Rumi: Fire rains down




If the soul of a lover spoke, fire would rain down on this world
   smashing this baseless world like atoms
The Sky will burst, time and space torn to shreds
     A passion fills the world, Joy triumphs over death.
The Sun falls short, as the inner light glows 
     The uninitiated can’t know, where the love flows.
No pains or cures, No friends or foes 
      Only the murmurs of the harp as the flute blows.
The Real made this fire to burn the unjust 
     Let the fire burn the heart, and overturn the world


Translation modified from




گر جان عاشق دم زند آتش در این عالم زند        وین عالم بی‌اصل را چون ذره‌ها برهم زند

بشکافد آن دم آسمان نی کون ماند نی مکان         شوری درافتد در جهان، وین سور بر ماتم زند

خورشید افتد در کمی از نور جان آدمی            کم پرس از نامحرمان آن جا که محرم کم زن

نی درد ماند نی دوا نی خصم ماند نی گوا           نی نای ماند نی نوا نی چنگ زیر و بم زند

حق آتشی افروخته تا هر چه ناحق سوخته         آتش بسوزد قلب را بر قلب آن عالم زند


Amazing Ghazal of Rumi

Another great translation from Prof. Nicholas Boylston…


At every breath the song of love
Arrives to us from left and right
We’re setting out to the celestial sphere
Who has the guts to come with us?
The celestial sphere was once our home
We were the friends of angels there
We go again to that same place
O Master, for that is our home
Yet we are higher than the celestial sphere
And more than even angels are
Why should we not pass by them both?
For Majesty is our abode
How great a distance separates
This world of dust from Kawthar’s pool
Although we have come down to here
We fly again. What place is this?
Youthful fortune is our friend
To give our lives our only task
The leader of our caravan
Is this world’s glory, Mustafa
The breeze’s fragrance comes to us
From the curls of his beloved hair
Imagination shimmering
From his face like ‘By the morning bright’
The moon was split by his fair face
Not bearing to set eyes on him
Even the moon achieved this fate
A humble beggar though she is
Now take a look within our heart
At every breath the moon is split
In view now of that that very view
How can your eyes now turn away?
The wave of ‘Am I not [your Lord]’
Has come and smashed the body’s boat
But since the boat is wrecked the turn
Has come of to meet Him once again
We people are like water-fowl
We were born upon the Spirit’s sea
How could it make this place its home
A bird that rose up from that sea?
Nay, we must be in that sea,
All of us are present there
Otherwise from the Spirit’s sea
Why do the waves crash one by one?
The Union of the Encounter
Has come, when beauty shall abide
The time of gifts and kindnesses
A sea that’s pure as purity
The wave of gifts has come to view,
The sea’s roaring now reaches us
Felicity’s dawn has breathed again,
Not dawn. It is the Light of God.
Who is this form that that gives all form?
Who is this king, this lord [this love]?
Who is this ancient intellect?
Why all these veils upon his face?
The remedy of all these veils of face
Is nothing but this ferment here
The fountain of these blessed draughts
Is here within your head and eyes
Your head itself, there’s nothing there
For in fact you have two heads:
One head of dust that’s from this earth
One head that’s from the celestial realm
O how many a pure head there is
That has been cast beneath the dust
So you may know this head right here
Is by that head now kept aloft
Hidden, the head that is the root
The head that’s branch is visible
For once this world is finished up
There is the world that has no end
Take up your flask, O cupbearer
And take your wine now from our cask
For the jug of thought and perception
Is narrower than a narrow way
The Sun of the Truth from Tabriz
Shone out, and thus I said to him,
‘Your light with everything is one,
And yet apart from everything.’


هر نفس آواز عشق می‌رسد از چپ و راست
ما به فلک می‌رویم عزم تماشا که راست
ما به فلک بوده‌ایم یار ملک بوده‌ایم
باز همان جا رویم جمله که آن شهر ماست
خود ز فلک برتریم وز ملک افزونتریم
زین دو چرا نگذریم منزل ما کبریاست
گوهر پاک از کجا عالم خاک از کجا
بر چه فرود آمدیت بار کنید این چه جاست
بخت جوان یار ما دادن جان کار ما
قافله سالار ما فخر جهان مصطفاست
از مه او مه شکافت دیدن او برنتافت
ماه چنان بخت یافت او که کمینه گداست
بوی خوش این نسیم از شکن زلف اوست
شعشعه این خیال زان رخ چون والضحاست
در دل ما درنگر هر دم شق قمر
کز نظر آن نظر چشم تو آن سو چراست
خلق چو مرغابیان زاده ز دریای جان
کی کند این جا مقام مرغ کز آن بحر خاست
بلک به دریا دریم جمله در او حاضریم
ور نه ز دریای دل موج پیاپی چراست
آمد موج الست کشتی قالب ببست
باز چو کشتی شکست نوبت وصل و لقاست


Rumi—It’s a lie!

Wonderful ghazal, wonderfully translated by Prof Nicholas Boylston:


They say, “The king of love has no loyalty.”
It’s a lie.
They say, “The morning does not lead to eve.”
It’s a lie.
They say, “Why do you kill yourselves for the sake of love?
After the annihilation of the body nothing remains.”
It’s a lie.
They say, “Those tears you weep for love are pointless for
Once the eyes are closed there’s no reunion.”
It’s a lie.
They say that once we quit the wheel of time
Our soul will not continue on its way.
It’s a lie.
Thus say the ones not freed from fantasy,
“The stories of the prophets are all fantasy.”
It’s a lie.

Thus say the ones who travel not the righteous path,
“There’s no way the slave will ever reach the Lord.”
It’s a lie.

They say, “The One Who knows the secrets of all hearts
Never speaks the mysteries directly to His slave.”
It’s a lie.

They say, “The secret of the heart is never opened to the slave,
And grace will never lift the servant to the skies.”
It’s a lie.

They say, “The one whose clay was kneaded from the dust
Will never come to know the heavenly folk.”
It’s a lie.

They say that every mote of bad and good was not bestowed
By the Sun of Truth upon the people.
It’s a lie.

Be silent, and if anyone should tell you
There is no way to speak save sound and words…
It’s a lie.




گویند شاه عشق ندارد وفا دروغ

گویند صبح نبود شام تو را دروغ


گویند بهر عشق تو خود را چه می‌کشی

بعد از فنای جسم نباشد بقا دروغ


گویند اشک چشم تو در عشق بیهده‌ست

چون چشم بسته گشت نباشد لقا دروغ


گویند چون ز دور زمانه برون شدیم

زان سو روان نباشد این جان ما دروغ


گویند آن کسان که نرستند از خیال

جمله خیال بد قصص انبیا دروغ


گویند آن کسان که نرفتند راه راست

ره نیست بنده را به جناب خدا دروغ


گویند رازدان دل اسرار و راز غیب

بی‌واسطه نگوید مر بنده را دروغ


گویند بنده را نگشایند راز دل

وز لطف بنده را نبرد بر سما دروغ


گویند آن کسی که بود در سرشت خاک

با اهل آسمان نشود آشنا دروغ


گویند جان پاک از این آشیان خاک

با پر عشق برنپرد بر هوا دروغ


گویند ذره ذره بد و نیک خلق را

آن آفتاب حق نرساند جزا دروغ


خاموش کن ز گفت وگر گویدت کسی

جز حرف و صوت نیست سخن را ادا دروغ

Yunus Emre-The Watermill

Thanks to Serdar Kiliç for introducing me to this poem and translating it:


Why do you groan, O Watermill; For I’ve troubles, I groan
I fell in love with the Lord; For It do I groan
They found me on a mountain; My arms and wings they plucked
Saw me fit for a watermill; For I’ve troubles, I groan
From the mountain they cut my wood; My disparate order they ruined
But an unwearied poet I am; For I’ve troubles, I groan
I am The Troubled Watermill; My water flows, roaring and rumbling
Thus has God commanded; For I’ve troubles, I groan
I am but a mountain’s tree; Neither am I bitter, nor sweet
I am but a pleader to the Lord; For I’ve troubles, I groan
Yunus, whoever comes here will find no joy, will not reach his desire
Nobody stays in this fleeting abode; For I’ve troubles, I groan


See another version and translation on this great website here.



Dolap niçin inilersin; Derdim vardır inilerim,
Ben Mevla’ya aşık oldum; Onun için inilerim,

Beni bir dağda buldular; Kolum kanadım yoldular,
Dolaba layık gördüler; Derdim vardır inilerim,
Dağdan kestiler hezenim; Bozuldu türlü düzenim,
Ben usanmaz bir ozanım; Derdim vardır inilerim,
Benim adım dertli dolap; Suyum akar yalap yalap,
Böyle emreylemiş Çalap; Derdim vardır inilerim,
Ben bir dağın ağacıyım; Ne tatlıyım ne acıyım,
Ben Mevlaya duacıyım; Derdim vardır inilerim,
Yunus bunda gelen gülmez; Kişi muradına ermez,
Bu fanide kimse kalmaz; Derdim vardır inilerim


Baba Zahin Shah Taji

I was recently introduced to this amazing 20th-century Urdu Sufi poet and scholar (he translated and Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Fuṣūṣ al-Hikam and Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya and al-Ḥallāj’s Kitāb al-Ṭawāsīn into Urdu) in these beautiful translations by Amer Latif from this article:

Latif, Amer. “Ẕahīn Shāh Tājī’s (d. 1978) Signs of Beauty (Āyāt-i Jamāl).” Journal of Sufi Studies 10, no. 1-2 (2021): 215-233.


Something Else!

(Har chand kisī shay meyṅ nahīṅ jalwa kunāṅ awr)

Though there is no one else
Manifesting in all that there is;
In everything, those looking
fancy seeing something else.


You are not other, I am not other
“No” is not other, “Yes” is not other;
The Lords of certainty are one thing,
The companions of surmise something else.


Whom else will they seek,
Whom else will they find?
They will leave your door,
But can they go anywhere else?


The people of the garden are busy
Remembering the garden, but friend:
The language of flowers is one thing
The language of thorns something else.


Lower your eyes, bow down,
Ask for vision, ask for a heart;
The eye that sees is one thing,
The heart that sees is something else.


Look at the scattered pieces of the self:
The body is one thing,
the soul something else;
The heart is one thing,
the tongue something else.


With the wood of reason,
Feed the fire of love.
Sit and watch for a while:
The smoke from the blaze is something else.


All the drunks, Zaheen, live in different worlds;
Though the wine is not different,
The wine cup is not different, and
The wine giver is not someone else.





Listen to an even more incredible performance of the poem here


This is It!

(Jō jalwa gāh-i yār hay wōh dil yahī tō hay)

The heart where the friend is manifest, this is it;
The place at which we are, the destination of beauty, this is it.


To not see oneself is the condition for seeing you;
The veil that is the barrier between us, this is it.


Every particle heart-ravishing, each manifestation soul-soothing;
At every step, the thought: “The destination, this is it.”


The one carried away by the slightest of smiles,
That heart, that ocean without a shore, this is it.


Now every gesture of beauty makes me imagine
That the one who stole my heart away, this is it.


My heart speaks to me of what is in your heart,
A mirror face-to-face with a mirror, this is it.


To forget, in your love, both of the worlds,
If there’s a thing worth remembering, this is it.


I do recognize, O friends, the attribute of Zaheen:
The one apart yet mingled with everyone, this is it.