Photo: Members of the Bedouin "camel cavalry" near Damascus, Syria, 1940.
He who knows not his own soul, how shall he know the soul of another? and he who only knows hand and foot, how shall he know the Godhead? The prophets are unequal to understanding this matter; why dost thou foolishly claim to do so? When thou hast brought forward a demonstration of this subject, then thou wilt know the pure essence of the faith; otherwise what have faith and thou in common? thou hadst best be silent, and speak not folly. The learned talk nonsense all; for true religion is not woven about the feet of everyone.
'The Enclosed Garden of the Truth'
by Hakim Sanai (Author), Kieron d Moore (Editor), M T Stephenson (Translator)
Sanai's book The Enclosed Garden of the Truth, a treatise on God and the seekers journey to Him, forms one part of three highly influential early Sufi works. The others being Attar's Conference of the Birds and Rumi's Masnavi. Sanai's work is considered to be the first to use poetry to express religious, spiritual and mystical ideas. Rumi acknowledges both Sanai and Attar as having a major influence on his own poetry and stated 'Attar is the soul and Sanai the two eyes'. But for all its influence the book was largely unknown to the English speaking world until Stephenson researched and translated the work culminating in the edition of 1910. His translation, largely an academic work, printed in prosed paragraph form.
Our objectives within this new edition have been:
* to return the verse structure to the poem;
* to remove all spelling mistakes and punctuation errors;
* some rearrangement of misplaced sections;
* introduction of topic specific titles;
* to research and explain all obscure and vague statements within the poem;
* to discover the mystical, spiritual and religious teachings to which many of the verses refer
* to discover the likely source books which would have been available and appear to have influenced Sanai.
* And ultimately to present a book in which its original beauty and inspiration is allowed to shine through for today's reader.