On The Day of My Death

Ghazal 9111

9557 On the day of (my) death when my coffin is going (by), don't
imagine that I have (any) pain (about leaving) this world.

Don't weep for me, and don't say, "How terrible! What a pity!"
(For) you will fall into the error2 of (being deceived by) the Devil,
(and) that would (really) be a pity!

When you see my funeral, don't say, "Parting and separation!"
(Since) for me, that is the time for union and meeting (God).

9560 (And when) you entrust me to the grave, don't say,
"Good-bye! Farewell!" For the grave is (only) a curtain for
(hiding) the gathering (of souls) in Paradise.

When you see the going down, notice the coming up. Why should
there be (any) loss3 because of the setting of the sun and moon?

It seems like setting to you, but it is rising. The tomb4 seems like a
prison, (but) it is the liberation of the soul.

What seed (ever) went down into the earth which didn't grow
(back up)? (So), for you, why is there this doubt about the human

What bucket (ever) went down and didn't come out full? Why
should there be (any) lamenting for the Joseph of the soul6 because
of the well?

9565 When you have closed (your) mouth on this side, open (it) on
that side, for your shouts of joy will be in the Sky beyond place
(and time).7

--From The Dîwân-é Kabîr (also known as "Kulliyat-é Shams" and
"Dîwân-é Shams-é Tabrîz") of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, (with
gratitude for A. J. Arberry's 1968 British translation)
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (yahoogroups.com), 12/16/99

Notes on the text, with line number:

1. Ghazal 171: Compare to: the translation from Persian by A. J.
Arberry, "Mystical Poems of Rumi," 1968, no. 118, pp. 102; the
translation by R. A. Nicholson, "Selected Poems from the Dîvâni
Shamsi Tabrîz," 1898, no. XXIV, pp. 95-97; the translation by
Annemarie Schimmel, "Look! This is Love: Poems of Rumi,"
1991; the translation by Nevit Ergin, "Dîvân-i Kebîr, Meters 5, 6,
7a," 1997, pp. 279-280; the translation by Nadir Khalili, "Rumi:
Fountain of Fire," pp. 124-125.

2. (9557) fall into the error: literally, "into the buttermilk." An idiom
meaning to fall into error, to make a mistake.

3. (9557) loss: this word also means detriment, damage, injury.

4. (9557) the tomb: "an oblong trench, where the corpse is deposited,
in the side of a grave." (Nicholson, commentary, in his translation
of poem XXI. His translation is based on the Tabriz edition of
1863, has some minor differences when compared to
Faruzanfar's 1959 superior edition, based on the earliest
manuscripts.) Arberry improved on Nicholson's translation by
re-translating all of the same ghazals and using Faruzanfar's

5. (9557) the human "seed": Nicholson quotes a verse (from ghazal
545, in Faruzanfar's edition): "The seed of the spirit, sown beneath
this water and clay (the body),/ Becomes not a tree until it reach
Thy spring."

6. (9557) the Joseph of the soul: refers to the story of how Joseph's
brothers threw him into a well (trying to get rid of him), and how
he was delivered from the well by a caravan of travelers who
discovered him when they lowered a bucket into the well (Qur'an
12: 10-19). Joseph was proverbial for his beauty (Qur'an 12: 31),
and therefore a symbol for spiritual beauty.

7. (9557) the sky beyond place (and time): may also be translated as
"the sky of placelessness," "the placeless air" (Nicholson and


ba-rôz-é marg chô tâbût-é man rawân bâsh-ad
gomân ma-bar ke ma-râ dard în jahân bâsh-ad

barây-é man ma-ger-î-o ma-gô: "darêgh darêgh"
ba-dôgh-é dêw dar oft-î darêgh ân bâsh-ad

janâza-am chô be-bîn-î ma-gô: "firâq firâq"
ma-râ wiSâl-o malâqât ân zamân bâsh-ad

9560 ma-râ ba-gôr sepâr-î ma-gô widâ` widâ`
ke gôr parda-yé jam`îyat-é jinân bâsh-ad

ferô shodan chô be-dîd-î bar âmadan be-n'gar
ghurûb-é shams-o qamar-râ che-râ zeyân bâsh-ad?!

to-râ ghurûb nomây-ad wa-lê shurûq bow-ad
laHad chô Habs nomây-ad, khalâS-é jân bâsh-ad

kodâm dâna ferô raft dar zamîn ke na-rost?!
che-râ ba-dâna-yé insân-at în gomân bâsh-ad?!

kodâm dalw ferô raft-o por berûn n-âmad
ze-châh yûsuf-é jân-râ che-râ foghân bâsh-ad?!

9565 dahân chô bast-î az-în sôy ân Taraf be-g'shâ
ke hây-é hôy-é tô dar jaw-é lâ-makân bâsh-ad


Meter: oXoX ooXX oXoX XX/ooX

(Mujtass makhbûn aslam/mahzûf)