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Kul Himmet: I made my intellect a friend to me

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Kul Himmet: I made my intellect a friend to me


Photo: Isaiah’s vision of Jesus riding a donkey and Muhammad riding a camel, al-Biruni, al-Athar al-Baqiyya ‘an al-Qurun al-Khaliyya (Chronology of Ancient Nations), Tabriz, Iran, 1307-8. Edinburgh University Library.


I made my intellect a friend to me
But my heart wouldn't accept the advice he gave;
The heart has a big sack it carries with it
When I stuffed the world in, it didn't fill it.

We are obliged to accept another's greeting--
This pen made of luminosity said: Write!
It is the Beloved who created this flower's light
and whoever smells it finds all existence in it.

Don't wander like a vagabond, serve a spiritual master--
Keep your eyes ever on the path you're on.
Do not set your wares before unworthy ones;
These are no ordinary goods and you're no seller.

Youth is like the summer, old age like the winter;
Still, in my heart fresh sorrows enter;
So bow your head and serve the Master
You'll never reach the goal with the devil's manner.

Kul Himmet has a bouquet of roses in his hand;
He keeps the name of the Beloved ever on his tongue;
I am in love with a beauty on the path to that One--
My soul's imagination is her throne.

(Kul Himmet)



Source and Recommended Reading:

'Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey'
By Jennifer Ferraro (Author), Latif Bolat (Contributor)

Purchase Book:


This collection presents, for the first time in English, a compilation of seven centuries of the mystic hymns of Turkey’s rebellious Sufi poets — the popular folk counterparts to Rumi whose poems are characterized by a passionate and unorthodox commitment to Truth. At the time Rumi was writing in ancient Anatolia, many other great mystics in the region were also composing wild, ecstatic, and controversial poems that were circulated among the people as spiritual songs and are still played and sung today in sacred dervish ceremonies and gatherings. The poems present a spiritual tradition from the Islamic world that bravely challenged orthodox religion and emphasized universal mystic love and tolerance.

Jennifer Ferraro is a poet, artist and performer and teacher, with a BA and MA from the New School for Social Research and UNM. Author of Divine Nostalgia (2002), she has toured widely with the Latif Bolat Ensemble, playing frame drum, and reciting poetry with devotional dance.


Latif Bolat, a distinguished Turkish musician, giving numerous concerts, lectures, and workshops throughout the world including North America.

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