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.