Sultan Walad on The Mystical Concert [samâ`]

Sultan Walad's Ghazal No. 315

3881 Last night I saw the lovers (of God) drawn into ranks during
the mystical concert;1 (their) robes (were) torn (in ecstasy down)
to the waist2 (while) dancing during the mystical concert.

The musicians (had) produced a Davidic melody3 (that extended)
to our souls; Solomon (had) heard the secret of the birds4 by
means of (such a melody) during the mystical concert.

In love for Him,5 there was talk about the Resurrection6 in every
direction; the flutists (had) blown the reed-flute like the
(Resurrection) Trumpet7 during the mystical concert.

(There were) life-increasing cups8 (brought) by the cupbearers
of the Beloved;9 the lovers (had) drank (the "wine" in) the
goblets during the mystical concert.

3885 In His wind, the scattered leaves (are) like (the color of)
vines10 at the time of autumn. Their stature and height (were) bent
like wet branches during the mystical concert;

For a time in prostration11 upon God's carpet (of the earth)12 (and)
for a time on (top of) the (Divine) Throne, souls had flown
during the mystical concert

There is a (heavenly) throne and an earth for every one in the midst
of the soul; all the delights of the Unperceived (World)13 were
experienced by the heart during the mystical concert.

The eye (had) searched both the angels and heavenly firmament, as
well as the carpet of the earth, within and without the self during
the mystical concert.

Even if their souls are like stones, (they have) become rubies
from (the heat of) the sun's rays,14 and (have) escaped from the
selfishness of the self during the mystical concert.

3890 The fruits of the silent ones15 (hanging) upon the leaves of
"No-Place" (have been) well-cooked by the sun of "Never
Ending" during the mystical concert.

3891 From the rosegarden of Beauty, Walad16 (has) grazed upon
a hundred thousand kinds of (Divine) favors in the Garden of
Union17 during the mystical concert.

--From The Dîwân-é SulTân Walad
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, 8/10/04
© Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)

Notes on the text, with line number:

1(3881) mystical concert [samâ`]: literally, "audition." A sufi
session of listening to mystical music and poetry that may induce a
spiritual state of consciousness leading to spontaneous movements
that can include dance-like movements or whirling.

2(3881) torn (in ecstasy down) to the waist: refers to "rending of
garments" during a state of extreme emotions--here a spiritual state
of ecstasy among the dervishes. As public nudity is forbidden in
Islam, dervishes used to tear their shirts from the collar downward,
or sometimes to tear their robes [khirqa] into pieces. The word
"robe" or "cloak" [khirqa] is also related to the Arabic verb for
"tearing" [Kh-R-Q).

3(3882) a Davidic melody [laHn-é dâwûdî]: refers to the Psalms of
the praises of God sung by the Prophet David, referred to in the
Qur'an (34:10, 38:18).

4(3882) the secret of the birds: refers to the Prophet Solomon's
God-given ability to understand the speech of the birds, mentioned
in the Qur'an (27:16).

5(3883) love for Him [`ishq-é ô]: means love of God.

6(3883) the Resurrection [qiyâmat]: literally, "standing up." Refers
to the Resurrection of the Dead, when the souls of humanity will
be revived in bodies once again, face-to-face with their
Creator on the Day of Judgment. For the lovers of God, this is a
longed-for encounter with the Beloved.

7(3883) the (Resurrection) trumpet [Sûr]: here the sound of the
reed-flute is compared to the sound of the trumpet [Sûr] mentioned
in the Qur'an ( 6:73, 23:101, 39:68, 69: 13).

8(3884) cups [bâda-hâ]: refers to wine cups. Since alcoholic drinks
are forbidden in Islam, wine in sufi poetry is a symbol for ecstatic
states of consciousness.

9(3884) the Beloved [del-robâ]: literally, "heart-attractor."

10(3885) vines [raz-ân]: a pun with "scattered" [rêzân].

11(3886) prostration [sujûd]: an act of prayer in which the forehead
of the worshipper touches the ground. Here the reference is to the
"prostration of the tree branches" mentioned in the Qur'an: "And
the stars and the trees are prostrating [yasjûdân]" (in prayer before
God)" -- (Qur'an 55:5; see also 17:44).

12(3886) God's carpet (of the earth) [`arsh-é îzedî]: a metaphor for
the flat surface of the earth. This word rhymes and contrasts with
"heaven" or "the heavenly firmament" [`arsh] in the same line.

13(3887) the Unperceived World [ghayb]: the spiritual world which
is usually invisible to humanity because of bodily and physical
barriers or "veils."

14(3889) the sun's rays: refers to the belief that gemstones are created
by the transforming effects of solar rays upon stones within the
earth that are found in mines.

15(3890) silent ones [khâmosh-ân] refers to advanced sufi mystics.
Here they are symbolized by fruits hanging upon a tree, meaning
that they are patiently submitting to the Will and Grace of God via
"mystical annihilation of self" (leading to a state of consciousness
called "placelessness") that matures them until they are "well-
cooked" by the sun of Divine eternality.

16(3891) Walad: refers to Rumi's son and spiritual successor, SulTân
Walad, died 1312. The last line of a ghazal poem usually contains
a reference to the identity of the poet.
17(3891) Union [waSl]: a metaphor for nearness to God, or the Only
Beloved, in which awareness of individual identity is obliterated.


3881 dôsh dîd-am `âshiq-ân-râ Saf kashîda dar samâ`
khirqa-hâ tâ nâf-hâ raqSân darîda dar samâ`

laHn-é dâwûdî kashîda muTrib-ân tâ jân-é mâ
z-ân sulaymân sirr-é morgh-ân-râ shenîda dar samâ`

har Taraf gôy-î qiyâmat bow-ad andar `ishq-é ô
nâyiy-ân nay-râ chô Sûr andar damîda dar samâ`

bâda-hây-é jân-fazâ az sâqiy-ân-é del-robâ
`âshiq-ân ân bâda-hâ-râ dar kashîda dar samâ`

3885 barg-é rêzân dar hawây-ash chûn raz-ân waqt-é khazân
qad-o bâlâ-shân chô shâkh-é tar khamîda dar samâ`

sâ`atê bar rôy-é farsh-é îzedî andar sujûd
laHZa-yé bar `arsh-é jân-ân bar parîda dar samâ`

`arsh-o farsh-é har yakê andar meyân-é jân bow-ad
jumla-yé laZZat-hây-é ghayb az del chashîda dar samâ`

ham malak ham `arsh-râ ham în zamîn-é farsh-râ
josta bêrûn w-andarûn-é khwêsh dîda dar samâ`

jân-hâ-'shân gar-che ham-chûn sang bow-ad az tâb-é khwar
la`l gashta w-az khwodiy-é khwod rahîda dar samâ`

3890 mîw-hây-é khâmosh-ân bar shâkh-hây-é lâ-makân
z-âftâb-é lam-yazil nekô pazîda dar samâ`

3891 az golestân-é jamâl-é Haq walad dar bâgh-é waSl
Sad hazâr-ân gôna ni`mat-râ charîda dar samâ`


Meter 8: XoXX XoXX XoXX XoX

(Ramal maHdhûf [muthamman])