On The Menu:
The Poetry: Rabia al Basri
All Art in this edition comes from a Brilliant Book: The Orientalist – by Kristian Davies
A most delightful, and somewhat controversial work. A wonderful friend of mine sent a copy along for me to check out and enjoy. (He knows my taste in this area of art)
A most cheerful and beautiful day here in the Northwest. Everything from wind and rain to beautiful fleecy clouds under a warm sun.
Worked in the garden and set up the Radio Show ” Solstice Soon”. Full of new music, hopefully to delight your ears. Struggled on the Magazine…
Have a good weekend, and may the Gods smile on you and yours.
Poetry: Rabia al Basri
I have loved Thee with two loves –
a selfish love and a love that is worthy of Thee.
As for the love which is selfish,
Therein I occupy myself with Thee,
to the exclusion of all others.
But in the love which is worthy of Thee,
Thou dost raise the veil that I may see Thee.
Yet is the praise not mine in this or that,
But the praise is to Thee in both that and this.
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?
With My Beloved
With my Beloved I alone have been,
When secrets tenderer than evening airs
Passed, and the Vision blest
Was granted to my prayers,
That crowned me, else obscure, with endless fame;
The while amazed between
His Beauty and His Majesty
I stood in silent ecstasy
Revealing that which o’er my spirit went and came.
Lo, in His face commingled
Is every charm and grace;
The whole of Beauty singled
Into a perfect face
Beholding Him would cry,
‘There is no God but He, and He is the most High.’
If I Adore You
If I adore You out of fear of Hell, burn me in Hell!
If I adore you out of desire for Paradise,
Lock me out of Paradise.
But if I adore you for Yourself alone,
Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty.
In My Soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I knee.
Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.
Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
where ecstasy gets poured into itself
where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,
that dissolve, that
Though we have talked about her before, here is a nice article on Rabia:
Written by Huda Khattab
Rabia was a mystic, or a holy woman, who spent her whole life in devotion to God. She was born over a thousand years ago, in the city of Basra, in Iraq. Long ago, in the city of Basra, there lived a young woman named Rabia. She came from a poor family. She and her three sisters suffered greatly, for their parents had died and then there was a great famine.
It was a violent and dangerous time. The famine made people cruel, ready to do almost anything to survive. Rabia knew it was not safe to walk alone in the town, but she had to find food. One evening, she slipped out of the house, and into the street. Suddenly, someone caught her, holding her roughly. A hand was over her mouth — she could not cry for help. She had been captured by a wicked dealer in slaves, who then sold her in the market, for just a few coins.
As a slave, Rabia served in the house of a rich man. She had to work hard, for long hours. Yet all the time, through out the day as she worked, she prayed and fasted. Even at night, she slept little. She often stood praying as dawn broke and her daily tasks began.
One hot night, Rabia’s master found he could not sleep. He got up, and walked over to the window of his room. He looked down, into the courtyard below. There, he saw the solitary figure of Rabia, his slave. Her lips moved in prayer, and he could just catch the words in the still night air. Oh God, Thou knowest that the desire of my heart is to obey Thee, and if the affair lay with me, I would not rest one hour from serving Thee, but Thou Thyself has set me under the hand of Thy creature. For this reason I come late to Thy service. . .
There was something very strange about the scene. At first, the master could not quite understand what it was. Then he realized. There was a lamp above Rabia’s head. Ithung there, quite still — but without a chain. As he watched, its light filled the whole house. Suddenly, he was afraid. He returned to his bed, and layawake, thinking of what he had seen. He was certain of only one thing. Such a woman should not be a slave. In the morning, he called Rabia to him, and spoke to her kindly. He told her he would set her free.
“I beg your permission to depart,” murmured Rabia, and her master agreed at once. Rabia set off out of the town, deep into the desert. There she lived as a hermit, alone for awhile, serving God. Later, she went to Makkah as a pilgrim.