Unveiling herself revealed (from The Poem of the Sufi Way)

by Umar Ibn al-Farid

English version by Th. Emil Homerin
Original Language Arabic

Unveiling herself revealed
     existence to my eye,
          so in everything seen
               I perceived her.

My attribute is hers
     since we are not called two;
          her shape is mine
               since we are one.

If she is called,
     it is I who answers;
          when I am summoned, she replies
               and obeys the one who calls me.

If she speaks,
     it is I who whispers;
          when I tell a tale
               she is the one who tells it.

For the second person's sign
     became the first between us,
          and so my rank is high above
               all who cling to difference.

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

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Unveiling herself revealed
     existence to my eye,
          so in everything seen
               I perceived her.


Such an important reminder to us all: When looked at properly, deeply, free from the filter of the petty self, all of existence smiles back at us with the face of the Beloved.

But more than that--

My attribute is hers
     since we are not called two;
          her shape is mine
               since we are one.


We don't just see the Eternal everywhere except within ourselves. When we really, courageously look, we see the Eternal absolutely everywhere -- including within ourselves. Not just "within" ourselves, but as ourselves, our true Self. There is no other self.

Every other form of small identity and ego is seen as just a story we've told ourselves about who we are. And that story fades away as unnecessary when our true identity is finally known.

When that curtain separating lover and Beloved falls away, the lover does not rush to embrace the Beloved. No, instead, we find that the Beloved alone has only ever existed within us. The lover is merely the Beloved returning to herself.

and so my rank is high above
               all who cling to difference.



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





Unveiling herself revealed