The Musical Composition Called "Saba" [Sabâ âyîn-é Sharîf]

[Mevlevi Composer: Hamamizâde Ismail Dede (1777-1846)

FIRST SALâM (Birinci selâm)

from a Persian masnavi:

Listen to the shrill cries and sounds of the lute: (there are) subtle
meanings of love in (its) every chapter.

It is uttering lamentations and moans continuously (saying), "O
God, O God, O God!"

"Below" and "above" came into existence from Love; the dark
earth as well as the blue sky also came (from Love).

The existence of the world was born from Love for the sake of
(Divine) Wisdom so that the Creator might become evident.

The (very) first thing on the Sufi path is that the heart within the
body should become purified from (craving) foul things.1

The love for (true spiritual) men is better than love for God,
because the secret of God is within (such) men.

God is worshipped entirely in the world; from (pure) worship,
neither the (worshipping) person nor the world exists.2

be-sh'naw-îd az nâla-wo bâng-é rabâb
nukta-hây-é `ishq dar har gûn-é bâb

bâ feghân-o nawHa gôy-ad dâ'îmâ
ay khodâ-wo ay khodâ-wo ay khodâ

taHt-o fawq az `ishq âmad dar wujûd
ham zamîn-é tîra ham charkh-é kabûd

az maHabbat zâd hastî-yé jahân
bahr-é Hikmat tâ shaw-ad khâliq `âyân

dar tarîqat awwal-ân bâsh-ad ke del
dar darûn-é tan shaw-ad sâfî ze-gel

`ishq-é mard-ân bartar az `ishq-é khodâ-st
z-ân-ki dar mard-ân khodâ-râ sirrê hast

hast Haqq ma`bûd jumla dar jahân
nêst kas az bandagîyî-wo jahân

[by Sultân Walad, Rabâb-Nâma, p. 5 lines 7-8, p. 10 lines 12-13,]3
[Meter: masnavi meter = Divan Meter 9]
[(for the 23 meters, see

SECOND SALâM (Ikinci selâm)

from a Persian ghazal:

You are my sultan,4 you are my sultan. In5 my heart and soul, you
are my faith.

(When) you breathe into me, I become alive. What is6 (the worth
of just) one soul?--(since) you are a hundred times7 my soul.

sulTân-é man-î, sulTân-é man-î
andar del-o jân, îmân-é man-î

dar man be-dam-î, man zenda shaw-am
yak jân che bow-ad, sad jân-é man-î

[by Jalâluddîn Rûmî, Dîwân-é Kabîr, ghazal 3137, lines 33573-74]
[From Mixed Meters: XX ooX XX ooX]

THIRD SALâM (üçuncü selâm)

from a Persian masnavi:

As was Adam, every saint8 is (the manifestation of) the Light of
God, (even though) you may think that God is (completely)
separate from him.

Because of that (saint), angels are making bows of obeisance9 to
him from the (world of ) spirit, since they are seeing an
immeasurable light within him.

God made him His representative10 for the earth and the sky so that
he might become the guide (for them) toward (their appointed)

ham-chô âdam har walî nûr-é khodâ-st
tanê pendâr-î ke Haqq az way jodâ-st

z-ân malâkê sajda âr-and-ash ze-jân

k-andar-ô dîd-and nûrê bê-gerân

Haqq khalîf-ash kard dar arZ-o samâ
tâ ke gard-ad sûy-é manzil rah-nomâ

makhzan-é "innâ fataH-nâ" bar-goshâ
sirr-é jân-é muSTafà-râ bâz gû

[by Jalâluddîn Rûmî, Dîwân-é Kabîr, Ghazal no. 2227, lines
23624, 23628] [Meter 9]

from a Turkish ghazal:

Oh, a thousand praises for a sultan as this! (For) those who are his
slaves become kings and emperors.

Today, whoever trustingly humbles himself before Walad11 will, if
a poor man, become a prince (and) if a prince, will become a

ey ki hezar âferin bu nice sultan olur
kulu olan kiSiler hüsrevü hâkan olur

her ki bugün Velede inanuben yüz süre
yoksul ise bay olur bay ise sultan olur

[by Shamsuddîn AHmad Aflâkî, d. 1353]13

from a Turkish ghazal:

Ben bilmez idim gizli ayân hep sen imiSsin
Tenlerde vü canlarda nihân hep sen imiSsin
Senden bu cihan içre nisân ister idim ben
âhIr bunu bildim ki cihân he; sen imiSsin

Olduk yine biz secde beri nari muhabbet
Olmaz dilimiz beste-i efkârI muhabbet
Canu dilimi eyler idim gamzene teslim
Mahrumi-i gam olsa dilizarI muhabbet

from a Turkish quatrain:

Ey maksadI âSikîn olan Mevlânâ
Vey neS'e-i müminîn olan Mevlânâ
Biçareleriz halimize rahmeyle
Biçarelere muin olan Mevlânâ

FOURTH SALâM (Dördüncü selâm)

from a Persian ghazal:

You are my sultan,14 you are my sultan. In my heart and soul, you
are my faith.

(When) you breathe into me, I become alive. What is (the worth of
just) one soul? --(since) you are a hundred times my soul.

sulTân-é man-î, sulTân-é man-î
w-andar del-o jân, îmân-é man-î

dar man be-dam-î, man zenda shaw-am
yak jân che shaw-ad, sad jân-é man-î

[by Jalâluddîn Rûmî, Dîwân-é Kabîr, ghazal 3137, lines 33573-74]

--translated from Persian by Ibrahim Gamard
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration), 10/04


1purified from (craving) foul things [Sâfî ze gel]: literally,
"purified from earth" (which rhymes with "heart" [del]).

2neither the (worshipping) person nor the world exists: This verse
appears to have the mystical meaning that during pure worship of
God , only God exists ("There is no divinity but God") and
worshipping people and inanimate objects are not truly existing.
The Turkish transliteration is difficult to interpret here, lacking the
original Persian text.

3by Sultan Walad ("Sultan Veled," in Turkish): the son and later
successor of Jalaluddin Rumi., who died in 1312. The first two
verses of his "Book of the Lute" (Rabâb-Nâma) are quoted here
("Listen to the shrill cries and sounds of the lute..."). The next two
verses occur a few pages later. The last three verses may also be by
Sultan Walad, but could not be found by this translator in the
Rabâb-Nâma or in the beginning verses of his other masnavis.

4You are my sultan: means both Shams-é Tabrîzî, and on a higher
level, God alone, the Only Beloved. It is a characteristic of Persian
sufi poetry to be ambiguous in such a way as to refer both to the
human beloved and the Divine Beloved. "When you breathe into
me" is a reference to when God breathed into Adam of His spirit
(Qur'an 15:29).

5In: this is "And in" [w-andar] in the earliest manuscripts of the
Divan (see Foruzanfar's edition).

6What is [che shaw-ad]: this is "che bow-ad" in the earliest
manuscripts of the Divan (see Foruzanfar's edition).

7a hundred times: an idiom meaning a great many.

8saint [walî]: literally, "friend, close favorite." Means a holy person
who is close to God and someone who brings divine protection to
the people through the blessing of God.

9angels are making prostrations (of obeisance): refers to Qur'ân
2:34, where God commanded the angels to prostrate in obeisance
to Adam. Such prostration was not an act of worship, but of
obeisance: an expression of submission to Adam and an
acknowledgment of his essential superiority.

10His representative [khalîfa]: refers to Qur'ân 2:30, where God told
the angels, "I will make a vice-regent on earth."

11Walad: a word play on the name of Rumi's son and successor,
Sultan Walad, or Veled. The literal sense of this line is: "whoever
trustingly rubs his head (on the ground in surrendered obeisance)
to Walad."

12will become a sultan: means a "spiritual king."

13Aflaki: the first and last lines from a ghazal by Shamsuddîn
AHmad Aflâkî. The entire poem occurs at the end of Golpinarli's
book, "Mevlânâ'dan sonra Mevlevilik" in a section called "Samples
of Mevlevi (Turkish) Poetry," where he includes four poems by

14You are my Sultan: see notes from the second salâm.