The Enclosed Garden Of Truth

On Being Glad In God Most High, And Humbling Oneself Before Him By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Being Glad In God Most High, And Humbling Oneself Before Him By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON BEING GLAD IN GOD MOST HIGH, AND HUMBLING ONESELF BEFORE HIM O Life of all the contented, who grantest the desires of the desirous: the acts in me that are right, Thou makest so,–Thou, kinder to me than I am to myself. No bounds are set to Thy mercy, no interruption appears in Thy bounty. Whatever Thou givest, give thy slave piety; accept of him and set him near Thyself. Gladden my heart with the thought of the holiness of religion; make fire of my human body of dust and wind. It is Thine to show mercy and to forgive, mine to stumble and to fall. I am not wise,–receive me, thoug... »

On The Greatness Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Greatness Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE GREATNESS OF THE QUR’ÂN ON THE GREATNESS OF THE QUR’ÂN,–VERILY IT CONSISTS NOT IN ITS DIVISION INTO ‘TENS’ AND ‘FIVES.’ To attract a handful of boys thou hast made its honour to consist in the ‘tens,’ and ‘fives’; thou hast abrogated the authority of every verse which abrogates another, art still unlearned in its doctrines the intricate passages seem to thee plain, while in its plain teachings thou hast no faith; thou hast abandoned the light of the Qur’ân, and for the sake of the multitude hast made its outward for... »

Abbreviations

Abbreviations

ABBREVIATIONS L (in the notes) refers to the commentary of ‘Abdu’l-Latîf. * (in the notes) refers to the commentary of ‘Alâu’d-Dîn. Gibb = A History of Ottoman Poetry, vol. I, by E. J. W. Gibb. London. Luzac & Co., 1900. Sale = Sale’s Translation of the Qur’ân, with notes (several editions; a cheap one is published by Warne & Co.). Stein. =Steingass’s Persian-English Dictionary. B.Q. =The Burhân-i Qâti` (a Persian Dictionary, in Persian). The scheme of transliteration adopted is that at present sanctioned by the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The... »

Concerning His Beneficence, And Verily He Is The Provider Of Provisions By Sanai Ghaznavi

Concerning His Beneficence, And Verily He Is The Provider Of Provisions By Sanai Ghaznavi

CONCERNING HIS BENEFICENCE, AND VERILY HE IS THE PROVIDER OF PROVISIONS When He lays the table of its food before the creature, He provides a fare more ample than the eater’s needs; life and days and daily food come to all from Him; happiness and fortune are from Him. He supplies the daily bread of each, nor seals the door of the storehouse; infidel and true believer, wretched and prosperous, to all their daily food and life renewed. While the Hâ of necessity is still in their throat, the Jîm of His munificence has given His creatures their sustenance. Except by bread we cannot live, and... »

On Following The Path Of The Hereafter By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Following The Path Of The Hereafter By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON FOLLOWING THE PATH OF THE HEREAFTER All this knowledge is but a trifling matter; the knowledge of the journey on God’s road is otherwise, and belongs to the man of acuter vision. What, for the man of wisdom and true religion, whose bread and speech are alike of wheat, distinguishes that path and points it out? Inquire its mark from the Speaker and the Friend. And if, O brother, thou also ask of me, I answer plainly and with no uncertainty, ‘To turn thy face towards the world of life, to set thy foot upon outward prosperity, to put out of mind rank and reputation, to bend oneR... »

On The Participation Of The Heart In Prayer By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Participation Of The Heart In Prayer By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE PARTICIPATION OF THE HEART IN PRAYER At the battle of Uhud `Alî the Prince, the impetuous Lion, received a grievous wound. The head of the arrow remained in his foot, and he knew that it was necessary to take it out, this being the only cure for him. As soon as the surgeon saw it, he said, “We must cut it open with a knife; to find the arrow-head, a key must be applied to the closed wound.” But `Alî had no strength to bear the insertion of the forceps; “Let it alone,” said he, “till the time of prayer.” So when he was engaged in prayer his surgeon gen... »

Of His Mercy By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of His Mercy By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF HIS MERCY Malice and rancour are far removed from His attributes: for hate belongs to him who is under command. It is not permissible to speak of anger in respect of God, for God has no quality of anger; anger and hatred are both due to constraint by superior force, and both qualities are far distant from God. Anger and passion and reconciliation and hatred and malice are not among the attributes of the one sole God; from God the Creator all is mercy; He is the Veiler of His slaves; of His mercy He gives thee counsel; He draws thee to Himself by the kindness of the noose. If thou comest not... »

On Renunciation And Strenuous Endeavour By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Renunciation And Strenuous Endeavour By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON RENUNCIATION AND STRENUOUS ENDEAVOUR Whoso desires to be lord of his isolation and whoso seeks to guard his seclusion, must take no ease within, nor adorn himself without; that praise which is bestowed on outward seeming imports the abandonment of true praise and adornment. The beggar asks bread at the door of the king; so the lover begs food for his soul. On the path, naked and fearless, he has cast water and fire and earth to the winds. Standing on the plain of the signposts of time, what matter fools to him, what the philosopher of the age? O brother, hold thy liver as roast meat in the ... »

The Parable Of The Schoolboys By Sanai Ghaznavi

The Parable Of The Schoolboys By Sanai Ghaznavi

THE PARABLE OF THE SCHOOLBOYS Thou knowest not the difference between the hidden world and this,–canst not distinguish between welfare and affliction. In truth, thou art not a man travelling on this Path; thou art a child of the Path, knowest not the Path; thou art but a boy,–go about thy play, go back to thy pride and independence. The airs and graces of thy mistress are enough for thee,–what, O son, hast thou to do with God? What concern hast thou with Paradise and eternal delight, who hast rejected the life to come for this present world? He knows thy baseness; how shall H... »

On Celebrating The Praise Of God By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Celebrating The Praise Of God By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON CELEBRATING THE PRAISE OF GOD To call on the name of friends, and the unhappy ones of this world, how thinkest thou of it? It is like calling on old women. Oppression, if He ordain it, is all justice; a life without thought of Him is all wind. He laughs who is brought to tears through Him; but that heart is an anvil that thinks not on Him. Thou art secure when thou pronouncest His name,–thou keepest a firm footing on thy path; make thou thy tongue moist, like earth, with remembrance of Him, that He may fill thy mouth, like the rose, with gold. He fills with life the soul of the wise m... »

On The Glory Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Glory Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE GLORY OF THE QUR’ÂN Glorious it is, though concealing its glory: and a guide, though under the veil of coquetry. Its discourse is bright and strong; its argument clear and apt; its words are a casket for the pearl of life, its precepts a tower over the water-wheel of the faith; to the Knowers it is love’s garden, to the soul the highest heaven. O thou to whom, by reason of thy heedlessness and sin, in reading the Qur’ân there comes upon thy tongue no sweetness from its words, into thy heart no yearning from their comprehension,–by its exceeding majesty and author... »

Introduction

Introduction

INTRODUCTION I.–LIFE OF THE AUTHOR. Abû’l-Majd Majdûd b. Adam Sanâ’î 1 was born at Ghazna, and lived in the reign of Bahrâmshâh (A.H. 512-548, A.D. 1118-1152). Ouseley says of him that he “while yet young became one of the most learned, devout, and excellent men of the age which he adorned. His praise was on every tongue; for, in addition to his accomplishments in the Sufi philosophy, he possessed a kind and benevolent heart, delightful manners, and a fine taste for poetry . . . . Sanâî in early life retired from the world and its enjoyments, and the reason for his doin... »

He Who Is Indifferent To The World Finds A Kingdom That Shall Not Wane By Sanai Ghaznavi

He Who Is Indifferent To The World Finds A Kingdom That Shall Not Wane By Sanai Ghaznavi

HE WHO IS INDIFFERENT TO THE WORLD FINDS A KINGDOM THAT SHALL NOT WANE HE WHO IS INDIFFERENT TO THE WORLD FINDS A KINGDOM THAT SHALL NOT WANE. (Qur. 20:118) There was an old ascetic in Basrâ, none in that age so devout as he. He said, I rise every morning determined to fly from this vile Self. My Self says to me, Come, old man, what wilt thou eat this morning? Make some preparation, come, tell me what I am to eat. I tell him, Death; and leave the subject. Then my Self says to me, What shall I put on? I say, The winding-sheet. Then he questions me, and makes most absurd requests, such as, O tho... »

On Giving Thanks By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Giving Thanks By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON GIVING THANKS Ingratitude’s only seat is the door of sorrow; thankfulness arrives with certainty at the treasure. (Qur. 14:7) Utter thy thanks for the sake of increase, of the hidden world, and of the sight of God; then when thou hast become patient of His decree He will name thee ‘giver of thanks’; whoso presses forwards towards God, speaks not without uttering his thanks to God. Who can tell the sweetness of giving thanks to Him? Who can pierce the pearl of the celebration of His name? He bestows, and He gives the reward; He speaks, and He imparts the answer. Whatsoever ... »

On The Steps Of Ascent By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Steps Of Ascent By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE STEPS OF ASCENT Make not thy soul’s nest in hell, nor thy mind’s lodging in deception; wander not in the neighbourhood of foolishness and absurdities, nor by the door of the house of vain imagining. Abandon vain conceits, that thou mayest find admission to that court; for that mansion of eternity is for thee, and this abode of mortality is not thy place; for thee is that mansion of eternity prepared,–abandon to-day, and give up thy life for to-morrow’s sake. This world’s evil and good, its deceit and truth, are only for the ignoble among the sons of Adam. T... »

Of The Guidance Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of The Guidance Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF THE GUIDANCE OF THE QUR’ÂN It is the guide, and the lovers the travellers; it is a rope, and the heedless sit in the pit. Thy soul has its home at the pit’s bottom; the Qur’ân’s light is a rope let down to it; rise and seize the rope, so thou mayest haply find salvation; else thou art lost in the pit’s depth,–flood and storm will destroy thee. Like Yûsuf thou art brought by Satan into the pit; be thy wisdom the glad tidings, thy rope the Qur’ân; if thou desirest to be as Yûsuf, and to enjoy high place, take hold of it and come forth from the well. T... »

On Self-Abasement And Humility By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Self-Abasement And Humility By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON SELF-ABASEMENT AND HUMILITY Lowliness befits thee, violence suits thee not; a, naked man frantic in a bee-house is out of place. Leave aside thy strength, betake thyself to lowliness, that so thou mayest trample the heights of heaven beneath thy feet; for God knows that, rightly seen, thy strength is a lie, and thy lowliness truth. If thou layest claim to strength and wealth, thou hast a blind eye and a deaf ear. Thy face and thy gold are red, thy coat is of many colours,–then look to find thy honour disgrace, thy peace strife. Come not to God’s door in the dust of thy strength,... »

The Parable Of Those Who Give Alms By Sanai Ghaznavi

The Parable Of Those Who Give Alms By Sanai Ghaznavi

THE PARABLE OF THOSE WHO GIVE ALMS A certain wise and liberal man gave away so many bags of gold before his son’s eyes that when he saw his father’s munificence he broke forth into censure and remonstrance, saying, Father, where is my share of this? He said, O son, in the treasury of God; I have given to God thy portion, leaving no executor and none to divide it with thee, and He will give it thee again. He is Himself our Provider and our Master; shall He not suffice us, both for faith and worldly goods? He is no other than the disposer of our lives; He will not oppress thee,–... »

On Being Silent By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Being Silent By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON BEING SILENT The path of religion is neither in works nor words; there are no buildings thereon, but only desolation. Whoso becomes silent to pursue the path, his speech is life and sweetness; if he speaks, it will not be out of ignorance, and if he is silent, it will not be from sloth; when silent, he is not devising frivolity; when speaking, he scatters abroad no trifling talk. Those fools, the thieves and pickpockets, keep their knowledge to use in highway robbery. Thou seest, O Master, thou of many words, that thou hadst better have light in thy heart than words; when thou becomest sile... »

On The Hearing Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Hearing Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE HEARING OF THE QUR’ÂN When the pious reader has set the book with reverence upon his lap, and has recited ‘Let no one touch it’ (Qur. 56:78) over both his hands, for a single copper he gives forth a lusty cry, like a turtledove for a grain of corn. Hear God’s word from God Himself, for the labour of the reader is only a veil. The Knower hears the word from the Truth; the force of his desire denies him sleep. The feelings may be captive to the professional reciter, but Love has its songster in the heart itself. Set a mole in thy inmost heart, and not upon thy chee... »

Concerning The Pious Disciple And The Great Master By Sanai Ghaznavi

Concerning The Pious Disciple And The Great Master By Sanai Ghaznavi

CONCERNING THE PIOUS DISCIPLE AND THE GREAT MASTER Thaurî, by way of obsequiousness and in anxiety to acquire a good reputation, asked an excellent question of Bâyazîd Bistâmi; weeping, he said, “O Master, tell me, who is unjust?” His master, giving him a draught out of the law, answered him and said, “Unjust is that ill-fated one who for one! moment of the day and night in negligence forgets Him: he is nest His submissive slave.” If thou forget Him for one breath, there is none so shamelessly unjust as thou; but if thou be present and commemorate His name, thy being is... »

On His Decree And Ordinance And His Creative Power By Sanai Ghaznavi

On His Decree And Ordinance And His Creative Power By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON HIS DECREE AND ORDINANCE AND HIS CREATIVE POWER All that comes forth in the world is by decree, and what the prophet speaks is also by decree; infidelity and faith, good and evil, old and new,–all is referable to Him; whatso exists, is under the command of the Almighty; all things work in accordance with the decree. All are in subjection,–His Omnipotence the subduer; His creative Power appears high above all. All is subject to His Omnipotence, dependent on His mercy; all were preceded in time by His eternal Omniscience. The man of the people, or he of the philosophers, he who is... »

On The Sweetness Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Sweetness Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE SWEETNESS OF THE QUR’ÂN How shalt thou taste the flavour and delight of the Qur’ân, since thou chantest it without comprehension? Come forth through the door of the body into the landscape of the soul; come and view the garden of the Qur’ân, that all things may appear before thy soul,–what has been, what is, and what shall be, the world’s dry and moist, within and without, whatsoever has been created by ‘Be, and it was,’ the decrees ordained by Him,–all will be made plain to thee through it. God’s attributes shall obey thee, and shal... »

Of The Multitude; They Are Like Cattle, Nay; They Are More Erring By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of The Multitude; They Are Like Cattle, Nay; They Are More Erring By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF THE MULTITUDE; THEY ARE LIKE CATTLE, NAY; THEY ARE MORE ERRING On the colt that is full three years old the breaker puts the saddle and bridle; he gives him a training in manners, and takes his restiveness out of him; he makes him obedient to the rein,–what is called a hand horse. Then he is fit for kings to ride, and they deck him with gold and jewels. If that colt had not experienced these necessary hardships, he would have been of less use than an ass, only fit to carry millstones; and would have been perpetually in pain from his loads, bearing now the Jew’s baggage, now the ... »

On The Above Allegory By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Above Allegory By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE ABOVE ALLEGORY One talks of ‘the foot’, the other of ‘the hand’, pushing beyond all limits their foolish words; that other speaks of ‘fingers’ and ‘change of place’ and ‘descending’, and of His coming as an incarnation. Another considers in his science His ‘settling himself’ and ‘throne’ and ‘couch’, and in his folly speaks of ‘He sat’ and ‘He reclined’, making of his foolish fancy a bell to tie round his neck. ‘His face’ says one; ‘His feet’ an... »

The Parable Of Those Who Heed Not By Sanai Ghaznavi

The Parable Of Those Who Heed Not By Sanai Ghaznavi

THE PARABLE OF THOSE WHO HEED NOT A fool saw a camel grazing, and said, Why is thy form all crooked? Said the camel, In disputing thus thou censurest the sculptor; beware! Look not on my crookedness in disparagement, and kindly take the straight road away from me. My form is thus because it is best so, as from a bow’s being bent comes its excellence. Begone hence with thy impertinent interference, an ass’s ear goes well with an ass’s head. The arch of the eyebrow, though it displease thee, is yet a fiting cupola over the eye; by reason of the eyebrow, the eye is able to look ... »

On Charity And Gifts By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Charity And Gifts By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON CHARITY AND GIFTS Whatsoever thou hast, relinquish it for the sake of God; for charity is the greater marvel when it comes from beggars. Bestow thy life and soul, for the endeavour of the poor is the best gift of mortal clay; the prince and chief of the family of the cloak was honoured by the Sûra “Does there not come,”–such regard he found with God from those three poor barley-cakes. »

On The Incompatibility Of The Two Abodes By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Incompatibility Of The Two Abodes By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF THE TWO ABODES The sun and earth produce the day and night; when thou hast passed beyond, neither the one nor the other will exist for thee. O thou in whose imagination desire and desirer are two, know that the duality belongs to thy understanding, and belongs not to the Unity. Since in the Presence of One such as He all things are one, if thou wilt listen to my words, then seek not thou duality; know that in duality is pain and opposition, in Unity Rustam and a catamite are alike. Till on the battlefield of purity and in the court of the soul, standing above thy life... »

Creation Of Adam And Of Jesus Son Of Mary By Sanai Ghaznavi

Creation Of Adam And Of Jesus Son Of Mary By Sanai Ghaznavi

CREATION OF ADAM AND OF JESUS SON OF MARY THE COMPARISON OF THE CREATION OF ADAM AND OF JESUS SON OF MARY (ON BOTH OF WHOM BE PEACE!). Adam’s father in this world was the same breath which begot the son of Mary; that which became his body was of the nature of humanity, and that which became his soul was of the fragrance of that breath. Whoso has in him that breath, is an Adam; and whoso has it not, is an effigy belonging to this world only. When Adam received that breath from the power of God his soul became conscious, and hastening towards the Universal Soul he asked, “What canst ... »

On His Kindness And Bounty By Sanai Ghaznavi

On His Kindness And Bounty By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON HIS KINDNESS AND BOUNTY O Lord, the Enduring, the Holy, whose kingdom is not of touch or sense; by Thee we conquer, without Thee we fail; in Thee we are content, apart from Thee unsatisfied. Though none amongst us is of any avail, is not Thy kindness a sufficient messenger of promise? Thou hast given us our religion, give us a sure belief in it; though we have the faith, give us yet more. Checkmated on the chessboard of our passions as we are, we thirst for the heavenly valley; none of us can tell the good from ill,–give us what Thou knowest to be good. O Thou, desire of the desirous,... »

On The Surrender Of The Self By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Surrender Of The Self By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE SURRENDER OF THE SELF Dost thou desire thy collar of lace to be washed, then first give thy coat to the fuller. Strip off thy coat, for on the road to the King’s gate there are many to tear it. At the first step that Adam took, the wolf of affliction tore his coat: when Cain became athirst to oppress, did not Abel give up his coat and die? Was it not when Idrîs threw off his coat that he saw the door of Paradise open to him? When the Friend of God remorselessly tore their garments from star and moon and sun, his night became bright as day, and the fire of Nimrod became a garden an... »

Of The Recital Of The Secret Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of The Recital Of The Secret Of The Qur’ân By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF THE RECITAL OF THE SECRET OF THE QUR’ÂN Tongue cannot tell the secret of the Qur’ân, for His intimates keep it concealed; the Qur’ân indeed knows its own secret,–hear it from itself, for itself knows it. Except by the soul’s eye none knows the mea, surer of words from the true reader of the Qur’ân;–I will not take upon myself to say that thou truly knowest the Qur’ân though thou be `Uthmân. The world is like the summer’s heat, its people like drunkards therein, all wandering in the desert of indifference; death the shepherd, men his floc... »

On The Allegations Brought Forward By The Word Of God By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Allegations Brought Forward By The Word Of God By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE ALLEGATIONS BROUGHT FORWARD BY THE WORD OF GOD Wait till the Qur’ân shall make complaint of thee before God on the judgment day, and shall say, How much falsehood has this deceitful one, whom Thou trustedst, I drawn forth from Thy truth!–shall say, O God, thou knowest both the manifest and the hidden; night and day he recited me loudly, and rendered not justice to a single word of me. Neither in grammar, nor meaning, nor pure pronunciation did I ever receive in the mihrâb my due from him with honesty. He has a good voice when he intones, and his robe of mourning is a pretty ... »

To Commemorate The Prophets Is Better Than Speaking Of Fools By Sanai Ghaznavi

To Commemorate The Prophets Is Better Than Speaking Of Fools By Sanai Ghaznavi

TO COMMEMORATE THE PROPHETS IS BETTER THAN SPEAKING OF FOOLS The prophets were the upright ones of the faith, who showed to the people the path of rectitude; the self-opinionated were bewildered when they disappeared in the sunset of annihilation. The darkness of the night of polytheism drew close its curtains: infidelity placed kisses on the lips of idolatry; one bore a cross in his hand as it were a rose-branch, another like a waterlily worshipped the sun; one worshipped idols continually, and another had no aims whatever; this one in his senseless folly deeming evil from the devil, good fro... »

On Devotion To God By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Devotion To God By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON DEVOTION TO GOD Say “Grind sleep under the foot of the horsemen of thy thought:” for this is of Thy Court. When Thou strikest off the head of him in whom Self no long dwells, he rejoices in Thee, like a candle. If I have Thee, what care I for intellect, and honour, and gold? Thou art both world and faith; what care I for aught else? Do Thou give me a heart, and then see Thou my valour; call me to be Thy fox, and see how like a tiger I shall be. If I fill my quiver with Thy arrows, I grip Mount Qâf by loins and armpits. Thou art his Friend who is not knowledgeless; Thou belongest... »

On The Interpretation Of The Dream By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Interpretation Of The Dream By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM In the phantoms of sleep He has ordained for men of understanding both fear and hope. When a man has laid down his head in sleep, his tent-ropes are severed. As long as men are in the world of causes, they are all in a boat, and all asleep; waiting for what their soul shall see in sleep, of what awaits them of reward and punishment. A fierce fire means the heat of anger; a spring of water is a beloved child. To weep in a dream is a provision of happiness afterwards; slavery means immunity from disgrace. Playing at draughts or chess in sleep brings war and con... »

Concerning The House Of Deception By Sanai Ghaznavi

Concerning The House Of Deception By Sanai Ghaznavi

CONCERNING THE HOUSE OF DECEPTION Death comes as the key of the house of the Secret; without death the door of true religion opens not. While this world stays, that is not; while thou existest, God is not thine. Know, thy soul is a sealed casket; the love-pearl within is the light of thy faith. The Past sealed the writing, and delivered it for thee to the Future; as long as thou shalt depend for thy life upon the revolutions of Time, thou shalt not know what is inside. Only the hand of death shall unloose the binding of the book, of God the Exalted, the Glorious. So long as the breath of man f... »

On His Wrath And His Kindness By Sanai Ghaznavi

On His Wrath And His Kindness By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON HIS WRATH AND HIS KINDNESS The pious are those who give thanks for His kindness and mercy, the unbelievers those who complain of His wrath and jealousy. When God becomes angry, thou seest in the eyes what is rightly in the spring. His wrath and His kindness, appearing in the newly-formed world, are the cause of the error of the Guebre and the doubt of the Magian. His kindness and His wrath are imprinted on the pulpit and the gallows; the rendering of thanks to Him is the mansion of honour, and forgetfulness of Him, of disgrace. His kindness is comfort for men’s lives, His wrath a fire... »

On The Trust In God Shown By Old Women By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Trust In God Shown By Old Women By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE TRUST IN GOD SHOWN BY OLD WOMEN When Hâtim set out for the sanctuary,–he whom thou callest Asamm,–when he set out for the Hijâz and the Sacred House, making towards the tomb of the Prophet (on whom be peace!), there remained behind a colt of his household, with no supplies whatever and owning nothing; he left his wife alone in the house, with no means of support, and set forth on the road; alone and in trouble he left her, her life or death the same to him. Her womanhood was a fellow-traveller with him towards trust in God, for she knew her Provider; she had a friend behind ... »

Of The Right Guidance By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of The Right Guidance By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF THE RIGHT GUIDANCE Every indication of the road thou receivest, O darwîsh, count it a gift of God, not thine own doing; He is the cause of the bestowal of benefits, He it is to whom the soul is guided, and He its guide. Recognise that it is God’s favour guides thee on the path of duty and religion and His ordinance, not thine own strength. He is the giver of the light of truth and instruction, both Guardian of the world and its Observer too. He is kinder than mother and father; He it is who shall guide thee to Paradise. Because of the unbelief of the people He made us our religion; He... »

On The Asceticism Of The Ascetic By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Asceticism Of The Ascetic By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE ASCETICISM OF THE ASCETIC An ascetic fled from amongst his people, and went to the top of a mountain, where he built a cell. One day by chance a sage, a learned man, wise and able, passed by and saw the ascetic, so holy and devout. Said he, Poor wretch! why hast thou made thy dwelling and habitation and home upon this height? The ascetic said, The people of this world have been clean destroyed in their pursuit of it: the hawk of the world is on the wing, calling aloud in every country; he speaks with eloquent tongue, seeking his prey throughout the world, ever calling on its people affl... »

To Remember The Words Of The All-Knowing Lord By Sanai Ghaznavi

To Remember The Words Of The All-Knowing Lord By Sanai Ghaznavi

TO REMEMBER THE WORDS OF THE ALL-KNOWING LORD RENDERS EASY THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE AIM. GOD MOST HIGH HAS SAID, SAY, IF MEN AND JINNS CONSPIRED TO BRING THE LIKE OF THIS QUR’ÂN, THEY COULD NOT BRING ITS LIKE, NOT THOUGH THEY HELPED EACH OTHER. (Qur. 17:90) AND SAID THE PROPHET (ON WHOM BE MERCY AND PEACE), THE QUR’ÂN IS RICHES; THERE IS NO POVERTY IF IT BE GIVEN, AND THERE IS NO RICHES BESIDE IT. AND HE SAID (PEACE BE UPON HIM), THE QUR’ÂN IS A MEDICINE FOR EVERY DISEASE EXCEPT DEATH. By reason of its beauty and its pleasantness the discourse of the Qur’ân has no conc... »

On Dreams Of Handicraftsmen By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Dreams Of Handicraftsmen By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON DREAMS OF HANDICRAFTSMEN A cook means great riches, just as a butcher means that one’s affairs are. ruined. A physician is pain and sickness, especially to one who is wretched and needy. The tailor is the man in virtue of whom troubles and affliction are all changed to good-fortune. A bootmaker and shoemaker and cobbler are among the heritages of one who will possess a secret. A draper, a goldsmith, and a druggist mean a successful undertaking and great wealth. A vintner, a musician, and a dancer bring, joy and gladness; a horse-doctor and horse-breaker and oculist point like a finger... »

On The Earnest Striving By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Earnest Striving By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE EARNEST STRIVING When thou hast passed from Self to being naught, gird up the loins of thy soul and set forth on the road, when thou standest up with loins girt thou hast placed a crown on thy soul’s head. Set then the crown of the advance on the head of thy soul; let the foot that would retreat be the companion of the mire; though the thoughtless man laughs at this act, yet the wise chooses no other course. Whoso turns not his face towards God, all his knowledge and possessions deem thou an idol. Who turns away his face from God’s presence, in truth I call not him a man; a ... »

In Praise Of His Omnipotence By Sanai Ghaznavi

In Praise Of His Omnipotence By Sanai Ghaznavi

IN PRAISE OF HIS OMNIPOTENCE He is the Pourtrayer of the outward forms of our earthly bodies; He is the Discerner of the images of our inmost hearts. He is the Creator of existent and non-existent, the Maker of the hand and what it holds. He made a wheel of pure emerald, and on the wheel he bound silver jars; He caused a candle and candlestick to revolve in the heavens in the path of the ignoble. Before His creation was non-existence; eternal being belongs to His Essence alone. He made Intelligence proclaimer of His power; He made matter capable of receiving form. To Intelligence He gave the p... »

On God As First Cause By Sanai Ghaznavi

On God As First Cause By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON GOD AS FIRST CAUSE The course of time is not the mould whence issues His eternal duration, nor temperament the cause of His beneficence; without His word, time and temperament exist not, as apart from His favour the soul enters not the body. This and that both are wanting and worthless; that and this both are foolish and impotent. ‘Old’ and ‘new’ are words inapplicable to His essence; He is, for He consists not of any existences except Himself. His kingdom cannot be known to its limits, His nature cannot be described even to its beginning; His acts and His nature are... »

On The Protection And Guardianship Of God By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Protection And Guardianship Of God By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE PROTECTION AND GUARDIANSHIP OF GOD Whoso is fenced around by divine aid, a spider spreads its web before him; a lizard utters his praise, a serpent seeks to please him. His shoe treads the summit of the throne; his ruby lip is the world’s fitting ornament; in his mouth poison becomes sugar; in his hand a stone becomes a jewel. Whoso lays his head on this threshold places his foot on the head of things temporal; wise reason is powerless to explain these things, for all are powerless who come not to this door. I fear that through thy ignorance and folly thou wilt one day be left hel... »

Of The Story Of Qais Ibn `âsim By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of The Story Of Qais Ibn `âsim By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF THE STORY OF QAIS IBN `ÂSIM When the command of ‘Who is there that will lend’ (Qur. 2:246) came down from God to the Prophet, everyone brought before the Prince what he could lay hands on, not disobeying,–gems and gold, cattle and slaves and goods, whatever they possessed at the time. Qais b. `Âsim was a poor man, for he sought no worldly gain. He went into his house, and spoke with his family, concealing nothing of what he had heard:–Such a verse has been revealed to-day; rise, and do not make me burn in waiting; bring whatever is to be had in the house, that I may ... »

On Striving In God’s Path By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Striving In God’s Path By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON STRIVING IN GOD’S PATH If thou wouldst possess the pearl, O man, leave the barren waste and wander by the sea; and if thou obtainest not from the sea its pellucid pearl, at least thou shalt find that thou hast not failed to reach the water. Strive in God’s path, O soldier; if thou hast no ambition, thou shalt have no honour; saddle and get ready thy horse for the journey to the Court of the Blest. The man who disowns in shame the dust and water of his being rides on the air like fire; crown not thy head with the heavens, so mayest thou receive the diadem from Gabriel; thine shal... »

The Recital Of Proverbs Is The Best Of Discourses By Sanai Ghaznavi

The Recital Of Proverbs Is The Best Of Discourses By Sanai Ghaznavi

THE RECITAL OF PROVERBS IS THE BEST OF DISCOURSES ON THE PROVERBS AND ADMONITIONS ‘POVERTY IS BLACKNESS OF THE FACE’ (THE RECITAL OF PROVERBS IS THE BEST OF DISCOURSES) AND ‘THE WORLD IS A HOUSE OF DEPARTURE AND CHANGING AFFAIRS AND MIGRATION.’ Keep thy blackness, thou canst not do without it; for blackness admits no change of colour. With blackness of face there goes happiness; a blushing face seldom causes joy. The scorched pursuer is black of face before the flame of his heart’s desire; though in tribulation, the ugly Ethiopian finds gladness in his blackness o... »

On Dreams Of Lights And Stars By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Dreams Of Lights And Stars By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON DREAMS OF LIGHTS AND STARS To see the sun in a dream is said in every case to mean a king. The moon is as a counsellor; another has said, No, it is a woman. The globe of Mars or Saturn in a dream brings trial and grief and torment; Mercury represents a writer; Jupiter comes as a treasurer and minister of state; Venus is the origin of joy, of pleasure, of desire and of ease. And the other stars deem thou brothers; when thou interpretest them pronounce them such, for thus Ya`qûb, who established this method of interpretation, disclosed the secrets of this science to his son; the sun and moon ... »

On The Kalima By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Kalima By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE KALIMA As the inhabited world is computed at twenty-four thousand leagues, so, if thou add the hours of night to those of day, there are twenty-four of those torturers of mankind also. Exchange them, if thou art dexterous and versed in transformations, for the twenty-four letters; the qâf of the affirmation of the two testimonies, if these be uttered without deceit or hypocrisy or disputation or contention, will take thee completely out of thy world, bringing thee, not to any instrument, but to kâf and nûn: on this road and in this street, beyond where wisdom is, this is thy sufficient ... »

In His Magnification By Sanai Ghaznavi

In His Magnification By Sanai Ghaznavi

IN HIS MAGNIFICATION When He shows His Nature to His creation, into what mirror shall He enter? The burden of proclaiming the Unity not everyone bears; the desire of proclaiming the Unity not everyone tastes. In every dwelling is God adored; but the Adored cannot be circumscribed by any dwelling. The earthly man, accompanied by unbelief and anthropomorphism, wanders from the road; on the road of truth thou must abandon thy passions;-rise., and forsake this vile sensual nature; when thou hast come forth from Abode and Life, then, through God, thou wilt see God. How shall this sluggish body wors... »

On His, Omniscience, And His Knowledge Of The Minds Of Men By Sanai Ghaznavi

On His, Omniscience, And His Knowledge Of The Minds Of Men By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON HIS, OMNISCIENCE, AND HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE MINDS OF MEN He knows the draught of each of His creatures; He has given it, and He can give its opposite. He is the Creator of thy wisdom; but His wisdom is untainted by the passage of thought. He knows concerning thee what is in thy heart, for He is the Creator both of thy heart and of thy clay. Dost thou think that He knows as thou knowest? then is the ass of thy nature stuck fast in thy clay. He sees what is best for His creatures before the desire is formed; He knows the mind before the secret thought exists. He knows what is in thy heart; bef... »

On Trust In God By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Trust In God By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON TRUST IN GOD Set not thy foot in His court with hypocrisy. The men of the Path walk in trust; if thou hast a constant trust in Him, why not also in His feeding thee? Bring then thy belongings to the street of trust in God; then fortune will come out to meet thee. Listen to a story concerning trust. in God, so that thou remain not a pledge in the hand of the devil; and learn the law of the Path from a woman besides whom a braggart man shows but contemptibly. »

Of The Traveller On The Path By Sanai Ghaznavi

Of The Traveller On The Path By Sanai Ghaznavi

OF THE TRAVELLER ON THE PATH A man should be like Abraham, that, through God, his shadow may become a shady place; in fear of him and by his teaching the universe dares to breathe; Pharaoh is destroyed by the mighty aid of a Moses whom God assists. To the wayfarer towards God on the path of love His cheek is the dawn of morning; (who but He can tear away the veil by day, or hang the veil by night?) His mind is snatched away from bonds of earth; the spiritual rule of the world is made manifest to him. He treads the Throne under his feet like a carpet; he is an owl, but boars with him a phœnix. ... »

On The Assertion Of The Unity By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Assertion Of The Unity By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE ASSERTION OF THE UNITY He is One, and number has no place in Him; He is Absolute, and dependence is far removed from Him; not that One which reason and understanding can know, not that Absolute which sense and imagination can recognise. He is not multitude, nor paucity; one multiplied by one remains one. In duality is only evil and error; in singleness is never any fault. While multitude and confusion remain in thy heart, say thou ‘One’ or ‘Two,’–what matter, for both are the same. Thou, the devil’s pasture, know for certain what, and how much, and wh... »

A Story – I By Sanai Ghaznavi

A Story – I By Sanai Ghaznavi

A STORY – I An old man put forth his head, and seeing his field dried up I spoke thus:–“O Lord of both new and old, our food is in Thy hands, do what thou wilt. The sustenance Thou givest to fair and foul depends not on tears of cloud nor smiles of field; I well know Thou art the Uncaused Sustainer; my life and my food, all comes from Thee. Thy one is better than thousands of thousands, for Thy little is not a little.” A flame from Him, and a hundred thousand stars appear; a drop from Him, and a hundred thousand palm-trees spring up. He who is in fear about his daily fo... »

On Dreams Of Vessels And Garments By Sanai Ghaznavi

On Dreams Of Vessels And Garments By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON DREAMS OF VESSELS AND GARMENTS An old garment is grief and sorrow; a new garment is great wealth; best of all is a garment that is closely woven, so my master told me. For women, a garment of many colours is a cause of joy and happiness and honour. A red garment brings gladness and the unrestricted enjoyment of a lasting good-fortune. The garment of fear is black; if yellow, it is pain and trouble and sighing; blue clothes are grief, a sorrow heavier than a mountain on the heart. Mantle and cloak are beauty; purse and moneybag are a source of riches. A ladder will result in a journey, but o... »

On The Justice Of The Prince And The Security Of His Subjects By Sanai Ghaznavi

On The Justice Of The Prince And The Security Of His Subjects By Sanai Ghaznavi

ON THE JUSTICE OF THE PRINCE AND THE SECURITY OF HIS SUBJECTS `Umar one day saw a group of boys on a certain road all engaged in play and everyone boasting of himself; everyone was in haste to wrestle, having duly bared his head in Arab fashion. When `Umar looked towards the boys, fear of him tore the curtain of their gladness; they all fled from him in haste, except `Abdu’l-lâh b. Zubair. `Umar said to him, “Why didst thou not fly from before me?” He said, “Why should I fly from before thee, O beneficent one? Thou art not a tyrant, nor I guilty.” If a prince is p... »

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