Diwaan-e-Mo’in: Ghazal 1

Here is a ghazal from the Diwaan-e-Mo’in (Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna): Robud jaan o delam raa jamaal-e-naam-e-khodaa Nawaakht teshna labaan raa zolaal-e-naam-e-khodaa My soul and my heart have been captivated by the beauty of the name of God. My thirsty lips have been comforted by the pure water of the name of God. Wesaal-e-haqq talabi hamneshin naamash baash Bebin wesaal-e-khodaa dar wesaal-e-naam-e-khodaa  If you search for union with God, be a companion of His name, You’ll see that union with God is in union with the name of God. Miyaan-e-esm o mosamma chu farq nist bebin To dar tajalliye asmaa kamaal-e-naam-e-khodaa  As there is no difference between the name and the Named One, You’ll see in the manifestation…

The stone and the tree

There was once a dervish in Abadan, whose cell was always surrounded by disciples, people who had come from far and near to hear his wisdom and try to achieve knowledge and spiritual fulfilment. Sometimes he spoke to them, sometimes he did not. Sometimes he read from books, and sometimes he made them perform various tasks. The disciples tried, for decades, to understand the purport of his words, to fathom the depth of his signs and symbols, and in every way possible to get closer to his wisdom. Those who understood what he taught, were the ones who did not spend time trying to puzzle out things. They cultivated patience and attention, and refrained from looking for verbal associations from…

Jamali

The Indian Sufi Jamali was very fond of travelling and embarked on long journeys. He was a famed poet who was even known in Herat. (my wordprocessor is changing Herat into heart…!). After visiting Mecca and Medina Jamali visited the Maghrib, the Yemen, Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and even Sri Lanka to see the footprint of Adam. It is said that he travelled in the same manner as a qalandar, and with the dust of his travels on him he arrived in Herat and visited the famous Jami. He sat down next to him. Jami was rather annoyed and asked him what was the difference between him and an ass. Jamali then answered by pointing out the distance between…

Allâh

In order to say ‘God’ there are two words in Arabic: 1. Allâh, which is reserved for the unique God and is a proper name, which exists only in the singular 2. Ilâh which is a shared (i.e. not unique) name, which has a plural âliha and thus is susceptible to refer to all gods, although according to Islam there is of course only One. The two terms have etymological connections; some lexicographers say that Allâh is the contracted form of al-Ilâh. The two important questions asked in this respect are what is the origin of the name Allâh, which is of interest to the lexicographers and the other one is what is the meaning and the definition of the…

Magical Mystery Tour

Several years ago a Chishti shaykh and his son arrived from the East for a visit in England. The English disciples invested lots of energy in trying to get visa for the two of them for France and Spain and all in vain. The shaykh could get a visa, but the authorities refused to give a visa for the son as they were afraid that he would stay in Europe and try to find a job. They did not know that there was no economic motive for the journey. Anyhow neither of them obtained the necessary visa. The idea was to travel to the Spanish town of Granada in order to visit a Sufi community in that town. But how…

The sufi and his cat

René Guénon, aka shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Yahya, died in 1951. There has been an European Sufi shaykh, Mustafa ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who has been the first in modern times to introduce the teachings of shaykh Ibn al-‘Arabi in depth to the west. His French name is Michel Valsan. Shaykh Mustafa ‘Abd al-‘Aziz has written a letter about the death of shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Yahya: Paris 18th June 1951. I think you have already received the sad information about the death of René Guénon by means of newspapers and radio. It took place on the night of the 7th to the 8th of January. I have received your letter on the 8th of January at the same time as news of his…

Biko’s Bird

Biko desired to be a spiritual guide, but he attracted no murids. That’s why he became jealous of shaykh ‘Abdullah, the local Sufi master. He tried to discredit him with a trick. When shaykh ‘Abdullah was teaching the local halqa, Biko went to this assembly with a very small bird in his hands. He intended to ask the master if the bird was dead or alive.  In case the shaykh would say that it was dead, Biko would open his hands in order to let the bird fly away. When the answer would be that the bird was alive, he’d quickly crush the bird and thus kill it. In both cases the master would give the wrong answer.  Biko, full…

GOD

Your name is in my mouth, Your image is in my eye, Your remembrance is in my heart: So where are You hidden? A scholar remarked in the presence of Shamsuddin of Tabriz: ‘I have established the existence of God with a categorical proof’. On the next morning our master Shams said: ‘Last night the angels descended and blessed that man, saying ‘Praise be to God, he has proven the existence of our God! May God give him a long life’!’ [Rumi:Fihi ma fihi]. Shabistari writes in his Gulshan-i-Raz: دلی کزمعرفت شهود است زهرچیزی که دید اول خدا دید A witnessing heart illuminated by gnosis, Sees God first in all things it looks upon. Several Sufis never talk or write…

Hafez

This is the first rubâ’i, quatrain, of the Divân of Hâfez and in Persian it sounds thus Joz naqsh-e-to dar nazar nayâmad mâra. Joz kuy-e-to rahgozar nayâmad mâra. Khvâb âr che khosh âmad hameh ra dar ‘uhdat Haqqâ ke be chesham dar nayâmad mâra. Nothing comes in our eyes except Your face. Except Your lane we have no other path to trace. If it is so that as a duty sleep comes joyfully to everyone, But, in truth, our eyes it does not grace. ~ Here are some of his other quatrains. The transcription of the Persian text has been followed by its English translation. Bar gir sharaab tarab angiz o biyaa Penhaan ze raqib-e sefle be-sitez o biyaa Ma-shnav…

Diwaan-e-Mo’in: Ghazal 29

This is a complete ghazal attributed to Khwâja Mu’înuddîn Chishtî: Ay ki andar ‘ain paidâ’î nihâni kîstî Har chi dar fahm u gumân âyad na ânî kîstî Who are You, Who are both clearly manifest and hidden? You, Whose existence is beyond intellect and imagination? Jumla-yi-ashyâ zi hadd-i-wasf shud ma’lûm-i-khalq Ay ki bîrûn az hadd-i-wasf-i-bayânî kîstî All things are distinguished in creation by the extent of their definitions. Who are You, Whose description is beyond any limitation? Ay ki dar har mazhar-i-naw’î zuhûrî karda’i Dar libâs-i-hajla ‘ayân ‘iyânî kîstî Who are, Who manifest Yourself in each kind of place, Whose eyes are manifest behind the curtain of the bridal chamber? Nai badan az tu khabar dârad na jân az tu…