Tuesday, June 23, 2009

[Sunlight] God's beggars



A shaykh would go about, with a basket in hand, saying,
"Give something for God's sake, if He prompts you to be generous."
His inner experiences were higher than the Footstool*
and the Throne** of God;
his outer business was to cry,
"Something for God's sake, something for God's sake!"
The prophets, every one, ply this same trade:
the people to whom they are sent are really destitute,
yet the prophets practice begging,
"Lend to God, lend to God"*** persevering in the absurdity, "Help God!"
The shaykh goes from door to door,
while spiritually a hundred doors are open to him,
because his begging is for God's sake,
not for the sake of satisfying his own need.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Shaykh bar mi gasht va zanbili be-dast
"Shay' lillâh khvâjeh tawfiqiyet hast"
Bartar az Korsi* o `Arsh** asrâr-e u
"Shay' lillâh, shay' lillâh" kâr-e u
Anbiyâ har yek hamin fann mi zanand
khalq mofles gedyeh ishân mi konand
"Aqridu Allâh, Aqridu Allâh"*** mi zanand
bâz-gun bar "unsuru Allâh" mi tanand
Dar pah dar in shaykh mi ârad niyâz
bar falak sad dar barâ-ye shaykh bâz
K-ân gadâ'i kân beh-jedd mi kard u
bahr-e Yazdân bud nah az bahr-e golu

-- Mathnawi V: 2698-2703
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)

*al-Kursi: the realm of the command to good and the prohibition of evil.
**al-`Arsh: the realm of the Divine Names.
***Qur'ân, al-Hadid, 11




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