Primul sfetnic al lui

Iblis spune:

No doubt, this system of Iblis is quite stable,

It has hardened masses in their servitude.


[Iblis capătă un mare succes prin inocularea dezolării și pesimismului în mințile maselor, într-atât că, trădându-și propriile scopuri, aceștia au renunțat să mai reziste în fața opresiunii celor vicleni, acceptându-și sclavia ca destin]

Mere prostration has been the fate of these

poor masses since the beginning of time,

Their nature is such that standing up

is not part of their namaz.


[rugăciunea (namāz) pe care fiecare musulman este obligat să o împlinească, de cinci ori pe zi, este alcătuită din felurite posturi precum ridicatul (în tabkīr), aplecatul (rukū), coborârea în prosternare (sujūd) și statul pe jos; aceste acțiuni simbolizează devotamentul față de poruncile divine indiferent de circumstanțe sau întâmplări. Totuși, conform părerii lui Iblis, musulmanii au acceptat prosternarea ca postură finală pierzându-și capacitatea de a se ridica (întru takbīr)]

Any desire (for freedom) cannot emerge

in them anywhere, in the first place,

Perchance if it does, either it dies down

or remains hollow.


[dorința pentru libertate, desigur, este primul pas în obținerea libertății. Când un popor sau comunitate și-au pierdut dorința de a fi liberi, cum ar putea să lupte pentru aceasta?]

This is the marvel of our persistent efforts that today,

sufis and mullahs alike are the slaves

of the monarchs.


[în mod tradițional misticii sufiți și savanții islamului reprezintă izvoarele de călăuzire și cunoaștere ale comunității islamice. Primul sfetnic afirmă că umma islamică le-a pierdut. Cei care ar fi trebuit să conducă mișcarea pentru dreptate și egalitate s-au însclavit în lanțuri pentru conducători; așadar nu mai există nici o posibilitate de răzmeriță sau revoltă a comunității]

This was the opium quite apt for the

temperament of the East,

Or else, ilm-e-kalam (scholastics) is in fact,

not any less futile than the qawwali.


[qawwali este o categorie de muzică religioasă populară; sfetnicul afirmă că umma islamică, din fericire, este angrenată în dezbateri teologice ordinare fără să-și dea seama că discuțiile lor sunt la fel de triviale precum qawwali]

So what if the clamour of the rituals

such as tawaf and hajj do remain,

(Because) the unsheathed sword of the Believer

has lost its edge.


[sfetnicul afirmă că umma islamică, în ciuda tuturor conspirațiilor lui Iblis, nu și-a abandonat religia; totuși, este bucuros că musulmanii și-au păstrat ritualurile dar și-au pierdut spiritul revoluționar al credinței. Deși practică unele acte de adorare ei nu mai înțeleg jihadul, sau datoria universală de a lupta pentru dreptate și egalitate; prin care să înfrunte toate formele de nedreptate și exploatare]

Jihad is prohibited on the Muslim men of this era’,

Whose gloom does this

modern-day proclamation manifest?


[spre apogeul epocii coloniale, la cererea stăpânilor, numeroși savanți musulmani din multe țări au început să emită fatwe prin care să proclame interdicții ale jihadului pentru musulmanii contemporani. Sfetnicul spune că aceste declarații demonstrează că umma islamică a devenit întru totul neputinicioasă iar o astfel de comunitate nu poate fi o amenințare pentru Imperiul lui Iblis]



Taking Issue

In temples, idols declaim –

the Muslims are gone,

and are thrilled

the guardians of the Ka’aba are gone,

keepers of camels, Huda singers

from trains and serais are gone,

having left, so they say,

with Qur’ans tucked under their arms.

Are You aware

how the non-believers leer at this?

Your Message is under threat,

and is nothing amiss?

We do not take issue

that their coffers overflow,

those who have no sense

of decorum or propriety.

Why then do the non-believers

get heaven on earth,

while poor Muslims can only avail

death and promises

of houris in the hereafter? Have we

so fallen from Your grace?

Unlike the past, have we lost

all Your kindness, all Your affection?

Why are Muslims bereft

of the riches of Your world,

You, whose nature

is unlimited, incalculable?

If You desired, waters

would rise from the desert’s heart,

the parched traveller

be lashed by waves in the sand.

But for us remain the taunts of strangers,

life without means, abject despondency.

Is disgrace our only recompense, we

who are willing to die for Your name?

It is others who now find favour

in Your World,

we are left with a world

only in our thoughts.

We have moved on,

now others are in charge,

so berate us not if

Your world is without Your Message.

We live for Your Name

to flourish in this world,

for can it be the saaqi departs,

only the wine remains?

Your soirées are held no more;

Your suitors have left,

sighs of dusk are heard no more,

nor the paeans of dawn.

Hardly had we taken our seats,

when we were evicted.

We left our hearts behind,

and redeemed our wages.

We came as lovers

and left with promises.

Search for us now,

in the lamplight

of Your glowing cheeks!

Laila’s passion is still the same,

as is the wont of Quais.

The hart still roams

in the hills and oases of Najd.

Love’s heart throbs

as intensely. Beauty’s magic

still abides. Ahmed’s congregation

is here as always, here, You reside.

What then is the meaning

of Your displeasure?

Why cast Your angry eye

on Your followers?

Did we forsake You

or Your Messenger from Araby?

Did we trade in idols

instead of razing them?

Did we forsake Your love,

fearing love’s torments?

Did we give up Salman’s ways?

Or those of Owais?

We keep the fire of Your Word

smouldering in our hearts

and fashion our lives

to emulate the Ethiopian Bilal.

Our love, well, is no more

ar ardent as before,

nor our path to submission

as true, nor our acquiescence.

Our unsettled hearts, perhaps,

no longer home in on the Qiblah,

nor have we kept the faith

with due diligence. But then,

haven’t You been compassionate

betimes, yet more than often

showered benefaction upon strangers?

We shouldn’t say this, but You too

have been less than loyal.

On Faran’s peak

You gave shape to our creed,

in the blink of an eye

seized a thousand hearts.

You se the mehfil aflame

with the heat of ardour,

and caught for us the ecstasy

of explosive love.

Why then do our breasts not seethe

any more? We could once

be inflamed at will,

or have You forgotten this?

No more does Quais rave

for a glimpse of Laila’s train.

Najd’s vales are no longer woken

by his jangling chains –

We have lost our nerve, our hearts

are silenced, we are the same no more.

This home is desolate; You are gone,

You light up our mehfil no more.

We wait each day

for the return of Your grace.

Lift up Your veil,

allow us a glimpse of Your face.

With brimming cupfuls, regaled

by the song of the cuckoo,

strangers make Your garden

their own.

Denied pastoral revelry,

shunned by You,

Your lovers wait but

for the moment to praise – Hoo!

Incite Your loverlorn moths once more

to immolate themselves in Your fire.

Let your lightning strike! Carve

Your will upon our breasts.

This vagabond swarm

turns to face Hijaz again,

it’s ludic sky that spurs

wingless bulbuls to flight.

In every corner of the garden,

edgy blooms crave

to free their fragrance;

if only You pluck the chord,

the lute is ready with song.

Melodies are impatient

to escape these strings,

Sinai is eager to burn

in Your very flames.

Release the once faithful

from their troubles,

lift up the trodden ant

to the stature of Solomon,

make Your once uncommon love

abundant again,

bring back the Muslims

from the idolatrous ways of Hind.

Look! Our grief flows freely

like blood from a severed heart,

can You not hear

its song of pain?

The fragrance gave away

all that was secret. Woe,

it was the flower itself

that betrayed the garden.

Now the season of bloom

is gone, the lute lies broken,

songbirds have taken wing,

the branches are bereft.

A lone bulbul remains,

in thrall of its own song,

a heart tossed

upon surging waves of melody.

Petals shed,

now lie scattered and strewn.

The doves have abandoned

the cypresses.

Once trod, garden paths

now lie forlorn,

branches stripped bare

of their vestments.

Only the bulbul is free

of the shackles of seasons,

if only someone in the garden

could comprehend his prayer.

What pleasure is there in dying?

Where is the joy in living?

If anything, we enjoy

wallowing in our sorrows.

My heart sparkles with the agony

of myriad passions

like a looking glass,

studded with matchless jewels;

but in this garden

there is no one to witness,

no bloom that nurses

a wound within its breast.

O, let every heart savour

this lone bulbul’s song;

O, let its ringing call wake all

who slumber in this garden.

Let us once more

renew our articles of faith,

let us once more thirst

to sip this old wine.

So what if the ewer is Persian?

The wine is Hijazi.

So what if the song is Hindustani?

The cadence is Hijazi.

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