Photo: Turkish peasant during Ottoman Empire by Pascal Sebah
The gnostics' hearts with eyes are blest
That see what other see'ers see not;
And tongues whose discourse is of secrets
Beyond the recording angels' ken,
And wings that all unfeathered fly
To His dominion, Lord of the Worlds.
We have inherited the draught,
Sciences of hidden secret,
Rarer than all lore of old.
Their samples speak for them as signs
And nullify impostors' claims.
(Sahl al- Tustari)
Source and Recommended Reading:
'Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology: A Medieval Anthology'
By Martin Lings (Author)
'Sufi Poems' is a selection of poems from the golden period of Sufism especially chosen and translated from the Arabic by the distinguished scholar Dr Martin Lings. Dr Lings is the author of numerous best-selling works on Sufism and is a published poet in his own right. Including poems here translated for the first time, 'Sufi Poems' brings together selections from the giants of Sufism; for example, Rabia, Hallaj, Ibn al-Farid and Ibn 'Arabi. 'Sufi Poems' is published as a bilingual Arabic-English edition which will be of interest to all those wishing to read the original Arabic and will also be helpful for university students of Arabic.
"Extremely well-chosen and exquisitely translated, this anthology of Arabic Sufi Poetry is the best available in the English language, revealing precious treasures of Sufism rendered by the translator in a masterly fashion into beautiful English poems which resonate with spiritual qualities of the original Arabic verses."
(Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University)