Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"His Mercy veils the sinner many times"


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When you have done wrong, be wary, don't be complacent,
for that evil is a seed God may cause to grow.
He covers it up for a while
and offers you a chance to feel sorrow and shame.
In the time of `Umar, that Prince of the Faithful
turned a thief over for punishment.
The thief cried out, "O Prince of the land,
this is my first offense, have mercy!"
"God forbid," said `Umar, "that the Merciful
should inflict punishment the first time.
His Mercy veils the sinner many times;
until His Justice can no longer be withheld.
At last both these attributes are displayed:
the former to bring hope and the latter to deter."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chonke bad kardi be-tars âmen ma-bâsh
zânke tokhm ast va be-ruyânad Khodâsh
Chand gâhi U be-pushânad keh tâ
âyadet ze ân bad pashimân o hayâ
`Ahd-e `Omar ân Amir-e Mo'menân
dâd dozd-râ be-jallâd o `evân
Bâng zad ân dozd k-"Ay Mir-e diyâr
avvalin bârast jormam zinhâr"
Goft `Omar "Hâsha lillâh keh Khodâ
bâr-e avval qahr bârad dar jazâ
Bâr-hâ pushad pay-e ez'hâr Fazl
bâz girad az pay-e ez'hâr `adl
Tâ keh in har do sefat zâher shavad
ân mobashsher gardad in monzer shavad"

-- Mathnawi IV:165-171
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyل Monastra)

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