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Ismaili Web Poetry Page 1

Allah is beauty and is pleased by all that is beauty.

An Anthology of Ismaili Poetry

Here is a sampling of devotional poetry by Ismaili Muslims wherein love and devotion for God, Prophet Muhammad and his family are expressed. The selection here spans a millenium of Muslim History from the Fatimid Caliphate to present day Ismaili poets from North Africa, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan and were originally composed in Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Popular Ismaili poetry has also been composed in Gujerati, Sindhi and Khojki popularly known as Ginans and enjoyed by a wide population of Shia Ismaili Muslims just as Qasidas, Munajaats and Munqabaats are enjoyed by the Middle Eastern, and Persian Ismailis.

By Al Mu'ayyad fi'l din Al Shirazi

  The Evil of Desire
  The Light of Intellect
  The Pure Progeny

By Ibn Hani Al-Andalusi

  The Proof of God
  Heaven on Earth

The Evil of Desire 

By Al Mu'ayyad fi'l din Al Shirazi  

Alas, my intellect 
has become oppressed  
and defeated by  
the evil of desire.  

Woe to me because  
I have wronged myself.  
I am beyond neither  
blame nor reproach.  

O why did I waste  
my life when the path  
of guidance was open  
and spacious to me?  

And why did I lose  
the light by which  
I am related to  
the close and noble ones?  

Why do I debase  
the precious pearl  
and honor the mean  
and insignificant oyster? 

The Proof of God 

By Ibn Hani Al-Andalusi 

You run with the light of God 
among His servants so that you 
may illumine their hearts 
and shine therein as His proof. 

Our eyes have observed your 
brilliance, but in fact 
opinion has never understood 
the essence of your reality. 

I fear you with a reverence, 
lest the sun forgets its rising, 
just as your remembrance made 
the angels forget their praise. 

You are the Spirit because  
your image is shaped from  
the spiritual world of your Lord 
and supported by knowledge. 

I swear that if the world did 
not call you a caliph, 
they would certainly have 
called you a second Messiah.

The Light of Intellect 

By Al Mu'ayyad fi'l din Al Shirazi 

How many observers are there 
with eyes that cannot see? 
How many seers are there 
with hearts that cannot reflect? 

For the human eye to see, 
there are certain conditions; 
he who disregards them 
loses his way in the darkness. 

The eye is of no avail 
if it does not receive light 
from the sun or the moon, 
or from the burning torch. 

Similarly the intellect, 
during reflection by itself, 
remains in the throes of 
doubt and bewilderment. 

Except when it is helped  
by a light from outside; 
then it ascends the ladder 
of enlightened contemplation.

The Pure Progeny 

By Al Mu'ayyad fi'l din Al Shirazi 

Peace be upon the pure progeny, 
and welcome to their resplendent lights. 

I begin with peace upon Adam from whom 
came all mankind, whether nomadic or sedentary. 

Peace be upon the one whose flood made 
the reprobates suffer from great misfortune. 

Peace be upon the one to whom came 
the peace at dawn when he was engulfed by fire. 

Peace be upon the one who with his staff 
overpowered the unbelievers of the tyrant Pharaoh. 

Peace be upon Jesus, the Holy Spirit, 
who by his coming, bestowed honor on Nazareth. 

Peace be upon Muhammad, the chose, 
the one who intercedes in the hereafter. 

Peace be upon Ali, the beloved, 
and those descended from him, the radiant stars. 

Peace be upon you, O Sovreign Lord 
of Cairo, and all their gain abides with you. 

I sacrifice my soul to Mustansir, 
who is supported by the legions of heaven. 

I bear witness that it is your blessed face 
which illumines the faces of your followers. 

You are the custodian of the fountain of life, 
and may the fountain of your enemies perish!

Heaven on Earth 

By Ibn Hani Al-Andalusi 

Rouse yourself from the sleep  
of negligence so that what 
shines out in the morning 
is not hidden from your eyes! 

The heaven you see above  
is not the heaven of God, 
but it is the earth below  
which encompasses that heaven. 

The stars submit to him, 
but conceal their prostration, 
and the sun shields its eyelids 
from the brilliance of his light. 

He is the intercessor for 
the community which follows him, 
just as his forefathers 
were for their forefathers. 

He is the trusted of God 
among His servants on earth, 
if at all the trusted can 
be counted in His country. 

This is the beloved one  
of the city of Mecca, 
and of its mountain paths, 
its black stone and the plain. 

There is a sign on him 
left by the Prophet's marking, 
and a splendor about him 
which comes from the light of God.

Source: Shimmering Light - IIS Publication
  Translation by Faquir M. Hunzai

Ismaili Poetry Page 1
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About Nasir Khusraw Ismaili Dai
Al Muayyad  Ismaili Dai
Poetry in the honor of Imam-e-Zamaan The Present Living Imam
Verses from the Holy Quran pointing to Imams

 Collection of Speeches by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Ismaili Web
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