The Watchers

by Qushayri

English version by Michael A. Sells
Original Language Persian/Farsi

As if a spy from you
     were watching my inclinations,
and another were watching
     my gaze and tongue.

          Whenever my eyes saw,
     after you, any sight
          displeasing to you, I thought:
     They've seen me.

And whenever from my mouth,
     there emerged, in front of you,
a word meant for another than you,
     I thought: They've heard me,

          And whenever through the secret of my heart
     there passed, after you, a thought
          for another than you,
     they pull up on my reins.

These brothers sincere -- I wearied
     of their speech
and seized back from them
     my gaze and tongue.

          Renunciation could not console me
     for their loss
          until I experienced you
     witnessed in every place.

-- from Early Islamic Mysticism: Sufi, Quran, Miraj, Poetic and Theological Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality), by Michael A. Sells

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Recommended Books: Qushayri

Early Islamic Mysticism: Sufi, Quran, Miraj, Poetic and Theological Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality) Principles of Sufism





The Watchers