Jul 27 2019

Fakhruddin Iraqi – Every word of every tongue

Published by at 9:11 am under Poetry

Every word of every tongue
by Fakhruddin Iraqi

English version by Unknown

Every word of every tongue is
Love telling a story to her own ears.
Every thought in every mind,
She whispers a secret to her own Self.
Every vision in every eye,
She shows her beauty to her own sight.
Every smile on every face,
She reveals her own joy for herself to enjoy.

Love courses through everything,
No, Love is everything.
How can you say, there is no love,
when nothing but Love exists?
All that you see has appeared because of Love.
All shines from Love,
All pulses with Love,
All flows from Love–
No, once again, all IS Love!

/ Image by Edward Zulawski /

Every word of every tongue is
Love telling a story to her own ears.

I love this opening statement. It reminds me of an insight that completely overtook me during a period of intense spiritual practice several years ago. I summed it up this way–

Don’t take your joys and suffering personally.
We are — all of us — stories
      told by God
      to himself
      to illuminate himself.

We think we are… something. We imagine we exist as solid beings with supremely important events that happen to us. And, on one level, that is perfectly true. But if that’s the entire reality we imagine for ourselves, we’ve missed a deeper — and truer — reality, which is that we are an insubstantial play of awareness that flows through the universe. Not separate awareness-es, but a single flowing awareness that permeates everything. And that awareness expresses itself through movement and interaction that form what we might call stories. These stories contribute to universal self-illumination. Sometimes those stories are celebratory. Sometimes they are heartbreakingly tragic. But, when we stop identifying with the unfolding events, when we stop taking them personally but engage with a sense of presence and an open heart, we witness a surprising throughline of… joy, delight and, as Iraqi states, Love. Utter, all-embracing love.

(Notice that Iraqi refers to this Love as “she,” “her,” feminine language we too often miss out on in our descriptions of the divine — my own quote above, included. It should be obvious to all serious spiritual seekers that the Eternal is not defined by gender, but the limitations of language tend to require genderizing. When we restrict ourselves exclusively to male references to God, however, we have blinded ourselves to half of the divine reality. A part of the spirit becomes starved. On a societal level, suppression of women becomes conceivable, since men are seen as god-like while women are not. Qualities commonly associated with the feminine principle are repressed or regarded as useless, qualities like compassion, empathy, kindness, community, service. Not only do we need more prominent women spiritual leaders, we need to restore the feminine in our language of God. Iraqi’s meditation here is one of many contributions toward restoring that balance.)

Every thought in every mind,
She whispers a secret to her own Self.

Every vision in every eye,
She shows her beauty to her own sight.

Every smile on every face,
She reveals her own joy for herself to enjoy.

To the mystic in communion there is a sense of the universe as being comprised not of individuals engaged in individual actions, but of one Being engaged in internal interplay — but with an countless variety of individual points-of-view.

Love courses through everything,
No, Love is everything.

This, I think, is the heart of Iraqi’s insight. Too often we feel that the universe is loveless or that we ourselves struggle to feel love. But love in the sense that Iraqi uses, divine love, is not a feeling that comes and goes like an emotion. Love is not something we can be bereft of.

How can you say, there is no love,
when nothing but Love exists?

When we look deeply, we find that love is the foundational matter, the stuff we are all made of and exist in.

In our spiritual strivings we may cultivate a vision of a divine love that quietly touches everyone and everything. That is a basically true description, but if we want to be more precise, we can’t say that love touches or runs through everything, because that suggests that this divine essence is something separate and foreign. Everything is an expression of this divine Love presence. This love does not actually surround us or fill us. In the most real sense, it is us. We are it. Everything is.

Everything we think of as existence, all the seemingly separate beings and countless objects, is really a game of appearances upon the surface of this ocean of being that is love.

All that you see has appeared because of Love

Let me emphasize that this is not merely the conceptual theorizing of philosophers or theologians, it is directly perceived in the deepest states of communion. Love is. And it is the fundamental fact of existence. Mystics feel this love as a profound, joyful interconnection with all things. The immense compassion that results is actually a form of self-awareness, for we all exist within the same shared being. Love is perceived in every cell and by all the senses. The tongue tastes it as a heavenly sweetness. The eye sees it as a golden-white ocean of light (“All shines from Love”). And the heart blooms like a summer rose.

All flows from Love–
No, once again, all IS Love!

Have a beautiful day!

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

Fakhruddin Iraqi

Iran/Persia/India/Turkey (? – 1289) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

Fakhruddin Ibrahim ‘Iraqi (sometimes written Araqi or Eraqi) was a fascinating figure who bridged several Sufi traditions and traveled through much of the Muslim world.

Iraqi was born near Hamadan, in what is today Iran. (The name Iraqi does not refer to the modern country of Iraq, but to the local region around Hamadan.) While still a young boy, he gained local fame for having memorized the entire Quran and reciting it aloud. He went on to acquire an impressive education in his teens.

This properly devout young man surprised everyone when he joined a group of traveling Kalandar dervishes. Kalandar Sufis had a bohemian, some would even say heretical, lifestyle and expression of the Muslim faith.

The young Iraqi eventually ended up in Multan in what is modern day Pakistan. There he received formal initiation into the Sufi way under Shaykh Baha’uddin, the head of the Suhrawardiyya Sufi Order, one of the most influential Sufi groups in the Indian subcontinent. Iraqi lived in Multan for 25 years, composing poetry. As the shaykh was dying, he supposedly named Iraqi to be his successor. But some in the order became jealous and denounced him to the local sultan who sought to have Iraqi arrested.

Iraqi fled the area with a few close companions, and they made their way to Mecca and Medina. Later they moved north to Konya in Turkey. This was Konya at the time of Rumi. Iraqi often listened to Rumi teach and recite poetry, and later attended Rumi’s funeral.

Although Iraqi was nominally the head (in exile) of a large and respected Sufi order, he humbly became the disciple of another Sufi master — Sadruddin Qunawi, who also lived in Konya at the time. Qunawi was the son-in-law of the recently deceased Sufi philosopher Ibn ‘Arabi. Although less known in the West today, Qunawi was perhaps the preeminent Sufi teacher in Konya at the time, even better known than his neighbor Rumi.

Iraqi was deeply devoted to Qunawi and to the teachings of Ibn ‘Arabi. It was a series of speeches Qunawi delivered on the esoteric meaning of Ibn ‘Arabi’s great works that inspired Iraqi to compose his own masterpiece of commentary and poetry named the Lama’at or Divine Flashes.

When Fakhruddin Iraqi died he was buried near Ibn ‘Arabi’s tomb.

More poetry by Fakhruddin Iraqi

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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Fakhruddin Iraqi – Every word of every tongue”

  1. Christineon 27 Jul 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Beautiful poem and commentary, as usual, Ivan 🙂 The poem and commentary remind me of the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, an ancient Kashmir Shaivism text/poem which, in many ways, is saying the same thing only using different words. I know nothing of Kashmir Shaivism, or that long word I can’t pronounce 🙂 but was recently introduced to a modern interpretive translation by Joan Ruvinsky called: The Recognition of Our Own Heart. It just came out in May and is available now on Amazon. Maybe you have heard of it. Think you might like it 🙂

    Here are a few excerpt verses…

    “In the beginning, the luminous womb is,
    and the luminous womb willingly leaps in delight
    and lets Herself go…..it all comes forth.

    as flashing forth sparkling the world into being,
    enjoying its appearing;

    She recognizes the universe
    as Her very own Self.

    Blossoming forth from Her own Heart – Bliss.”

    This reminded me of your verse:

    We are – all of us – stories
    told by God
    to him/herself
    to illuminate him/herself…


    We are the Unmanifest recognizing Itself in form…

    Good to see you back here posting again 🙂

  2. Peggy Fanningon 27 Jul 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you for your enlighten words which give further insight into the meaning of these deep poetical realities!

  3. Olga T.on 27 Jul 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Love is so indecribable that, if one could describe it, one would be no more…

  4. Rauf Sheikhon 27 Jul 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Ivan I am so grateful and exuberant with your commentaries on your selected poems… You enable one to see the depth and beauty in each composition… It always resonates and its wonderful… stay well and Blessed

  5. Alison Salimaon 28 Jul 2019 at 2:52 am

    Today you touched the spot miraculously.

  6. Judi Salayon 28 Jul 2019 at 7:18 am

    Ivan- your picture photo’s are always magnificent!! Sometimes I can’t always understand the poetry, but the pictures always resonate and speak to me.
    Thank you.

  7. Elaon 29 Jul 2019 at 12:14 pm

    if our hearts are full of spiritual love

    we send the vibrations of spiritual love
    through the windows of our eyes
    without getting attached to anyone and

    we are not dependent on others love
    we don’t expect appreciation
    hence we don’t get hurt if not praised

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