The hidden treasure

You’ll remember the hadith qudsi that starts with:

‘I was a hidden treasure and wanted to be known.’

The following poem of shaykh Fariduddin ‘Attar [the Persian text is taken from ghazal 404 on p. 300 of the edition of the Diwan of Dr. Taqi Tafadduli] points to the mysterious contradiction that God is hidden from view while He is manifest in creation. Keep in mind, however, that He wants to be known!

You’re within my soul, but my soul has no knowledge of You;
You’ve filled the world, but the world has no knowledge of You.

Discovering You makes my heart and soul immortal;
You’re within my heart and soul, but they have no knowledge of You.

Your Path makes the intellect mature and it revives fortune;
You leave the mature ones clueless and the young ones have no knowledge of You.

Your image is in my imagination, but my imagination is frustrated;
Your name is on my tongue, but my tongue has no knowledge of You.

You give each creature a name and a meaning;
But all those with a name and a meaning have no knowledge of You.

All the seekers of jewels in Your deep ocean,
In their river-bed of certainty and of doubt, have no knowledge of You.

The fly is unaware of the wing of Gabriel,
But even those who receive messages still have no knowledge of You.

Words and explanations about You have no value, since You all the time
Cause words and explanations to be powerless and have no knowledge of You.

Even though ‘Attar is crying for Your love,
All those who are crying have no knowledge of You.

ای در درون جانم و جان از تو بی خبر
وز تو جهان پرست وجهان از تو بی خبر

چون پی برد بتو دل و جانم که جاودان
در جان و در دلی دل و جان از تو بی خبر

ای عقل پیر و بخت جوان گرد راه تو
پیر از تو بی نشان و جوان از تو بی خبر

نقش تو در خیال و خیال از تو بی خبر
نام تو بر زبان و زبان از تو بی خبر

از تو خبر بنام و نشان خلق را
و آنگه همه بنام و نشان از تو بی خبر

جویندگان جوهر دریای کنه تو
در وادی یقین و گمان از تو بی خبر

چون بی خبر بود مگس از پر جبرءیل
از تو خبر دهند و چنان از تو بی خبر

شرح و بیان تو چکنم ز انکه تا ابد
سرح از تو عاجزست و بیان از تو بی خبر

عطار اگر چه بعرهء عشق تو می زند
هستند جمله نعره زنان از تو بی خبر