“And There Is Not Any Equal Unto Him”
What is the
Muslim, that hath closed his eyes
Against the world? This heart attached to God,
What is its nature? On a mountain-top
A tulip blowing, that hath never seen
The trailing broder of the gatherer’s skirt;
The flame is kindled in his ardent breast
From the first breaths of dawn; heaven suffers not
To losse him from her bosm, deeming him
A Star suspended; the uprising sun
Touches his lips with dawn’s first ray, the dew
Bathes from his waking eyes the dust of sleep.
Frim must the bond be tied with There is none
If thou wouldst an unequalled people be.
He who is Essence One, unpartnered is;
His servant too no partner can endure;
And whoso in the Highest of the High
Believth, cannot suffer any peer
In his high jealousy. Wrapt round his breast
The robe of Do not grieve, borne on his brow117
The crown Ye are the highest, he transports
On his broad back the burden of both woelds,
Protects both land and sea in his embrace;
His ear attentive to the thunder’s roar,
His shoulders bared to take the lightning’s scourge,
Against the false he is a sword, a shield
Before the truth; evil and good are proved
Upon the touchstone of his ordinance
And prohibition. Knotted in his coals
A hundred conflagrations lurk; life’s self
Derives perfection from his essence pure.
Through the broad spaces of this clamorous world
No music sounds but his triumphant song,
His loud Allahu Akbar. Great is he
On justice, clemency, benevolence;
Noble his temper, even in chastisement.
At festival his lyre delights the mind;
Steel melts before his ardour in the fight.
Where roses blossom, with the nightingale’s
His sweet song mingles; in the wilderness
No falcon is more swift upon the prey.
His heart untranquil scorns t take repose
Beneath the heavens; in the spreading skies
He makes his dwellings, as on soaring wing
He rises far beyond yon ancient hoop
That spans our firmament, to whet his beak
Against the gleaning stars. Thou, with thy frail
Unspread of pinion, tentative to fly,
Art like some chrysalis, that in the dust
Still slunmbers on; rejecting the Koran,
How meanly thou hast sunk, base caviller
Protesting of the turn of Fortune’s wheel!
Yet, lying abject as the scattered dew,
Thou hast within thy grip a living Book;
How ling shall earth content thee for thy home?
Life up thy baggage; hurl it to the skies!