Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:46 am Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
The roses are in bloom!
The Beloved has arrived!
Now is the time to unite
the soul and the world.
Now is the time to see the sunlight
dancing as one with the shadows.
What a day!
What a day!
A day of upheaval!
A day of revolt!
Perhaps the scroll
that records every deed
is falling from the sky!
Beat the drum,
Speak no more –
The heart has gone,
The mind has gone,
The soul, too, has gone
to the Beloved.
Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:15 am Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
The Ismaili-Sufi Sage of Pamir: Mubarak-i Wakhani and the Esoteric Tradition of the Pamiri Muslims
The name of Mubarak-i Wakhani (1839-1903), a Persian (Tajik) mystic poet, musician, astronomer, and Ismaili religious scholar from Badakhshan, is hardly known in modern academic circles related to Persian and Ismaili studies. Despite his importance to Ismaili esoteric thought in general and the Ismaili tradition of the peoples of the Pamir Mountains in particular, Mubarak has received only scant attention from modern scholars. One of the major reasons for Mubarak’s relative obscurity is probably the geographic location of his homeland and its socio-economic, political, and intellectual environment. There has been no serious scholarly research conducted on Mubarak’s life and works. This book is the first introductory study on the subject, and provides the first systematic presentation of the seminal Islamic figure. In the desire to establish an accurate biography of Mubarak and to render his often confused Ismaili-Sufi ideas as lucidly and coherently as possible, this book, by Dr. Abdulmamad Iloliev (PhD, Cambridge University) of the Institute of Ismaili Studies, concentrates on assessing his life and thoughts in their historical and religious context. It explores how far Mubarak’s works represent the indigenous Pamiri perception of Ismailism and where he stands in relation to general Ismaili thought. Likewise, through the study of the works of Mubarak, it seeks to explore the distinctive elements of Pamiri Ismailism, which itself is an interesting, but relatively neglected area in religio-cultural studies of the minor nations within the diverse civilization of Islam in general and the former Soviet Union in particular. This is a must-have resource for all scholars in Islamic Studies.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:23 am Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
On the Night of Power, when you kindle the lamp,
the mosque is filled with light, but your heart
remains pitch-dark. Whether you kindle the lamp or
not, understand that it will not dispel the darkness
of ignorance in your heart. - Nasir Khusraw
By: The Great Ismaili Dia, Hujjat and Pir Seyyendena Nasir-i Khusraw (Pbuh)
Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:03 am Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
O, just one word from Shams, and I’d gladly give my life
O whispering breeze,
bring the news of my beloved Shams.
It would be worth more
than all the amber and musk
from China to Constantinople.
Please tell me if you’ve heard a word
from his sweet lips,
or a beat of his pounding heart.
O, just one word from Shams,
and I’d gladly give my life.
His love is before me and behind me;
Through his love
my heart has become pure,
my breast has imbibed every virtue.
One smell of his perfume
and I walk light-headed on this path.
O Saaqi, enough with your wine –
I am drunk on the wine from his cup!
My nose is so full of his fragrance
that I have no need for incense, musk,
or the fine amber of Mongolia.
Shamsuddin is forever alive in my heart.
Shamsuddin is the generosity of every soul.
Shamsuddin is poverty,
Shamsuddin is the purest of all wealth.
I am not the only one
singing, Shamsuddin, Shamsuddin –
The nightingales sing from the garden,
And the partridge from the mountainside.
The beauty of a starry night is Shamsuddin.
The Garden of Paradise is Shamsuddin.
Love, compassion, and gratitude are Shamsuddin.
Shamsuddin is the brightness of day,
Shamsuddin is the turning sky,
Shamsuddin is time everlasting,
Shamsuddin is the endless treasure.
Shamsuddin is the King of Cups,
Shamsuddin is the ocean of nectar.
Shamsuddin is the breath of Jesus,
Shamsuddin is the face of Joseph.
O God, show me that inner place,
where we can sit together,
Shams in the middle, my soul by his side.
Shamsuddin is sweeter than life,
Shamsuddin is an earth full of sugar,
Shamsuddin is the towering cypress,
Shamsuddin is the flowering Spring.
Shamsuddin is the well of clear water,
Shamsuddin is the harp and rubaab,
Shamsuddin is the barrel of wine,
Shamsuddin is the bliss of my soul.
O Shams, you are the hope of every heart,
the one every lover longs to hear.
O Shams, come back, alas,
Don’t leave my soul in ruins.
– Ode 1081
Version by Jonathan Star from translation by Shahram Shiva
“A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi”
Bantam Books, 1992
Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:02 pm Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
The Ismailsm and Sufism
The word batin is derived from batan means hidden, concealed, covert, inward, inner or esoteric. Ibn Taymiyya quotes Hasan Basari as related that, "Verily, each Koranic verse has an outer meaning and the inner meaning" (Majmu Fatwa, Riyad, 1382 AH, 13:231). Abu Na'im related from Ibn Masud in his Kitab al-Huliya as quoted by Suyuti in al-Itaqan that, "The Koran indeed revealed in seven words, and there is not a single word which does not possess its outer and inner meanings. No doubt, Ali bin Abu Talib completely commanded the knowledge of both outer and inner meanings." Yusuf al-Bahrani (d. 1772) quotes the Prophet as saying in Kitab al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Koran (1:17) that, "Among you is one who will fight for the tawil of the Koran as I have fought for its tanzil. That one is Ali bin Abu Talib." In another tradition, the Prophet said, "I am the Lord of revelation (sahib al-tanzil) and Ali is the Lord of interpretation (shib al-tawil)." J.K. Birge writes in The Bektashi Order of Dervishes (London, 1937, p. 106) that, "This is understood to mean that Muhammad taught the external facts about what Muslims should believe and what they should do, but it is only through Ali that one can enter into an understanding of their deeper meaning." Abdullah bin Masud said, "The Koran was revealed in seven letters. There is not a single letter but it has an exterior and an interior meaning and with Ali is the knowledge of these." (Kitab al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Koran (1:21). The Ismailis are also called the Batiniyya (esotericists or interiorists) because of professing the inner aspects of Islam, and as such the Ismailism is the batini tariqah.
The word sufi is derived from safa means purity, because the foremost need in Sufism is to purify the heart. The Ismaili da'is during the 8th century formed a fraternal organization in Basra, known as Ikhwan as-Safa (Brethren Purity) due to advocating Sufic tariqah. Another view suggests that the Sufis are in the first rank (saff'i awwal); others say that the Sufis claim to belong to the ashab'i suffa (the Companions of the Prophet). Some assert its derivation from suf (wool) because of wearing woolen garment (jama'i suf). The phrase labisa'l suf means he clad himself in wool occurred frequently in early Islamic literature. When the ascetism passed into mysticism, the above words generally reduced to mean he became a sufi. Fariduddin Attar writes in Mantiq-ut-Tahir (London, 1924, p. icon_cool.gif that, "The doctrines of the Sufi is ancient in Islam, and is much spread, especially among the partisans of Ali." The Ismaili batini tariqah is the Sufi tariqah. Sufism is a form of tasawwuf in Islam. It is the code of heart (fiqh'l batin), the purification of the soul (tazkiyat'l nafs) or the feeling of God's presence (al-ihsan).
The Persian word darwish is from the Pahlavi driyosh is most likely derived from darviza meaning poverty. According to another view, the word darwish is composed o two syllables, dar (in) and vish (thought) means in thought. The ultimate goal of the Sufi tariqah of darwish is self-realization, and for remaining in such state (in thought), they are also called darwish. The Sufis mostly in Turkey and Persia adopted the term darwish for them, thus there is no difference between them. Spencer Trimingham writes in The Sufi Orders in Islam (London, 1971, p. 264) that, "Of course, one is darwish and a Sufi at the same time and there is no essential distinction in theory. The Sufi is a darwish and the darwish is a Sufi since neither can be in isolation from the other." The Ismaili tariqah is thus the darwishi tariqah in Islam.
The Sufis in Damascus and some Arabian lands also became known as the faqir. The word faqir (pl. fuqara) is derived from faqar means poverty. The term serves to designate the Muslim mystic. The Koran says, "O men, you are the poor (al-fuqara) before God; He is the Rich" (35:15). It affirms the infinity of divine plentitude and, in the light of this richness, the state of man's dependence and his utter indigence. The Prophet also said, "Poverty (faqiri) is my pride (fakhri)." Abu Sa'id Fazalullah bin Muhammad al-Mayhani said, "al-faqr huwa'l-ghina billah means the faqiri is a wealth in God (cf. Kash al-Mahjub, London, 1911, p. 22). One of the Sufis defines the term faqir that, "The faqir is not be whose hand is empty of provisions, but he whose nature is empty of desires" (Ibid. p. 25). In sum, the tariqah of the faqir is the tariqah of the Sufis and darwish. "Hence, the term darwish referring to a person who possesses this "poverty" is the same as the Arabic term faqir used in Sufism for Muhammadan poverty" (The Encyclopaedia of Religion, 4:240).
It is therefore evident that the Shi'ite Ismaili is a Batini tariqah, the Sufis tariqah, the Darwishi tariqah or the Faqiri tariqah in Islam. It is an intellectual tariqah. The cornerstone of the Ismaili tariqah is the concept of the Imamate. The Imam is a spiritual Guide and exhorts his followers the interpretation in accordance with the time for their worldly and spiritual progress. It must be noted that Ismaili tariqah is not a random offshoot of Islam, nor is it a hotchpotch of other faiths. Ismaili tariqah is the kernel of Islam that the Prophet himself very carefully separated from the common injunctions of the Shariah. This kernel was kept reserved for the privileged few, and kept on the other hand the Shariah for the mass of ummah. There is much more in Islam than performing salat and saum.
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:30 pm Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
The authentic hadiths spoke of their distinctions and qualifications as permanent allies of justice and truth. Zeid Ibn Arqam reported that the Messenger of God said to Ali, Fatimah, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein:
"I am at peace with whomever you are at peace; and I am at war with whomever you are at war."
Hadith of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his Ahl al-Bayt)
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:58 pm Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
The Messenger did not intend to distinguish Ali simply because he was related to him. Al-Abbas (his uncle) and the rest of the Hashimites, including Jaafar (the brother of Ali) are all related to the Messenger. All of them would have been qualifed to represent him. But he said, "No one represents me but Ali."
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:03 pm Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
At one time Muaweyah was criticizing Ali in the presence of Saad Ibn Abu Waqass. Saad said to him: "I heard the Messenger of God saying to Ali: You are to me like Aaron to Moses. But there shall be no Prophet (of God) after me. 6 "Thus, the Messenger gave Ali a position next to his own, for the position of Aaron was next to that of Moses
Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:38 am Post subject: Re: "ISMAILI SUFI POETRY AND POEMS"
This is to be found in a famous poem in the Diwan by Dia, Hujjat and Pir Seyyendena Nasir-i Khusraw (Pbuh), known as the Confessional Ode (Qasidah iitirafiyyah), The Qasidah is the longest in the Diwan (over 130 lines).
O widely read, O globally travelled one,
(still earth-bound, still caught beneath the sky),
what value would the spheres yet hold for you
were you to catch a glimpse of hidden knowledge?
Will your flesh luxuriate forever
in the boons and blessings of the world? Why not
for a little while enjoy as well the fruits
of knowledge with the tongue of the Spirit?
The dreamers banquets cannot profit him;
only the waking know the taste of gain
and loss. What does the dreamer know of stars
and turquoise dome, or things the Almighty brings
to pass upon his dusty sphere?
. . . Wake up
from this charming vision, you who have slept and dreamt
for forty years, and see that off all the friends
of your youth not one remains. No one is left
to share your drowse and super but the beasts . . .
and that which donkeys eat is not a blessing
any more than that which Caesar conquers
is a kingdom!
. . . Reader if you miss the Path
I would not be surprised, for I, like you,
languished in perplexity for years.
Three hundred ninety four of them had passed
since the Migration, when my mother
dropped me in the dust, a voiceless creature
like a weed which thrives on soil and rain.
From this vegetative state I reached
that of the beasts, and floundered like a bird
whose wings are clipped, till in the Fourth Age
I gained the stature of a man and left
a soul of reason worm its way into
my gloomy body. When the clock of years
had turned some forty-two rounds, my conscious self
began to seek our wisdom. From the mouths
of sages or the pages of ancient books
I heard of the Cosmos, of the whirl of Time
and the Three Kingdoms; but I found myself
superior to all around me, and
among all creatures (so I mused) there must
be one superior to others, like
the falcon amongst all birds, a camel amongst
all beasts of burden, the palm amongst the trees,
the Quran amongst all books, the Kaaba amongst
all houses, heart in the body, sun among stars.
I wondered, and my soul was filled with grief,
my meditations blasted with fear of all
the objects of thought.
From every School I searched:
from Shafiite, Malikite, Hanafite, sought a sign
of guidance, of the Chosen One of God,
the Almighty, the Guide; and each one pointed me
a different way, one to China, one
to Africa. When I asked for a reason, or
for corroboration from the Quran, they recoiled
in helplessness, like blind men, like deaf men.
Then one day, a I read in the Book the Verse
of the Oath, in which God proclaims His Hand
is above all hands, and pondered on that group
who swore allegiance beneath the Tree (like Jafar,
Miqdad, Salman, Budhar) I asked myself
How is it now with that Tree and with that Hand?
Where shall I see that Hand, that group, that Oath?
I asked, but was rebuffed. They are no more
-so I was told- The Tree, the Hand are gone,
the Assembly dispersed, the Hand concealed and veiled
in secrecy. Those men were the Companions,
favoured by that allegiance and chosen to be
with the Prophet in Paradise.
But I said to myself
In the Book it is clear that Ahmad is the Messenger
of Good News, and the Warner, luminous as light.
If the unbelievers wished to blow it out
God would light it again in spite of them.
How is it today that no one is left
of that Community? Surely the word
of the Universal Judge cannot be false!
Whose hand should we grasp, where should we take an oath
that even we men of latter times might enjoy
the justice of heaven? Why should it be our fault
not to be born in that era? Why should we
be deprived of the Prophet, afflicted and distressed?
My face grew pale as a yellow blossom in
the pain of ignorance. I bowed in the wind
of doubt like an aging cypress. The learned man
is like a pomander, his knowledge a halo of musk;
or like a mountain concealing its vein of gold;
but ore without gold, perfume without aroma
are worth no more than dust.
. . . Then I arose
and set out on my way, remembering
neither my home nor past nor garden of roses.
From Persian, Arab, Hindu, Turk and Jew,
from the folk of Sind, from the Romans, from everyone
I met the philosopher, Manichee, Sabaean, atheist,
I asked, I questioned, I pestered. Many a night
I made a stone my pillow, the clouds my tent.
I sank as low as a fish, I ascended as high
as the stars above the hills; now in a land
where water was frozen as marble, now in a land
where the very dust was hot as a spark, I roamed.
Now by the sea, now on the high plateau
or trackless waste, across mountains, sand and streams,
up and down the precipices, coil of rope
round my shoulder like a camel driver, pack
on my back like a mule, inquiring I went my way,
searching from city to city, shore to shore.
. . . . The one day I reached those city gates
where angels are servants, where planets and stars are slaves,
a garden of roses and pines girded round with walls
of emerald and jasper trees, set
in a desert of gold-embroidered silk, its springs
sweet as honey, the river of paradise:
a city which only Virtue can aspire
to reach, a city whose cypresses are like
the blades of Intellect, a cit whose sages
wear brocaded robes woven of silk . . .
And here, before these gates, my Reason spoke:
Here, within these walls, find what you seek
and do not leave without it. So I approached
the Guardian of the Gate, and told him of
my search. Rejoice he answered. Your mine
has produced a jewel, for beneath this land of Truth
there flows a crystal ocean of precious pearls
and pure clear water. This is the lofty sphere
of exalted stars; aye, it is paradise
itself, the Abode of Houris. I heard these words
freighted with meaning, sweet as honey, and felt
myself on the threshold of heaven. I told him, My soul
is weak, though my body may seem strong to you.
I am in pain, but that is nothing. I refuse
a medicine. I cannot understand,
I reject all that is beyond the law.
I am a doctor, he answered. Speak to me
and tell me all that ails you, every detail.
[Here Nasir burdens the gate-keeper with a hundred questions about the Origin and End of the Universe, the mystery of pre-destination, the purpose of creation, and Gods reason for sending Messengers to man. He asks a minute detail abstruse questions of a philosophical and theological nature. Then . . .]
That sage set his hand upon his heart
(a hundred blessings be on that hand and breast!)
And said, I offer you the remedy
of proof and demonstration; but if you
accept, I shall place a seal upon your lips
which must never be broken. I gave my consent and he
affixed the seal. Drop by drop and day
by day he fed me the healing potion, till
my ailment disappeared, my tongue became
imbued with eloquent speech; my face, which had
been pale as saffron now grew rosy with joy;
I who had been a stone was now a ruby;
I had been dust - now I was ambergris.
He put my hand into the Prophets hand,
I spoke the Oath beneath that exalted Tree
so heavy with fruit, so sweet with cooling shade.
Have you ever heard of a sea which flows from fire?
Have you ever seen a fox become a lion?
The sun can transmute a pebble, which even the hand
of Nature can never change, into a gem.
I am that precious stone, my Sun is he
by whose rays this tenebrous world is filled with light.
In jealousy I cannot speak his name
in this poem, but can only say that for him
Plato himself would become a slave. He
is the teacher, hearer of souls, favoured of God,
image of wisdom, fountain of knowledge and Truth.
Blessed the ship with him for its anchor, blessed
the city whose sacred gate he ever guards!
O Countenance of Knowledge, Virtues Form,
Heart of Wisdom, Goal of Humankind,
O Pride of Pride; I stood before thee, pale
and skeletal, clad in a woolen cloak,
and kissed thine hand as if it were the grave
of the Prophet or Black Stone of the Kaaba.
Six years I served thee; and now, wherever I am
so long as I live I'll use my pen and ink,
my inkwell and my paper . . . in praise of thee!
Reference Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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