No one speaks (from The Poem of the Sufi Way)

by Umar Ibn al-Farid

English version by Th. Emil Homerin
Original Language Arabic

No one speaks
     unless his speech is from mine;
          no one sees
               but by the gaze of my eye.

No one listens
     unless listening by my ear;
          no one grasps
               but by my might and strength.

No one
     is speaking, seeing, hearing
          in all of creation
               but me!

In the composite world,
     I appeared deep within
          every shape and form
               adorning them with beauty.

While in every subtle sense
     not revealed by my visible guise,
          I was conceived and formed
               but without a body's shape.

Yet in what the spirit sees
     clairvoyantly,
          I was rarified,
               concealed from this subtle sense confined.

In the mercy of expansion,
     all of me is a wish
          expanding wide
               the hopes of humanity,

While in the dread of contraction
     all of me is awe;
          wherever I cast my eye,
               I am honored.

In joining both attributes
     all of me is proximity;
          come, draw near
               my inner beauty.

For in the end-place of "in,"
     I still found with me
          my majesty of witness
               arising from my perfect nature,

And where there is no "in,"
     I still witnessed within me
          the beauty of my existence
               without an eye to see.

-- from Umar Ibn al-Farid: Sufi Verses, Saintly Life, Translated by Th. Emil Homerin

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Recommended Books: Umar Ibn al-Farid

Umar Ibn al-Farid: Sufi Verses, Saintly Life Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint: Ibn Al-Farid, His Verse, and His Shrine The Wine of Love and Life: Ibn Al-Farid's Al-Khamriyah and Al-Qaysari's Quest for Meaning





No one speaks (from