Yawm-e Ali

Today is the birthday of Imam Ali. Read more for a poem in honor of Murtaza.

Of Muhammad

I chose the Qur’an
and the faith of Muhammad,
for that is the choice
that was made by Muhammad.
I’m certain by faithfully
following these,
my certitude will
be like that of Muhammad.
My key for the heavens,
my guide to delight,
my fortified castle:
the faith of Muhammad!
Muhammad is sent as
God’s prophet to us:
thus is the imprint
of the seal of Muhammad.
The faith, the Qur’an
they are fixed in my heart
just as they were fixed
in the heart of Muhammad.
My hope is to be
by the grace of the Lord
the lowliest one
in the folk of Muhammad.
In the ocean of faith
you see, the Qur’an
is the most precious pearl
in the hand of Muhammad.
As every king
has a treasure concealed,
thus is the Qur’an:
treasure trove of Muhammad!
Now look at the jewel
that sits on this treasure!
Whom do you consider
the trustee of Muhammad?
His followers find
yonder jewel of faith
from nobody else
but the sons of Muhammad.
Muhammad entrusted
his treasure and goods
to one person, worthy
and close to Muhammad.
Who was such a close
friend? He whose dear wife
was none but the darling
black-eyed, of Muhammad.
From this darling child
and that cousin appeared
Hasan and Husayn,
letters close to Muhammad.
I know certainly this:
Hasan and Husayn
are jasmine and rose
in both worlds, of Muhammad.
Where could such a rose
and such a jasmine appear
in both worlds but out
of the soil of Muhammad!
I don’t dare select
any one among men
above these two sons,
lovely sons of Muhammad;
I don’t dare select
anyone above them
I would be ashamed
of the frown of Muhammad!
The sword of pure Haydar,
the mighty Qur’an
are cornerstones of
the strong faith of Muhammad,
for he stood as master
and with Dhu’l-fiqar
in every fight
to the right of Muhammad.
Since Ali’s sword helped
the mighty Qur’an;
Ali was the helper,
no doubt, for Muhammad.
As Aaron to Moses,
so was Ali in rank
A partner in faith
and close to Muhammad.
On Doomsday both Moses
and Aaron will kiss
the mantle of Ali,
the hem of Muhammad.
Muhammad’s religion
resembled a thicket:
The lion: Ali,
in the woods of Muhammad.
Muhammad said: ‘Go,
and seek wisdom in China!’
I went to that China,
the land of Muhammad.
I heard from the heir
of the Prophet such words
which were like the honey,
so sweet, of Muhammad!

Nasir Khusraw
from Make a Shield from Wisdom
translated by Annemarie Schimmel

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