When all the world is the eye of the lord
Observing everything
What can you cover? What can you conceal?

जेव्हा सारं जग त्या ईश्वराचेच नेत्र
सर्वदर्शी, सर्वसाक्षी,
तेव्हा तुम्ही काय काय लपवणार?

Akka Mahadevi, 12th Century Mystic, India

The Sabaa wind arrives; and in deep resonance,
the flower passionately rips open its garments,
thrusting itself from itself.

You are a Mystery

You imprison the soul in a body,

Then place Death as the watchman.

You give wings to ideas,

Then restrict, through fate, their ability to fly.

روح کو جسم کے پنجرے کا بنا کر قیدی

اس پہ پھر موت کا پہرہ بیٹھا رکھا ہے

دے کے تدبیر کے پنچھی کو اڑانے تو نے

دام تقدیر بھی ہر سمت بچھا رکھا ہے

Naz Khialvi (1947 – 2010), Pakistan

Note: loosely translated by me

I Came to Know Love…

I came to know love the moment I found your love
And I closed my heart to everyone except you
And I whisper to you
The one who sees the secrets of the heart
Though you yourself cannot be seen


I have two ways of loving you
The love when I long for you, and the love of which you are worthy
The love when I long for you is when your remembrance keeps me away from everything but you
But truly the love that you are worthy of is when you remove the veils for me to see you
Rab’ia Basri
8th Century Mystic, Iraq

7 Responses to “Art Inspired by Poetry”

  1. July 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing …The poem itself explains our love for Allah should transcend from infatuation.. Just pasting a story about Rabia Basri ,,It was told of Rabi`a that she was seen one day carrying a brand of fire in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other, and that she was running very fast. When they asked her what she was doing and where she was going, she said, “I am going to light a fire in the Garden of Heaven and pour water onto the fire of Hell, so that both these veils may disappear from the seekers, and that their purpose may be sure, and that the servants of Allah may see Him, without any object of hope or motive of fear! What if the Hope for the Garden and the Fear of the Fire did not exist? Not one would worship his Lord, nor obey Him. But He is worthy of worship without any immediate motive or need.


    • 2 selmatufail
      July 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Rabi’a Basri knew what she was talking about – I believe it’s called Unconditional Love – and mystics of all religious backgrounds express very similar views. It’s not an easy path for ordinary humans to follow, but worth pursuing none-the-less.


  2. July 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing that poem! I love the new painting the complexity and texture of the leaves and the central light source are wonderful.


    • 4 selmatufail
      July 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      The central light source is the divine source of love – completely unconditional – and the complexity is the complexity of our universe and our existence. I am SO happy the meaning came through. Thank you, Heather.


  3. July 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Really beautiful verse ,the quintessential example of spiritualism…. reminds one of mystic poets of Punjab , particularly Bhulle Shah and other spiritualist poets of that era.


    • 6 selmatufail
      July 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Yes, I agree, and the one I’m starting now is inspired by Sultan Bahu’s verse:

      جو دل دا محرم ہووے باہو، سوئی رب پچھانے ہُو

      And the one that’s almost finished is by Akka Mahadevi of India. I’ll post that soon.
      Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blogs I Follow: Tillism.com

Follow Selma Tufail on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 181 other followers

African dress codes

About African culture

%d bloggers like this: