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January 1997- Poetry Page

An Anthology of Ismaili Poetry

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

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.

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.

Ismaili Poetry Page 1
Ismaili Poetry Page 2
Nasir Khusraw's Poetry Make a shield from Wisdom
Nasir Khusraw and more Ismaili Heroes
Al Muayyad Ismaili Hero
Poetry in the honor of Imam-e-Zamaan
Prophet Muhammad Foretold in the Scriptures
Prophet Muhammad and Bahira the Monk

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