Wednesday, June 20, 2012

[Sunlight] "Can the intellect perceive thee?" -- Ghazal 144



Can the intellect perceive thee, or love, or the
pure spirit? Does the Guarded Tablet know thee, do the angels
in heaven?*
Do Gabriel or Jesus or Moses even see thee in
their dreams? Is the celestial sphere worthy to be thy abode,
or the Lote Tree of the Far Boundary?
Moses' Mount Sinai has become blood many
times in love's madness, because an echo of Lord Shams al-
Din's fame fell upon it.
The jealousy of the One has woven radiance
upon radiance over his face. Muhammad's spirit shouts, "Oh,
how I desire to meet him!"*
God's Jealousy would burn the two worlds to a
cinder if a single hair of his beauty were to appear to us without veil.
His beauty has shone forth from behind a
hundred thousand veils. The spirit has fallen to shouting,
"Welcome, oh king, welcome!"
The elegant cypress has bent itself double in
prostrating itself before Tabriz; tiny Suha* shines forth over Tabriz like a sun.

-- Ghazal 144
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

* The Guarded Tablet (lawh-i mahfuz), mentioned in the Koran as the locus
wherein the Koran is inscribed (LXXXV 22), is usually interpreted in a
cosmological sense to mean the Universal Soul, the passive pole of spiritual
existence. Within it the Pen--the Universal Intellect--inscribes the
knowledge of all things which are to come into existence. As a result, the
created universe is born.

* The Prophet said, "Oh how I desire to meet my brothers," a saying that is
taken to refer to the saints who would be born in coming generations.

* "Suha" -- the name of a small star




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