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Islamic Poetry

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Salamu Alaikum


These days of late, I have become facinated with islamic poetry and especially muslim poets.


Here are some of the poems I came accross and that I enjoyed reading.


The first poem is by Jalaluddin Rumi, who is perhaps the most widely known Sufi poet in the world. Even after the passage of almost a thousand years his poems and writings are avidly read by people all over the world. In fact, today in the West, he is the most widely read poet among both Muslims and non-Muslims.




Sometimes in order to help He makes us cry.


Happy the eye that sheds tears for His sake.


Fortunate the heart that burns for His sake.


Laughter always follows tears.


Blessed are those who understand.


Life blossoms wherever water flows.


Where tears are shed divine mercy is shown

The second poem is truly magnificent and is hailed in Arabic literature as a masterpiece. It's reputedly composed by the Muslim poet Hassan ibn Thabit in the memory of Khubayb inb Adiy who was one of the Prophet's (pbuh)Companions. Khubayb was killed by members of the Quraysh leaders. The poem is more brilliant in Arabic, but since most people on the website don't read or understand Arabic, I looked for a translation. However, the charm of the original language and its lilt is impossible to convey in translation. Nevertheless, here it is.


The enemy allies have converged on me,


incited their clansmen to muster strength;


They've invited their women and children to see,


and tied me to a solid trunk.


To Allah I complain of my loneliness and suffering;


Of enemies who surround me to rejoice at my death.


O Master of the Mighty Throne, grant me strength ,


To bear what they are doing to me;


Piercing my flesh and tearing my limbs.


They gave me a choice to turn away from Thee,


But death is preferrable to that;


That very thought of which brings tears to my eyes,


Not the pain they inflict on me.


I am not afraid of death, for some day everyone has to die;


But I shudder out of fear for the fire of Hell,


for the fury of its flames.


These limbs of mine are a sacrifice for Allah,


Hoping He'll bless every limb offered in His way.


So long I die a Muslim, I don't regret a thing,


For My death will occur in Allah's way.

The third and fourth poems are written by Rabi'ah al-Adiwiyya. A major spiritual influence in the classical Islamic world and one of the central figures of the spiritual tradition. She was born around 717 (I think) C.E. in what is now called Iraq.




In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.

Speech is born out of longing,

True description from the real taste.

The one who tastes, knows;

the one who explains, lies.

How can you describe the true form of Something

In Whose presence you are blotted out?

And in Whose being you still exist?

And Who lives as a sign for your journey?


My Greatest Need is You


Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure

Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word

My choicest hours

Are the hours I spend with You -

O Allah, I can't live in this world

Without remembering You -

How can I endure the next world

Without seeing Your face?

I am a stranger in Your country

And lonely among Your worshippers:

This is the substance of my complaint.

I hope that you enjoyed reading these poems as much as I did. Please feel free to share other poems, whether their classics, contemporary, or even written by yourself!




P.S. I'm open to suggestions to Islamic poetry and poets, other than the ones mentioned here!

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These days of late, I have become facinated with islamic poetry and especially muslim poets.


In like manner, must I say, good Diamante, that I am fascinated with your fascination. Arabic poetry in general and Islamic poetry in particular are a cavier to the general. It whets the appepite of only those strange persons with a refined literary taste.


The Poems of Rumi, the idee fixe of many a gnostic, are, if apprehended aright, both a potable and edible feast of reason. His poems have educed in the dryly righteous, as often is the case, charges of heresy and apostasy. Owing to a handicap in intrepreation, such persons vituperated this traveller most unjustly. The Arab Sage, Al-Mutanabbi, expressed it best when he said, Wa Kam min Caa'ibin qawlan saxiixan, Wa aafatuhu min al-fahmi as-saqiimi


Reading mystical poetry without a primer in islamic precepts, as one spirtual guider once told me, is akin to leaping in the dark. Have you ever leapt in the dark before? One must have a firm grasp of the language of metaphors.


It's reputedly composed by the Muslim poet Hassan ibn Thabit


Are you sure that Ibn Thaabit is the author thereof? According to my book of memory, it was Khubayb himself who pronounced those gripping words. Though I came across these verses many moons ago, I still find myself humming these words in private, and, ocassionally, in public, till this day.


ولست ابالي حين اقتل مسلما*** على أيّ٠شقّ٠كان ÙÙŠ الله مصرعي

وذلك ÙÙŠ ذات الإله وإن يشأ *** يبارك على أوصال شلو٠ممزَّع



As regards Raabi'ah Al-Adwiyyah, she is a testament to the argument that females can reach elevated stations of purification if they satisfy the conditions of wayfaring.


If you are interested in poems with islamic themes, than I will direct your attention to the poets of the Abasite period and the preceding "islamic period". Here are some legendary poets of those eras:-


ان لله عباد Ùطنا *** طلقوا الدنيا وخاÙوا الÙتنا

نظروا Ùيها Ùلما علموا *** انها ليست لحي وطنا

جعلوها لجة واتخذوا*** صالح الأعمال Ùيها سÙنا


Imam Ash-Shafi'


إذَا المرء٠لمْ يلبسْ ثياباً من التّÙÙ‚ÙŽÙ‰*** تقلَّبَ عÙرياناً وإنْ كانَ كاسÙيَا

أخي! كنْ على يأس٠من النّاس٠كلّهمْ*** جميعاً وكÙنْ ما عشتَ لله٠راجيَا

إلى الموت٠إلا أن يكونَ لمنْ ثَوى** منَ الخَلق٠طÙرّاً، حيثما كانَ لاقÙيَا

حسمْتَ المÙÙ†ÙŽÙ‰ يا موت٠حسماً Ù…ÙبرّÙحاً** وعلَّمْتَ يا مَوْت٠البÙكاءَ البواكÙيا

وَمَزّقْتَنَا، يا مَوْتÙØŒ ÙƒÙلَّ Ù…ÙمَزَّقÙØŒ** وعرَّÙتَنَا يا موت٠منكَ الدَّواهÙيَا

ألا يا طويلَ السهو٠أصبحتَ ساهياً** وَأصْبَحتَ Ù…Ùغترّاً، وَأصْبحتَ لاهÙيَا

Ø£ÙÙŠ ÙƒÙلّ٠يوم٠نحن نلقى جنازة **Ù‹ ÙˆÙÙŠ كلّ٠يوم٠منكَ نسمع٠مناديا

ÙˆÙÙŠ كلّ٠يوم٠مÙنكَ نرثÙÙŠ لمعْوÙÙ„Ù** ÙˆÙÙŠ ÙƒÙلّ٠يوم٠نحن٠نÙسعد٠بالÙيَا

ألا أيّها البَاني لغَير٠بَلاغَة ÙØŒ** ألا لخَراب٠الدّهْر٠أصْبَحْتَ بانÙيَا

ألا لزَوال٠العÙمْر٠أصْبَحْتَ بَانÙياً؛** وَأصْبَحتَ Ù…Ùختالاً، Ùَخوراً، Ù…ÙباهÙيا

كأنّكَ قد وَلّيتَ عن ÙƒÙلّ ما تَرَى ØŒ** وخلَّÙْتَ مَنْ خلَّÙْتَه٠عنكَ سالÙيَا


Abul Ataahiyah


الا كل شيء ما خلا الله باطل

وكل نعيم لا محالة زائل

وكل ابن انثى لو تطاول عمره

الا الغاية القصوى Ùللقبر ءايل

وكل اناس سو٠تدخل بينهم

دويهية تصÙر منها الانامل

وكل امريء يوما سيعر٠سعيه

اذا حصلت عند الاله الحصائل


Labeed Bin Rabee'ah


الا ايها المقصود ÙÙŠ كل حاجة

شكوت اليك الضر Ùارحم شكايتي

الا يا رجائي انت تكش٠كربتي

Ùهب لي ذنوبي كلها واقض حاجتي

اتيت باعمال قباح رديئة

وما ÙÙŠ الورى عبد جنى كجنايتي

اتحرقني بالنار؟ يا غاية المنى

Ùاين رجائي ثم؟ اين مخاÙتي؟


رايت خيال الظل اعظم عبرة

لمن كان ÙÙŠ علم الحقائق راقي

شخوصا واصواتا يخال٠بعضها

لبعض واشكالا بغير ÙˆÙاق

تجيء وتمضي بابة بعد بابة

وتÙنى جميعا والمحرك باقي


Ibn Farid


That is all for now. Camii Sabaaxan, good Diamante.


With Salaams,



P.S. You can find all islamic poets on this site . I would recommend that you start with Ash-Shafi' and Abul Ataahiyah.

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شكرًا متيكاليم Ùˆ قد أنت تÙبَارَك لوقتك Ùˆ مجهودك لتوجيهني إلى موقع رائع . يجيء Ùاسينيشن ÙŠ بالأدب العربيّ من Ùضول كانت تزيد منذ إقامتي القصيرة ÙÙŠ سوريا .


Reading mystical poetry without a primer in islamic precepts, as one spirtual guider once told me, is akin to leaping in the dark. Have you ever leapt in the dark before?

I've leapt into the dark on quite a few occasions. Some proved to be just that, a leap in the darp. Others proved to be rewarding journeys. I'm hoping that this particular "leap" turns out to be one of the latter.


I have briefly glanced at the website and the poems/poets you mentioned. My favorite so far is Abu al-Atahiya, I believe he was referred to as the "Father of Craziness" :D though there is nothing crazy about his poetry.


أنا شكرًا ثانية . أنت كنت Ø£Ùيد من يمكن أن تعر٠ÙÙŠ أيّ وقت !


(hope you can understand my Arabic redface.gif )




P.S. wasnt ash shafi anti-shia? (just out of curiosity)

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