What is Sufism?  |  Poetry

In Answer To a Letter from a Traveler on The Path

Seeking (talab)

O minstrel of the soul,
     for God’s sake,
Play the tuneless tune for a moment.

If the bond of Loving-kindness
     is not,
The heart will not hear our message.

How can the gentle breeze
     by itself
Bring the message to the friends?

May it always be
     that I am Love’s companion.
Perhaps then I will explain fidelity…

And make drunk the sober companion
That he might wake from fantasy and sleep.

Love (eshq)

Whoever has spoken
     of the Love of the Friend
Was never touched by sorrow.

Union and separation,
     infidelity and religion,
To him were equal.

The lover has nothing but Love:
     no thought of more,
No sadness at less.

Until you lose yourself
      on Love’s path,
You will never be Love’s confidant.

So drunkenly like Farhad, with the pick of zekr,
Chip away at the mountain of existence.

Surrender (taslim)

If you become surrendered
     to the Soul of souls,
Accept both Union and separation.

Once you find your physician,
     let neither pain
Nor cure concern you.

With all your heart and soul,
     be content
With whatever the Friend desires.

Go! Day and night sit at the door
     of the heart.
Beware! Forget not the image on the heart.

When your business is ruined by this image,
Only then will your credit be increased.

Unity (tawhid)

Here we are with the display of Love
     and drunkenness,
Strangers to the bonds of self-worship.

In the banquet of devotion
     and Loving-kindness,
The claim of existence does not appear.

From us, you will find no sign
     but the Friend.
We are free from pride and humility.

No one is in our circle
     but God.
Here no one can manifest his being.

Iblis did not retire from “I and we”
And so was rejected from the realm of the Friend.

Union (vesal)

The nature of “you” is but desire.
     In the house of “I and you,”
God does not appear.

The Truth brought us to you,
     and you saw
That my claim was nothing but God.

Why do you seek God
     from other than God?
This is but hypocrisy.

From us, God can be sought
     if you realize
That there is nothing but God.

See us not with the eyes that see two,
Then seek God from us.


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