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Like Moses, son of Amran, press onwards in this road,
Till you hear the words, •Verily I am God.''
So long as the mount of your being remains? before you,
The answer to "Show me'is Thou shalt not see me.'3
“ The Truth," as amber, attracts you like a straw.
If there were no mount of “youness," where were the road ?
When its Lord appears in glory to the mount of existence,
Existence is laid low, even as the dust of the road.
The beggar becomes by one attraction a king,
In one instant it makes the mount as a straw.5
Follow the steps of the prophet in his ascension,
Marvel at all the mighty signs.
Come forth from the dwelling of Umháni,'
Say only, “Whoso hath seen me hath seen The Truth."'8
Forsake the Kaf of the corner of both worlds,
Sit on mount Kaf at the distance of two bows' lengths."9

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Alluding to the burning bush (Koran, Sura XXVIII. 31), i.e. till you are illumined by Divine Epiphanies.

The mount, i.e. phenomenal illusive existence, which hides real absolute Being. L.

8 Alluding to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. “And when Moses came at the appointed time, and his Lord spake unto him, he said, O Lord, show me thy self, that I may behold thee.' God answered, “Thou shalt in no wise behold me, but look towards the mountain, and if it stand firm in its place, then thou shalt see me.' But when his Lord appeared with glory in the mount He reduced it to dust, and Moses fell on his face in a swoon and was beside himself.”—Koran, Sura VII. 139.

* Amber is called kah raba, attractor of straws. When your phenomenal existence, your 'youness,' is swept away, there is no longer any interval between you and God. L. There is here a play on the word tui,” which means “firm ” as well as “youness.”

6 The attraction of Divine graces enriches the fakir or beggar (i. e. the man who is 'poor in spirit' and stripped of self), with the wealth of union with the Absolute. L.

o I.e. Divine Epiphanies. L.

* The daughter of Abu Talib, from whose house the prophet started on his ascension to heaven.

This saying is ascribed to Muhammad in the Maksad-i-Aksa.- Palmer, 97. Cf. John xiv. 9.

9“ Afterwards he (Muhammad) approached near until he was at the distance of 200

«The Truth" will then grant you whatsoever you ask,
And show you all things as they really are."

To him, whose soul attains the beatific vision,
The universe is the book of “ The Truth Most High.”
Accidents are its vowels, and substance its consonants,
And grades of creatures its verses and pauses.
Therein every world is a special chapter,
One the chapter Fatihah, another Ikhlas.
Of this book the first verse is · Universal Reason,
For that is like the B of Bismillah ;
Second comes “ Universal Soul," the verse of light,'4
For that is as a lamp of exceeding light;
The third verse thereof is “ Highest heaven." 5


two bows' length from Him in heaven.”—Koran, Sura LIII. 9. Mount Kaf was the abode of the Simurg, the type of Absolute Being.

Alluding to the Hadis, 'Inspiration is a light that descends into the heart and shows the nature of things as they really are.' The illumined Sufi sees' things as they are' when after annihilation of self, fana, he endures and abides (baka) in God. L.

• The author here describes the successive “ emanations” of Divinity under the figure of the successive chapters of the Koran. The Alexandrian doctrine of “ emanations "—intermediate potencies or intelligences by whom God acts on the world of phenomena—“ links between the Divine spirit and the world of matter," — seems to have sprung from an amalgamation of the ancient Persian angelology—the Amshaspands, Izads, and Fraváshis,—with Greek Ontology, the “ideas” of Plato, the logos of Philo, the nous of Plotinus. (See Deutsch. Remains, p. 50, and Mansel, Gnostic Heresies, p. 26). This doctrine pervades the entire Neoplatonist philosophy, and the writings of the Gnostics, (see Ueberweg, Greek Philosophy, I. 224), and re-appears in the systems of the Muhammadan philosophers Al Farabi, 950 A.D., Avenpace, circ. 1118 A.D., and Averroes, circ. 1150 A.D. (Ueberweg, I. pp. 412—417), and in the Jewish Kabbala.

? Universal Reason ('akl-i-kull) and Universal Soul (nufs or jan-i-kull) are translations of the Neoplatonic loyos and pneuma. See 'Aiun-ul-masáil by Abu Nasr Al Farabi, and the remarks of Schmölders (Documenta Philosophiæ Arabum, p. 96). The 'Aiun-ul-masáil is a summary of Aristotelian metaphysics as interpreted by the Alexandrian Neoplatonist commentators.

• Koran, Sura XXIV. 36, a light from the oil of a blessed tree.' • Koran, Sura VII. 55, 'arsh, or heaven of heavens.

Read the fourth verse, it is “ The throne;"1 "
After that are the seven heavenly spheres,
The “chapter of the seven limbs" answers to these.?
After these, behold the bodies of the four elements,
Whereof each answers to its respective verse.
After these come the three kingdoms of nature,
Whose verses you cannot count.
The last that came down was the soul of man,:
And thus the Koran ends with the chapter “ Men.”



Rest not in bondage in the prison of nature,
Come forth and behold the divine handiwork.
Consider the structure of the heavens,
So that you may praise “ The Truth” for His signs.
Look up and see how the vault of “highest heaven "5
Is stretched round about both worlds.
Wherefore do they name it “ throne of the Merciful ?”
What connection has it with the heart of man ? 6
Wherefore are these two continually in motion,
Never for a moment taking rest ?
Peradventure the heart is the centre of that heaven,
Heart the central point and heaven the circumference.


· Koran, Sura II. 256, the eighth heaven.

* Sura I., which contains seven divisions, or the seven chapters from Bakrat to Taubat. Seven heavens are mentioned in the Talmud, and the third heaven' is mentioned in 2 Corinthians xii. 2. Compare Sura II. 27: “Into seven heavens did He fashion it."

· Nazil, coming down,' is the term for the revelation of a verse in the Koran. • Or, ‘in verses of the Koran.' L. 6 I. e., 'arsh, the ninth heaven.

o Alluding to the Hadis: “The heart of the believer is the highest heaven.” The 'arsh and the heart of man are both theatres of Divine perfections, and the 'arsh, as the less perfect, may be subsidiary to the heart, the more perfect theatre. L. See couplet 652.

See couplet 796.

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In the space of one day and night, more or less,
Highest heaven surpasses your circuits, 0 Durvesh!'
Moved by this the other heavenly spheres are circling :
Mark well how they all move in one direction.
From east to west, like a water-wheel
They are ever hastening, without food or sleep.
Each day and night this highest sphere
Makes a complete revolution round the world.
Moved by this, the other heavenly spheres
Are revolving in circular orbits in like manner,
But contrary to the rotation of the crystalline sphere,
These eight lower spheres revolve crookedly.3
The Ecliptic holds the signs of the zodiac,*
In them is no interval nor any interstice.
Aries and Taurus, and Gemini and Cancer,
Are hung upon it with Leo and Virgo.5
Then Libra and Scorpio, then Sagittarius,
Capricorn, and Aquarius, and then the sign Pisces,
The fixed stars are one thousand twenty and four,
Who have their stations round about the “ throne.” 6


* Alluding to the taw'af, or perambulations of shrines made by Durweshes. L.

• According to the Ptolemaic scheme the seven planets with their respective spheres, “ cycle and epicycle, orb on orb,” constitute the solar system. Beyond this is the eighth sphere, that of the fixed stars, and beyond that the crystalline, or ninth sphere, to which was attributed a certain 'trepidation' to account for the irregularities observed in the motion of the fixed stars. Beyond this was the primum mobile, the sphere which was at once first moved and the first mover, communicating its motion to the lower spheres revolving within it. Beyond the primum mobile was the empyrean. Ptolemy's Syntaxis Magna was translated into Arabic by Ishak bin Hossain, under the title Al Megiste, about 800 A.D. Apparently Lahiji takes the crystalline sphere, charkh i atlas, to be the same as the charkh i 'azam, or highest sphere.

* Literally, “bent as a bow. The eighth sphere and those beneath it move with two motions, one east to west like the highest sphere, and secondly west to east. L.

• The Ecliptic is also called the girdle of the 'throne,' or eighth sphere. L.

- Virgo, Khushah, which also means a bunch of grapes, and is therefore said to be hung up. L.

• The eighth heaven.


Of the seventh heaven Saturn is the watchman,
The sixth is the mansion and house of Jupiter,
The fifth heaven is the house of Mars,
The fourth of the Sun, adorner of the earth,
The third of Venus, the second of Mercury :
The Moon holds its orbit on the sphere of the Earth.
The house of Saturn is in Capricorn and Aquarius,
Jupiter waxes and wanes in Sagittarius and Pisces.'
In Aries and Scorpio is found the place of Mars,
In Leo is the Sun's place of rest;
Like as Venus makes her house in Taurus and Libra,
So does Mercury abide in Gemini and Virgo.
The Moon sees in Cancer a creature akin to herself,
When head becomes tail she assumes the form of a knot."
The Moon passes through eight and twenty mansions,
And then she returns opposite to the Sun.“
Then she becomes like to a crooked palm-branch,
By command of the Almighty who is Allwise.
If you think on this, as a perfect man,
Assuredly you will say, “ All this is not vain.' 6
The words of “ The Truth” are clear on this point,
That to call this vain is weakness of faith.


· The “houses” of the planets are those signs of the zodiac in which they attain their maximum ascension. L.

· The points where the moon's orbit cuts the ecliptic are called 'knots,' and the portions of her orbit north and south of the ecliptic are called respectively the "head" and "tail of the dragon.” L.

3 “And for the moon have we appointed certain mansions, until she change and return to be like the old branch of a palm tree."- Koran, Sura XXXVI. 28. These anwa, or mansions, are the divisions of the zodiac, through one of which the moon passes each night.

* 1. e, becomes full. L. * I. e. in her last quarter. L. • " The course of nature is the art of God.”— Young, Night Thoughts, IX. 1267.

? Batil, · Vain, what is without God.'Istilahat us Sufiat, p. 14. Koran, Sura III. 138: “ Think on the creation of the heavens and the earth. Have we created them in vain ?"

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