I said, ‘Yonder mansion of pure ruby
which gathers tribute from the sun, 2810
yon station, yon abode, yon lofty palace
whose portico the houris throng pilgrim-robed—
tell me, you who inspired the travellers to search,
who is the owner of this habitation?’
Rumi replied: ‘This is the mansion of Sharaf al-Nisa; 2815
the birds on its roof sing in the angels’ choir.
Our ocean gave not birth to such a pearl;
no mother gave birth to such a daughter.
By her grave the earth of Lahore vies with heaven;
none in this world comprehends her secret. 2820
She was all ecstasy and yearning, anguish and burning,
eyes and lamp to the governor of Panjab;
radiance of the family of Abd al-Samad,
her poverty is an image remaining eternally.
To cleanse her being wholly with the Koran, 2825
not for one moment did she cease recitation;
at her side a double-edged sword, the Koran in her hand,
flesh, body, mind and soul drunken with God;
solitude with sword, Koran and prayer—
O happy life, passed in supplication! 2830
When the last breath issued from her lips,
looking upon her mother most yearningly
she spoke: "If you would have knowledge of my secret,
regard this sword and this Koran.
These two forces preserve each the other 2835
and are the axis of all life’s creation.
In this world, which dies every moment,
only these two were your daughter’s intimates.
Now that I take my leave I have this to say to you:
do not remove the sword and the Koran from me. 2840
Take to your heart these words I speak;
better my tomb without dome and lamp;
for believers. sword and Koran suffice—
let this be the furniture of my grave."
For long ages, beneath this golden dome, 2845
the sword and the scriptures lay upon her shrine.
Her resting-place, in this inconstant world,
spoke a message to the people of the Truth
until the Moslems did with themselves what they did
and time’s revolution rolled up their carpet. 2850
The man of God was mindful of other than God,
the lion of the Lord took to the trade of the fox;
the quicksilver fire and fever departed from his heart—
you know well what befell Panjab—
the Khalsa snatched away sword and Koran 2855
and in that land Islam expired.’