The Dervish

SulTân Walad's Quatrain No. 47

The dervish1 is passing beyond the body and the soul,

(And) the dervish is superior to the earth and the heavens.

God's intended aim is not concerning the worldly creation--

(Rather), God's intended aim concerning the world is the dervish.2

-- From "Dîwân-é SulTân Walad" (the son of Jalaluddin Rumi,
died 1312), from the edition of F. Nafiz Uzluk.
--Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, 3/5/05
© Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, &


1dervish [darwêsh]: means "poor one" or "beggar" in Persian, and
is a translation of the Arabic sufi term "faqîr, meaning a Muslim
mystic who practices "spiritual poverty" [faqr]. Both words
(Persian and Arabic) are related to the verse in the Qur'an, "O men,
you are poor [fuqarâ] in relation to God, and God is the Rich, the
Praiseworthy" (35:15). The word also means "free from vanity,"
"self-effacing," and "retiring."

2God's intended aim... is the dervish: this refers to a non-Qur'anic
"Divine saying" [HadîS-é qudsî] related by the Prophet
Muhammad (upon whom be peace) in which God said, "My earth
does not contain Me, and My Heavens do not (either), but the heart
of My believing, pious, pure, and self-restrained servant does
contain Me."


bîrûn ze-tan-o ze-jaan rawân darwêsh-ast
bar-tar ze-zamîn-o âsmân darwêsh-ast
maqSûd-é khodâ na-bûd az-în khalq-é jahân
maqSûd-é khodâ az-în jahân darwêsh-ast

(rubâ`î meter: XXo oXXo oXXo oX)