“He Begat not, Neither Was He Begotten”
Loftier than hue and blood thy people are
And greater worth one negro of the Faith
Than are a hundred redskin infidels.
A single drop of water Qanbar took
For his ablutions is more precious far
Than all the blood of Caesar. Take no count
Of father, mother uncle; call thy self
An offspring of Islam, as Salman did.114
See, my brave comrade, in the honeyed cells
That cnstitute the hive a subtle truth;
One drop from a red tulip is distilled,
One from a blue narcissus; none proclaims,
“I am of jessamine , of lily I!
So our Community the beehive is
Of Abraham whose honey is our Faith.
If thou hast made of our Community
Lineage a part essential, thou hast rent
The fabric of true Brotherhood; thy roots
Have struck not in our soil, thy way of thought
Runs counter to our Muslim rectitude.
Ibn- Mas’ud that lantern bright of Love,115
Body and spirit blazing in Love’s flame,
Being distressed upon a brother’s death
Dissolved in tears, a mirror liquefied,
Nor any term to his lamentings saw
But in his grief; as of her child bereaved
A mother weeps, so uncontrollably
He sobbed: Ah, scholar of humility,
Alas, my comrade in the schools of prayer!
My tall young cypress, fellow traveller
Upon the pathway of the Prophet’s love!
O grief, that he is now denied the courts
Of God’s Apostle, while mine eyes are bright
With gazing fondly on the Prophet’s love!
The bond of Turk and Arab is not ours,
The link that binds us is no fetter’s chain
Of ancient lineage. Our hearts are bound
To the beloved Prophet of Hejaz,
And to each other are we joined through him.
Our common thread is simple loyalty
To him alone; the rapture of his wine
Alone our eyes entrances; from what time
This glad intoxication with his love.
Raced in our blood, the old is set ablaze
In new creation. As the blood that flows
With a people’s veins, so is his love
Sole substance of our solidarity.
Love dwells within the spirit, lineage
The flesh inhabits; stronger far than race
And common ancestry is love’s firm cord.
True loverhood mist overleap the bounds
Of lineage, transcend Arabia
And Persia. Love’s Community is like
The light of God; whatever being we
Posses, from its existence is derived
“None seeketh when or where God’s light was born116
What need of warp and woof, God’s robe to spin?
Who suffereth his foot to wear the chains
Of clime and ancestry, is unaware
How he begat not, neither was begot.