The qibla of love

Qu’ran 2:144

We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven. And now verily We shall turn you toward a qibla [direction of prayer] which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye, wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.

Qur’an 10:87

We revealed to Moses and his brother, “Appoint houses for your people in Egypt and make your houses a qibla [direction of prayer], and establish worship. And give good news to the believers.”


Qur’an 2:155

To god belong the East and West, and wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God.


“Do you think my qibla is only here [before me]? By God, your bowing and prostrating are not concealed from me; I can see you even though you are behind my back.”




Since the qibla of the soul has been hidden

everyone has turned his face to a different corner

(Masnavi 5:328-337)


قبله‌ی جان را چو پنهان کرده‌اند
هر کسی رو جانبی آورده‌اند



The Kaaba of Gabriel and the celestial spirits is a Lote-tree;
the glutton’s qibla is a cloth laden with dishes of food.
The qibla of the Knower is the light of union with God;
the qibla of the philosopher’s mind is fantasy.
The qibla of the ascetic is God, the Gracious;
the qibla of the flatterer is a purse of gold.
The qibla of the spiritual is patience and long-suffering;
the qiblah of form-worshippers is an image of stone.
The qibla of those who live in the inward is the Bounteous One;
the qibla of those who worship the outward is a woman’s face.
(Masanvi 6, 1896–1900)



کعبه‌ی جبریل و جانها سدره‌ای ** قبله‌ی عبدالبطون شد سفره‌ای
قبله‌ی عارف بود نور وصال  ** قبله‌ی عقل مفلسف شد خیال
قبله‌ی زاهد بود یزدان بر ** قبله‌ی مطمع بود همیان زر
قبله‌ی معنی‌وران صبر و درنگ ** قبله‌ی صورت‌پرستان نقش سنگ
قبله‌ی باطن‌نشینان ذوالمنن ** قبله‌ی ظاهرپرستان روی زن


By virtue of that Light the calf becomes a qibla of grace;
without that Light the qibla becomes infidelity and an idol.
The licence that comes from self-will is error;
the licence that comes from God is perfection.
In that quarter where the illimitable Light has shone,
infidelity has become faith and the Devil has attained unto Islam.


عجل با آن نور شد قبله‌ی کرم ** قبله بی آن نور شد کفر و صنم
هست اباحت کز هوای آمد ضلال ** هست اباحت کز خدا آمد کمال
کفر ایمان گشت و دیو اسلام یافت ** آن طرف کان نور بی‌اندازه تافت

(Masnavi 6: 2073)



Within the Ka‘ba the rule of the qibla does not exist:
what matter if the diver has no snow-shoes?
Do not seek guidance from the drunken:
why dost thou order those whose garments are rent in pieces to mend them?
The religion of Love is apart from all religions:
for lovers, the (only) religion and sect is God.



در درون کعبه رسم قبله نیست ** چه غم ار غواص را پاچیله نیست‏
تو ز سر مستان قلاووزی مجو ** جامه چاکان را چه فرمایی رفو
تو ز سر مستان قلاووزی مجو ** جامه چاکان را چه فرمایی رفو
ملت عشق از همه دینها جداست ** عاشقان را ملت و مذهب خداست‏

(Masnavi 6:1768-1770)



Since the Hand of God has made the Qibla manifest,
henceforth deem searching to be disallowed.
Hark, avert your face and head from searching,
now that the Destination and Dwelling-place has come into view.
If you forget this Qibla for one moment, you will become in thrall to every worthless qibla (object of desire).
When you show ingratitude to him that gives you discernment, the thought that recognises the Qibla will dart away from you.



قبله را چون کرد دست حق عیان ** پس تحری بعد ازین مردود دان
هین بگردان از تحری رو و سر ** که پدید آمد معاد و مستقر
ک زمان زین قبله گر ذاهل شوی ** سخره‌ی هر قبله‌ی باطل شوی
چون شوی تمییزده را ناسپاس ** بجهد از تو خطرت قبله‌شناس




Amīr Khusrow

Every sect has a faith, a  Qibla to which they turn,
I have turned my face towards the crooked cap (of Nizamudin Aulia)
The whole world worships something or the other,
Some look for God in Mecca, while some go to Kashi (Banaras),
So why can’t I, Oh wise people, fall into my beloved’s feet?
Every sect has a faith, a Qibla.



هر قوم راست راهي، ديني و قبله گاهي

من قبله راست كرديم ،‌بر سمت كج كلاهي


Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay,
Mun qibla raast kardam, bar samt kajkulaahay.
Sansaar har ko poojay, kul ko jagat sarahay,
Makkay mein koyi dhoondhay, Kaashi ko koi jaaye,
Guyyian main apnay pi kay payyan padun na kaahay.
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay…


Mirza Ghālib

The one to whom I bow is beyond senses’ boundaries

The qiblah itself’s a pointer for those who can see



ہے پرے سرحدِ ادراک سے اپنا مسجود

قبلے کو اہلِ نظر قبلہ نما کہتے ہیں




Ibn ‘Arabi:

Contemplate the house: for sanctified hearts,
its lights shine openly
They look at it through God, without a veil,
and its august and sublime secret appears to them.


and famously:

My heart has become receptive to every form
A meadow for gazelles, and a cloister for the monks
A house for the idols, and the pilgrim’s Ka’aba
The tablets of the Torah, pages of the Qur’an
My religion is love’s own and wheresoever turn
Her caravan, that love is my religion and my faith
We have an example in Bishr, lover of Hind and her sister,
And Qays and Layla, and Mayya and Ghaylan*


لقدْ صارَ قلبي قابلاً كلَّ صورة ٍ                فمَرْعًى لغِزْلاَنٍ وديرٌ لرُهْبانِ
وبَيْتٌ لأوثانٍ وكعبة ُ طائفٍ،                 وألواحُ توراة ٍ ومصحفُ قرآنِ
أدينُ بدينِ الحبِّ أنَّى توجَّهتْ                   رَكائِبُهُ فالحُبُّ ديني وإيماني
لنا أُسْوَة ٌ في بِشْرِ هندٍ وأُخْتِهَا               وقيسٍ وليلى ، ثمَّ مي وغيلانِ


Also see:

P | A | Chodkiewicz: The Paradox of the Ka‘ba


Charles Long, Siginifcations:

“”For my purposes, religion will mean orientation—orientation in the ultimate sense, that is, how one comes to terms with the ultimate significance of one’s place in the world.”

David Foster Wallace, “This is Water”:

“Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.

They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving…. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”

-David Foster Wallace

Infidel of Love



If a Muslim were to know what an idol is
He would know that religion is idol-worship
And if the associator (mushrik) were to know what an idol is
Where would he have gone wrong in his religion?



مسلمان گر بدانستی که بت چیست
بدانستی که دین در بت‌پرستی است
وگر مشرک ز بت آگاه گشتی
کجا در دین خود گمراه گشتی




Amir Khusro

I am an infidel of love: the creed of Muslims I do not need; 
Every vein of mine has become taunt like a wire,
the (Christian/Magian) girdle I do not need. 
Leave my bedside, you ignorant physician! 
The only cure for the patient of love is the sight of his beloved –
other than this, no medicine does he need. 
If there be no pilot in our boat, let there be none: 
We have God in our midst: the sea we do not need. 
The people of the world say that Khusrau worships idols. 
So he does, so he does; the world he does not need.


Transliteration :

Kafir-e-ishqam musalmani mara darkaar neest
Har rag-e mun taar gashta hajat-e zunnaar neest;
Az sar-e baaleen-e mun bar khez ay naadaan tabeeb
Dard mand-e ishq ra daroo bajuz deedaar neest;
Nakhuda dar kashti-e maagar nabashad go mubaash
Makhuda daareem mara nakhuda darkaar neest;
Khalq mi goyad ki Khusrau but parasti mi kunad
Aarey aarey mi kunam ba khalq mara kaar neest.



کافر عشقم، مسلمانی مرا در کار نیست
ہر رگ من تار گشتہ، حاجت زُنار نیست
از سر بالین من برخیز ای نادان طبیب
دردمند عشق را دارو بہ جز دیدار نیست
ناخدا بر کشتی ما گر نباشد، گو مباش
ما خدا داریم ما را ناخدا در کار نیست
خلق می‌گوید کہ خسرو بت‌پرستی می‌کند
آری! آری! می‌کنم! با خلق ما را کار نیست




Every sect has a faith, a direction (Qibla) to which they turn,
I have turned my face towards the crooked cap (of Nizamudin Awlyia)
The whole world worships something or the other,
Some look for God in Mecca, while some go to Kashi (Benaras),
So why can’t I, Oh wise ones, fall at my beloved’s feet?
Every sect has a faith, a Qibla.




Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay,
Mun qibla raast kardam, bar samt kajkulaahay.
Sansaar har ko poojay, kul ko jagat sarahay,
Makkay mein koyi dhoondhay, Kaashi ko koi jaaye,
Guyyian main apnay pi kay payyan padun na kaahay.
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay…


Your face like the moon


May your charming face ever shine like the full moon;
May you hold eternal sway over the domains of beauty.
By your amorous glance you have killed a poor man like me;
How magnanimous of you? May God give you a long life.
Pray do not be cruel lest you should feel ashamed of yourself
Before your lovers on the day of judgment.
I shall be set free from the bonds of the two worlds
If you become my companion for a while.
By your wanton playfulness you must have destroyed
Thousands of hearts of lovers like that of Khusrau.



Bakhubi hamcho mah tabindah baashi;
Bamulk-e dilbari paayindah baashi.
Man-e darvish ra kushti baghamzah;
Karam kardi Ilahi zindah baashi.
Jafaa kam kun ki farda roz-e mehshar;
Baru-e aashiqan sharmindah baashi.
Ze qaid-e dojahan azad baasham;
Agar tu hum-nashin-e bandah baashi.
Barindi-o bashokhi hamcho Khusrau;
Hazaran khanuman barkandah baashi.



What is brighter than the moon?

This lovely performance begins with a verse by the celebrated Persian poet Sa’adi (d. 1292), then another verse by Fakhr ad-din ‘Iraqi (d. 1289), and finally a poem by Amir Khusro (d. 1325)


Grant me a warm new life or grant me a hot death
I bow my head to your rule, and take You as my king.

-Sa ‘adī


Why should our enemies be so fortunate to die by your hands?
The heads of living friends are  waiting for your dagger.


I asked: “What is brighter than the moon?” She said: “It is my face.”
I asked: “What is sweeter than sugar?” She said: “It is my speech.”
I asked about the death of lovers; She said; “The pain of being separated from me.”
I asked about the cure of life; She said: “It is the sight of my face.”
I asked about the way of lovers; She said: “Fidelity.”
I said: “Then do not be cruel and wicked.” She said: “That is my task.”
I said: “Are you a houri or a fairy?” She said: “I am the King of idols”
I said: “Khusrau is helpless.” She said: “Worship me.”




اگرم حیات بخشی و گرم هلاک خواهی
سر بندگی به حکمت بنهم که پادشاهی


نہ شود نصب دشمن، کہ شود ہلاک تیغت
سر دوستاں سلامت، کہ تو خنجر آزمائی

گفتم که روشن از قمر گفتا که رخسار منست
گفتم که شیرین از شکر گفتا که گفتار منست
گفتم طریق عاشقان گفتا وفاداری بود
گفتم مکن جور و جفا، گفتا کہ این کار منست
گفتم کہ مرگِ ناگہاں، گفتا که درد هجر من
گفتم علاج زندگی ،گفتا که دیدار منست
گفتم که حوری یا پری ، گفتا که من شاه ِ بتاں
گفتم که خسرو ناتوان گفتا پرستار منست

امير خسرو-

I stole a glance from Niẓam





Let the housewife say what she will,
I stole a glance from the eyes of Nizam.

His darling face and his charming form I have hidden in the depths of my heart.
Let Khusrao perish at the feet of Nizam, I have just sold him a priceless maid [Khusrau himself]

Khusrau! It is the blissful wedding night; I awake with my love.
The body mine, the heart my lover’s— both coloured in the same hue.


Ghar nari gawari chaahe jo kahe
Main Nijam se naina laga aaii re

Aisa sundar, aisa chhabeela, duja koi nahin
Jaisa Baba Farid ka pyara Khwaja Nijamuddin

Sohani soorat, mohani moorat,
mein to hirday beech samaa, aaii re
Khusrao Nijam ke bal bal jaaie,
mein to anmol cheri bita, aaii re

Khusrau rain suhag ki, so jagi pii ke sang
Tan mora, man piihuu kaa, so dono aik hi rang

Favorite Verses of Amir Khusro


Love of you brings news of a world beyond consciousness
     and brings the pious to down goblets of wine
Your cheek broke the repentant vows of dozens of ascetic devotees
     and nearly had them wearing black
Yearning for you is the sheriff who seizes sultan reason by the hair
     and drags him before the Messenger
To die by your sword—is this a goal to which one can strive?
     One already dead isn’t inclined to aspire so high



عشقت خبر ز عالم بيهوشي آورد
اهل صلاح را به قدح نوشي آورد
رخسار تو که توبه صد پارسا شکست
نزديک شد که رو به سيه پوشي آورد
شوق تو شحنه ايست که سلطان عقل را
موي جبين گرفته به چاوشي آورد
مردن به تيغ تو چو به کوشش ميسر است
مرده ست آنکه ميل به کم کوشي آورد



Bing a brimming goblet that slides down the throat
     and this yearning perhaps will drain from my heart
Don’t speak of repentance or say that wine should slip my mind
     May my mind never slough off the jug
What repent of wine? If its taste is made known
     angels will descend to its scent like flies
I am in death’s bonds today, Sāqī,
     let wine flow through her head and flush her moonlike face
The ascetic tablet of my litanies and prayers is
     the shard of a jug down which the wine-script dribbles
Any bead of sweat that drops from a beautiful face
     is a disaster, a flood to carry of people’s hearts
With the way we drink our own blood at your door
     how can you choke down a single drop of wine?
Happy are the times when I think of you day and night
     and my life’s blood slashes here and there from my eyes
Open your veil and shut you lover’s mouths
Khusrau may be sinking fast from their talk


لبالب آر قدح کز گلو فرود آید
مگر که از دلم این آرزو فرود آید
مگوی تو به که آید فرود می ز سرم
مباد کز سر من این سبو فرود آید
ز می چه توبه که گر ذوق آن کند معلوم
فرشته چون مگس آنجا به بو فرود آید
به بند مردنم امروز، ساقیا، بگذار
که باده از سر آن ماهر و فرود آید
به زهد تخته ورد و دعای من باشد
سفال خم که خط می برو فرود آید
ز بهر بردن دلهای خلق سیل بلاست
هر آن عرق که ز روی نکو فرود آید
بدین صفت که همی خون خوریم بر در تو
ترا چگونه می اندر گلو فرود آید؟
خوش آن زمان که به یاد تو هر شبم تا روز
ز دیده خون جگر سو به سو فرود آید؟
نقاب واکن و لبهای عاشقان دربند
مگر که خسرو ازین گفتگو فرود آید


Whoever sees you for one day, forgets this world and the next


هر کس که ببیندت به یک روز
ملک دو جهان کند فراموش


You’ve came back drunk, whose guest were you?
     I know you’re sugar, in whose cane field were you?
My absent friend, whose sad heart did you seek?
     My Joseph, whose prison were you in?
My madman, by whose alley did you walk?
     Whose anxieties did you pique?
Where did you drink wine last night? Whom did you give the goblet to?
     In the darkness of night, were you in the spring of life?
Dressed-up and drunk, in whose arms did you sleep?
     Who was so lucky? Whose orders did you obey?
Who picked through your curls? Who bit your lips?
     With whom did you sit at night? Whose guest were you?
The sweets are all plundered, o heart, what have you done?
     At whose table were you the fly?
In whose moaning body were you another soul?
     On whose searing wound did you pour the salt?
You don’t have the scent of roses, Khusrau, nor the colour of spring
In whose garden have you been strolling?


مست آمده اي باز به مهمان که بودي؟
دانم شکري در شکرستان که بودي؟
اي يار جدا مانده، دل تنگ که جستي؟
اي يوسف گم گشته به زندان که بودي؟
ديوانه من بر سر کوي که گذشتي؟
تشويش ده حال پريشان که بودي؟
مي دوش کجا خوردي و ساغر به که دادي؟
در ظلمت شب چشمه حيوان که بودي؟
آراسته و مست در آغوش که خفتي؟
اين بخت کرا بوده، به فرمان که بودي؟
جعدت که گزيده ست، لبت را که گزيده ست؟
پيش که نشستي شب و مهمان که بودي؟
حلوا همه تاراج شد، اي دل، تو چه کردي؟
شهد که چشيدي، مگس خوان که بودي؟
جان دگري در تن نالان که بودي؟
کان نمکي در دل بريان که بودي؟
ني بوي گلي داري و ني رنگ بهاري
خسرو، تو به نظاره بستان که بودي؟




If I cannot see her, at least I can think of her, and so be happy;
To light the beggar’s hut no candle is better than moonlight.


گر جمال یار نبود با خیالش هم خوشم
خانه ٔ درویش را شمعی به از مهتاب نیست

Lovers on a terrace - Late 19th century Mughal Painting

My heart is a wanderer in love, may it ever remain so.
My life’s been rendered miserable in love,
may it grow more and more miserable.


دلم در عاشقی آواره شد آواره تر بادا
تنم از بی‌دلی بیچاره شد بیچاره تر بادا



People think they are alive because they have soul in them,
But I am alive because I have love in myself,
And I’m a martyr due to the beloved’s affliction,
(for, to a lover, nothing is dearer than
the affliction brought forth by the beloved).

اگر خلق جهان زند بجانند و لكن
من زنده عشقم كه شهيد عم يارم


One drunk on you needs no wine,
no doctor has the cure for my pain
Moon don’t rise before my eyes
for with his face, I have no need for you at all


مست ترا به هيچ ميي احتياج نيست
رنج مرا ز هيچ طبيبي علاج نيست
اي مه، مشو مقابل چشمم که با رخش
ما را به هيچ وجه به تو احتياج نيست
Though I weep blood over your boundless cruelty
    with my eyelashes I still sweep the dust from your doorstep
You have broken many hearts of glass,
    a crime that has turned your unkind heart to stone
No fulfillment with you, no delight for me
    Soul bereft, I don’t belong to you or myself
All night ’till dawn your brutality roamed through my heart
    “Ah, now you are in my heart” I thought—”In your soul” was the reply
Don’t frown. In those creases of your brow
    I see foreshadowed the bow that will destroy the world
Who will rescue me  from your tightly pursed mouth
    when my purse is shrunk tighter than your lips?
You said, “Khusrau is mine.” What good fortune this is
I mean, just for my name to have crossed your lips
خون گريم ار چه از ستم بيکران تو
هم خاک روبم از مژه بر آستان تو
بسيار آبگينه دلها شکسته اي
زين جرم سنگ شد دل نامهربان تو
جان رفت و نه وصال توام شد نه عيش خوش
نه من از آن خويش شدم نه از آن تو
در دل که شب جفاي تو مي گشت تا به روز
گفتم که، اي تو، در دل من، گفت، جان تو
ابرو ترش مکن که شود کشته عالمي
زين چاشني که مي نگرم در کمان تو
از تنگي دهان توام دست کي دهد
روزي من چو تنگ تر است از دهان تو
گفتي که خسرو آن من است اين چه دولت است
يعني منم که مي گذرم بر زبان تو


Since union with you is not my lot, I try to pass the time
with heart’s blood, writing out your name, in one place, next to mine
Who is Khusrau that tormenting him, you tire your lips?
Please don’t toss out anywhere your insults like this.
نيست چون بخت وصالم بهر صبر از خون دل
هر دمي يک جا نويسم نام تو با نام خويش
کيست خسرو تا لب خود رنجه داري در جفاش؟
اين چنين هم جابه جا ضايع مکن دشنام خويش
5 persian miniature
I love you so much, I am overcome with jealousy
if you treat anyone else, as badly as you treated me


چنانت دوست مي دارم که غيرت مي برد جانم
ز تو بر ديگري گر خود همه بيداد مي آيد
My fortunes woke from sleep when you slept with me
    You didn’t sleep in my embrace, but in my shining eyes
restlessly you flit about, yet in the sleepless of your friend
    you slept like a friend  to strike our enemies blind
One night, you recall, we were both in the garden:
    I in the brambles and thorns, you sleeping amidst flowers and roses
A cause for celebration! Khusrau perceived you so fully
    That you slept all night with him, arms around his neck


بختم از خواب در آمد چو تو با من خفتی
نه در آغوش که در دیده روشن خفتی
هر دمی گردی و در دیده ناخفته دوست
دوستانه ز پی کوری دشمن خفتی
یاد داری که شبی هر دو به بستان بودیم
من به خار و خس و تو در گل و گلشن خفتی
این چه عید است که خسرو ز تو قدری دریافت
که تو با او همه شب دست به گردن خفتی


Luck turned on me when you left my side.
     When will you turn like my luck and walk back through the door?
Without the rose of your face, my heart contracts like a bud,
     and I fear when it blooms, my shirt will burst.
With patience Khusrau, one can behave with moderation
    but I fear I get worse with each passing day.


بخت برگشت ز من تا تو برفتي ز برم
کي بود باز که چون بخت در آيي ز درم؟
بي گل روي تو چون غنچه دلم تنگ آمد
بيم آن است که بر خويش گريبان بدرم
به صبوري بتوان کرد مداوا، خسرو
بيم آن است که هر روز که آيد بترم
Like two dice, your eyes have won my heart and soul
and if you come to gamble, both worlds, by rights, are yours to win
Coming once you carried off a hundred like Khusrau, heart and soul.
Come again like this two or three times, and who will survive?
 منم و دلی و آهی ره تو درون این دل
مرو ایمن اندر این ره که فگار خواهی آمد
به یک آمدن ربودی، دل و دین و جان خسرو
چه شود اگر بدین سان دو سه بار خواهی آمد
I, Khusrau, play the game of love with my beloved,
If I win, the beloved’s mine, defeated, I’m beloved’s.
Khusrau baazi prem ki main khelun pi ke sung,
Jeet gayi to piya moray, haari, pi kay sung.
You bring the lips, I’ll bring the heart,
now you have both wine and kabob
لب از تو و دل ز من، خوشي کن
چون هم مي و هم کباب داري
You graciously gave me two kisses, but I passed out from the first
Come let’s start from the beginning, because I’ve lost count
What you declare so publicly, Khusrau is a dream
Where did you doze off to see things like this around you?
دو بوسم لطف کردي و شدم هم در يکي بيهش
رها کن تا ز سر گيرم که گم کردم شمار خود
به خواب ست اينکه مي گويي به پيش مردمان، خسرو
ترا کو خواب تا ببيني ازينها در کنار خود
She speaks in the Turkish tongue, but I don’t know Turkish
How sweet would it be if her tongue were in my mouth!
My body burns with love beneath my shirt
so much that my glowing bones show through
Fulfill the heart lorn Khusrau’s desire, sit here awhile
so your heart will take pity on all my moaning and wailing
زبان اوست ترکي گوي و من ترکي نمي دانم
چه خوش بودي، اگر بودي زبانش در دهان من
چنان از عشق مي سوزد تنم در زير پيراهن
که از بيرون پيراهن نمايد استخوان من
مراد خسرو بيدل بر آر و يک زمان بنشين
که رحمي بر دلت آيد ز فرياد و فغان من
Though you load my body, weak as a hair, with a universe of woe
     I’ll not trade a single strand of your hair for both worlds
Why should I explain to you how I am,
     now that Khusrau has become a legend in yearning and searching for you?
به تن چو تار مويت نهي ار دو صد جهان غم
ندهم به هيچ حالي دو جهان به تار مويت
پس ازين چه جاي آنت که ز حال خود بگويم
که فسانه گشت خسرو به جهان ز جستجويت
 Mughal Miniature Painting Depicting a Lady Standing by a Tree in Blossom
When her robe and her shift touch her skin,
      I am envious of her robe and her robe envies her shift
She winks and people die, but does she grieve
      the death of so many thousands like me?
Strange, one can get no sense of the stamp of her mind
      but can see her spirit move through the thin gauze her body
I feed off it, a parasite, the way you tie people up in your curls
      Bring a rope and throw it around my throat.
I crumble to dust on her street, I have only one regret:
      that this dust contaminated with sorrow might reach her on the wind
Her lover, her pilgrim, dies a martyr of love
      He is blessed and his shroud becomes a regal robe
To be joined with her is  no more than this:
      the lover is killed and plunged into her tangling hair
You didn’t understand Khusrau what your tongue asked of you
It was a hint to take a sword and cut off its head
قبا و پيرهن او که مي رسد به تنش
من از قباش به رشکم، قبا ز پيرهنش
کرشمه مي کند و مردمان همي ميرند
چه غم ز مردن چندين هزار همچو منش
عجب، اگر نتوان نقش خاطرش دريافت
ز نازکي بتوان ديد روح در بدنش
طفيل آنکه کسان را به زلف در بندي
بيار يک رسن و در گلوي من فگنش
به کوي او که شوم خاک، نيست غم مگر آنک
ز باد گرد غم آلود من رسد به تنش
شهيد عشق که شد يار در زيارت او
مبارک آمد و فرخنده خلعت کفنش
وصال با وي ازين بيش نيست عاشق را
که کشته گشت و در آمد به زلف پر شکنش
زبان که خواست ز تو، خسروا، نکردي فهم
کنايتي ست که برگير تيغ و سرفگنش
Your cheek is like the moon, but more moon than moon
     You tortured my heart and left behind a wound
Your wink mows the rows of other beauties down
     If it’s not too much trouble, mow down my poor heart too
You cast a shadow on my joy, darkened my heart’s day
     and eclipsed the age of far-sighted reason too
“Kill me if you won’t comfort me” I said to you
     You can’t be bothered and are too lazy too
So I killed myself, the weapon of my choice: your cruelty
     I made it all so easy for you and for myself too
My patience goes missing and leaves me behind
     It won’t look back now out of fear, nor peek too far ahead
Let me tie on the infidel sash, abandon these idols
     and give up praying and, God forbid, religion too
Though he brings on the apocalypse in my very soul
     may he live until the end of days and a little longer too
You always tell me, “My elixir is sweet.”
If you ask Khusrau, darling, he’ll tell you that it’s poison too
اي رخت چون ماه و از مه بيش هم
خسته کردي سينه ما، ريش هم
غمزه تو بر صف خوبان زند
گر نرنجي بر دل درويش هم
تيره کردي عيش ما و روز دل
روزگار عقل دور انديش هم
گر نوازش نيست کشتن، گفتمت
کاهلي کردي در آن فرويش هم
کشتم از دست جفايت خويش را
بر تو آسان کردم و بر خويش هم
مي رود صبر من آواره ز من
پس نمي بيند ز بينم و پيش هم
ما و زنار مغانه کز بتان
وين نماز، استغفرالله، کيش هم
گر چه بر جانم قيامتها از اوست
تا قيامت عمر بادش بيش هم
هر زمان گويي که نوش من خوش است
گر ز خسرو پرسي، اي جان، نيش هم
Translations from In the Bazaar of Love 
by Paul Losensky and Sunil Sharma

The Wisdom of Khusrau

Poverty is more pleasant than majesty;
      depravity, more pleasant than piety.
Majesty has its headaches, and when last I looked
      beggary was more pleasant.
Since kings let no one approach them,
      being indigent among the poor is more pleasant
When pride gets into someone’s head,
      being pals with a dog from the streets is more pleasant
When the heart breaks with melancholy over some beauty
      that breaking is more pleasant than any salve
Public love play with idols is more pleasant
      than all this devout hypocrisy
Once won, there’s no pleasure in love
      Separation, for those who play this game, is more pleasant.
Put your base love out of your mind, Khusrau
Love for the sacred secret is more pleasant



مفلسي از پادشايي خوشتر است
مفسدي از پارسايي خوشتر است
پادشاهي راست درد سر، ولي
چون نگه کردم گدايي خوشتر است
پادشاهان چون به خود ندهند راه
با فقيران بي نوايي خوشتر است
آدمي چون کبر در سر مي کند
با سنگ کو، آشنايي خوشتر است
دل که از سوداي خوبان بشکند
آن شکست از موميايي خوشتر است
آشکارا عشقبازي بيا بتان
از بسي زهد ريايي خوشتر است
نيست لذت عشق را بعد از وصال
عشقبازان را جدايي خوشتر است
عشق دوتان، خسروا، از سر بنه
عشق با سر خدايي خوشتر است

islamic geometry 2
Since we’ve pulled our skirts back form the spread of worldly wares
      we’ve rolled up our clothes and moved into the beggar’s alley
Sāqī pour out the wine from the flask
      for we have drunk too many tears from sky-blue bottles
Since the cup of black and white dice that roll across the earth’s green felt
      is loaded full of trickery, we have drunk dark red wine
Now it’s poverty and its myriad meanings like threads
      that we’ve woven into a blanket and pulled down over our head
We’ve pulled back the skirts of ambition from all the world yields
      since it could never fill the pockets of greed.
Smash the assayer’s touchstone against a rock
      Gold is just yellow clay when we have wisdom’s scales
Khusrau, we are not children to seek out shiny yellow and reds
Like adults we’ve pulled back our hearts from gold and pearls

Islamic Geometry 1,  2012, flasche on canvas, 36x36


تا دامن از بساط جهان در کشیده ایم
رخت خرد به کوی قلندر کشیده ایم
ای ساقی، از قرابه فرو ریز می که ما
خونابه ها ز شیشه اخضر کشیده ایم
در حقه سفید و سیه بر بساط خاک
چون پر دغاست، باده احمر کشیده ایم
فقر است و صد هزار معانی درو چو موی
آن را گلیم کرده و در سر کشیده ایم
چون جیب حرص پر نشد از حاصل جهان
دامان همت از سر آن در کشیده ایم
بر سنگ زن عیار زر، ایرا گلی ست زرد
چون در ترازوی خردش بر کشیده ایم
خسرو نه کودکیم که جوییم سرخ و زرد
چون بالغان دل از زر و گوهر کشیده ایم




The wise ought not to set their hearts
      on the seductiveness the world displays
Why fall in love with the phantasms of this world
      The mirror shows the  face to be a borrowed thing
Don’t think the knots on your brow are firm and strong
      Fate takes note of them only to untie them
How vainly you say, “I will stand firm.”
      If life itself won’t stand firm, how will you?
While alive, one’s meaning and form remain
      Though through form, one joins meaning
My heart is in ruins and people have hearts of stone
      One shouldn’t rebuild this edifice with such bricks
Humankind is chaff, how can it cling to gold?
      Straw is naturally drawn to amber.
You’ll get no provisions from worthless companions
      The camel is mated, but no foal is born
When you speak bitterly, the answer will be the same
      If you curse an enemy, he won’t reply sweetly
Seeking insight form the immature is
      like a fool rubbing his head against unfired brick
If you ask me truly about the story of this world—
      it’s an easy lie that Khusrau sings.


بدان دلفریبی که گیتی نماید
خردمند را دل نهادن نشاید
چه بندی دل اندر خیالات عالم؟
که آیینه رو عاریت می نماید
گره های غمزه مبین سخت و محکم
که چرخش ندید آن، مگر می گشاید
چه بیهوده گویی که پاینده مانم
تو مانی، اگر زندگانی نپاید؟
کسی زنده ماند به معنی و صورت
که از راه صورت به معنی گراید
دل خلق سنگین و دل در خرابی
ازان سنگها این عمارت نشاید
خس است آدمی، چون گرفتار زر شد
چون آن کاه کش کهربا می رباید
ز اصحاب ناجنس زادی نیابی
که استر شود جفت و کره نزاید
چو تو تلخ گویی، همان است پاسخ
عدوگاه دشنام شکر نخاید
بدان ماند از خام جستن بصیرت
که بر خشت خام ابلهی سر نساید
حدیث جهان گر ز من راست پرسی
دروغی ست آسان که خسرو سراید

Amir Chakhmaq Mosque Facade - Yazd, Iran


My life is over and I did not turn to the Lord
       I did not seek out those moments of rapture, and now the chance has slipped
How can my heart wash away its filthy corruption?
        Unlike my tears, my ablutions failed to flood me with regret
My tears did not wash away my black disgrace
        My face did not shine bright in the ranks of true men
What do I know of the path of those lion-hearted nocturnal wanderers
        When I haven’t spent a night or two even roaming the alleys with dogs?
Never a ball nestled in the crook of love’s polo stick,
        my head could not be struck by the ecstasy of my Sultan’s presence
My rheumy nose could not pick up the smell of musk
        too congested to catch the perfume of creation.
They advise me to give up my bad habits, but how can I do so now
        when I haven’t made a habit of it from the first?
I threw away my whole life on lies:
        I never bowed down sincerely before the Lord.
Poetry became my plague, alas that Khusrau never said, “Silence”
        and I never stopped talking.

Iranian Tiles


برفت عمر و به سوي خداي روي نکردم
بشد غنيمت و اوقات جستجوي نکردم
ز لوث فسق دل من چگونه دست بشويد؟
به غسل جاي ندامت چو ديده چوي نکردم
سياه رويي خود را به آب ديده نشستم
به صف مردان خود را سفيد روي نکردم
طريق شيردلي هاي شبروان چه شناسم
که صحبتي دو سه شب باسگان کوي نکردم؟
کجا به حضرت سلطان قبول حال بيايد
سري که در خم چوگان عشق گوي نکردم
دماغ کرد چنينم که طيب خلق ندانم
زکام داشت بر آنم که مشک بوي نکردم
به ترک خوي بدم مي دهند پند، وليکن
کنون چگونه کنم، کز نخست خوي نکردم؟
تمام عمر برانداختم به کذب که هرگز
به صدق پيش خدا قامت دو توي نکردم
وبال من همه شعر آمد و دريغ که خسرو
نگفت «خاموش » و من ترک گفتگوي نکردم

Translations from In the Bazaar of Love 
by Paul Losensky and Sunil Sharma


Compare with Hafez’s ghazal:



Last night a wise, keen-minded one whispered to me,
“The wine-seller’s secret should not be hidden from you.”


He said, “Take it easy, for by its nature,
the world is hard on those who try hard.”


And then he gave me a cup and in its light, across the heavens
Venus began to dance, and played her lute, and cried, “Drink!”


While your heart bleeds, let your lips smile like the cup.
Don’t, if you are stuck, break into a roar like the harp


Until you are an initiate you will not hear a secret in this music.
The outsider’s ear is no place for the angel’s message.


Listen to my advice, O son, and don’t worry about the world.
I told a pearl-like ḥadīth if you can hear it


In love’s sanctuary there is no murmur of debate
because all your limbs must be eye and ear.


In the shop of those who understand subtlety,
hawking oneself is not allowed. Speak knowingly, o wise one, or be quiet


O Sāqī, give us wine, because Aṣaf of auspicious birth,
forgiver of sins and overlooker of faults, understands what Hafez really means


Translation from The Green Sea of Heaven
by Elizabeth Gray



دوش با من گفت پنهان کاردانی تیزهوش
وز شما پنهان نشاید کرد سر می فروش
گفت آسان گیر بر خود کارها کز روی طبع
سخت می‌گردد جهان بر مردمان سخت‌کوش
وان گهم درداد جامی کز فروغش بر فلک
زهره در رقص آمد و بربط زنان می‌گفت نوش
با دل خونین لب خندان بیاور همچو جام
نی گرت زخمی رسد آیی چو چنگ اندر خروش
تا نگردی آشنا زین پرده رمزی نشنوی
گوش نامحرم نباشد جای پیغام سروش
گوش کن پند ای پسر وز بهر دنیا غم مخور
گفتمت چون در حدیثی گر توانی داشت هوش
در حریم عشق نتوان زد دم از گفت و شنید
زان که آنجا جمله اعضا چشم باید بود و گوش
بر بساط نکته دانان خودفروشی شرط نیست
یا سخن دانسته گو ای مرد عاقل یا خموش
ساقیا می ده که رندی‌های حافظ فهم کرد
آصف صاحب قران جرم بخش عیب پوش


Amir Khusro in Love

Main To Piya Se Naina Laga Aayi Re



Hey, I’ve just had an affair with my darling,
Don’t care what the neighbourhood girls say;
Just had an affair with my darling.
Oh, his beautiful face, charming like an idol,
I’ve just made a place in the bottom of his heart.
I, Khusrau, give my life to Nizamuddin in sacrifice,
I’ve just heard him call me his most favourite disciple;
Don’t care what the neighbourhood girls say,
I’ve just had an affair with my darling.



Main to piya say naina lada aayi ray,
Ghar naari kanwari kahay so karay,
Main to piya say naina lada aayi ray.
Sohni suratiya, mohni muratiya,
Main to hriday kay peechay samaa aayi ray;
Khusrau Nijaam kay bal bal jayyiye
Main to anmol cheli kaha aayi ray,
Ghar naari kanwari kahay so karay,
Main to piya say naina lada aayi ray.

(from :



Mora jobana navelara 


My youth is budding, full of passion;
How can I spend this time without my beloved?
Would someone please tell Nizamuddin for me,
The more I appease him, the more annoyed he gets;
My youth is budding……
I want to break these bangles in the bed,
And throw my blouse into the fire,
The empty bed scares me,
The fire of separation keeps burning me.
Oh, beloved. My youth is budding.


lovers ona pyrre persianmin





Mora jobana navelara, bhayo hai gulaal,
Kaisi dhar dini bikas mori maal.
Mora jobana navelara…….
Nijamudin aulia ko koyi samajhaaye,
Jyon jyon manaon, wo to rootha hi jaaye.
Mora jobana navelara……
Chudiyan phod palang pe daaron,
Is cholee ko doon main aag lagaai.
Sooni saij darawan laagay, virah agni mohay dus dus jaaye
Mora jobana navelara…

(From :

indian couple


It’s Spring Again!

Amir Khusro wrote several poems about Basant, a pre-Islamic Panjabi/South Asian/Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of spring by flying kites, wearing yellow, carrying yellow flowers. A legend goes that Amir Khusro’s shaykh, Nizamuddin, was mourning the death of his nephew when Amir Khusro came with a whole Basant procession to cheer him up. Chisti Sufis have celebrated Basant ever since.



Rejoice in the spring, beautiful bride,
Rejoice in the spring today.
Put make-up on your face and lashes
And comb your long hair.
You’re still dead sleep,
Get up, beautiful bride.
Destiny is knocking on your door,
Enjoy this spring, O bride.

A snobbish lady with arrogant looks,
That’s what you are.
The king of Amir, on seeing you,
Will cast glances of love towards you.

The spring is here again,
Rejoice in the spring today.



Aaj basant manaalay suhaagun,
Aaj basant manaalay;
Anjan manjan kar piya mori,
Lambay neher lagaaye;
Tu kya sovay neend ki maasi,
So jaagay teray bhaag, suhaagun,
Aaj basant manalay…..;
Oonchi naar kay oonchay chitvan,
Ayso diyo hai banaaye;
Shaah-e Amir tohay dekhan ko,
Nainon say naina milaaye,
Suhaagun, aaj basant manaalay.


Aaj Rang hai


Translation (of chorus and final section of the qawwal)

What a colour, oh what a colour
Oh beloved, please dye me in yourself;
Dye me in the colour of the spring, beloved;
What a glow, Oh, what a glow.



Main to aiso rang aur nahin dekhi ray
Main to jab dekhun moray sung hai,
Aaj rung hai hey maan rung hai ri.


Mohe apne hi rang mein



Colourful, come dye me in your own hue
You are my lord, Beloved of God
Dye me in your hue.
My scarf, and my love’s turban,
Both need to be dyed in the hue of spring;
Whatever be the price for dyeing, ask for it,
You can have my blossoming youth as payment;
Dye me in your hue.
I have come and fallen at your door step,
For you to protect my honor
You are my Lord, Oh beloved of God,
Dye me in your hue.





Mohay apnay hi rung mein rung lay,
Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi;
Mohay apnay hi rung mein……
Humri chundariya, piyaa ki pagariya,
Woh to donon basanti rung day;
Tu to saaheb mera …….
Jo kuch mangay rung ki rungaai,
Mora joban girvi rakhlay;
Tu to saaheb mera…….
Aan pari darbaar tehaaray,
Mori laaj saram sab rakh lay;
Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi,
Mohay apnay hi rung mein rung lay.




Sakal Bhun (The Yellow Flower)



The yellow flower is blooming in every field,
Mango buds are clicking open, other flowers too;
The koyal chirps from branch to branch,
And the maiden tries on her make-up,
The gardener-girls have brought bouquets.
Colourful flowers of all kinds,
In hands everyone’s bringing;
But the colour-lover, who had promised to come
To Nizamuddin’s house in spring,
Hasn’t turned up – its been years.
The yellow flower is blooming in every field.


Sakal bun phool rahi sarson,
Sakal bun phool rahi…..
Umbva phutay, tesu phulay, koyal bolay daar daar,
Aur gori karat singaar,
Malaniyan gadhwa lay aayin karson,
Sakal bun phool rahi…..
Tarah tarah kay phool lagaaye,
Lay gadhwa haathan mein aaye.
Nijamudin kay darwazay par,
Aawan keh gaye aashaq rung,
Aur beet gaye barson.
Sakal bun phool rahi sarson.






another beautiful song by Amir Khusro in the same Raag Bahar (springtime mode):

Hazrat Khwaja sung khayliye Dhamal



Let us play Dhamal with Hazrat Khwaja,
Everyone dresses up, the twenty two saints have come,
So let us play Dhamal;
Give respect to our exalted Messenger.
We celebrate spring for you, Oh Arab friend.
Keep the colourful spirit alive for ever.
Let us play Dhamal with Hazrat Khwaja.

(Dhamal could be a song or a musical genre that aroused ecstasy amongst the Sufis. It was usually performed at special occasions such as Basant.)




Hajrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal,
Hajrat khaja sung…….
Baais khaja mil bun bun aaye,
Taamay hajrat Rasool saheb-e jamaal
Hajrat khaja sung khailiye…….
Arab yaar tori basant manaayo,
Sadaa rakhiyo laal gulaal…..
Hajrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal.






Mughal Floral Miniature mughal_flower_aa63

Hazrat ‘Alī in Nusrat’s Qawwals


Many of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s greatest qawwal performances feature lyrics about ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, probably originally deriving from the song, “Man Kuntu Mawla,” attributed to Amir Khusrow (d. 1325). Bulleh Shah (d. 1757) is said to have modified this song to create the popular qawwal “Mast Qalandar” in honor of the Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (d. 1274) whose tomb in Sindh (pictured below) attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.

‘Ali plays an important role in virtually all Sufi orders as the first link in the initiatic chain from the Prophet, and whether Sunni or Shi’a, Sufi poets around the world have praised ‘Ali for his sanctity, knowledge, and spiritual perfection. Like the Prophet, ‘Ali remains a living presence in Sufism, especially in Qawwali music.


Dam Mast Qalandar


Partial Translation:

“Intoxicated, intoxicated
Upon My breath and in my intoxication is the great Qalander.
My worship and upon my breath is the name of Ali.
I am intoxicated with the beloved Qalander
I am intoxicated with Jhoole Laal who is intoxicated with Qalander
Keep repeating his name you follower of Ali
You Ali !!! Keep saying his name.”




Ali Maula Ali Dam Dam

Man Kunto Maula


Shah e Mardan / Haqq Ali Ali Ali Maula Ali Ali

Lyrics and Translation of Haq Ali Ali 

Ali imaam-e-manasto manam Ghulaam-e-Ali
hazaar jaan-e-giraamii fidaa-e-naam-e-Ali

Ali is the master of all, I am the slave of Ali
a thousand lives are to be sacrificed for Ali

Haidariam qalandaram mastam
bandaa-e-Murtaza Ali hastam
peshvaa-e-tamaam virdaaram
ke sage kuu-e-sher-e-yazdaanam

I belong to the Lion of God
I am an intoxicated ecstatic wandering dervish
I am a slave of Ali the Chosen One
I am the leader of all the drunkards
As I am a dog in the street of the Lion of God 

kabhii diivaar hiltii hai, kabhii dar kaaNp jaataa hai
Ali kaa naam sun kar ab bhii Khaibar kaaNp jaataa hai

Sometimes the wall shakes, sometimes the door trembles
upon hearing the name of Ali, the fort of Khaibar trembles even now.

(During the battle of Khaybar, Ali rooted out the heavy door of the fort and used it as his shield.)

shaah-e-mardaaN Ali
Ali Ali Ali
Ali Maula Ali

King of the brave men, Ali
Ali Ali Ali
Ali, [my] master Ali.

patthar pe alam deen ka gaaRaa jisne
lalkaar kar Marhab ko pichaaRaa jisne

[One] who planted the flag of faith on the rocks
[One] who challenged Marhab and defeated him.

Ali Ali Ali
Ali Maula Ali

[The] truth!
Ali Ali Ali
Ali, [my] master Ali

jap le jap le mere manvaa
yahii naam sacchaa hai pyaare
yahii naam tere sab dukh haare
isii naam kii barkat ne diye raaz-e-haqiiqat khol

my heart! chant this
[as] this is the name that is true.
This is the name that removes suffering
[and] the auspiciousness of this name opened the secrets of being.

shaah-e-mardaaN Ali
la fataa illah Ali
sher-e-yazdaaN Ali

King of the brave, Ali.
There is no hero except Ali
[and] the lion of God is Ali.

tan par Ali, Ali ho zubaaN par Al Ali
mar jauuN to kafan par bhii likhna Ali Ali

My body chants Ali, so does my tongue
[and] when I die, then write Ali on my shroud.

baGhair hubb-e-Ali mudd’aa nahiiN miltaa
ibaadatoN kaa bhii hargiz silaa nahiiN miltaa
Khudaa ke bandoN suno Ghaur se Khudaa kii qasam
jise Ali nahiiN milte use Khudaa nahiiN miltaa

Without the love of Ali, desire is not fulfilled
not even the prayers are answered.
O! slaves of God listen carefully, by God!
One who does not realizes Ali does not realize God.

basad talaash na ab kuch vus’at-e-nazar se milaa
nishaan-e-manzil-e-maqsuud raahbar se milaa
Ali mile to mile Khaana-e-Khudaa saa hameN
Khudaa ko dhuuNdha to vo bhi Ali ke ghar se milaa

Don’t search for anything now, match the eternal search
match the footprints of the desired destination with guide
to get Ali is like getting a house of God
searching for God too, we found Him in Ali’s house.

diid Haider kii ibaadat, hai ye farmaan-e-nabii
hai Ali ruuh-e-nabii, jism-e-nabii, jaan-e-nabii
gul-e-tathiir Ali
haq kii shamshiir Ali
piiroN ke piir Ali

The sight of Ali in itself is prayer, so said the Prophet
Ali is the soul, body and life of the Prophet
Ali is the purified flower
Ali is the sword of the truth
Ali is the saint of the saints.

dast-e-ilaa kyuuN na ho sher-e-Khudaa Ali
maqsuud har ataa hai shah-e-laa-fataa Ali
jis tarah ek zaat-e-Muhammad hai be-misaal
paidaa hu’aa na hogaa ko’ii duusraa Ali
“Bedam” yahii to paaNch haiN maqsuud-e-qaaynaat
Khairunnisaa, Hasan, Hussain, Mustafaa, Ali

At the door of God why not be like the Lion of God.
Every intention has a reward, the King of the Victorious is Ali
Like the progeny of Muhammad is unique and unmatchable
There is none born nor ever will be, like Ali
These five are indeed the reason of creation;
the best of women (Fatima, the prophet’s daughter), Hasan, Hussain (Ali’s sons), Mustafa (Prophet Muhammad), Ali

Ali Ali Ali
Ali Maula Ali

[The] truth!
Ali Ali Ali
Ali, [my] master Ali



How many nights…

radha under the moon




By God, how many nights I have spent
in the sweetness of life, apart from the watchman
Drinking my wine with the beloved as my companion
as the glasses of love’s joys go ’round
I reached by goal, beyond whatever I had hoped
Longing, though it be perfect, for this pleasure to stay with me forever




فلِلّهِ، كَم من لَيلَة ٍ قد قَطَعتُها                   بِلَذّة ِ عيشٍ، والرّقيبُ بِمَعزلِ
ونقلي مدامي والحبيبُ منادمي                وأقداحُ أفْراحِ المَحَبّة ِ تَنجَلي
ونلتُ مُرادي، فوقَ ما كنتُ راجياً،            فواطَرَبا، لو تَمّ هذا ودامَ لي

Amir Khusrau



Many nights I was with a moon, where have all those nights gone?
Night has come again, but now it’s black from the smoke of my cries
Happy where the nights I spent with her, sometimes drunk, sometimes giddy
My world goes dark when I remember those nights
I repeat the tale of her eyebrows and lashes over and over again
just like children reciting the surah of “Nun wa qalam” at school
What would happen if one night she asked a lonely stranger beneath her walls
how he passes these lonely nights?
Come, you who are the life of every form,
let lovers—forms without life—live again in your alley
Even though you’ve taken my heart and soul, look at me
See how nicely that smile came from those lips into these eyes
Don’t grieve for your life Khusrau, though the Friend slays you
For the beautiful faced ones have so many sects that act like this.


hookah under the blankets



بسي شب با مهي بودم کجا شد آن همه شبها                             کنون هم هست شب، ليکن سياه از دود ياربها
خوش آن شبهاکه پيشش بودمي گه مست و گه سرخوش                جهانم مي شود تاريک چون ياد آرم آن شبها
همي کردم حديث ابرو و مژگان او هر دم                               چو طفلان سوره نون والقلم خوانان به مکتبها
چه باشد گر شبي پرسد که در شبهاي تنهايي                            غريبي زير ديوارش چگونه مي کند شبها
بيا، اي جان هر قالب که تا زنده شوند از سر                           به کويت عاشقان کز جان تهي کردند قالبها
اگر چه دل بدزديدي و جان، اينک نگر حالم                            چه نيکو آمد آن خنده، درين ديده ازان لبها
مرنج از بهر جان، خسرو، اگر چه مي کشد يارت                     که باشد خوبرويان را بسي زين گونه مذهبها