Whether they know Thee or not

by Fakhruddin Iraqi

English version by William Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson
Original Language Persian/Farsi

Whether they know Thee or not
     all creatures of the world
now and forever-without-end
     bend but toward Thee.
All love for someone else
     is but a whiff
of Thy perfume:
     none else can be loved.

-- from Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes (Classics of Western Spirituality) , Translated by William Chittick / Translated by Nasr Seyyed Hossein

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

all creatures of the world
now and forever-without-end
bend but toward Thee.


Love those lines. And we forget that this is true. Not just all people, but all beings, consciously or unconsciously constantly turn toward the Eternal. Everything desired, everything loved, every hope, every goal, everything we seek we seek because on some level it reflects back to us an image of the Divine.

All love for someone else
     is but a whiff
of Thy perfume


When something catches our eye or our heart, beneath the love or the lust, when we really look, we find we have witnessed a glimpse the transcendent light. That light, that entrancing luster, is what we seek so passionately.

Understanding this leads to the deeper question: Why seek the countless objects of desire that only reflect the glistening light of the Beloved? Why grasp at glinting shards of a mirror when we can bathe in full sunlight?

In every love, we love the Beloved.

none else can be loved.



Recommended Books: Fakhruddin Iraqi

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes (Classics of Western Spirituality) Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition





Whether they know