Yet never qualify me (from The Poem of the Sufi Way)

by Umar Ibn al-Farid

English version by Th. Emil Homerin
Original Language Arabic

Yet never qualify me
     as a companion near,
          which I regard an outrageous crime
               severing the rule of union.

For my arrival is my parting,
     my nearness, being far;
          my loving, my loathing,
               my beginning, my end.

By "her" I alluded to myself --
     and I meant none but me;
          for her sake I stripped off
               my name, namesake, and fame,

And set out far beyond
     where those before stood still,
          where minds went astray on accustomed paths,
               died and disappeared.

I have no attribute;
     that is a stamp, as a name is a brand,
          but if you must, speak of me
               allusively or with metaphor.

I ascended from "I am she"
     to where there is no "to,"
          sweetening my existence
               by my return

From "I am I,"
     for an inner wisdom
          and outer laws
               to begin my call.

-- 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





Yet never qualify