Address to the Muslim Youth
|Have ever you pondered, O Muslim youth, on deep and serious things?|
What is this world in which this you is only a broken star?
|You came of a stock that nourishes you in the close embracing of love,|
A stock that trampled under foot Dara who wore the crown.
|Civilization’s grace they forged to a world-disposing law,|
Those folks that came from the Arab sands that cradled their camel-men.
|The simple life was the pride they had in their deeds of glorious show.|
How does the lovely face feel need of rouge and mole and art?
|In pure plain life and in fear of God they lived their modest way.|
The rich man stood in no fear of the poor that he gives his wealth in fee.
|In short, in words can I tell to you what were these desert men?|
Holders, Keepers, Saviours, Adorners of what we call the world.
|If I should draw the sketch aright limning the form in words,|
The vision I’d draw would be better far than all your fancy paints.
|There is no standard by which to judge yours and your father’s worth.|
You utter words but they did deeds. They roamed: you stay at home.
|We have despoiled the inheritance that we from our fathers won.|
The heaven from the zenith has dashed it down and cast it on the ground.
|What is this weeping at ordered things that it is the affair of a day?|
Except the help of all-certain law the world has no other plan.
|But if those pearls of learning’s lore, those books our fathers wrote|
We see in Europe made scholar’s joy, the heart is rent with grief.
|Rich man, behold the darkened day Kinan’s old man once knew,|
That the light of his eyes to Zuleikha’s eyesMight bring the brightness of sight.
Translated by: H.T. Sorley