Make extraordinary and bold efforts on the Path,
but remember who the Doer is.
~Abul Hasan Kharaqani
“For the one who remains conscious of God;
He always prepares a way of emergence
And provides for her in ways she could never imagine.
And if anyone puts her trust in God, sufficient is God for her.
For God will surely accomplish Her purpose:
Truly, for all things has God appointed an appropriate measure…
And for everyone who is conscious of God,
He makes it easy to obey His commandments:
all this is God’s commandment,
which He has bestowed upon you from on high.
and to everyone who is conscious of God,
will He pardon her bad deeds,
And will grant her a vast reward.”
[Surah at-Talaq 65: 2-3, 4-5]
Would that You were sweet
Even while this life is bitter.
Would that You were pleased while people are angry,
Would that what is between You and me
Were filled and flourishing, and that
What is between me and the world were a ruin.
If Your love proves true,
Then all is easy, and all which is on earth is earth.
Sidi Ali al-Jamal
The Tuft of Flowers
I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.
The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene.
I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.
But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,—alone,
‘As all must be,’ I said within my heart,
‘Whether they work together or apart.’
But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a ‘wildered butterfly,
Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night
Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight.
And once I marked his flight go round and round,
As where some flower lay withering on the ground.
And then he flew as far as eye could see,
And then on tremulous wing came back to me.
I thought of questions that have no reply,
And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;
But he turned first, and led my eye to look
At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,
A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.
I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly weed when I came.
The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us,
Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him.
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.
The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,
That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,
And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;
But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;
And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.
‘Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,
‘Whether they work together or apart.’
By Robert Frost
Mevlana Rumi – from the Mathnawi
Oh my God, our intoxicated eyes have blurred our vision.
Our burdens have become heavy, forgive us.
You are hidden, and yet from east to west You have filled the world with Your radiance.
Your light is more magnificent than sunrise or sunset,
and You are the inmost consciousness revealing the secrets we hold.
Your an explosive force causing our damned up rivers to burst forth.
You who’s essence is hidden while your gifts are manifest.
You are like water and we are like millstones.
You are like wind and we are like dust,
the wind is hidden while the dust is plainly seen.
You are the invisible spring and we are your lush garden.
You are the spirit of life and we are like hand and foot,
spirit causes the hand to close and open.
You are intelligence we are your voice,
Your intelligence causes this tongue to speak.
You are joy and we are laughter,
for we are the result of the blessing of Your joy.
All our movement is really a continually profession of faith,
bearing witness to your eternal power.
Just as the powerful turning of the milestone professes faith in the rivers existence.
Dust settles upon my head and upon my metaphors.
For You are beyond anything we could ever think or say,
and yet this servant cannot stop trying to express Your beauty,
in every moment let my soul be your carpet.
And whom , or what, is one to love? Is one to choose a certain leaf upon the Tree of Life and pour upon it all ones Heart? What of the branch that bears the leaf? What of the stem that holds the branch? What of the bark that shields the stem? What of the roots that feed the bark, the stem, the branches and leaves? What of the soil embosoming the roots? What of the sun, and sea, and air that fertilise the soil?
If one small leaf upon a tree be worthy of your love how much more so the tree in its entirety? The love that singles out a fraction of the whole foredooms itself to grief.
You say, ‘But there be leaves and leaves upon a single tree. Some are healthy, some are sick; some are beautiful, some, ugly; some are giants, some are dwarfs. How can we help but pick and choose?’
I say to you, Out of the paleness of the sick proceeds the freshness of the healthy. I further say to you that ugliness is Beauty’s palette, paint and brush; and the dwarf would not have been a dwarf had he not given of his stature to the giant.
You are the Tree of Life. Beware of fractioning yourselves. Set not a fruit against a fruit, a leaf against a leaf, a bough against a bough; nor set the stem against the roots; nor set the tree against the mother-soil. That is precisely what you do when you love one part more than the rest, or to the exclusion of the rest.
You are the Tree of Life. Your roots are everywhere. Your boughs ad leaves are everywhere. Your fruits are in every mouth…
Love is the sap of life. While Hatred is the pus of Death. But love, like blood, must circulate unhindered in the veins. Repress the blood, and it becomes a menace and a plague. And what is Hate but Love repressed, or Love withheld, therefore becoming such a deadly poison both to the feeder and the fed; both to the hater and to that he hates?
A yellow leaf upon your tree of life is nut a Love-weaned leaf. Blame not the yellow leaf.
Book of Mirdad – Mikhail Naimy
God said to the Dhu ‘l-Nun Misri:
I divided humanity into ten parts.
I presented worldly desires to them. 90% of humanity chose worldliness.
Of those who remained, I presented them with heaven.
90% headed to heaven.
Of those who remained, I gave them a taste of hell.
90% were scattered away due to their fear of hellfire.
Only a handful remained:
not enamored by worldliness, not seduced by heaven, and unafraid of hell-fire.
I said to them: “My servants! You did not look at worldliness. You did not desire heaven,
and were unafraid of hell-fire. What are you here for?”
They humbly put their heads down and said: “You yourself know Who it is that we desire.”
-Omid Safi, translations from Farid al-Din Attar