the Message Continues ... 5/31


Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6 - Article 7 - Article 8 - Article 9 - Article 10

Article 11 - Article 12 - Article 13 - Article 14 - Article 15

Choosing sweetness or vinegar
by Rumi

I don't need
a companion who is
nasty sad and sour

the one who is
like a grave
dark depressing and bitter

a sweetheart is a mirror
a friend a delicious cake
it isn't worth spending
an hour with anyone else

a companion who is
in love only with the self
has five distinct characters

stone hearted
unsure of every step
lazy and disinterested
keeping a poisonous face

the more this companion waits around
the more bitter everything will get
just like a vinegar
getting more sour with time

enough is said about
sour and bitter faces
a heart filled with desire for
sweetness and tender souls
must not waste itself with unsavory matters

              Ghazal (Ode) 119
              Translation by Nader Khalili
              "Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
              Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994


The Sweetest Of All Things
by Rumi

Since you are the one who takes life
It is the sweetest of all things to die.
Life is sweet
But merging with you is far sweeter.

Come into the garden!
Join the Friend of the Truth!
In his garden you'll drink the Water of Life,
though it seems like fire to die.

In one moment someone dies,
In the next moment someone is born.
There is a lot of coming and going
no one really dies
nor will I ever die.

Forget the body, become pure spirit.
Dance from here to the other world.
Don't stop Don't try to escape,
even if you are afraid to die.

I swear were it not for His pure nature
The wheel of heaven would turn to dust.
Merge with Him now,
And you'll be sweeter than halva
when it comes time to die.

Why hold on to this life?
True living comes by giving up this life.
Why cling to one piece of gold?
it is a mine of gold to die.

Escape from this cage
and breathe the scented air of His garden.
Break this hard shell
It's like a shining pearl to die.

When God calls and pulls you close,
Going is like paradise
It's like a heavenly river to die.

Death is only a mirror
And your true nature is reflected there.
See what the mirror is saying
it's quite a sight to die!

If you are kind and faithful
Your death will also be that way.
If you are cruel and faithless,
that is the way you will die.

If you are like Joseph,
full of goodness,
That's how your mirror will be.
If not, you will see
only fear and torment
when it comes time to die.

These words are sweet,
but they always fade.
Sh . . . The eternal Khezr
and the Water of Life
have no idea what it means to die.
   ( Ghazal 2037, from Rumi's "Diwan-e Shams Tabriz " )
-- Version by Jonathan Star
"A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992

Why Jesus fled from the Fool
by Rumi

The son of Mary, Jesus, hurries up a slope
    as though a wild animal were chasing him.
Someone following him asks, "Where are you going?
    No one is after you."  Jesus keeps on,
saying nothing, across two more fields.  "Are you
    the one who says words over a dead person,
so that he wakes up?"  "I am."  "Did you not make
    the clay birds fly?"  "Yes."  "Who then
could possibly cause you to run like this?"
    Jesus slows his pace.

"I say the Great Name over the deaf and the blind,
    they are healed.  Over a stony mountainside,
and it tears its mantle down to the navel.
    Over non-existence, it comes into existence.
But when I speak lovingly for hours, for days,
    with those who take human warmth
and mock it, when I say the Name to them, nothing
    happens.  They remain rock, or turn to sand,
where no plants can grow.  Other diseases are ways
    for mercy to enter, but this non-responding
breeds violence and coldness toward God.
    I am fleeing from that.

"As little by little air steals water, so praise
    dries up and evaporates with foolish people
who refuse to change  Like cold stone you sit on
    a cynic steals body heat.  He doesn't actually feel
the sun."  Jesus wasn't running from actual people.
    He was teaching in a new way.

           Version by Coleman Barks
              "The Essential Rumi"
              HarperSanFrancisco, 1995


Flee from the foolish; even Jesus fled from them.
Much blood has been shed by companionship with fools!
Air absorbs water little by little;
even so, the fool drains you of spirit.
He steals your heat and leaves you cold,
like one who puts a stone beneath you.
The flight of Jesus wasn't caused by fear,
for he is safe from the mischief of fools;
his purpose was to teach by example.

           Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
              "Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
              Threshold Books, 1996


How Jesus Fled From Fools

Mathnawi III: 2570-2599

        The escaping of Jesus, (may the) peace (of God) be upon him,
        to the top of a mountain (to flee) from fools.

    Jesus, (the son) of Mary, was running away to a mountain. You
might say (that) a lion was wanting to spill his blood.
    Someone ran behind (him) and said, "(May you be) well! There
isn't anyone following you, (so) why are you fleeing like a bird?"
    (But) he kept running in the same manner, bound to urgency, (so)
that he didn't answer him, because of his own haste.
    (The man) pressed forward following Jesus (for) one or two
(more) fields. Then he called (out) to Jesus with great seriousness,
    Saying, "For the sake of God's approval, stop for a moment! --
since I have a problem in (understanding this) fleeing of yours.
    "O noble and generous one! Who are you running from (in) this
direction? (There's) no lion or enemy following you, and no fear or
    He answered, "I am escaping from a fool. Go (away)! I'm
rescuing myself, (so) don't restrain me!"
    (The man) said, "But aren't you the Messiah,

(1)  by whom blind
and deaf (people) become normal?"
    "Yes," he replied. (The man) asked, "Aren't you the (spiritual)
king who (is) the dwelling place for mysterious spells and

(2)  "(So that) if you recite a spell upon a (man's) corpse, he leaps
up (joyfully) like a lion (who has) brought back prey."
    "Yes," he answered, "I am that one." (The other) said, "O
beautiful faced one! Don't you make (living) birds out of clay?"

(3)  "Yes," he replied. (The other) said, "O pure spirit! Then you can
make (happen) whatever you wish-- (so) who are you afraid of?
    "With evidence such as this,

(4)  who is there in the world who
wouldn't be among your (devoted) slaves?"
    Jesus said, "By the Holy Essence of God, the Originator of the
body, the Creator of the soul in (its) superiority!

(5) "(And in) reverence for His Holy Essence and Attributes, (for)
whom the collar of the heavens is torn (in ecstasy)

(6): "(I affirm) that those incantations, as well as the greatest Name
(of God),

(7) which I spoke over the deaf and over the blind, were
    "I recited (the words) over the rocky mountain (and) it became
split, tearing the robe (which was) upon itself (down) to the navel.
    "I spoke (the words) over a dead body (and) it became alive. I
said (them) over a point of nothingness (and) it became something.
    "(But) I said those (words) a hundred thousand times with
loving-kindness over the heart of a fool and it was not a cure.

(8) "(Instead), it became

(9) a hard rock and didn't change from that
habit; it became sand, from which no seed grows."
    (The man) said, "(Then) what is the wisdom that the Name of God
was beneficial in those places, (but) here it had no superiority?

(10) "That is also (a case) of disease, and this is an affliction.
(So) why was it

(11) a cure for that (but) not for this?"
    (Jesus) replied, "The affliction of foolish stupidity is (caused
by) the overwhelming anger of God. (Normal) afflictions and blindness
are not (from God's) anger-- those are tests and trials."
    Trials and hardships are an affliction which [eventually] brings
(Divine) Mercy. (But) ignorant foolishness brings blows and
    That which is his scarring has been produced by His seal,

(12) (and) no supporting hand can bring a remedy to it.
    (Therefore), escape from foolish people just as Jesus escaped.
(For) companionship with fools has spilled so much blood!
    The air steals water very gradually,

(13) (and) the fool steals religion from you also in the same way.
    He steals your warmth and gives you cold (in its place), just like
one who puts a rock under (your) bottom.
    The escaping of Jesus is not because of (real) fear, (for) he is
secure (from such). (But) is for the sake of teaching (a lesson).

(14) Even if intense cold filled (all) the horizons of the world, what
grief would there be for the radiant sun?

From "The Mathnaw-y Ma`naw"
 [Rhymed Couplets of Deep Spiritual Meaning] of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard (with gratitude for R.A. Nicholson's 1930 British translation)
(c) Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)

(1) the Messiah: "(And) when the angels said, 'O Mary! Truly God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, [al-masHu `s ibnu maryam] worthy of honor in this world and the Hereafter and among those (who are) nearest to God." (Qur'an 3:45)

(2) mysterious spells and incantations: Nicholson translated, "in whom the spells of the Unseen World have their abode."

(3) (living) birds out of clay: a reference to a verse in the Qur'an where Jesus was sent as a prophet of God to the Children of Israel with the message: "Surely, I have come to you with a (miraculous) sign from your Lord. I will make for you (something) resembling the shape of a bird and I will breathe into it so that it will become a
(living) bird, by the permission of God. And I will heal the blind and the lepers, and I make the dead alive, by the permission of God." (Qur'an 3:49)

(4) With evidence such as this: Nicholson translated, "With such (miraculous) evidence..."

(5) the soul in (its) superiority: Nicholson translated, "the Creator of the soul in eternity," and explained, "Literally, 'in priority.'" (footnote) This refers to the teaching in the Qur'an that God created Adam as superior to the angels, which they were commanded to acknowledge (2: 31-34).

(6) (for) whom the collar of the heavens is torn (in ecstasy): refers to the ancient practice of "rending one's garments" during a state of extreme devotion. In Islamic culture, public nudity is forbidden. However, dervishes used to tear their shirts or robes from the collar to the waist, while in a state of spiritual ecstasy, such as during a
sam`, or mystical concert, when spontaneous movement (and sometimes dancing and whirling) occurred while hearing mystical poetry and music.

(7) the greatest Name (of God) [ism- a`Zam]: Nicholson translated, "the Most Great Name." Although the name "Allah" is considered to be the greatest Name of God, because it contains all of the traditional Ninety-Nine (and the infinite) Names of God, it probably refers here to the sufi teaching that God allows a few of His chosen servants to know His greatest (and most secret) Name-- by which he allows them to perform miracles [mu`jizt] (if they are prophets, such as Jesus) and wonders [karmt] (if they are saints). In a similar story, Rumi tells about a fool who asked Jesus to teach him "that sublime Name [nm- san] by which you make a dead man alive" (II:142). The man  wanted to revive some bones he saw in a hole. After receiving clarification from God, Jesus pronounced the Name over the bones, a lion sprung to life and killed the fool. Nicholson explained the meaning of "that sublime Name" as referring to "the Greatest name of God (ismu 'llhi 'l-a`zamu), generally
said to be Allah, wherein Huwa [= He, meaning the Divine Essence] is contained. Knowledge of the name confers miraculous powers on those who possess it, viz. prophets and heads of the hierarchy of saints, and can be communicated" [= to selected others]. (Commentary)

(8) it wasn't a cure: "One of the sayings which Moslems attribute to Jesus is m `ajaztu `an ihy'i 'l-mawt kam `ajaztu `an islhi 'l-ahmaq." [= As much as I worked miracles in regard to reviving the dead, even so, I was helpless in regard to mending the fool.] (Nicholson, Commentary)

(9) It became: refers to the heart, mentioned in the previous line. Nicholson translated, "He became..."

(10) here it had no superiority: Nicholson translated, "(while) it had no advantage (good effect) here?" And he explained: "I.e. 'in the case of the fool.'" (footnote)

(11) why was it: Nicholson translated, "why did it (the Name of God)..."

(12) his scarring has been produced by His seal: Means that his punishment has been sealed or stamped upon him by the Decree of God. "Of course Rm does not imply that because the fool acts according to his predestined folly he is therefore excusable."
(Nicholson, Commentary)

(13) The air steals water very gradually: means through evaporation.

(14) for the sake of teaching (a lesson): "...the prophet or saint, though 'united' with God and endowed with Divine knowledge, nevertheless turns to God in solitary prayer and supplication (khalwat namz). It is in order that his example in this respect may be followed by those who seek salvation under his guidance." (Nicholson, Commentary)


gorkhtan- `s-- `alay-hi 's-salm-- farz-
kh az aHmaq-n

`s-y maryam ba-kh m-gorkht
shr gy- khn- m-khwst rkht

n yak dar pay dawd-o goft khayr
dar pay-at kas nst che gorz- ch Tayr?

b shetb n-chon-n m-tkht joft
k-az shetb- khwad jawb- na-goft

yak d maydn dar pay- `s be-rnd
pas ba-jidd- jidd `s-r be-khwnd

k-az pay- marZt- Haq yak laHZa b-st
ke ma-ra andar gorz-at mushkil-st

az ke n s m-gorz- ay karm
na pay-at shr-o na khaSm-o khawf-o bm

goft az aHmaq gorzn-am, be-raw
m-rahn-am khwsh-r band-am ma-shaw

goft khir n masH na tow-
ke shaw-ad kr-o kar az t mustaw?

goft r, goft n shah nst-
ke fusn- ghayb-r ma'wst-?

chn be-khwn- n fusn bar morda'y
bar jah-ad chn shr- Sayd-warda'y

goft r, n man-am, goft- ke t
na ze-gel morgh-n kon- ay khwob-r

goft r, goft pas ay rH- pk
har-che khwh- m-kon-, az k-st bk?

b chon-n burhn ke bsh-ad dar jahn
ke na-bsh-ad mar to-r az bandag-n?

goft `s ke ba-Zt- pk- Haq
mubdi`- tan, khliq- jn dar sabaq

Hurmat- Zt-o Sift- pk-
ke bow-ad gardn garbn chk-

k-n fusn-o ism- a`Zam-r ke man
bar kar-o bar kr khwnd-am shod Hasan

bar koh- sangn be-khwnd-am shod shekf
khirqa-r be-drd bar khwad t ba-nf

bar tan- morda be-khwnd-am gasht Hay
bar sar- l-shay be-khwnd-am gasht shay

khwnd-am n-r bar del- aHmaq ba-wud
Sad hazr-n br-o darmn na-shod

sang- khr gasht-o z-n kh bar na-gasht
rg shod k-az way na-ry-ad hch kasht

goft Hikmat ch-st, k-n-j ism- Haq,
sd kard, n-j na-bd n-r sabaq?

n ham-n ranj-ast-o n ranj, che-r
na-shod n-r-wo n-r shod daw

goft ranj- aHmaq qahr- khod-st
ranj-o kr nst qahr, n ibtil-st

ibtil ranj-st k-n raHm war-ad
aHmaq ranj-st k-n zakhm war-ad

n-che dgh- -st mohr- karda-ast
chra'y bar way na-y-ar-ad bord-dast

z-aHmaq-n be-g'rz chn `s gorkht
SuHbat- aHmaq bas khn-h ke rkht

andak andak b-r dozd-ad haw
dn chon-n dozd-ad ham aHmaq az shom

garmiy-at-r dozd-ad-o sard deh-ad
ham-ch n k- zr- kn sang neh-ad

n gorz- `s na az bm bow-ad
min-ast , n pay- ta`lm bow-ad

zamharr ar por kon-ad fq-r
che gham n khworshd- b-ishrq-r?


Come into the sea of reality
by Rumi

You are a bird of the sea,
even though a chicken has sheltered you beneath her wing.
The desire in your heart is for the sea;
your soul has that nature from your mother.
Leave your land-bound nursemaid and move on.
Come into the sea of reality.
You are a waterfowl:
you can live on land and sea.
You are of royal birth, for . . .
"We have ennobled the children of Adam:"*
you walk on both dry land and sea.

        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mdar-e to batt-e n dary bodast
dyeh-'et khki bod o khoshki parast
Mayl-e dary keh del-e to andarast
n tabi`at jnet-r az mdarast
Mayl-e khoshki mar tor zin dyeh ast
dyeh-r bo-g'zr keh u bad-ryeh ast
Dyeh-r bo-g'zr bar khoshk va be-rn
andar dar bahr-e ma`n chon battn
Gar tor mdar be-tarsnad ze b
to ma-tars va su-ye dary rn shetb
To batti bar khoshk va bar tar zendeh-'i
ni cho morgh khneh khneh kandeh-'i
To ze "Karramn Bani dam"* shahi
ham be-khoshki ham be-dary p nehi

Mathnawi II:3767-3773
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
 "Rumi: Daylight"
Threshold Books, 1994
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahy Monastra




All material published by / And the Message Continues is the sole responsibility of its author's).

The opinions and/or assertions contained therein do not necessarily reflect the editorial views of this site,

nor of Al-Huda and its officers.

HOME   -   the Message continues   -   BOOKS   -   FEEDBACK  

Website Designed and Maintained by Khatoons Inc.
Copyright 2001 CompanyLongName , NJ USA  /  Last modified: January 19, 2019