Archive for February, 2010

Like salt water

“The Dunya is like salt-water; whenever you increase in drinking it, you will also increase in thirst!”


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‘Whoever thinks about the ocean of this Dunya will come to know how its waves move about, and he’ll come to know how to be patient in dealing with the days – he is not lowered by the descent of afflictions and he is not delighted with the coming of luxury.’

– Ibn al-Jawzi

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كل الذي فوق التراب تراب

أمـا لِـجَـمـيـلٍ عِنْدكُنَّ ثَوابُ *** ولا لِـمُـسـيءٍ عِـنْـدَكُنّ مَتَابُ

Is it only the good one who gains reward with you
Whilst for the erring one, you offer no return?

إذا الـخِـلُّ لَـمْ يَـهْجُركَ إلا مَلالةً *** فَـلَـيْـسَ لهُ ، إلا الفِرَاقَ ، عِتابُ

If a friend does not abandon you except out of boredom
Then there is no punishment for him except some separation

إذا لـم أجـد مـن خُـلَّةٍ ما أُرِيدُهُ *** فـعـنـدي لأُخْـرى عَزْمَةٌ وَرِكابُ

If I do not find what I want in a friendship
Then I have in the Hereafter, resolve and companionship

ولـيـس فِراقٌ ما استطعتُ فإن يَكُنْ *** فِـراقٌ عـلـى حَـالٍ فليس إيابُ

And separation isn’t something that I have power over
And if it is circumstantial, then there is no return

صَـبـورٌ ولـو لـم يـبقَ مني بقيةٌ *** قَـؤُولٌ وَلـوْ أنَّ الـسيوفَ جَوابُ

I am patient even if nothing remains with me
I am optimistic even if only swords answer me

وَقُـورٌ وأحـداثُ الـزمان تَنوشني *** وَلِـلـمـوتِ حـولي جِيئةٌ وَذَهَابُ

I am dignified even though life plays around with me
And death seems to come and go around me

بِـمـنْ يَـثِـقُ الإنسانُ فيما يَنُوبهُ *** ومِـنْ أيـنَ لِـلحُرِّ الكَريم صِحابُ

Who can a person rely on in times of affliction
And where does the noble free man find his companions?

وقـدْ صَـارَ هـذا الناسُ إلا أقَلَّهُمْ *** ذِئـابٌ عـلـى أجْـسَادِهنَّ ثِيابُ

All these people, except a few, have now become
Wolves, with garments clothing their bodies

تَـغَـابـيـتُ عن قومٍ فَظَنوا غَباوةً *** بِـمَـفْـرِقِ أغـبانا حصًى وَتُرابُ

I was absent from a people and so in foolishness they thought
That dust and stones can replace our absent ones

ولـو عَـرفـونـي بَعْضَ مَعرِفَتي بِهمْ *** إذاً عَـلِـمـوا أنـي شَهِدتُ وغابوا

If they knew me even a little like I know them,
They would know that I have witnessed much and they were the absent ones

إلـى الله أشـكـو أنـنـا بِمنازلٍ *** تَـحـكَّـمَ فـي آسـادِهنّ كِلابُ

To Allah I complain that we are indeed in a position
Where it is dogs who have ruled over their very lions

تَـمُـرُّ الـلـيالي لَيْسَ لِلنَّقْعِ مَوْضِعٌ *** لَـديَّ ولا لِـلـمُـعْـتَفِين جَنَابُ

Nights go past and contentment does not hold a place with me
And the pardoned ones seem to still be held for their crimes

ولا شُـدَّ لـي سَرْجٌ على مَتنِ سابحٍ *** ولا ضُـرِبـتْ لـي بِـالعراءِ قِبابُ

Neither has a saddle been prepared for me on the seashores
Nor has a memorial been set up for me on the open floors

ولا بَـرقـتْ لـي فـي اللقاءِ قواطعٌ *** ولا لـمـعـتْ لي في الحروبِ حِرابُ

Screens flash not for me when I go forth to meet the enemy
And spears do not sparkle for me when I am in war

سَـتَـذكـر أيـامـي نُميرٌ وَعَامرٌ *** وكـعـبٌ ، عـلى عِلاتها ، وكِلابُ

These days of mine shall be remembered by every civilized and wild one
And by every high-ranking prime one and also by the dogs

أنـا الـجـارُ لا زادي بَطِيءٌ عَليْهِمُ *** ولا دونَ مـالـي فـي الحَوادثِ بَابُ

I am a refuge and my supplies do not come slow for them
And in the heat of events, there is no way to other than my wealth

ولا أطـلـبُ الـعَوراءَ مِنها أُصِيبها *** ولا عـورتـي لِـلـطـالبينَ تُصابُ

It is not the feeble and one-eyed ones that I seek out
And the enemy is unable to seek out my weakness

بَني عَمِّنا ، ما يَفْعَلُ السيفُ في الوغى *** إذا قـلَّ مِـنْـهُ مَـضـرِبٌ وَذُبابُ

O cousin! What can a sword do in the heat of battle
If it lacks a blade and it lacks a tip?

بَـنـي عَـمِّنا ، نحنُ السَّواعِدُ وَالظُّبَا *** وَيُـوشِـكُ يـوماً أن يكونَ ضِرابُ

O cousin! Indeed it is us who are the helpers
And perhaps one day, we shall become the fighters

ومـا أدَّعِـي مـا يَـعـلَمُ الله غَيرهُ *** رِحَـابٌ عَـلِـيٍّ لِـلـعُفاةِ رِحابُ

And I do not claim what Allah knows to be otherwise
But it is lofty open-space and for the freed ones is such

وأفـعـالـهُ لِـلـراغـبـين كَرِيمةٌ *** وأمـوالـهُ لـلـطـالـبين نِهَابُ

His (the cousin) actions are honour for those who yearn for it
And his wealth is booty for those who seek it

ولـكـنْ نَـبَـا مِـنهُ بِكَفِّيَ صَارمٌ *** وأظـلـمَ فـي عَـيْـنَيَّ مِنهُ شِهابُ

But he turned away my hand in harsh forsakenness
And in my eyes, the bright star soon turned dark

وأبـطـأَ عَـنِّـي والـمـنايا سريعةٌ *** وَلِـلـمـوتِ ظِـفْرٌ قد أطلَّ ونابُ

He was slow in coming to my aid though fate approaches fast
And death has a victory which towers high and strikes

فـإن لـم يَـكـنْ وِدٌ قَـرِيبٌ تَعُدُّهُ *** ولا نَـسَـبٌ بـيـن الرجَالِ قِرابُ

So if there is no love of kindred which you account for
And there are no close relations found between men

فـأحـوطُ لـلإسلام أنْ لا يُضِيعني *** ولـي عَـنْـهُ فِـيـهِ حَوْطةٌ وَمَنابُ

Then I shall embrace the religion of Islam; it will not forsake me
And I shall find in it protection, and a replacement

ولـكـنـنـي راضٍ على كلِّ حالةٍ *** لِـنَـعْـلَـمَ أيَّ الـخُـلَّتينِ سَرابُ

But I am content and pleased in every situation
And we shall soon know which friendship was a mere mirage

ومـا زِلـتُ أرضـى بـالقليلِ محبةً *** لَـدَيْـهِ ، ومـادون الكثير حِجابُ

And I have not ceased being pleased with a little, out of love
For what lies with Him, and there lies a barrier before all others

ُكـذاكَ الـوِداد الـمحضُ لا يرتجى لهُ *** ثـوابٌ ، ولا يُـخـشى عَليهِ عقابُ

That is true love; no reward is hoped for it
And no punishment is feared because of it

وقدْ كُنتُ أخشى الهجرَ والشمْلُ جَامِعٌ *** وفـي كُـلِّ يَـوْمٍ لُـقْـيَةٌ وخِطَابُ

Indeed I feared both abandonment and reunion
But every day brings an encounter and a dialogue

فـكـيـف وفيما بيننا مُلْكُ قَيْصَرٍ *** ولِـلْـبَـحْرِ حولي زَخْرَةٌ وَعُبَابُ ؟

But how! When Caesar’s palace lies between us
And the sea that surrounds me is overwhelming with waves?

أَمِـنْ بَـعْـدِ بَذْلِ النفس فيما تُرِيدُهُ *** أثـابُ بِـمُـرِّ الـعَتبِ حِينَ أُثابُ

Is it after I’ve struggled in that which you desired
That I am rewarded with such bitterness when I am rewarded?

فـلـيـتـك تـحلو والحياةُ مريرةٌ *** ولـيـتـك تـرضى والأنامُ غِضابُ

But I hope to find sweetness in You (O Allah) when life becomes bitter
And I hope to find You pleased when the people become angry

ولـيـتَ الـذي بـيني وبينك عَامرٌ *** وبـيـنـي وبـيـن العالمين خَرابُ

Let the connection between You and I, be fully built up
Even if it means ruin for my connection with the people

إذا صـحَّ مِـنـكَ الوِدُّ فالكُلُّ هَيّنٌ *** وكُـلُّ الـذي فـوقَ التُّرابِ تُرابُ

If Your love for me is true, then all shall be easy
Because all that lies above the dust is really only dust.

– Abu Firas al-Hamdani

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“Get yourself out of this limited world of diseases to the wide world of the hereafter, which has what the eyes have never seen. Nothing is impossible there, and love is not lost. O you who sold yourself for the sake of something that will cause you suffering and pain, and which will also lose its beauty, you sold the most precious item for the cheapest price, as if you neither knew the value of the goods nor the meanness of the price. Wait until you come on the Day of mutual loss and gain and you will discover the injustice of this contract. “There is no God but Allah” is something that Allah is buying. Its price is Paradise, and the Messenger is its agent, and you will be pleased to part with a small part of this worldly life to obtain it. The part you lose is a small part of something that as a whole is not worth a mosquito’s wing.”

Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

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“Nothing is difficult if you seek it through your Lord, Nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.”

Ibn Ata’allah

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