What a Human Is, Now I Know

by Muhittin Abdal

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat
Original Language Turkish

They're always talking about human, human --
     What a human being is, now I know.
They are always discussing heart, the heart --
     What the heart is, now I know.

Within the heart of the believer it was found --
     it wasn't found anywhere outside.
We found it in our own vast selves.
     What faith is, now I know.

This is how they pick the wheat from the chaff,
     and where your words and deeds must speak for you.
This is where the wise ones guide the Path --
     What the essence of this Sufi way is, now I know.

What the pious fearful carry like baggage,
     why they shoot their arrows at the faithful,
What they hide and trumped in nice language --
     What doubt is, now I know.

Given all these attributes, I became a person.
     Through God's vastness I was forgiven everything.
I found absolute oneness with Reality.
     What the guest is, now I know.

I said to my inner self Be humble,
     and the Glorious One showered me in blessings;
There was a sign that seared me in the heart.
     What the proof is, now I know.

Muhittin proclaims the Truth is a spectator.
     God is everywhere if you are willing to see.
What is the hidden, what is the apparent --
     What a human being is, now I know.

-- from Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, Translated by Jennifer Ferraro / Translated by Latif Bolat

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/ Photo by Brian DeFrees /


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Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey





What a Human Is