Because of Him

Ghazal 21421

When laughter (almost) jumps out from me, I hide (my) laughter from him; I make a sour face for him and I bring forth loud cries and laments for him.

(For if) you jest and laugh with sour ones, it becomes a conflict; (so) I hid laughter and I keep shedding tears for him.

My body is (like) a large city, (with) (longing) sorrow (on) one side and I (on) the other side; (on) one side I have water from him, (on) the other side I have fire from him.2

With his sour (moods) I am sour (and) with his sugary (moods) I am sugary. My face is his (and) my back is his; I scratch my joyous back for him.3

A hundred like you and a hundred like me have become drunk4 in his meadow; I am dancing (and) clapping hands5 on top of every dome for him.

I am a parrot of candy and sugar; I do not eat (anything) other than sugar. I am far distant from anything sour in the world and displeased (with it) for him.

If he gave something sour to you, he gave honey and sugar to me; your jolting and lame (horse is) from him; my pleasant and swift (horse is) from him.

Anyone who does not travel on this road (finds that) his way is (full of) ravines and steep ascents; (but) I who am on this royal highway am on a level road from him.

My heart is the Farthest Mosque;6 my heart is (also) the Garden of Rest;7 all of my signs and traces became heavenly maidens8 and light from Him.

Anyone to whom God gives laughter, laughter jumps from his mouth; if you are in denial of it, I am entirely in affirmation of it.

The (destined) portion of the rose is laughter; it doesn't have (any) crying--what (else) can it do? Lilies and roses are blossoming in my aware heart because of Him.

Patience kept saying, "I am the giver of the good news of my union from Him." Gratitude kept saying, "I am the owner of stacks of provisions because of Him."

The intellect kept saying, "I am abstinent and sick from Him." Love kept saying, "I am a magician and pickpocket because of Him."9

The spirit kept saying, "I am a treasure of bright pearls." Treasure kept saying, "I am at the foundation of the wall because of Him."

Ignorance kept saying, "I am uninformed and lacking self-(awareness) because of Him." Knowledge kept saying, "I am the chief of the market-place because of Him."

Abstinence kept saying, "I am aware of secrets from Him." Poverty kept saying, "I am without taste and turban10 because of Him."

If Shams the Truth comes back to me from the direction of Tabriz, all of my speech will become explained and revealed through him.11

--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, 11/23/17 (with gratitude for A. J. Arberry's 1978 British translation)

Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)


Notes on the text:

1Ghazal 2142: Compare to the translation from Persian by A. J. Arberry, "Mystical Poems of Rumi," 2009, no. 270, pp. 272-73.

2I have water, fire: means tears and burning passion and yearning.

3line four: expresses complete union with the beloved master.

4drunk [mast]: means ecstatically happy (not intoxicated from alcohol).

5dancing and clapping hands [raqS-konân, dast-zanân]: does not mean "dancing" in the usual sense of moving rhthmically for fun and sensory stimulaton. Rather sufis made spontaneous ecstatic physical movements (inspired by mystical poetry and music, and the presence of a spiritual guide and master) in the centuries-old Persian samâ' that included dance-like movements, hand-clapping, hand-waving, foot-stamping, and whirling--among other possible movements.

6the Farthest Mosque [masjid-é aqSâ]: refers to the place of the (former) Temple in Jerusalem, visited by the Prophet Muhammad during his visionary Night Journey [mi`râj]: "Glory be (to God) who took His servant on a night journey from the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) to the Farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem)." (Qu'rân 17:1)

7the Garden of Rest [jannat-é mâ'wâ]: "For those who believe and do righteous deeds are Gardens of rest" [jannatu 'l-mâ'wà]--meaning, in Paradise (Qur'ân 32:19; 53:15;.

8heavenly maidens [Hûr]: the beautiful maidens in Paradise (Qur'ân 44:54; 52:20; 55:72; 56:22).

9magician and pickpocket [sâHir-o Tarâr]: the meaning of these terms implies that Love enjoys playing tricks on the lover.

10without taste and turban [bê-del-o dastâr]: the first word [bê-del] literally means "without heart" and can usually be translated as "love-sick" in Mawlana's poems. Here, it has another meaning of "without taste" [bê-Zawq]. See Masnavi 2:1513.

11revealed through him: In this ghazal, the ending rhyme of each verse may be translated as "from him I am"-- or "through him," "by him," "because of him," or "for him" [-am az ô]. Sometimes the meaning of "him" is the human beloved (the mystic master, Shams), sometimes it means "Him," the divine Beloved (God), and other times it can have both meanings (an ambiguity that is a common feature in Persian poetry). Ultimately, all gifts, knowledge, and blessings originate from God. This is an ecstatic ghazal that expresses annihilation of self in the master [fanâ fî 'sh-shaykh]--as in the words, "my face is his"--changing to annihilation of self in God [fanâ fî 'llâh]--as in the words, "all my signs and traces became heavenly maidens and light from Him." The poem expresses how complete submision [taslîm] to the mystic master and to the Will of God leads to ecstatic harmony and transcendent oneness. In the beginning of the poem, the lover respectfully suppresses his ecstatic laughter in the presence of a serious and sober master--and more so, he strives to harmonize with the master by being tearful. And he says: "With his sour (moods) I am sour (and) with his sugary (moods) I am sugary." Later in the poem, the lover cannot prevent laughter, for, "Anyone to whom God gives laughter, laughter jumps from his mouth..." The last verses of the ghazal are especially ecstatic in that they express the joy of states and faculties (such as patience and the intellect) in being in the divine Presence and glimpsing the fulfilment of the "heart's desire" of each one, in accordance with its essential nature.


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chûn be-jah-ad khanda ze-man, khanda nehân dâr-am az ô
rûy-é torosh sâz-am az ô, bâng-o faghân âr-am az ô

bâ torosh-ân lâgh kon-î, khanda zan-î, jang shaw-ad
khanda nehân kard-am man, ashk hamê-bâr-am az ô

shahr-é bozorg-ast tan-am; gham Tarafê, man Tarafê
yak Tarafê âb-am az ô, yak Tarafê nâr-am az-ô

bâ torosh-ân-ash torosh-am, bâ shakar-ân-ash shakar-am
rûy-é man ô, posht-é man ô; posht-é Tarab khâr-am az ô

Sad chô tô-wo Sad chô man-ash, mast shoda dar chaman-ash
raqS-konân, dast-zanân, bar sar-é har Târ-am az ô

TûTî-yé qand-o shakar-am, ghayr-é shakar mê-na-khwor-am
har che ba-`âlam toroshê, dûr-am-o bêzâr-am az ô

gar toroshî dâd tô-râ, shahd-o shakar dâd ma-râ
soksok-o langê tô az ô, man khowsh-o rah-wâr-am az ô

har kê dar în rah na-raw-ad, dara-wo dûla-st rah-ash
man ke dar în shâh-rah-am, bar rah-é ham-wâr-am az ô

masjid-é aqSâ-st del-am, jannat-é mâ'wâ-st del-am
Hûr shoda, nûr shoda, jumla-yé âSâr-am az ô

har ke Haq-ash khanda deh-ad, az dahan-ash khanda jah-ad
tô agar inkâr-î az ô, man hama iqrâr-am az ô

qismat-é gol khanda bow-ad, gerya na-dâr-ad che kon-ad
sûsan-o gol mê-shakaf-ad dar del-é hoshyâr-am az ô

Sabr hamê-goft ke: "man moZda-deh-é waSl-am az ô"
shukr hamê-goft ke: "man SâHib-é anbâr-am az ô"

`aql hamê-goft ke: "man zâhid-o bêmâr-am az ô"
`ishq hamê-goft ke: "man sâHir-o Tarâr-am az ô"

rûH hamê-goft ke: "man ganj-é gohar-dâr-am az ô"
ganj hamê-goft ke: "man dar bon-é dîwâr-am az ô"

jahl hamê-goft ke: "man bê-khabar-am bê-khwôd az ô"
`ilm hamê-goft ke: "man mehtar-é bâzâr-am az ô"

zuhd hamê-goft ke: "man wâqif-é asrâr-am az ô"
faqr hamê-goft ke: "man bê-del-o dastâr-am az ô"

az sûy-é tabrîz agar shams-é Haq-am bâz ras-ad
sharH shaw-ad, kashf shaw-ad jumla-yé goftâr-am az ô

Meter 18: XooX XooX XooX XooX
(rajaz maTwiyy)