al-Munfarijah, The Poem of Relief


This remarkable poem/prayer was written in the 11th C by a famous Maghribi scholar/saint Ibn Nahwi, famous for his ability to bless and curse. The recitation of this poem is believed to relieve the difficulties and grant the wishes of the reciter and listener.  If you wish to hear some powerfully rhythmic poetry, play some of the youtube clips below.



Get worse, o trouble, so that you may be lifted
For your night has announced the breaking of the dawn
And even the darkness of the night has its gleams
until the father of these gleams overwhelms them
And the dark clouds of bounty carry rain
that comes when its time is nigh
The blessings of our Lord are many
so your soul and heart’s blood can roam free
And they (the blessings) have a life-giving scent
so go to the source of that scent
And sometimes there is an overflowing of life
oceans of waves of surging depths
All creation is in his hands, some are expanded (have it easy)
while others are constricted (have it hard)
Their descents and ascents are either down a level or up a step
and their lives and their ends are not happening at random
Their wisdoms have been woven together by the hands of fate
and they’ve been knitted into the weaver
And so if things seem narrow and bent
know that it was meant to be like this
Their marvels have been witnessed as proofs
establishing the matter upon these proofs


Contentment with God’s decree is the knot
so make it your focus and turn your mount towards it
So if the doors of guidance are opened
then hurry into their treasuries and stay there
If you seek their end prematurely
then beware, for that is deviation
So that you can be among the foremost,
when you arrive at those (heavenly) expanses
remain there, for there is found life and bliss everlasting
for the one who has arrived and he who is arriving
So hasten to renew your efforts when they become stale
For if you consistently renew them, they will become constant
So disobeying God and its ugliness become beautiful to one who character is bent
But obeying God and its light are the gleams of a radiant morning
Whoever proposes to the maidens of eternity with these [lights]
will surely win over these lovely ones
So be pleased with them through your mindfulness of God
for tomorrow you will be satisfied and saved


Recite the Qur’an with a heart full of sadness and a voice of sweet melancholy
And the night prayer, and its hours, go through them with understanding and return
And reflect upon it and its meanings; you will arrive at paradise and be relieved
And drink from Tasnīm as it gushes forth, unmixed or mixed
The intellect is praised for giving it guidance and
passion, preventing it from being ridiculed
The book of God, its gardens are for the embodied intellects of creation
The best of creation find rest therein, all other than them get ravenous hunger from it
So if you are brave and do not panic in the haze of war
and if you are made to see the lights of guidance,
then let them shine above the heights
and when the soul longs, it finds painfully by longing for relief
Goodness unfolds laughing and the completion of laughter is success
Flaws and secrets are gathered with their trusts under the saddle
Kindness endures for its owner while separation leads to chaos


The Blessings of God upon the Guided One (Mahdi), who guides people to the Way
And on Abu Bakr, always together with him in life and in speech
And on Abu Hafs (‘Umar), his nobility in the story of the staff
And on Abu ‘Umar (‘Uthman) He of the two lights, who blushed and made blush with delight
and on Abu Hasan (‘Ali) like a heavy raincloud of knowledge, fulfilling his promise
and on the two Hasans (Hasan and Husayn) and their mother (Fatimah), and the entire family (of the Prophet), success comes from them
and their Companions and close ones, following in their footsteps is the way
and on their followers, the scholars, the right way is in knowledge of their religion
I conclude my work with them, so that I may be delivered (with them) tomorrow in the gathering
O Lord by them, and by their families, hasten victory and relief





اشتدي ازمه تنفرجي قد آذن ليلك بالبلج
وظلام الليل له سرج حتى يغشاه أبو السرج
و سحاب الخير له مطر فإذا جاء الإبان تجي
وفوائد مولانا جمل لسروح الانفس و المهج
ولها أرج محي أبدا فاقصد محيا داك الارج
فلربما فاض المحيا بحور الموج من اللجج
والخلق جميعا في يد فذوو سعة وذوو حرج
ونزولهم و طلوعهم فإلي درك وعلى درج
ومعايشهم و عواقبهم ليست في المشي على عوج
حكم نسجت بيدي حكمت ثم إنتسجت بالمنتسج
فإذا اقتصدت ثم انعرجت فبمقتصد وبمنعرج
شهدت بعجائبها حجج قامت بالأمر على الحجج
ورضا بقضاء الله حجا فعلى مركوزته فعج
وإذا انفتحت أبواب هدى فاعجل بخزائنها ولج
فإذا حاولت نهايتها فاحذر إذ ذاك من العرج
لتكون منه السباق إذا ما جئت إلى تلك الفرج
فهناك العيش وبهجته فلمبتهج ولمنتهج
فهج الأعمال إذا ركدت فإذا ما هجت إذن تهج
ومعاصي الله سماجتها تزدان لذي الخلق السمج
ولطاعته و صباحتها أنوار صباح منبلج
من يخطب حور الخلد بها يظفر بالحور والغنج
فكن المرضي لها بتقى ترضاه غدا وتكون نجي
واتلوا القرآن بقلب ذو حزن وبصوت فيه شجي
وصلاة الليل مسافاتها فاذهب بها بالفهم وجي
وتأملها ومعانيها تات الفردوس و تفترج
واشرب تسنيم مفجرها لا ممتزجا وبمتزج
مدح العقل لأتيه هدى وهوى متون عنه هجي
وكتاب الله رياضته لعقول الخلق بمندرج
وخيار الخلق هداتهم وسواهم منه همج الهمج
فإذا كنت المقدام فلا تجزع في الحرب من الرهج
وإذا أبصرت منار هدى فاظهر فردا فوق الثبج
وإذا اشتاقت نفس وجدت ألما بالشوق المعتلج
وثنايا الحسنى ضاحكة وتمام الضحك على الفلج
وعياب الأسرار إجتمعت بأمانتها تحت السرج
والرفق يدوم لصاحبه والخرق يصير إلي الهرج
صلوات الله على المهدي الهادي الناس إلي النهج
وأبي بكر في سيرته ولسان مقالته اللهج
وأبي حفص وكرامته في قصه سارية الخلج
وأبي عمر ذي ا لنورين المستحي المستحي البهج
وأبي حسن في العلم إذا وافى بسحائبه الخلج
وعلى السبطين وأمهما وجميع الآل بهم فلج
وعلى الحسنين وأمهما وجميع الآل بهم فلج
وصحابته و قرابته و قفاة الأثر على النهج
وعلى أتباعهم العلماء بعوارف دينهم البهج
وأختم عملي بخواتمهم لأكون غدا في الحشر نجي
يارب بهم وبآلهم عجل بالنصر وبالفرج




Wonderful calligraphy and a beautiful recitation of these verses…




In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the Compassionate
We have not sent down the Quran unto you that you may be distressed,
but as a reminder to him who fears
A revelation from He who created the earth and the heavens on high
The All-Merciful, established on the throne,
To Him belongs that which is the Heavens and which is in the Earth
and that which is between the two
and that which is below the ground



Ramadan with Hafez



Bring a glass of that wine of love which cooks every raw one
even though it’s the month of Ramadan
زان می عشق کز او پخته شود هر خامی
گر چه ماه رمضان است بیاور جامی

Saki_-_Reza_Abbasi_-_Moraqqa’-e_Golshan_1609_Golestan_Palace (1)

pers goblet
Give me a few cups of that wine sold in the tavern of love
even if it is the month of Ramadan
زان باده که در میکده عشق فروشند
ما را دو سه ساغر بده و گو رمضان باش




Sharing my heart’s state with you is what I desire
Hearing the story of the heart is what I desire


My foolish wish: hiding an open tale
from my rivals is what I desire


On the Night of Destiny, so dear and noble
Sleeping with you until day is what I desire


Oh, such a delicate pearl, like this!
Piercing it in the dark of night is what I desire.


O morning breeze, please come to my aid tonight
For blooming at dawn is what I desire


Sweeping the dust of your path with the tips of my eyelashes
for the sake of your honour, is what I desire


Reciting rascal poems like Hafez
against all odds, is what I desire


حال دل با تو گفتنم هوس است
خبر دل شنفتنم هوس است
طمع خام بین که قصه فاش
از رقیبان نهفتنم هوس است
شب قدری چنین عزیز و شریف
با تو تا روز خفتنم هوس است
وه که دردانه‌ای چنین نازک
در شب تار سفتنم هوس است
ای صبا امشبم مدد فرمای
که سحرگه شکفتنم هوس است
از برای شرف به نوک مژه
خاک راه تو رفتنم هوس است
همچو حافظ به رغم مدعیان
شعر رندانه گفتنم هوس است




Tonight is The Night of Destiny which the people of khalwa talk about
O Lord, what star’s influence has caused this good fortune?
آن شب قدری که گویند اهل خلوت امشب است
یا رب این تأثیر دولت در کدامین کوکب است


Near and Far

Ibn al-Fāriḍ


لكَ قُرْبٌ مِنّي ببُعدِكَ عنّي           وحنوٌّ وجدتهُ في جفاكا
فَتراءيتَ في سِواكَ لِعَينٍ        بكَ قَرّتْ، وما رأيتُ سِواكا
وكذاكَ الخَليلُ قَلّبَ قَبْلي          طرفهُ حينَ راقبَ الأفلاكا


You have nearness with me in your distance from me
In other than thee, You showed Yourself to my eyes
Which, delighting in you, saw nothing but you
Even so, before me did the Friend (Khalil) so turn his gaze
When he beheld the spheres [of planet, moon, and sun]




The verses above and below make reference to the following verses of the Qur’an:

Thus did we show unto Abraham the dominion of the Heavens and the Earth, that he might be of those possessing certainty. When the night grew dark upon him, he beheld a planet and said: ‘this is my Lord’. Then, when it had set, he said: ‘I love not things which set.’

And when he saw the moon rising, he said: ‘This is my Lord.’ Then when it set, he said: ‘Unless my Lord lead me, I must needs become one of the folk who have gone astray.’ And when he saw the sun rising, he said: ‘This is my Lord. This is the greatest.’ Then when it set, he said; ‘O my people, verily I am innocent of all that ye place beside God. Verily I have turned my face towards Him who created the Heavens and the Earth.” (6:75-9)

Shaykh al-‘Alawi’s commentary on these verses reads:

“He did not say ‘This is my Lord’ by way of making comparisons, but he spake thus in utter affirmation of God’s Transcendence, when there was revealed to him the Truth of all Truths that is indicated in the noble verse: Whereso’er ye turn, there is the face of God. He informed his people of this Truth that they might show piety unto God in respect of each thing. All this was on account of what was revealed unto him of the dominion of the Heavens and the earth, so that he found the Truth of the Creator existent in every created thing.”

qtd, in A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century by Martin Lings



On Love’s path, there is neither near nor far
I see you clearly, and I send you a prayer
‫در راه عشق مرحله قرب و بعد نیست‬
می‌ بینمت عیان و دعا می‌فرستمت
Though we are far from you, we drink to your recollection
There is no distance in the spiritual journey
گر چه دوریم به یاد تو قدح می‌گیریم
بعد منزل نبود در سفر روحانی
I am the comrade of the steed of imagination and patience’s companion
The partner of the fire of exile, and the intimate of separation
(lit. I have the same Qur’an of separation or I have the same joining with separation-the wordplay is impossible to translate)
رفیق خیل خیالیم و هم ركيب شکیب

قرین آتش هجران و هم قران فراق

The radiance of his face is not revealed to mine eyes alone
The sun and moon are also taking this mirror around
جلوه گاه رخ او دیده من تنها نیست
ماه و خورشید همین آینه می‌گردانند
I have not seen any equal to my friend even though I held
the mirrors of sun and moon before his face
نظیر دوست ندیدم اگر چه از مه و مهر

نهادم آینه‌ها در مقابل رخ دوست



He stayed me in Nearness, and said to me:

1. Nothing is nearer to Me than any other thing, and nothing is farther from Me than any other thing, except inasfar as I establish it in nearness and farness.

2. Farness is made known by nearness, and nearness is made known by spiritual experience: I am He whom nearness does not seek, and Whom spiritual experience does not attain.

3. The least of the sciences of my nearness is, that thou shouldst see the effects of my regard in everything, and that it should prevail in thee over thy gnosis of it.

4. The nearness which thou knowest is, compared with the nearness I know, like thy gnosis compared with my gnosis.

5. My farness thou knowest not, and my nearness thou knowest not, nor my qualification knowest thou as I know it.

6. I am the Near, but not as one thing is near to another: and I am the Far, but not as one thing is far from another.

7. Thy nearness is not thy farness, and thy farness is not thy nearness: I am the Near and the Far, with a nearness which is farness, and a farness which is nearness.

8. The nearness which thou knowest is distance, and the farness which thou knowest is distance: I am the Near and the Far without distance.

9. I am nearer to the tongue than its speech when it speaks. Whoso contemplates Me does not recollect, and whoso recollects Me does not contemplate.

10. As for the recollecting contemplative, if what he contemplates is not a reality, he is veiled by what he recollects.

11. Not every recollector is a contemplative: but every contemplative is a recollector.

12. I revealed Myself unto thee, and thou knewest Me not: that is farness. Thy heart saw Me, and saw Me not: that is farness.

13. Thou findest Me and findest Me not: that is farness. Thou describest Me, and dost not apprehend Me by My description: that is farness. Thou hearest my address as though it were from thy heart, whereas it is from Me: that is farness. Thou seest thyself, and I am nearer to thee than thy vision of thyself: that is farness.

From The Book of Spiritual Stayings of Al Niffari. Edited for the first time, with translation, commentary, and indices, by Arthur John Arberry, Luzac & Co, London, 1935.


Shaykh Aḥmad al-‘Alāwi

“The outwardly Manifest is veiled by naught but the strength of the manifestations, so be present with Him, nor be veiled from Him by that which hath no being apart from Him.”

Mināh al-Qudussiyyah, cited in A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century by Martin Lings


Ibn ‘Arabī

“So glory be to Him who veils Himself in His manifestation and becomes manifest in His veil!
No eye witnesses anything other than He, and no veils are lifted from Him.”

Futūḥāt III 546.24, cited in The Self Disclosure of God by William Chittick


From the Ḥikam of Ibn ‘Atā ‘Llah

The Truth is only veiled from you
due to its extremity of closeness to you

إمنا حجب احلق عنك – شده قربه منك .

It is only veiled  due to the intensity of its manifestation
and It is only hidden from sight
due to the splendour of Its Light


إمنااحتجب لشدة ظهوره ، وخفى عن األبصار لعظم نوره .

That which shows you the existence of His Omnipotence
Is that He veiled you from Himself
By what has no existence alongside of Him.

ما يدلك على وجود قهره – سبحانه – أن حجبك عنه مبا ليس مبوجود معه .

How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He is the One who manifests everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him
since He is the one who is manifest through everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He is the One who is manifest in everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He is the Manifest to everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He was the Manifest before the existence of anything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He is more manifest than anything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He is the One alongside of whom there is nothing?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since He is nearer to you than anything else?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him,
since, were it not for Him,
the existence of everything would not have been manifest?
It is a marvel how Being has manifested in nonbeing,
and how the contingent has been established
alongside of Him who possesses the attribute of Eternity!

 كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو الذي أظهر كل شيء ؟
كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو الذي ظهر بكل ؟ كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو الذي ظهر يف كل شيء ؟
كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهوالذي ظهر لكل شيء ؟
كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو الظاهر قبل وجود كل شيء ؟
كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو أظهر من كل شيء ؟
كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو الواحد الذي ليس معه شيء ؟
كيف يصور أن حيجبه شيء ، وهو أقرب إليك من كل شيء ؟
كيف يتصور أن حيجبه شيء ، ولواله ما كان وجود كل شيء ؟
يا عجبا ! كيف يظهر الوجود يف العدم !؟
أم كيف يثبت احلادث مع من له وصف القدم !؟

How can the Truth veil Himself with something
when He is apparent in that by which he is veiled,
and is present and found [in it]?


كيف حيتجب احلق بشيء ، والذي حيتجب به – هو فيه ظاهر ، وموجود حاضر !؟

Pleasure, even if manifest in many forms, is only through
viewing His closeness. Pain even if manifest in many forms
is only through being veiled from Him. the cause for
pain is the presence of the veil. The perfecting of pleasure is
by viewing His Noble Countenance.

النعيم وإن تنوعت مظاهره – إمنا هو لشهوده واقترابه ، والعذاب وإن تنوعت مظاهره – إمنا هو لوجود حجابه ، فسبب العذاب – وجود احلجاب ، وامتام النعيم – بالنظر إىل وجهه الكرمي .

As Hafez says,
I asked the doctor about the state of the Friend, he said
There is pain in distance from him, and health in nearness to him
پرسیدم از طبیبی احوال دوست گفتا
فی بعدها عذاب فی قربها السلامه


If it were not for the battlefields of the souls,
there would be no travel for the travelers on the Path
since there is no distance between you and Him
that your journey would shorten
and there is no separation between you and Him
that your reaching Him would eliminate.

لو ال ميادين النفوس – ما حتقق سري السائرين ، إذا المسافة بينك وبينه ؛ حىت تطويها رحلتك ، وال قطعة بينك وبينه ؛ حىت متحوه وصلتك .