Diwaan-e-Mo’in: Ghazal 9

Man yaar toraa daaram o aghyaar namikhaaham Ghair az to ke del bordi deldaar namikhaaham You are my Friend and I don’t want any other. You are my Beloved and I don’t want any other to capture my heart. Khaari ke ze dard-e-to khastast maraa dar del Man khasta-e-aan khaaram golzaar namikhaaham A thorn of pain coming from You has wounded my heart, But I don’t want to replace this wound by any flower. Gar jelwa dehi bar del naqd-e-do jahaan guyam Man ‘aasheq-e-didaaram dinaar namikhaaham If You polish my heart, I’ll pay all the cash of both worlds for it. I love to see You and it is money I don’t want. Serri ke maraa baa tost baa ghair…

Divine Attraction

Jazba-ye-nur-e-jamaalash mikashad suye khudam Gu’yaa u sham’ o man parwaana am ay ‘aasheqaan The attraction of the light of His Beauty draws me towards itself, As if He is the candle and I am the moth, O lovers! ‘Jazba’ in this ghazal from the Diwaan-e-Mo’in means ‘attraction’. It is the attraction by the divine, because of which someone can be lifted to the top of the mountain, without any effort of his/her own. The noun ‘majzub’ is derived from the verb yazaba, meaning ‘to be attracted to’ and a majzub is therefore attracted to God. In order to be able to guide others someone who has experienced this divine attraction needs to travel once again to the top of the…

Other Sufi poets

The following string of pearls in the field of Persian Sufi poetry may be to your liking. Here are some lines of Maghrebi: Hich kasi be khishtan rah nabord be suye- u Balke be paye- u ravad har ke ravad be kuye- u No one by himself Can find the way to Him. You have to walk with His feet, Who goes to His street. The following quatrain of Sarmad is the one I like best among his poetry: Az manzab-e ‘eshq sar faraazam kardand Vaz mennat-e khalq bi niyaazam kardand Chun sham’ dar in bazm godaazam kardand Az sokhtagi mahram-e raaz kardand To the dignified station of love I was raised, And from the favours of the people I…

Iblis

People say that when Iblis was cursed, he was so excited and overcome by the intensity of his joy that he filled the whole world by himself. Some asked him: ‘How can you act this way seeing that you have been driven from the Divine Presence?’ He replied: ‘By this robe of honour the Beloved has singled me out; neither an angel who has been brought near, wears it, nor a prophet who has been sent forth’.

The new moon

A certain court poet once was in difficult financial circumstances: “One day – it was the eve of the day on which the new moon of Ramadan was due to appear and I had not a farthing to meet all the expenses incidental to that month and the feast which follows it – I went thus sad at heart to the Amir ‘Ala ud-Dawla…” He informs the Amir about his state, who advises him to return at the time of the evening prayer as the king will go up and look for the moon. “At sundown the king came forth from his pavilion, with a crossbow in his hand and ‘Ala ud-Dawla on his right hand. I ran forward to…

Sultan Mahmud and Ayaz: 10 tales

Tale 1 Sultan Mahmud is buying slaves. He wishes that his servant interviews every single slave in order to ask which qualities the slave possesses. Every slave then mentions one or more special qualities about himself. When he asks Ayaaz, then this slave says: “I have a virtue (honar) which is better than both the worlds”. These words are communicated to Mahmud. He demands that this slave is brought into his presence and wants to know more about this virtue. Ayaaz gives this answer: “When you’d put your crown on my head and would place me on your throne and would put the seven climes under my command and would make me the lord of everyone in this world, then…

The Quest of Sidi Ibrahim

Sidi Ibrahim is the Sufi name of Titus Burckhardt [1908-1984]. ‘Sidi’ or ‘Sayyidi’ means literally ‘my master’ and, in fact, Sidi Ibrahim guided the students of Sidi ‘Isa, aka F. Schuon, in Basel. Sidi is actually used as an honorific title given to someone who has been initiated into the Sufi path. Sidi Ibrahim has described his quest to find a spiritual guide and teacher in some detail. Do you know shaykh Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdallah [1784-1817]? You can see a painting of this ancestor of Sidi Ibrahim dressed in Muslim clothes and can read more about his life at wikipedia.org. This ancestor made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1815. He was the first European to describe the hajj in some…

What kind of Pir do you want?

Nawab Khadim Hasan was once approached for initiation. He asked the visitor if he would like a murshid who was a leaf, a stone or a log? The visitor was quite surprised and could not give a reply. So to save him the consternation Nawab Khadim Hasan gave him an explanation: If a leaf floats down a river and a stone is dropped on it, it sinks a little, then tilts and the stone falls off, and thus soon the leave alone is floating down the river. If you drop a stone in a river, it sinks. In fact if you tie anything to it, they both sink. But if a log floats down a river, you can grab it…

Qawwali

The qawwals in the subcontinent of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh often sing the following poem, which is attributed to Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, but is not found in his Divan: To karimi man kamina barda am Laiken az lotf-e shoma parvarda am Zendagi amad baray bandagi Zendagi bi bandagi sharmendagi Yad-e u sarmaya-e iman bovad Har gada az yad-e u soltan bovad Sayyed o sarvar mohammad nur-e jan Mehtar o behtar shafi-ye mojreman Chun mohammad pak shod az nar o dud Har koja ru kard wajh Allah bud Shahbaz la makani jan-e u Rahmatal lil ‘alamin dar shan-e u Mehtarin o behtarin-e ambiya’ Joz Mohammad nist dar arz o sama’ An Mohammad Hamid o Mahmud shod Shakl-e ‘abid surat-e ma’bud shod…

The Perfume Seller

Just suppose you are able to make an interview with shaykh Fariduddin ‘Attâr. What would you ask him? Perhaps some of your questions are similar to the ones as given below: Q: What has been your profession? A: I have written my poems in my “dâru-khâne” wherein I combined the selling of drugs and perfumes with the practice of medicine. Q: It is said that one day a dervish called at your dâru-khâne, your dispensary and asked for alms, but you were too busy with your patients to care for him and gave no reply. Hence you took no notice of him on his second polite demand, the dervish remarked: “You are so busy amassing wealth here. How will you…