The Bible and other sacred books

Allah, perchance, the secret word might spell;
If Allah be, He keeps His secret well;
 What He hath hidden, who shall hope to find?
Shall God His secret to a maggot tell?

The Koran! well, come put me to the test—
Lovely old book in hideous error drest—
 Believe me, I can quote the Koran too,
The unbeliever knows his Koran best.

And do you think that unto such as you,
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,
 God gave the secret, and denied it me?—
Well, well, what matters it! believe that too.

Richard Le Gallienne


Lam 1
1:19 I called for my lovers,116
but they had deceived me.

Jeremiah 6:26
Dear Daughter. Weep most bitterly, as for an only child.

Jeremiah 31:15
[ Mercy on Ephraim ] Thus says the LORD: “ A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.”

John 11:33-35
35 Jesus wept.

Thus says the LORD:
“ A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.”

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

The one who tastes, knows

In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?

– Rabia al-Adawiyya

What are you going to do with your ego?

Suppose you can recite a thousand holy
verses from memory.
What are you going to do
with your ego, the true
mark of the heretic?

– Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir – “Nobody, Son of Nobody”

To your mind

To your mind feed understanding,
to your heart, tolerance and compassion.
The simpler your life, the more meaningful.

– Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir – “Nobody, Son of Nobody”

Best forgotten

Those with no sense of honor and dignity are best avoided.
Those who change colors constantly
are best forgotten.

– Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir – “Nobody, Son of Nobody”

“The broken ones are my darlings”

Let sorrowful longing dwell in your heart,
never give up, never losing hope.
The Beloved says, “The broken ones are My darlings.”
Crush your heart, be broken.

– Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir – “Nobody, Son of Nobody”

Burn me in Hell

O Lord,
If I worship You
From fear of Hell, burn me in Hell.

O Lord,
If I worship You
From hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.

But if I worship You for Yourself alone
Then grace me forever the splendor of Your Face.

– Rabia al-Adawiyya

Sufi poetry…

Love so needs to love

Love so needs to love
that it will endure almost anything, even abuse,
just to flicker for a moment. But the sky’s mouth is kind,
its song will never hurt you, for I sing those words.

— Jalal Al-Din Rumi

Come, Come, Whoever You Are

Come, come, whoever you are,
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.

— Jalal Al-Din Rumi

The whole world is a marketplace for Love

The whole world is a marketplace for Love,
For naught that is, from Love remains remote.
The Eternal Wisdom made all things in Love.
On Love they all depend, to Love all turn.
The earth, the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars
The center of their orbit find in Love.
By Love are all bewildered, stupefied,
Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.

From each, Love demands a mystic silence.
What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts,
In Love no longer “Thou” and “I” exist,
For self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul
Behold the Friend, Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds
Will find that the secret of them both is Love.

— Farid ud Din Attar

Two eyes wet with weeping

These spiritual window-shoppers,
idly ask, ‘How much is that?’ Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.

— Jalal Al-Din Rumi

Here I am

All night, a man called “God”
Until his lips were bleeding.
Then the Devil said, “Hey! Mr Gullible!
How comes you’ve been calling all night
And never once heard God say, ‘Here, I am’?
You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what?
I’ll tell you what. Nothing!”

The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned.
Depressed, he threw himself on the ground
And fell into a deep sleep.
In a dream, he met Abraham, who asked,
“Why are you regretting praising God?”

The man said, “I called and called
But God never replied, ‘Here I am.’ ”
Abraham explained, “God has said,
‘Your calling my name is My reply.
Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silence surrounding every call of “God”
Waits a thousand replies of “Here I am.”

— Jalal Al-Din Rumi

Who is man

Who is man?
The reflection of the Eternal Light.

What is the world?
A wave on the Everlasting Sea.

How could the reflection be cut off from the Light?

How could the wave be separate from the Sea?

Know that this reflection and this wave are that very Light and Sea.

— Jami (1414-92) (Nur al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Jami)

Pursuit of the Friend

The heart left,
and the Friend is also gone.
I don’t know whether I should go after the Friend
or after the heart!
A voice spoke to me:
“Go in pursuit of the Friend,
because the lover needs a heart
in order to find union with the Friend.
If there was no Friend,
what would the lover do with his heart?”

— Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar

The path of Love

Piousness and the path of love
are two different roads.
Love is the fire that burns both belief
and non-belief.
Those who practice Love have neither
religion nor caste.

— Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir (Abu Sa’id ibn Ab’il Khair ) (967 – 1049)

Mere words

All that is left
to us by tradition
is mere words.

It is up to us
to find out what they mean.

— Muhammed Ibn ‘Ali Ibn ‘Arabi (1165 – 1240 AD)

My master taught me no other letter

There is nothing on the tablet of my heart but my love’s tall alif.
What can I do? My master taught me no other letter.

Wipe the tears from Hafiz’s face with soft curls
or else this endless torrent will uproot me.

— Hafiz of Shiraz (1230-91)

The Puzzle

Someone who keeps aloof from suffering
is not a lover. I choose your love
above all else. As for wealth
if that comes, or goes, so be it.
Wealth and love inhabit separate worlds.

— Abû’l-Majd Majdûd b. Adam Sanâ’î (1118-1152)

The Friend Beside Me

You know why I am happy:
It is because I seek Your company,
not through my own efforts.

You decided and I did not.
I found the Friend beside me
when I woke up!

— Sheikh Ansari – Kashf al_Asrar

This Marriage

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

— Kulliyat-i-Shams 2667

It makes absolutely no difference

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

— Jalal Al-Din Rumi

God created pain, yearning and sorrow for this sake:
so that happiness may occur by means of its opposite.

Thus, hidden things are revealed by their opposites.
And since God has no opposite, He is hidden.


Unless the Lord the house shall build,
The weary builders toil in vain;
Unless the Lord the city shield,
The guards a useless watch maintain.

In vain you rise ere morning break,
And late your nightly vigils keep,
And of the bread of toil partake;
God gives to His belovèd sleep.

Lo, children are a great reward,
A gift from God in very truth;
With arrows is his quiver stored
Who joys in children of his youth.

And blest the man whose age is cheered
By stalwart sons and daughters fair;
No enemies by him are feared,
No lack of love, no want of care.

(Words taken from Psalm 127)

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth

And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen.

…from Ash Wednesday
–T.S. Eliot

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