Photo: Ouled Nails dancing teenage girl in Algeria; c.1935.
Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge:
Knowledge means to know yourself, heart and soul.
If you have failed to understand yourself,
Then all of your reading has missed its call.
What is the purpose of reading those books?
So that Man can know the All-Powerful.
If you have read, but failed to understand,
Then your efforts are just a barren toil.
Don't boast of reading, mastering science
Or of all your prayers and obeisance.
If you don't identify Man as God,
All your learning is of no use at all.
The true meaning of the four holy books
Is found in the alphabet's first letter.
You talk about that first letter, preacher;
What is the meaning of that -- could you tell?
Yunus Emre says to you, Pharisee,
Make the holy pilgrimage if need be
A hundred times -- but if you ask me,
A visit to the heart is best of all.
Source and Recommended Reading:
'The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems'
By Yunus Emre (Author), Kabir Helminski (Author), Refik Algan (Author)
This collection of poems introduces a general readership to Yunus Emre (1240-1321), called the "greatest folk poet in Islam" An unlettered Turkish shepherd who sang mystical songs that are still popular today, he was the first in a great tradition of Turkish Sufi troubadours who celebrated the Divine Presence as the intimate Beloved and Friend. Yunus's verse conveys the spirit and philosophy of Islamic mysticism in simple, earthy language.