A fruit of the pine, cedar, juniper, and black cypress trees in the uplands of Barla: A work of thoughts in Persian.

A FRUIT OF THE PINE, CEDAR, JUNIPER, AND BLACK CYPRESS TREES IN THE UPLANDS OF BARLA

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One time during my captivity while gazing at the majestic and wonderful forms of the pine, cedar, and juniper trees on the mountain top, a gentle breeze was blowing. Transforming the scene into a magnificent, delightful, and clamorous display of dancing and a rapturous performance of praise and glorification, the enjoyment of watching it was transformed into instruction for my eyes and wisdom for my ears. I suddenly recalled the Kurdish lines of Ahmad al-Jizri, whose meaning is:

‘Everyone has hastened to gaze at You and Your Beauty; they are acting coyly before Your Beauty.’

My heart wept as follows, expressing their instructive meanings. The meaning of the verses in Persian written at Tepelice in the mountains of Barla about the fruit of the pine, cedar, juniper, and black cypress trees is this:

Living creatures have appeared from everywhere on the face of the earth, Your art, to gaze on You.

From above and below they emerge like heralds, and call out.

The herald-like trees take pleasure at the beauty of Your embroideries, and they dance.

They are filled with joy at the perfection of Your art, and utter most beautiful sounds.

It is as if the sweetness of their own voices fills them with joy too, and makes them perform a delicate melody.

In response the trees have started dancing and are seeking ecstasy.

It is through these works of Divine mercy that all the living creatures receive instruction in the glorification and prayer particular to each.

After receiving instruction, on high rocks the trees raise their heads to the Divine Throne.

Each, like Shahbaz Qalandar, (1) stretches out a hundred hands to the Court of Allah, and assumes an imposing position of worship.

They make their small tassel-like twigs and branches dance, so both they and those that watch them express their fine pleasure and elevated delight.

They give voice as though touching the most sensitive strings and veins of the veils of love: ‘Ah! It is He!’

From it a meaning such as this comes to mind: they recall both the weeping caused by the pain of the fading of metaphorical loves, and a profoundly sorrowful moaning.

They make heard the melancholy songs of all lovers parted from their beloveds, like Sultan Mahmud.

They seem to have a duty of making the dead hear the pre-eternal songs and sorrowful voices, who no longer hear worldly voices and words.

The spirit understands from this that beings respond with glorification to the manifestation of the Glorious Maker’s Names; they perform a graceful chant.

The heart reads the mystery of Divine unity from these trees, each like an embodied sign, from the elevated word-order of this miraculousness. That is, there is so wonderful an order, art, and wisdom in the manner of their creation, that if all the causes in existence had the power to act and choose, and they gathered together, they could not imitate them.

The soul, on seeing them, sees the whole earth as revolving in a clamorous tumult of separation, and seeks enduring pleasure. It receives the meaning: ‘You will find it in abandoning worship of this world.’

The mind discovers from the chanting animals and trees and the vociferous plants and air, a most meaningful order of creation, embroidery of wisdom, and treasury of secrets.

The desirous soul receives such pleasure from the murmuring air and whispering leaves that it forgets all metaphorical pleasures, and through abandoning these, which endow it with life, wants to die in the pleasure of reality.

The imagination sees that appointed angels have entered these trees like bodies, from whose branches hang many flutes. It is as though an Eternal Monarch has clothed the angels in the trees for a splendid parade accompanied with the sounds of a thousand flutes. Thus the trees show themselves to be not lifeless, unconscious bodies, but highly conscious and meaningful.

The flutes are pure and powerful as though issuing from a heavenly, exalted orchestra. The mind does not hear from them the sorrowful plaints of separation, that foremost Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi and all lovers hear, but dominical praise and laudation and grateful thanks offered to the Most Merciful One, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent.

Since the trees have all become bodies, their leaves have become tongues. At the touching of the breeze each recites over and over again: ‘It is He! It is He!’ With the benedictions of their lives they proclaim their Maker to be Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent.

With the tongue of disposition they continuously declare ‘O Allah!’, and seek the necessities of their lives from Him, from the treasury of mercy. And through the tongue of their manifesting life from top to bottom, they recite His Name of ‘O Living One!’

O Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One! Through the Names of Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent, endow the heart of this wretched one with life, and bestow sound direction on his confused mind. Amen.

(1) Shahbaz Qalandar was a famous hero who through the guidance of Shaykh Geylani took refuge at the Divine Court and rose to the degree of sainthood.
 

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