Ibn ‘Arabi, Hallaj, and Carminho



When my Beloved appears,
with what eye do I see Him?
With His eye not with mine;
for no one sees Him except Himself.

-Ibn ‘Arabi


إذا تجلى حبيبي
بأي عين تراه
بعينه لا بعيني
فما يراه سواه





I saw my Lord with the eye of my Heart,
I said, “Who are thou?”  He answered, “Thou.”
Thus where no where hath, as from Thee,
Nor is there, as to Thee, a where.
Thous giv’st imagining no image
For it to imagine where Thou art.
Thou art He who hath filled all where,
and beyond all where.  Where art Thou then?


Translation: Martin Lings.  Sufi Poems



رَأَيـتُ رَبّـي بِـعَينِ قَلبي فَـقُلتُ مَـن أَنتَ قالَ أَنتَ

فَـلَيسَ لِـلأَينِ مِـنكَ أَيـنٌ وَلَـيسَ أَيـنٌ بِـحَيثُ أَنتَ

أَنـتَ الَّـذي حُزتَ كُلَّ أَينٍ بِـنَحوِ لا أَيـن ثـم أَنـتَ

فَـفي فَـنائي فَـنا فَـنائي وَفـي فَـنائي وُجِدتَ أَنتَ

في مَحو اِسمي وَرَسمِ جِسمي سَـأَلتُ عَـني فَـقُلتُ أَنتَ

أَنـتَ حَـياتي وَسِـرُّ قَلبي فَـحَيثُما كُـنتُ كُـنتَ أَنتَ

فَـمُـنَّ بِـالعَفوِ يـا إِلَـهي فَـلَيسَ أَرجـو سِواكَ أَنتَ



My Sweetheart

He is going to possess me
Not possess me
In some corner
It is like water flowing,
Flowing to the end,
It is so much that he wants me.
My sweetheart
My sweetheart
My home
Is where you want to live.

He is going to illuminate me
Not illuminate me
A shortcut at least.
I know that he is going to lead me
Leading softly
Along the way that I want to go.
My sweetheart
My sweetheart
My home is where you want to live.

I see my darling with his eyes
And it is with my eyes
That my darling sees me

My sweetheart
My sweetheart
My home
Is where you want to live.

Translation from: http://lyricstranslate.com

Meu namorado

Ele vai-me possuindo
Não me possuindo
Num canto qualquer
É como as águas fluindo
Fluindo até ao fim
É bem assim que ele me quer
Meu namorado
Meu namorado
Minha morada
É onde tu quiseres morar

Ele vai-me iluminando
Não iluminando
Um atalho sequer
Sei que ele vai-me guiando
Guiando de mansinho
Pelo caminho que eu quiser
Meu namorado
Meu namorado
É onde tu quiseres morar

Vejo meu bem com seus olhos
E é com meus olhos
Que o meu bem me vê

Meu namorado
Meu namorado
Minha morada
É onde tu quiseres morar

Ibn ‘Arabi:
Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the centre of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the
object of my perception.
If then you perceive me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
It is through my eyes that you see me and see yourself,
Through your eyes you cannot see me.
Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard me
I have shown myself to you so often and you have not seen me.
I have made myself fragrance so often, and you have not smelled me.
Savorous food, and you have not tasted me.
Why can you not reach me through the object you touch
Or breathe me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see me?
Why do you not hear me?
Why? Why? Why?

Ibn ‘Arabi-Her words bring me to life…




Translation (sung portion in bold):

On the day of parting they did not saddle the full-grown reddish-white camels until they had mounted the peacocks upon them,

Peacocks with murderous glances and sovereign power : thou wouldst fancy that each of them was a Bilqis on her throne of pearls.

When she walks on the glass pavement l thou seest a sun on a celestial sphere in the bosom of Idris.

When she kills with her glances, her speech restores to life, as tho’ she, in giving life thereby, were Jesus.
The smooth surface of her legs is (like) the Torah in brightness, and I follow it and tread in its footsteps as tho’ I were Moses.
She is a bishopess, one of the daughters of Rome, unadorned: thou seest in her a radiant Goodness.
Wild is she, none can tame her; she has gotten in her solitary chamber a mausoleum for remembrance.
She has baffled everyone who is learned in our religion, every student of the Psalms of David, every Jewish doctor, and every Christian priest.
If with a gesture she demands the Gospel, thou wouldst deem us to be priests and patriarchs and deacons.
The day when they departed on the road, I prepared for war the armies of my patience, host after host.

When my soul reached the throat (i.e. when I was at the point of death), I besought that Beauty and that Grace to grant me relief,

And she yielded, may God preserve us from her evil, and may the victorious king repel Iblis !

I exclaimed, when her she-camel set out to depart, “driver of the reddish-white camels, do not drive them away with her!”

translation from R.A. Nicholson’s edition of the Tarjuman al-ashwaq


ما رحلوا يوم بانوا البزل العيسا — الا وقد حملوا فيها الطواويسا
من كل فاتكة الالحاظ مالكــــــــة — تخالها فوق عرش الدر بلقيسا
اذا تمشت على صرح الزجاج ترى— شمسا على فلك في حجر ادريسا
تُحيي إذا قَتَـلت باللحـظِ , مَنــطِقَها
كأنها عندما تُحيي بهِ عِيسَــــــــى
تَوراتُها لَوحُ ســاقيها ســناً , وأنا

أتلو و أدرُسُها كأنّني مُوســــــــى

أُسْـقُفَة ٌ من بنــاتِ الرّومِ عاطِـلة ٌ
تَرى عليها من الأنوار ناموسَـــــــا
وحشـيّة ٌ ما بِها أُنْسٌ قد اتَّخَــذَتْ
في بيتِ خَلوتِها للذّكر نَاوُوســـــــــا
قـد أعـجَـزَتْ كـلّ عـلاّمٍ بِمـِلـّتـِنَا
وداوُديّاً , و حبراً ثمَّ قِســـّيســــــــا
إن أوْمأتْ تطلبُ الإنجيلَ تحسبُهَا
أقِسّة ً , أوْ بطاريقاً شمامِيســــــــــا



White Doves

Pombas Brancas


White doves
Flying high
Scratching the shadows
Of the large clouds
There they go
Doves that do not return

They bring within
Their wings
In rosy beaks
Scattered clouds
On the sea
Doves of my singing

Merely singing
Various recollections
Coming on the paths
Nobody knows
Where they go
The Doves that do not return



Pombas brancas
Que voam altas
Riscando as sombras
Das nuvens largas
Lá vão
Pombas que não voltam

Trazem dentro
Das asas prendas
Nas bicos rosas
Nuvens desfeitas
No mar
Pombas do meu cantar

Canto apenas
Lembranças várias
Vindas das sendas
Que ninguém sabe
Onde vão
Pombas que não voltam

Lyrics and Translation from LyricsTranslate.com


Eye Adaba



The day has dawned, the day has dawned upon me
In this land, the day has dawned, I see hope


White Dove, White Dove
That flies high, high above the sky
Come land on me
The Day has dawned, I see hope


Speak so we can hear you


White Dove, White Dove
That flies high, high above the sky
Come land on me
The Day has dawned, I see hope




Oju mo ti mo
Oju mo ti mo mi
Ni le yi o o
Oju mo ti mo – mo ri re o 

Eye abada
Eye adaba
Eye adaba ti n fo l’oke l’oke ori orun
Wa ba le mi o o
Oju mo ti mo mo ri re o


E wi ki’n gbo se


Eye abada
Eye adaba
Eye adaba ti n fo lo ke lo ke
Wa ba le mi o o
Oju mo ti mo, mo ri re o

Gentle Now, Doves of the Thicket



Gentle now,
doves of the thornberry and moringa thicket,
don’t add to my heart-ache
your sighs.

Gentle now,
or your sad cooing
will reveal the love I hide
the sorrow I hide away.

I echo back, in the evening,
in the morning, echo,
the longing of a love-sick lover,
the moaning of the lost.

In a grove of tamarisks
spirits wrestled,
bending the limbs down over me,
passing me away.

They brought yearning,
breaking of the heart,
and other new twists of pain,
putting me through it.

Who is there for me in Jám’,
and the Stoning-Place at Miná,
who for me at Tamarisk Grove,
or at the way-station of Na’mān?
Hour by hour
they circle my heart
in rapture, in love-ache,
and touch my pillars with a kiss.

As the best of creation
circled the Ka’ba,
which reason with its proofs
called unworthy,

And kissed the stones there –
and he was the Natiq!
And what is the house of stone
compared to a man or a woman?

They swore, and how often!
they’d never change – piling up vows.
She who dyes herself red with henna
is faithless.

A white-blazed gazelle
is an amazing sight,
red-dye signalling,
eyelids hinting,

Pasture between breastbones
and innards.
a garden among the flames!

My heart can take on
any form:
a meadow for gazelles,
a cloister for monks,

For the idols, sacred ground,
Ka’ba for the circling pilgrim,
the tables of the Torah,
the scrolls of the Qur’án.

I profess the religion of love;
wherever its caravan turns along the way,
that is the belief,
the faith I keep.

Like Bishr,
Hind and her sister,
love-mad Qays and his lost Láyla,
Máyya and her lover Ghaylán.

-Ibn ‘Arabi

(trans. Michael Sells)

from: http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/poemtarjuman11.html



ألا يا حَماماتِ الأراكَة ِ والبَانِ                   ترَفّقْنَ لا تُضْعِفْنَ بالشجوِ أشجاني
ترَفّقْنَ لا تُظهرنَ بالنّوح والبُكا                     خفيَّ صباباتي ومكنونَ أحزاني
أُطارحُها عند الأصيلِ وبالضحى                        بحنَّة ِ مشتاقٍ وأنَّة ِ هيمانِ
تَنَاوَحَتِ الأرواحُ في غَيضَة ِ الغَضا                       فمالتْ بأفنانٍ عليَّ فأفناني
وجاءتْ منَ الشَّوقِ المبرَّحِ والجوى                   ومن طُرَفِ البَلْوَى إليّ بأفْنانِ
فمَن لي بجمعٍ والمحصَّب مِن مِنًى             ومَنْ لي بِذاتِ الأثْلِ مَنْ لِي بنَعْمان
تطوفُ بقلبي ساعة ً بعدَ ساعة ٍ                         لوَجدٍ وتبريحٍ وتَلثُمُ أركاني
كما طاف خيرُ الرُّسلِ بالكعبة ِ التي                  يقولُ دليلُ العقْلِ فيها بنُقصَانِ
وقبّلَ أحجاراً بها، وهو ناطقٌ                        وأينَ مَقامُ البيتِ من قدرِ إنسانِ
فكَم عَهِدَتْ أن لا تحولَ وأقسمتْ                      وليس لمخضوبٍ وفاءٌ بأيمانِ
ومنْ أعجبِ الأشياءِ ظبى ُ مبرقعُ                      يشيرُ بعنَّابٍ ويومي بأجفانِ
ومَرعاهُ ما بينَ التّرائِبِ والحَشَا                ويا عَجَباً من روضة ٍ وَسَطَ نيرانِ
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


My heart became…

This amazing poem of Ibn ‘Arabi’s is often interpreted somewhat sentimentally, but the love he writes of is far more than mere sentiment, and the universalism he espouses is much more than mere coexistence.  Among other things, it refers to a profound spiritual transformation in which opposites unite and the limitations of particular existence are swept away by love, the power that animantes the cosmos.


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


Receptive, my heart became, 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*


*Legendary lovers of Arabic literature