A Supplication which came to the heart in Persian: A poem about the transience of the world: at first, a heedless looking with complaint then calming down with complete reliance in Allah.

A SUPPLICATION WHICH OCCURRED TO ME IN PERSIAN

[This supplication occurred to my heart in Persian, and was therefore written in that language.(1) It was first included in my published work, Hubab.]

O my Sustainer! Heedlessly not trusting in You but in my own power and will, I cast an eye over ‘the six aspects’ searching for a cure for my ills. Alas, I could find no cure for them, and I understood it was being said to me: ‘Are your ills not sufficient as cure for you?’

In heedlessness I looked to past time on my right to find solace, but I saw that yesterday appeared to be my father’s grave and past time as the huge tomb of all my forbears. It filled me with horror rather than consolation.(*)

(*) Belief shows that horrific vast grave to be a familiar and enlightened meeting and a gathering of friends.

Then I looked to the future on the left, but again I could find no cure. For tomorrow appeared as my grave and the future as the vast tomb of my contemporaries and the forthcoming generations; it afforded not a feeling of familiarity, but one of fright.(*)

(*) Belief and the peace of belief shows that terrible huge grave to be a feast of the Most Merciful in delightful palaces of bliss.

Since no good appeared from the left either, I looked at the present day, and I saw that it resembled a bier; it was bearing my desperately struggling corpse.(*)

(*) Belief shows the bier to be a place of trade and a glittering guesthouse.

Thus, I could find no cure from this aspect either, so I raised my head and looked at the top of the tree of my life. But I saw that its single fruit was my corpse; it was looking down on me from the tree-top.(*)

(*) Belief shows the tree’s fruit to be not the corpse, but the worn out home of my spirit, which will manifest eternal life and is destined for everlasting happiness, from which it has departed in order to travel among the stars.

Despairing of that aspect too, I lowered my head. I looked and saw that the dust of my bones underfoot had mixed with the dust of my first creation. It afforded no cure, but added further pain to my ills.(*)

(*) Belief shows the dust to be the door leading to mercy and a curtain before the halls of Paradise.

I turned away from that too and looked behind me, where I saw a transient world without foundation revolving and departing in the valleys of nothingness and the darkness of non-existence. It was no salve for my ills, it rather added the poison of horror and fright.(*)

(*) Belief shows the world revolving in darkness to consist of missives of the Eternally Besought One and pages of Divine inscriptions, which, having completed their duties and expressed their meanings, have left their results in existence in their place.

Since I could see no good in that either, I switched my gaze to before me. I saw that the door of the grave stood open at the end of my road. The highway leading to eternity beyond it, struck my gaze from afar.(*)

(*) Since belief shows the door of the grave to open onto the world of light and the road to lead to eternal happiness, it was both a salve for my ills, and a cure.

Thus, rather than receiving consolation and a feeling of familiarity, I felt only horror and fear at these six aspects. And apart from the faculty of will I had nothing in my hand with which to withstand them and act in the face of them.(*)

(*) Belief gives a document for relying on an infinite power in place of the power of choice, which is like the smallest indivisible particle; indeed, belief itself is a document.

But the human weapon called the faculty of will both lacks power and its range is short. And it is inaccurate. It cannot create, and apart from ‘acquiring,’ can do nothing.(*)

(*) Belief causes the faculty of will to be employed in Allah’s name, and makes it sufficient before everything it may face. Like when a soldier employs his insignificant strength on account of the state, he can perform deeds thousands of times greater than his own strength...

It can neither penetrate the past nor discern the future, and in regard to my hopes and fears concerning these, was of no benefit.(*)

(*) Belief takes its reins from the hand of the animal body and hands them over to the heart and the spirit, and may therefore penetrate the past and the future. For the sphere of life of the heart and spirit is broad.

The arena of the faculty of will is brief present time and the passing present instant.

Thus, despite all my needs and weakness, want and poverty, and my wretched state induced by the horrors and terrors arising from the six aspects, clearly written on the page of my being by the pen of power, and included in my nature, were desires stretching to eternity and hopes spreading through eternity.

Indeed, whatever there is in the world, there are samples of it in my being. I am connected to everything. It is for them that I am caused to work.

The sphere of need stretches as far as the eye can see.

In fact, wherever the imagination goes, the sphere of need extends that far. There is need there too. Whatever man lacks, he is in need of. That which he does not have, he needs.  And what he lacks is endless.

But then the extent of his power extends only as far as his short arm reaches. That means my want and needs are as great as the world. Whereas my capital is as infinitesimal as an indivisible particle.

So, of what use is the faculty of will, worth twopence in relation to my needs which encompass the world and can only be obtained for millions of liras? They cannot be bought with it, and cannot be gained by it. In which case, one has to search for another solution.

The solution is this: to forego one’s own will and leave matters to the Divine will; to give up one’s own power and strength, and seeking refuge in the power and strength of Almighty Allah, to adhere to true reliance on Him.

‘O my Sustainer! Since the way to be saved is this, I forego my own will in Your way, and I give up my egotism. Then Your grace may take me by the hand out of compassion for my impotence and weakness, and Your mercy may take pity on my need and indigence and be a support for me, and open its door for me.’

Yes, whoever finds the boundless sea of mercy, surely does not rely on his own mirage-like will and choice; he does not abandon mercy and have recourse to his will.

Alas! We have been deceived. We supposed the life of this world to be constant, and so have lost everything. Yes, this passing life is but a sleep; it passes like a dream. This frail life flies like the wind, and departs.

Arrogant man, who relies on himself and supposes he will live for ever, is doomed to die. He passes swiftly. The world, too, man’s house, tumbles into the darkness of non-existence. Hopes do not last, while pains endure in the spirit.

Since the reality is this, come, my wretched soul, which yearns for life, is enamoured of the world and afflicted with endless hopes and pains! Awake and come to your senses! As the fire-fly relies on its own miniscule light and remains in the boundless darkness of the night, and since it does not rely on itself, the honey-bee finds the sun of daytime, and gazes on its friends, the flowers, gilded with the sunlight; if you rely on yourself and your being and your ego, you will resemble the fire-fly. Whereas if you sacrifice your transient being in the way of the Creator Who gave it to you, you will find an unending light of existence. So sacrifice it! For your being is a trust given to you for safekeeping.

Moreover, it is His property, and it is He Who bestowed it. So do not scorn it, sacrifice it unhesitatingly. Sacrifice it so that it will be made permanent. For negation of a negation is an affirmation. That is, if non-being is not, there is being. If non-being is negated, existence comes into being.

The All-Generous Creator buys His own property from you, and gives you the high price of Paradise in return. Also, He looks after that property well for you, and increases its value. And He will return it to you in both enduring and perfect form. O my soul! Do not delay! Do this trade which is profitable in five respects, and be saved from five losses; make a fivefold profit all at once!

*  *  *

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
But when it set, he said: ‘I love not those that set.’
(Qur’an, 6:76.)

It made me weep, the verse I love not those that set, which was uttered by Abraham (Peace be upon him), and announces the universe’s passing and death.

The eyes of my heart wept at it, pouring out bitter tear-drops. Each tear-drop was sorely sad as the eyes of my heart wept. The verse causes others to weep, and as though weeps itself. The following lines in Persian are my tear-drops, they are a sort of commentary of some words present within the Divine Word of Allah’s Wise One, the Prophet Muhammad.

A beloved who is hidden through setting is not beautiful, for those doomed to decline cannot be truly beautiful. They may not loved with the heart, which is created for eternal love and is the mirror of the Eternally Besought One, and should not be loved with it.

A desired one who is doomed to be lost on setting; such a one is not worthy of the heart’s attachment, the mind’s preoccupation. He may not be the object of desires. He is not worthy of being regretted with the sorrow and grief that follows. So why should the heart worship such a one and be bound to him?

One sought who is lost in ephemerality; I do not want such a one. For I am ephemeral, I do not want one who is thus. What should I do?

A worshipped one who is buried in death; I shall not call him, I shall not seek refuge with him. For I am infinitely needy and impotent. One who is impotent can find no cure for my boundless ills. He can spread no salve on my eternal wounds. How can one who cannot save himself from death be an object of worship?

Indeed, the reason, which is obsessed with externals, cries out despairingly at seeing the deaths of the things it worships in the universe, and the spirit, which seeks for an eternal beloved, utters the cry:  I love not those that set.

I do not want separation, I do not desire separation, I cannot abide separation...

Meetings followed immediately by separation are not worth sorrow and grief, they are not worthy of being longed for. For just as the passing of pleasure is pain, imagining the passing of pleasure is also a pain. The works of all the metaphorical lovers, that is, the works of poetry on love, are all cries at the pain arising from imagining this passing. If you were to constrain the spirit of all the works of poetry, from each would flow these grievous cries.

Thus, it is due to the pain and tribulations of those meetings stained with transitoriness, those sorrowful, metaphorical loves, that my heart weeps and cries through the weeping of, I love not those that set.

If you want permanence in this transitory world, permanence comes from transitoriness. Find transience with regard to your evil-commanding soul so that you may be enduring.

Divest yourself of bad morals, the basis of the worship of this world. Be transitory! Sacrifice your goods and property in the way of the True Beloved. See the ends of beings, which point to non-existence, for the way leading to permanence in this world starts from transitoriness.

The human mind, which plunges into causes, is bewildered at the upheavals of the passing of the world, and laments despairingly. While the conscience, which desires true existence, severs the connection with metaphorical beloveds and transient beings through crying like Abraham, I love not those that set, and it binds itself to the Truly Existent One, and Eternal Beloved.

O my ignorant soul! Know that the world and its beings are certainly ephemeral, but you may find a way leading to permanence in each ephemeral thing, and may see two flashes, two mysteries, of the manifestations of the Undying Beloved’s Beauty.

Yes, it is within the bounty that the bestowal is to be seen and the favour of the Most Merciful perceived. If you pass from bounty to bestowal, you will find the Bestower. Also, each work of the Eternally Besought One makes known the All-Glorious Maker’s Names like a missive. If you pass from the decoration to the meaning, you will find the One signified by way of His Names. Since you can find the kernel, the essence, of these ephemeral beings, obtain it. Then without pity you can throw away their meaningless shells and externals onto the flood of ephemerality.

Among beings there is no work which is not a most meaningful embodied word and does not cause to be read numerous of the Glorious Maker’s Names. Since beings are words, words of power, read their meanings and place them in your heart. Fearlessly cast words without meaning onto the winds of transience. Do not concern yourself looking behind them, needlessly occupying yourself.

Since the chain of thought of the worldly mind, which worships externals and whose capital consists of ‘objective’ knowledge, leads to nothingness and non-existence, it cries out despairingly in its bewilderment and frustration. It seeks a true path leading to reality. Since the spirit has withdrawn from ‘those that set’ and the ephemeral, and the heart has given up its metaphorical beloveds, and the conscience too has turned its face from transitory beings, you too, my wretched soul, attract the assistance of I love not those that set, like Abraham, and be saved.

See how well Mawlana Jami expressed it, whose nature was kneaded with love and who was intoxicated with the cup of love:

Yaki khwah(1)   Yaki khwan(2)    Yaki ju(3)   Yaki bin(4)   Yaki dan(5)  Yaki gu(6) (*)

That is,

1. Want only One; the rest are not worth wanting.

2. Call One; the others will not come to your assistance.

3. Seek One; the rest are not worth it.

4. See One; the others are not seen all the time; they hide themselves behind the veil of ephemerality.

5. Know One; knowledge other than that which assists knowledge of Him is without benefit.

6. Say One; words not concerning Him may be considered meaningless.

Yes, Jami, you spoke the truth absolutely. The True Beloved, the True Sought One, the True Desired One, the True Object of Worship is He alone...

For, in a mighty circle for the mentioning of the Divine Names, this world together with all its beings and their different tongues and various songs declares, There is no god but Allah; together they testify to Divine unity. And binding the wound caused by I love not those that set, point to an Undying Beloved in place of all the metaphorical beloveds, attachment to whom has been severed.

*  *  *

(1) The Supplication is included in the original together with an enlarged Turkish rendering, which is the basis of the translation here. [Tr.]

(*) Only this line is Mawlana Jami’s.
 

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The First Table: depicting the reality of the world of the heedless.

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