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Written from the ninth to the twentieth century, these poems represent the peak of Islamic Mystical writing, from Rabia Basri to Mian Mohammad Baksh. Reflecting both private devotional love and the attempt to attain union with God and become absorbed into the Divine, many poems in this edition are imbued with the symbols and metaphors that develop many of the central ideas Written from the ninth to the twentieth century, these poems represent the peak of Islamic Mystical writing, from Rabia Basri to Mian Mohammad Baksh. Reflecting both private devotional love and the attempt to attain union with God and become absorbed into the Divine, many poems in this edition are imbued with the symbols and metaphors that develop many of the central ideas of Sufism: the Lover, the Beloved, the Wine, and the Tavern; while others are more personal and echo the poet's battle to leave earthly love behind. These translations capture the passion of the original poetry and are accompanied by an introduction on Sufism and the common themes apparent in the works. This edition also includes suggested further reading.


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Written from the ninth to the twentieth century, these poems represent the peak of Islamic Mystical writing, from Rabia Basri to Mian Mohammad Baksh. Reflecting both private devotional love and the attempt to attain union with God and become absorbed into the Divine, many poems in this edition are imbued with the symbols and metaphors that develop many of the central ideas Written from the ninth to the twentieth century, these poems represent the peak of Islamic Mystical writing, from Rabia Basri to Mian Mohammad Baksh. Reflecting both private devotional love and the attempt to attain union with God and become absorbed into the Divine, many poems in this edition are imbued with the symbols and metaphors that develop many of the central ideas of Sufism: the Lover, the Beloved, the Wine, and the Tavern; while others are more personal and echo the poet's battle to leave earthly love behind. These translations capture the passion of the original poetry and are accompanied by an introduction on Sufism and the common themes apparent in the works. This edition also includes suggested further reading.

30 review for Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the early Mystics to Rumi

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yelda Basar Moers

    This is a beautiful compilation of Sufi poets including Rumi of course, but also lesser known Sufi poets such as Yunus Emre (who is a folk hero in Turkey, where he lived just as a Rumi had, and was a noble jurist like Rumi before he became a poet), Mansur Hallaj, who was burned at the stake for saying the words, “I am the Truth,” and Rabia Basri, an 8th century female Sufi poet who is quoted above. She was the first Sufi who said that God should be loved for His own sake and not out of fear. For This is a beautiful compilation of Sufi poets including Rumi of course, but also lesser known Sufi poets such as Yunus Emre (who is a folk hero in Turkey, where he lived just as a Rumi had, and was a noble jurist like Rumi before he became a poet), Mansur Hallaj, who was burned at the stake for saying the words, “I am the Truth,” and Rabia Basri, an 8th century female Sufi poet who is quoted above. She was the first Sufi who said that God should be loved for His own sake and not out of fear. For those of you spellbound by the poetry of Rumi, I would explore so many of the other true Sufi poets with this anthology! Each Sufi poet is given a wonderful introduction also! In my soul there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church where I kneel. Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist. (Rabia Basri, 9th century Sufi poet)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eadweard

    RABIA BASRI MANSUR HALLAJ When the stallion of loneliness rides over you And the scream of despair swallows Hope, Take the armour of humility in your left hand And sword of tears in your right hand And be wary of your ego And careful of the hidden revenge And when you have to migrate in darkness Take shelter under the torch of purity. Tell the Beloved: You see my broken state, Forgive me before our destined meeting. O my Love, be not separate from me, Do not abandon me before fruition ABU SAID IBN RABIA BASRI MANSUR HALLAJ When the stallion of loneliness rides over you And the scream of despair swallows Hope, Take the armour of humility in your left hand And sword of tears in your right hand And be wary of your ego And careful of the hidden revenge And when you have to migrate in darkness Take shelter under the torch of purity. Tell the Beloved: You see my broken state, Forgive me before our destined meeting. O my Love, be not separate from me, Do not abandon me before fruition ABU SAID IBN ABIL-KHAIR In search of martyrdom the Ghazis go To fight Faith’s battles: do they then not know That martyred lovers higher rank, as slain By hand of Friend, and not by hand of Foe? Let no one of Thy boundless Grace despair; Thine own elect shall ever upward fare: The mote, if once illumined by Thy Sun, The brightness of a thousand suns shall share SHEIKH ABDULLAH ANSARI OF HERAT O Lord We appear like Desperate lovers, And in our hearts We are sleep-soiled; Our breasts full of fire Our eyes full of water; Sometimes we burn In the fire of our hearts; Sometimes we are drowned in tears AHMAD JAM Each who has seen Your beauty fine Utters honestly, ‘I have seen the Divine.’ Everywhere Your lovers wait for grace, Remove Your veil, reveal Your face! I am in the ocean and an ocean is in me; This is the experience of one who can see. He that leaps into the river of Unity, He speaks of union with his Beloved’s beauty SANAI GHAZNAVI So long as this world exists, I do not want the pain of Love, But I love Love and cannot break the vows of Love! So long as the story of Love and lovers adorns this world My name shall be written boldly in the book of Love. The name of ‘drunkard’ from the puritans I’ve got, Still I love and am obedient to the command of Love! Their heart is caught in the snare of the Beloved’s curls, Those who ride with beauties in the field of Love! I will play in this field of Love till eternity. I have trapped my heart in the curls of Love! In this world, my Love is the reason for goodness; Since He is the reason for goodness, I became the goodness of Love! NIZAMI GANJAVI One night desperate Majnun prayed tearfully, ‘O Lord of mine who has abandoned me, Why hast Thou “Majnun” called me? Why hast Thou made a lover of Leila of me? Thou hast made me a pillow of wild thorns, Made me roam day and night without a home. What dost Thou want from my imprisonment? O Lord of mine, listen to my plea!’ The Lord replied, ‘O lost man, With Leila’s love I have your heart filled; Your Love of Leila is my will. The Beauty of Leila that you see Is just another reflection of me FARIDUDDIN ATTAR O You who have revealed My hidden sorrow to the world, Who am I that I received Your fragrance in my soul? I am stricken by sorrow. Cast a glance this way, For it’s You who know My secret, and with my heart You play! O Love of mine, In the hope of seeing You I roam. In the valley of separation, Eternally, I’ve made my home. It’s You who know the cure Of my pain. I’ve reached the limit, give me The balm of Your love again. Attar’s soul is dishevelled Like Your dark hair; Bring him together, make him whole And save his scattered weary soul --- UMAR IBN AL-FARID Give me excess of love and so increase me In marvelling at Thee; and mercy have Upon a heart for Thee by passion seared. And when I ask of Thee that I may see Thee Even as Thou art, in Thy reality, Say not, ‘Thou shalt not see,’ but let me see. Heart, thou didst promise patience in love of them MOHYUDDIN IBN ARABI Their abodes have become decayed, but desire of them is ever new in my heart and decayeth not. These tears are shed over their ruined dwellings, but souls are ever melted at the memory of them. Through love of them I called out behind their riding-camels, ‘O ye who are rich in beauty, here am I, a beggar! I have rolled my cheek in the dust in tender and passionate affection: then, by the true love which I owe to you, do not make hopeless One who is drowned in his tears and burned in the fire of sorrow with no respite! 6. O thou who wouldst kindle a fire, be not hasty! Here is the fire of passion. Go and take of it! JALALUDDIN RUMI Through Love, bitterness becomes sweet. Through Love, bronze turns into gold. Through Love, dregs turn to tasteful wine. Through Love, pain turns into a balm. Through Love, the thorns become the rose. Through Love, vinegar turns to wine. Through Love, the cross becomes a throne. Through Love, the burden becomes a fortune. Through Love, the prison becomes a garden. Through Love, the garden becomes an oven. Through Love, the fire turns to light. Through Love, the demon becomes a fairy. Through Love, the stone becomes butter. Without Love, wax turns into steel. Through Love, sorrow becomes happiness. Through Love, the follower becomes the leader. Through Love, the sting becomes honey. Through Love, the lion becomes a mouse. Through Love, illness becomes health. Through Love, a curse becomes a blessing. Through Love, the thorn becomes a needle. Through Love, the home is lit up. Through Love, the dead man becomes alive. Through Love, the king becomes a slave IRAQI When I kissed the earth in supplication A cry came forth from the earth: You have stained my face With this supplication of lies! O unfortunate I that did not have the fate Of your enemy’s life, As your friend I bow my head To feel the blow of your knife! When I visited the gambling den I saw kind and truthful men. When I visited the mosque and temple I got nothing but deceit SA’DI SHIRAZI I sit on the throne of the heart; That is the style of my poverty! I am dust on my Beloved’s path; That is my elevated state! No need to visit the mosque for me; Your eyebrow is a prayer arch for me. Sa’di, why this pilgrim’s garb? Why, indeed, this ritual of hajj? Look at my Beloved’s face; That is the true worshipper’s place MAHMUD SHABISTARI Being is the sea, speech is the shore, The shells are letters, the pearls knowledge of the heart. In every wave it casts up a thousand royal pearls Of traditions and holy sayings and texts. Every moment a thousand waves rise out of it, Yet it never becomes less by one drop. Knowledge has its being from that sea, The coverings of its pearls are voice and letters. Since mysteries are here shown in an allegory, It is necessary to have recourse to illustrations: I have heard that in the month Nisan The pearl oysters rise to the surface of the sea of Uman. From the lowest depths of the sea they come up And rest on the surface with opened mouths. The mist is lifted up from the sea, And descends in rain at the command of ‘The Truth’. There fall some drops into each shell’s mouth, And each mouth is shut as by a hundred bonds. Then each shell descends into the depths with full heart, And each drop of rain becomes a pearl. The diver goes down to the depths of the sea, And thence brings up the glittering pearls. The shore is your body, the sea is Being, The mist Grace, the rain knowledge of the Names. The diver of this mighty sea is human reason, Who holds a hundred pearls wrapped in his cloth. The heart is to knowledge as a vessel, The shells of knowledge of the heart are voice and letters… SULTAN VELED YUNUS EMRE AMIR KHUSROW DEHLAVI I asked, ‘What’s bright as the Moon?’ ‘My beautiful face,’ was the answer. I said, ‘What’s sweet as sugar?’ ‘My speech,’ was the answer. ‘What is the way of Lovers?’ I asked ‘The way of loyalty,’ was the answer. I said, ‘Don’t be so cruel to me.’ ‘It’s my job to behave thus,’ was the answer. ‘What is death for Lovers?’ ‘Separation from me,’ was the answer. ‘What is the cure for life’s ills?’ ‘To gaze upon my face,’ was the answer. ‘What is spring, what autumn?’ ‘Only my changing beauty,’ was the answer. ‘Who is the envy of the gazelle?’ ‘My swift gait,’ was the answer. ‘Are you a fairy or a houri?’ ‘I am the Lord of Beauty,’ was the answer. ‘Khusrow is helpless,’ I said. ‘He is my devotee,’ was the answer ASHIQ PASHA HAFIZ SHIRAZI MAGHRIBI SHAH NIMATULLAH King and beggar are one, are one. The hungry and sated are one, are one. Sorrowful I am and drink the dregs. The dregs, sorrow and cure, are one, are one. There is none but One in this world. Speak not of two, God is one, is One. I have seen a thousand mirrors, But the Beloved’s face is one, is one. We are stricken by one who’s fair and tall, But the stricken and the illness are one, are one. A drop, the sea, the wave and the four elements Are without doubt in our sight but One, but One. QASIMUL ANWAR KABIR The Moon shines in my body, but my blind eyes cannot see it: The Moon is within me, and so is the Sun. The unstruck drum of Eternity is sounded within me; but my deaf ears cannot hear it. So long as man clamours for the ‘I’ and the ‘Mine’, his works are as naught: When all love of the ‘I’ and the ‘Mine’ is dead, then the work of the Lord is done. For work has no other aim than the getting of knowledge: When that comes, then work is put away. The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes, the flower withers. The musk is in the deer, but it seeks it not within itself: it wanders in quest of grass --- All jewels are made of the same gold; We give them different names. Some call it prayer, others Namaz; Some say Hindu, some say Muslim. He reads the Veda, he the Qur’an; He is a Mullah, he a pandit, The vessels are of the same earth made; We give them different names. Says Kabir: They are misguided all; God is far away from all Who waste their time Who argue and name call. --- The river And the wave are the same. When it rises up, it’s water; When it subsides, it’s water. Otherwise it cannot be. You call it wave, you see, But other than water it cannot be. The Creator is the world And the world the Creator ABDUR-RAHMAN JAMI I am so drunk that wine drips from my eyes; My heart so burns that I can smell its roasting! If my Beloved comes unveiled at midnight, An ageing puritan will rush out of the mosque. I saw your face at dawn and missed my prayer: What use is supplication when the Sun has risen? If a drop of Jami’s pain falls into the river The fish will jump out burning with pain SARMAD SULTAN BAHU I am no accomplished scholar, Nor a judge, nor doctor of law; My heart neither hell desires, Nor my soul to heaven aspires. I do not fast as required, Nor am I the pure, praying kind. All I want is union with God I care not for the false or true --- God is not up there, my friends, Nor in the Kaaba does He reside; He is not in learned books, Nor inside the minaret He hides. He is not in Ganga, Jamuna, Nor He in Benaras abides. Don’t get lost in searching for Him. Find yourself a truthful guide! BABA BULLEH SHAH SHAH ABDUL LATIF BHITTAI SHAH NIAZ MIAN MUHAMMAD BAKSH

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nazmi Yaakub

    Buku ini mengambil masa kira-kira enam bulan untuk disusuri sambil disela karya puisi mistik/sufi yang lain - tetapi perjalanannya tetap memukau dan memikat meski sering diserkup kebingungan. Masakan tidak buku ini merentangi puisi yang ditiup melalui seruling tokoh besar dalam ranah sufi dari Rabiatul Adawiah yang 'merintis' makna cinta ketika tasawuf sebelumnya lebih dikenali dengan makna takwa hakiki seperti yang hidup dalam hayat Hassan al-Basri hinggalah kepada ranah sufi yang subur di tana Buku ini mengambil masa kira-kira enam bulan untuk disusuri sambil disela karya puisi mistik/sufi yang lain - tetapi perjalanannya tetap memukau dan memikat meski sering diserkup kebingungan. Masakan tidak buku ini merentangi puisi yang ditiup melalui seruling tokoh besar dalam ranah sufi dari Rabiatul Adawiah yang 'merintis' makna cinta ketika tasawuf sebelumnya lebih dikenali dengan makna takwa hakiki seperti yang hidup dalam hayat Hassan al-Basri hinggalah kepada ranah sufi yang subur di tanah Parsi, Turki dan Hind yang kini mengisi wilayah Pakistan, India, Kashmir dan Bangladesh. Puisi dalam bentuk syair, mathnawi dan ghazal yang disusun oleh Mahmood Jamal ini sebenarnya terjemahan daripada ramai sarjana, pengarang dan penterjemah, sekali gus menjadikan setiap karya yang difahami akan berdepan dengan variasi cara penterjemahan serta interpretasi mereka. Hal ini sebenarnya memberikan cabaran tetapi sekaligus kenikmatan tersendiri dalam melayari lautan isyq (cinta) hakiki yang pengalaman kerohanian itu cuba diungkapkan dalam bahasa yang dalam. Kita mungkin biasa dengan tokoh seperti Mansur Hallaj, Sanai, Nizami, Attar, Ibn Arabi, Maulana Rumi, Iraqi, Sa'adi, Yunus Emre, Hafiz dan Abdul Rahman Jami tetapi buku ini memungkinkan kita melihat dari celah pintu mistik yang dibuka untuk berkenalan dengan Mahmud Shabistari, Ashiq Pasha, Qasimul Anwar, Sarmad, Babu Bulleh Shah, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai dan Shah Niaz. Bagaimanapun di sebalik tradisi dengan latar wilayah yang luas dari Basrah hingga Tanah Punjab, karya mereka memiliki nafas yang sama - cinta yang bertiup dari seruling diri yang melagukan melodi kerinduan terhadap tanah yang terpisah. Membaca buku ini sekali bacaan saja tidak cukup kerana lautan hakikat kewujudan bukan saja terlalu luas, bahkan ia terlalu dalam untuk dilayari atau diselami dengan bekalan diri yang terlalu tipis. Justeru karya yang terkandung dalam buku ini adalah karya yang perlu disusuri sepanjang kita menelusuri jalan hayat yang ada.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Howdle

    A thoughtful book that starts with an intelligent overview of Sufi poetry, its forms and its images. The selections and translations vary in interest and subtlety. Some of the simpler poems do not rise above devotions-- hymns. The longer poems articulate much more complex relationships between poetry, love, and the Divine. There are many translations of Sufi poetry on the market and these can range from the literal and dead to the creative and fantastical, to the point where they are written in t A thoughtful book that starts with an intelligent overview of Sufi poetry, its forms and its images. The selections and translations vary in interest and subtlety. Some of the simpler poems do not rise above devotions-- hymns. The longer poems articulate much more complex relationships between poetry, love, and the Divine. There are many translations of Sufi poetry on the market and these can range from the literal and dead to the creative and fantastical, to the point where they are written in the spirit of Sufism and have no relation to the originals. Not so much divinely drunk as poetically pissed. The internet abounds with such objects. Rumi has authored many works he never imagined whilst pursuing Shams al-Din. The translations in Jamal's book are readable and fairly accurate. An example would be this: Beat not your drum that none can hear; Plant bravely your banner in the desert's heart. My son, it behoves not to beat the drum under a blanket; Place your flag like a brave warrior in the midst of the plain. The prosaic translation lacks life. Then again, a pity that "none can hear" is substituted for the objective and lively image of "under a blanket." The use of familiar objects it typical of Rumi. Sometimes there are subtle changes. Rumi's original Persian imagines being the "bezel" in the "lover's ring", a container, not the "jewel", the flash gemstone, as stated in the English translation. Generally, Islamic Mystical Poetry offers cogent and sensitive translations that preserve the mood of the originals. A readable and useful source book for ideas and images. A kaleidoscope of comparisons that fit together like Islamic, patterned tiles.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex Kartelias

    Beautiful words from inspiring souls. I was already familiar with Rumi, but I discovered favorites such as Maghribi, Mansur Hallaj, Mahmud Shabistan and Rabia Basri. I bought this at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and after gazing at the beautiful calligraphy, arabesque and old copies of Attars poetry with amazing illustrations, reading these verses added more aesthetic pleasure to my experience. These are the type of verses that dig into you deeper and deeper after repetition, Beautiful words from inspiring souls. I was already familiar with Rumi, but I discovered favorites such as Maghribi, Mansur Hallaj, Mahmud Shabistan and Rabia Basri. I bought this at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and after gazing at the beautiful calligraphy, arabesque and old copies of Attars poetry with amazing illustrations, reading these verses added more aesthetic pleasure to my experience. These are the type of verses that dig into you deeper and deeper after repetition, until they reveal transparency. I can only wonder how sublime they must sound in the original Arabic, but these translations are splendid.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)

    Really fascinating to read! Some poets I wanted to read everything of theirs aloud...other poets I only skimmed, but I found it all to be really interesting. Glad the editor of this collection added biographies of each of the poets, footnotes where possible and included an introduction about the main concepts and structure of Sufi verse.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yuni Amir

    My fav poets are Rabia al-Basri and Fariduddin Attar. Rabia was the first one to introduce the idea of loving God, rather than judging God. Her ghazal were all straightforward, and all got the best finishing touch. I don't know how to describe it, but I feel more relatable to hers than other poets. I could understand Fariduddin's metaphors better. And his way with words was amazing. He guided you through the Path of God in amazing ways. He made you think this world is just a... Metaphor. It's jus My fav poets are Rabia al-Basri and Fariduddin Attar. Rabia was the first one to introduce the idea of loving God, rather than judging God. Her ghazal were all straightforward, and all got the best finishing touch. I don't know how to describe it, but I feel more relatable to hers than other poets. I could understand Fariduddin's metaphors better. And his way with words was amazing. He guided you through the Path of God in amazing ways. He made you think this world is just a... Metaphor. It's just you and your God. Nothing else matters. Though I prefer if the poems were arranged according to themes. But I understand why the translators decided to arrange according to time period - I could see the evolution of those poets in writing those poems.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ivan Granger

    I’m always hesitant when I find a collection of sacred poetry put out by a classics publisher like Penguin. They can be excellent references, but I expect their translations to be stiff and rather academic. So I was pleasantly surprised by Penguin’s Islamic Mystical Poetry — while some of Mahmood Jamal’s translations bring the mind to appreciative, stunned silence, most don’t read like masterpieces of the art. Even so, they have a direct, modern fluidity that is inviting to the tongue. His rhyme I’m always hesitant when I find a collection of sacred poetry put out by a classics publisher like Penguin. They can be excellent references, but I expect their translations to be stiff and rather academic. So I was pleasantly surprised by Penguin’s Islamic Mystical Poetry — while some of Mahmood Jamal’s translations bring the mind to appreciative, stunned silence, most don’t read like masterpieces of the art. Even so, they have a direct, modern fluidity that is inviting to the tongue. His rhyme, in places, can sound too simple, occasionally evoking sing-song, rather than poetic revelation, but that’s a minor criticism, given how readable these poems are. These are not dusty translations only your great-grandfather could love. Where this collection really shines is in the breadth of poets gathered together within its pages, those well-known in the West, and many less-well-known. Rabia, Hallaj, ibn ‘Arabi, Rumi, Iraqi, Shabistari, Kabir, Baba Bulleh Shah, Umar ibn al-Farid, Yunus Emre, and many more. This is an excellent sampling of Sufi poetry from Africa to Afghanistan. Other general collections of Sufi poetry, like The Drunken Universe and Love’s Alchemy might have more arresting translations, but Penguin’s Islamic Mystical Poetry is highly recommended for its broad range of Sufi poets, some hard to find in English translation, as well as for it’s approachable translations. This one belongs on your bookshelf. I witnessed my Maker with my heart’s eye. I asked, ‘Who are You?’ He answered, ‘You!’ For You one cannot ask, Where? Because where is Where for You? You do not pass through the imagination Or else we’ll know where You are. You are He who is everywhere Yet You are nowhere. Where are You? In my annihilation is my annihilation’s annihilation And You are found in my annihilation. – Mansur al-Hallaj Table of Contents Rabia Basri Mansur Hallaj Abu Said ibn Abil-Khair Sheikh Abdullah Ansari of Herat Ahmad Jam Sanai Ghasnavi Nizami Ganjavi Fariduddin Attar Umar ibn al-Farid Mohyuddin ibn ‘Arabi Jalaluddin Rumi Iraqi Sa’di Shirazi Mahmud Shabistari Sultan Veled Yunus Emre Amir Khusrow Dehlavi Ashiq Pasha Haviz Shirazi Maghribi Shah Nimatullah Qasimul Anwar Kabir Abdur Rahman Jami Sarmad Sultan Bahu Baba Bulleh Shah Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Shah Niaz Mian Muhammad Baksh

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roland Clark

    Skirting on the edge of orthodox Islam, and often beyond it, the great Sufi poets of the medieval and early modern eras produced both beautiful verse and an inspiring record of humanity’s search after God. They were obsessed with the idea that God is love, they loved Him so dearly that they sometimes felt united with their Beloved, and they despaired that this feeling was so fleeting. Persecuted by other Muslims, Sufi mystics often moved to the Balkans, where state power was weaker and the multi Skirting on the edge of orthodox Islam, and often beyond it, the great Sufi poets of the medieval and early modern eras produced both beautiful verse and an inspiring record of humanity’s search after God. They were obsessed with the idea that God is love, they loved Him so dearly that they sometimes felt united with their Beloved, and they despaired that this feeling was so fleeting. Persecuted by other Muslims, Sufi mystics often moved to the Balkans, where state power was weaker and the multicultural mix of Christians, Jews, and Muslims was more amenable to their shocking, sometimes heretical, ways of talking about their spirituality. The language and experiences of the Sufi mystics have a lot in common with that of medieval Christians, especially with Spanish mystics like St. Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) or St. John of the Cross (1542-1591). Read my full review here: http://wordsbecamebooks.com/2014/06/2...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mugren Ohaly

    Some things, such as this, cannot be translated.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Померанцевое

    "Love is most illumined by silence." - Jalaluddin Rumi "Knower and known are one and the same." - Mahmud Shabistari "So when I speak I speak of only You And when silent, I yearn for You." - Rabia Basri "There is none other in this desert, but only I, Tell me what is this echo and noise ?" - Mahmud Shabistari "Time is one imaginary point, and that ever passing away, You have named it the fleeting river." - Mahmud Shabistari "The night is but an empty black pot If you haven’t tasted the sweetness offered by nig "Love is most illumined by silence." - Jalaluddin Rumi "Knower and known are one and the same." - Mahmud Shabistari "So when I speak I speak of only You And when silent, I yearn for You." - Rabia Basri "There is none other in this desert, but only I, Tell me what is this echo and noise ?" - Mahmud Shabistari "Time is one imaginary point, and that ever passing away, You have named it the fleeting river." - Mahmud Shabistari "The night is but an empty black pot If you haven’t tasted the sweetness offered by night." - Jalaluddin Rumi "I call You and You call me; Did I say I am You Or did You speak through me ?" - Mansur Hallaj "I am in the ocean and an ocean is in me" -Ahmad Jam "You have infused my being Through and through" - Rabia Basri "You are dressed in my meaning." - Mansur Hallaj "When I come near You, fear drives me away But Love deep in my soul makes me reckless." - Mansur Hallaj "Being is the sea, speech is the shore, The shells are letters, the pearls knowledge of the heart." - Mahmud Shabistari "Immersed in pain, lost, amazed and dazed I move from wilderness to wilderness." -Mansur Hallaj "My soul is mingled with Thee, dissolved in Thee, A soul to cherish as it has Thy perfume !" -Jalaluddin Rumi "I turn to You in longing and sorrow; You for whom my heart is caught in the talons Of a flying bird." -Mansur Hallaj "Enter the tumultuous night And from its ocean gather gifts unnamed." - Jalaluddin Rumi "I lost myself in finding You Till you annihilated me in You." -Mansur Hallaj "The two, light and darkness, cannot be united. Like the past, the future month and year exist not, What is there but this one point of the present ?" - Mahmud Shabistari "The night of separation, whether long or short, In it, my friend, only the longing for You." -Mansur Hallaj "My fleeting life has come and gone – A wind that blows and passes by. I feel it has been all too brief, Just like the blinking of an eye." - Yunus Emrei "You were the hidden secret of my longing, Hidden deep within my conscience, deeper than a dream." -Mansur Hallaj "It’s true that Love is full of pain But it is also the solace of the Pure." - Abdur-Rahman Jami "You have learnt so much And read a thousand books. Have you ever read your Self ? You have gone to mosque and temple. Have you ever visited your soul ?" - Baba Bulleh Shah "Everything is but illusion, like a mirage; I know I do not exist, yet the doubt persists." - Shah Niaz "In His love The heart hath life. Longing for Him, the soul Hath victory. That heart which seems to love The fair ones of this world, loves Him alone." - Abdur-Rahman Jami "Like a flute I sing the song of separation from You, Yet it’s true that You are near to me at each instant." - Abdur-Rahman Jami

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sem

    I had thought that I might put this aside for a while and come back to it later but then I realised that I'd never finish it under any circumstances. And so, contrary to my usual practice, I'm adding an unfinished book to my shelves. I'm adding it because I don't want to forget to avoid it in future. I'm adding it because of the favourable reviews which it in no way deserves. Is this truly the best that Penguin could do by way of an anthology of Sufi poetry? There are many anthologies 'out there I had thought that I might put this aside for a while and come back to it later but then I realised that I'd never finish it under any circumstances. And so, contrary to my usual practice, I'm adding an unfinished book to my shelves. I'm adding it because I don't want to forget to avoid it in future. I'm adding it because of the favourable reviews which it in no way deserves. Is this truly the best that Penguin could do by way of an anthology of Sufi poetry? There are many anthologies 'out there' of individual poets and multiple poets, old translations, new translations... I've read most, possibly all, of them. I can't fathom why the poets included in this volume didn't deserve fresh translations for a 21st century readership. Some translations are new (and some of those are truly dismal) and some are so ancient they creak at the joints and should never have been given a second airing. It doesn't matter to me as I was just visiting old friends but anyone who's new to the subject should avoid this anthology at all costs. It's painful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    S.Sofi Jafar

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Super

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    A great survey of Sufi poetry from around the 9th century through the 20th. The common themes are Love, the beloved, wine, and the tavern. I especially enjoyed the introduction on Sufism and explanation of the common themes apparent in the works. I purposely read this volume and Islam In Focus together, providing a very interesting and diverse insights. The poetry is everything, though and can be enjoyed completely on it's own strength aesthetically as a literary art form. Beautiful and thought- A great survey of Sufi poetry from around the 9th century through the 20th. The common themes are Love, the beloved, wine, and the tavern. I especially enjoyed the introduction on Sufism and explanation of the common themes apparent in the works. I purposely read this volume and Islam In Focus together, providing a very interesting and diverse insights. The poetry is everything, though and can be enjoyed completely on it's own strength aesthetically as a literary art form. Beautiful and thought-provoking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bethan

    Novel the concept of love poems to God/Allah, the motif of drunkenness, and the rejection of dogma and orthodoxy in favour of urging a personal relationship with God centred on love and oneness e.g. some say that they are not Muslims, Christians, nor Hindus. Some of this poetry was beautiful and I can see how it is the 'soul' of the Islamic world. Much more palatable to me than any other religious texts I have read thus far.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kecia

    I picked this up because I wanted to read Bulleh Shah's work. What I found was an amazing collection of beautiful, awe-inspiring poetry. My only complaint is that it is too heavy on Rumi, but then again who doesn't love Rumi? I'm a now a fan of the Sufi poets. I want to read more!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Radiya

    Beautiful poems in here! Sufi poetry has just got to be the best kind for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Davoud Taghavi

    A fair collection of poems, many of them rare and not found elsewhere.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yaqeen Sikander

    Amazing collection of Sufi poetry highlighting a glimpse of the major Sufi poetry. An interesting and enjoyable classic read, especially for those who love to enjoy the essence of poetry.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    I picked it up to read more poems by the Murcian master, Mohyuddin Ibn 'Arabi. There are 21 pages. Then 30 pp. by Rumi. 25 by Hafiz. 11 by the Hindi Kabir.

  21. 4 out of 5

    evan

  22. 4 out of 5

    and our prophecy has come true;

  23. 5 out of 5

    Beenash Faris

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  25. 5 out of 5

    Arwa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alexandre

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Dawson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Toon Pepermans

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deborahanndilley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Azeem

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