God Speaks to David

by Farid ud-Din Attar

English version by Raficq Abdulla
Original Language Persian/Farsi

David was an open vessel, the light
Poured into him. God's words took flight
In him and through him God said:
'To all humankind, who are wed
To hubris and sin, I say: "If heaven and hell
Did not exist to catch you and break you,
Would you, though a speck of dust, tell
Truth from falsehood, would your eye find true
Centre in my words? If there was nothing but dark
Would you think of me, still less mark
Your place with the leaf of prayer? Yet
You are bound to my will, your soul is set
In the direction of my breath, with hope
And fear which cracks the dawn of your heart,
So you will worship me with all your mind
Words and inclination. Make a start:
Burn to ashes all that is not I, bind
The ashes to the fidelity of the wind,
Extract the ore of your being,
Then you shall start seeing."'

-- from The Conference of the Birds: The Selected Sufi Poetry of Farid ud-Din Attar, Translated by Raficq Abdulla

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Recommended Books: Farid ud-Din Attar

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems The Conference of the Birds
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God Speaks to David