Saturday, February 8, 2014

From Ibn al-Fāriḍ’s “Naẓm al-Sulūk”

   [Arabic, 12th century]

My way is plain to whoever is guided;
   yet humans are blinded by desire.
It is time for Me to expose to you
   the nature of your passion,
and for whom you languish,
   and to refute your claim to love Me.
You have sworn your self to ardour;
   but your ardour is for your self.
I cite this as clear evidence
   that you still withhold an attribute.
For you will not love Me truly
   until you have passed away in Me;
and when you have ceased to be,
   only then will My Image arise in you.
Renounce your claim to love, 
   summon your heart to other cares, 
and in so doing drive away
   this fault of yours. 
Cease from coveting that union
   which will never be
so long as you hold on to your life;
   if you are sincere, die!
For such is love: if you do not die,
   you will never achieve
your aim in love; so decide on death,
   or leave my love alone.

   (ll. 96-102)

[my translation]

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