
In ki chalon se Allah bachaye

Inki maasoomiyat par na jaana
Inke dhoke mein har giz na aana
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye

Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye
Loot lete hain ye, loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain

Jalakrukhi dikha kar, muskura kar loot lete hain
Nigao se nigao ko mila kar loot lete hain
Ye atchi pardadaadi hain, ye atchi dilnawazi hain
Hasa kar loot lete hain, rula kar loot lete hain

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain

Husn waale wafa nahi karte
Ishq waale dagha nahi karte
Zulm karna to inki aadat hain
Ye kisi ka bhala nahi karte

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Amir is raaste se jo guzrte hain woh kehte hain
Muhalla hain haseeno ka, ke ki basti hain

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye

Inki fitrat mein hain be-wafaai
Jaanti hain ye saari khudaaee
Atche-atcho ko dete hain dhoka
Bhole-bhalo se Allah bachaye

Atche-atcho ko dete hain dhoka
Bhole-bhalo se Allah bachaye
Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye

 

Original (inspired by the above poems)

Forget about your poetry,
forget music, and dance
This love is not a game, my friend
it’s real life, not romance
It’s serious as death again
and twice as hard to stand
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance

Since my eyes fell on your beauty
Swarms of evil eyes pursued me
I swatted them away like flies
But your one glance shot right through me
They seek my blood, I seek your heart
Because you stole mine so cruelly

Planted ‘neath your balcony
wat’ring flowers with my eyes
chasing storm clouds with my sighs
too weak to live, too strong to die

Waiting for your glance to fall
On me like a guillotine
Setting body and head free
from this wishful, hopeless dream

This love is not a river,
it’s an ocean of fire
a broad desert of ceaseless sighs,
wide skies of vast desire

And there’s no way get across,
it’s too hard to swim down
So keep away from the edge or
plunge in and burn and drown!

The candle flame has hitched a ride
on this moth bound for the sun
Climbing moonbeams to your face
your eyes become my drop’s ocean

Don’t blame me for this smoke
it was you who lit the fire
don’t complain of the heat
it’s my body on the pyre

It’s your fault that I hope, my dear
and you caused all this pain
sweet as it is, please stop playing—
I can’t take this and the blame

I dreamed that I kissed you
and I prayed I’d never wake
I heard that I missed you
and my life I tried to take

but found that you’d beat me to it
My life was yours before I knew it

Don’t leave me stumbling in the dark
With flashes of your lightning smile
Please light my path and guide my ark
have mercy on a heart beguiled!

Let me be your veil, my love
kissing your lips with every breath
Let me be your hair, above
your bright eyes, glinting dark as death

Your eyes are blinding eclipses
within these magic ellipses
See all that was, will be, and is
but only if you hush—listen!

It seems like I’m your shadow
I can’t even get away
so cast me anywhere you will
all I can do is sway

Where you fly is where I run
and where you stop is where I’m through
Waiting for high noon to come
and return me back to you

Beneath your feet is where I’m from
between your finger and your thumb
My heart is spinning, sick, struck dumb
by this love, what I—you’ve become

Forget about your poetry,
forget music, and dance
This love is not a game, my friend
it’s real life, not romance
It’s serious as death again
and twice as hard to stand
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance

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

Bulleh Shah, if God were found…

 

silk-painting-with-ducks-japanshahinayatkhan

 

Bulleh Shah

Translation:

O beloved one:
If God were to be found by bathing and washing,
then God would be found by fish and frogs.

If God were to be found by roaming in jungle,
then God would be found by cows and buffaloes.

O Mian Bulleh
God is found by hearts righteous and pure.

You have read a thousand books
but have you read your ‘self’?

You rush to mosques and temples
in indecent haste,
have you tried to enter your Self?

You are enagged in
needless battle with Satan
have you ever fought with your nafs?

You have reached the sky
But have failed to reach
what’s in your heart!

Come to my abode, My friend
morning, noon and night!

Destroy the mosque,
destroy the temple
do as you please;
But do not break the human heart
for God dwells therein!

I search for You in jungle and wilderness
I have searched far and wide.
Do not torment me thus My Love
morning, noon and night!

Come to my abode, My Love
morning, noon and night!

 

morikuni_tachibana_water_buffalo koifish

mughalhunt

 

Original (transliteration):

Je rab milda nahateya dhoteya,
te o milda dadduan machiyan noon.
Je rab milda jangal pahareyan,
te o milda gaiyaan bachiyan noon.
Je rab milda mandir – masiti,
te o milda cham chidikhiyan noon.
Ve Bulleya rab onhan noon milda..
Ati dil-eya achiyyan sachhiya noon.

 

krishnaforestchistisaintsmughalsaint

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​

pseudo-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 

Rumi-I am not wandering aimlessly

 

bazaar

Translation:

by Farah Aziz

No I am not roaming aimlessly
through the alleys and bazaar
I am a lover searching for his beloved

God have mercy on me
I am walking around troubled

I have done wrong and sinned
and am walking around wounded

I have drunk the wine of desire
and am walking around lovelorn

Though I may seem drunk
I am quite sober

 

Original:

نه من بيهوده گرد کوچه و بازار می گردم
مذاق عاشقی دارم پی ديدار ميگردم
خدايا رحم کن بر من پريشان وار می گردم
خطا کارم گناهکارم به حال زار می گردم
شراب شوق می نوشم به گرد يار می گردم
سخن مستانه می گويم ولی هوشيار می گردم

bzar2

 

08-mughal

Infidel of Love

persiancarpetcircle

Shabistari

If a Muslim were to know what an idol is
He would know that religion is idol-worship
And if the associator (mushrik) were to know what an idol is
Where would he have gone wrong in his religion?

 

Original:

مسلمان گر بدانستی که بت چیست
بدانستی که دین در بت‌پرستی است
وگر مشرک ز بت آگاه گشتی
کجا در دین خود گمراه گشتی

 

treescreen

 

Amir Khusro
Translation:

I am an infidel of love: the creed of Muslims I do not need; 
Every vein of mine has become taunt like a wire,
the (Christian/Magian) girdle I do not need. 
Leave my bedside, you ignorant physician! 
The only cure for the patient of love is the sight of his beloved –
other than this, no medicine does he need. 
If there be no pilot in our boat, let there be none: 
We have God in our midst: the sea we do not need. 
The people of the world say that Khusrau worships idols. 
So he does, so he does; the world he does not need.

 

Transliteration :

Kafir-e-ishqam musalmani mara darkaar neest
Har rag-e mun taar gashta hajat-e zunnaar neest;
Az sar-e baaleen-e mun bar khez ay naadaan tabeeb
Dard mand-e ishq ra daroo bajuz deedaar neest;
Nakhuda dar kashti-e maagar nabashad go mubaash
Makhuda daareem mara nakhuda darkaar neest;
Khalq mi goyad ki Khusrau but parasti mi kunad
Aarey aarey mi kunam ba khalq mara kaar neest.

 

Original:

کافر عشقم، مسلمانی مرا در کار نیست
ہر رگ من تار گشتہ، حاجت زُنار نیست
از سر بالین من برخیز ای نادان طبیب
دردمند عشق را دارو بہ جز دیدار نیست
ناخدا بر کشتی ما گر نباشد، گو مباش
ما خدا داریم ما را ناخدا در کار نیست
خلق می‌گوید کہ خسرو بت‌پرستی می‌کند
آری! آری! می‌کنم! با خلق ما را کار نیست

 

Mezquita_de_Cordoba_Mihrab

Translation:

Every sect has a faith, a direction (Qibla) to which they turn,
I have turned my face towards the crooked cap (of Nizamudin Awlyia)
The whole world worships something or the other,
Some look for God in Mecca, while some go to Kashi (Benaras),
So why can’t I, Oh wise ones, fall at my beloved’s feet?
Every sect has a faith, a Qibla.

Original:

harqaum

 

Transliteration:
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay,
Mun qibla raast kardam, bar samt kajkulaahay.
Sansaar har ko poojay, kul ko jagat sarahay,
Makkay mein koyi dhoondhay, Kaashi ko koi jaaye,
Guyyian main apnay pi kay payyan padun na kaahay.
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay…

hajjcert_lg

Hafez in qawwal

This ghazal, attributed to Hafez, is probably not by him, but is still beautiful nonetheless.

iranpatternb

 

Translation:

I saw Beloved in the Stranger
I saw a Flower in the Ash

The one the Preacher so tried to hide
I saw that Beloved in the square.

In every direction, the splendor of Beloved, I see
In every thing, the beauty of my Love, I see

I don’t see anything without It
But in every corner and bazaar, Love I see

My selfhood does not belong to me
My own beauty as Beloved’s beauty, I see

The prayer of the ascetic is on mihrab and minbar
The prayer of the Lovers on the gallows, I see

So suddenly your righteousness is gone Hāfez
Now reason and intellect as useless, I see.

 

iranpatternb

Orginal:

بہ هر سو جلوہ دلدار دیدم
بہ هر چیز جمال یار دیدم
نديدم هيچ شي را خالي از او
پر از او كوچه و بازار ديدم
    چو خود را بنگرم دیدم همون است
  جمالی خود جمالی یار دیدم
نماز زاهدان محراب و منبر
نماز عاشقان بر دار دیدمم
جو يك رسيد از غيب حافظ
همه عقل و خرد بكار ديدم

gardengateway

Your face like the moon

Translation:

May your charming face ever shine like the full moon;
May you hold eternal sway over the domains of beauty.
By your amorous glance you have killed a poor man like me;
How magnanimous of you? May God give you a long life.
Pray do not be cruel lest you should feel ashamed of yourself
Before your lovers on the day of judgment.
I shall be set free from the bonds of the two worlds
If you become my companion for a while.
By your wanton playfulness you must have destroyed
Thousands of hearts of lovers like that of Khusrau.

mughalminiaturelover

Transliteration:

Bakhubi hamcho mah tabindah baashi;
Bamulk-e dilbari paayindah baashi.
Man-e darvish ra kushti baghamzah;
Karam kardi Ilahi zindah baashi.
Jafaa kam kun ki farda roz-e mehshar;
Baru-e aashiqan sharmindah baashi.
Ze qaid-e dojahan azad baasham;
Agar tu hum-nashin-e bandah baashi.
Barindi-o bashokhi hamcho Khusrau;
Hazaran khanuman barkandah baashi.

 

Sadi_in_a_Rose_garden

What is brighter than the moon?

This lovely performance begins with a verse by the celebrated Persian poet Sa’adi (d. 1292), then another verse by Fakhr ad-din ‘Iraqi (d. 1289), and finally a poem by Amir Khusro (d. 1325)

 

Translation:
Grant me a warm new life or grant me a hot death
I bow my head to your rule, and take You as my king.

-Sa ‘adī

 

Why should our enemies be so fortunate to die by your hands?
The heads of living friends are  waiting for your dagger.
-‘Iraqi

 

I asked: “What is brighter than the moon?” She said: “It is my face.”
I asked: “What is sweeter than sugar?” She said: “It is my speech.”
I asked about the death of lovers; She said; “The pain of being separated from me.”
I asked about the cure of life; She said: “It is the sight of my face.”
I asked about the way of lovers; She said: “Fidelity.”
I said: “Then do not be cruel and wicked.” She said: “That is my task.”
I said: “Are you a houri or a fairy?” She said: “I am the King of idols”
I said: “Khusrau is helpless.” She said: “Worship me.”

 

persianminiaturebeaut

Original:

اگرم حیات بخشی و گرم هلاک خواهی
سر بندگی به حکمت بنهم که پادشاهی

سعدی-

نہ شود نصب دشمن، کہ شود ہلاک تیغت
سر دوستاں سلامت، کہ تو خنجر آزمائی
عراقي-

گفتم که روشن از قمر گفتا که رخسار منست
گفتم که شیرین از شکر گفتا که گفتار منست
گفتم طریق عاشقان گفتا وفاداری بود
گفتم مکن جور و جفا، گفتا کہ این کار منست
گفتم کہ مرگِ ناگہاں، گفتا که درد هجر من
گفتم علاج زندگی ،گفتا که دیدار منست
گفتم که حوری یا پری ، گفتا که من شاه ِ بتاں
گفتم که خسرو ناتوان گفتا پرستار منست

امير خسرو-