snowflakes in May


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That the Expansion of Communal Life Depends upon

Controlling the Forces of World Order


Thou, who hast made with the Invisible

Thy covenant, and burst forth like a flood

From the shore’s bondage, as a sapling rise

Out of this garden’s soil; attach thy heart

To the Unseen, yet ever with the seen

Wage conflict, since this being visible

Interprets, that unviewed, and prelude is

To the o’ermastery of hidden powers.

All otherness is only to subdue,

Its breast a target for the well-winged shaft;

God’s fiat -Be!- made other manifest [93]

So that thy arrows might be sharp to pierce

The steely anvil. Truly it requires

A tightly knotted cord, to whet and prove

The wit of the resolver. Art thou a bud?

Interpret in thyself the flowery mead;

Art thou a dewdrop? Dominate the sun!

If thou art equal to the bold emprise,

Melt thou this snow-lion with one torrid breath!

Whoever hath subdued the things perceived

Can of one atom reconstruct a world,

And he whose shaft would pierce the angel’s breast

First fastens Adam to his saddle-bow;

He first resolves the knot phenomena

And, mastering Being, proves his lofty powers.

Mountain and wilderness, river and plain,

All land and sea – these are the scholar’s slate

On which the man of vision learns to read.

O thou who slumberest, by dull opiates drugged,

And namest mean this world material,

Rise up, and open thy besotted eyes!

Call thou not mean thy world by Law compelled;

Its purpose is to enlarge the Muslim’s soul,

To challenge his potentialities;

The body it assaults with fortune’s sword

That thou mayest see if there be blood within;

Dash thou thy breast against its jagged rock

Until it pierce thy flesh, and prove thy bone.

God counts this world the portion of good men,

Commits its splendour to believers’ eyes;

It is a road the caravan must pass,

A touchstone the believer’s gold to assay;

Seize thou this world, that it may not seize thee

And in its pitcher swallow thee like wine.

The stallion of thy thought is parrot-swift,

Striding the whole wide heavens in a bound;

Urged ever onwards by the needs of life,

Raised up to rove the skies, though earthbound still;

That, having won the mastery of the powers

Of this world-order, thou mayest consummate

The perfecting of thy ingenious crafts.

Man is the deputy of God on earth,

And o’er the elements his rule is fixed;

On earth thy narrowness receiveth breadth,

Thy toil takes on fair shape. Ride thou the wind;

Put bridle on that swift-paced dromedary.

Dabble thy fingers in the mountain’s blood;

Draw up the lustrous waters of the pearl

From ocean’s bottom; in this single field

A hundred worlds are hidden, countless suns

Veiled in these dancing motes. The glittering ray

Shall bring to vision the invisible,

Disclose uncomprehended mysteries.

Take splendour from the world-inflaming sun,

The arch-illuming levin from the storm;

All stars and planets dwelling in the sky,

Those lords to whom the ancient peoples prayed,

All those, my master, wait upon thy word

And are obedient servants to thy will.

In prudence plan the quest, to make it sure,

Then master every spirit, all the world.

Open thine eyes, and into all things gaze;

Behold the rapture veiled within the wine.

The weak, endowed with knowledge of the power

Of natural things, takes tribute from the strong.

The outward form of Being is not bare

Of inward meaning; this old instrument

Still keeps its pitch, still lightning in its songs

If played with cunning. Self against the strings

For plectrum striking. Thou, whom God designed

Saying, -Behold!- why travellest thou this way [94]

Like blind men? Lo, thy self-enkindled drop

Being intimate with mysteries, is like wine

Within the tendril, dew upon the rose;

Let flow into the ocean, it becomes

A pearl, its substance glittering as a star.

Fan not the rose’s petals like the breeze,

But plunge into the meaning of the bower;

Whoso hath spun about phenomena

The knotted noose, hath mastered for his mount

The lightning and the heat. He makes the word

Wing like a bird in flight, the instrument

Sing of itself without the plectrum’s touch.

Thy ass is lame, because the way of life

Was arduous, and thou too ignorant

Of life’s hard combat; while already now

Thy fellow-travellers have reached the goal,

Borne from her litter Laila, the divine

And lovely Truth; like Qais thou wanderest

Distracted in the desert, weary, sore.

Yet Adam’s glory was that he possessed

The -knowledge of the names-, and being wise [95]

In natural ken, was thereby fortified.


That the Perfection of Communal Life is Attained

when the Community, like the Individual, Discovers

the Sensation of Self; and that the Propagation and

Perfecting of this Sensation can be Realized through

Guarding the Communal Traditions


O thou of gaze intent, hast thou not seen

An infant, unacquainted with its self,

So unaware of what is far, what near

That it aspires to rein the very moon?

To all a stranger, mother-worshipping,

Drunken with weeping, and with milk, and sleep,

His ear cannot distinguish -la- from -mi-,

His music’s the mere jangling of a chain.

Simple and virgin are his thoughts as yet,

Pure as a pearl his speech; to search and search

His meditation’s sum, as on his lips

Spring ever Why and When and How and Where;

Receptive to all images his mind,

His occupation other to pursue,

Other to see. Let any take his eyes

Creeping behind his back, and how distressed

His little soul becomes! So immature

His thoughts are yet, that like the new-sprung hawk

Flutters its wings, to try the world’s wide air;

He lets them slip, to hunt and seize their prey,

Then calls them home again unto himself.

Lit by the pyrotechnics of the mind

The rocket of his fancy fills the sky

With coruscating embers. At the last

His eye prehensile lights upon himself;

His little hand clutched to his breast, he cries

“I!” So his memory maketh him aware

Of his own Self, and keeps secure the bond

Linking to-morrow with his yesterday;

Upon this golden thread his days are strung

Like jewels on a necklace, one by one.

Though, every breath, ever diminishes,

Ever augments his flesh, “I am the same

As I have ever been”, his heart declares.

This newborn “I” the inception is of life,

This the true song of life’s awaking lute.

Like to a child is a Community

Newborn, an infant in its mother’s arms;

All unaware of Self; a jewel stained

By the road’s dust; unbound to its to-day

Is its to-morrow, fettered not its feet

By the successive links of night and day.

It is the pupil lodged in Being’s eye,

Other beholding, lost unto itself;

A hundred knots are in its cord to loose

Ere it can reach the end of Selfhood’s thread.

But when with energy it falls upon

The world’s great labours, stable then becomes

This new-won consciousness; it raises up

A thousand images, and casts them down;

So it createth its own history.

Yet, when the Individual has snapped

The bond that joins his days, as when a comb

Sheddeth its teeth, so his perception is.

The record of the past illuminates

The conscience of a People; memory

Of past achievements makes it self-aware;

But if that memory fades, and is forgot,

The folk again is lost in nothingness.

Know, then ’tis the connecting thread of days

That stiches up thy life’s loose manuscript;

This selfsame thread sews us a shirt to wear,

Its needle the remembrance of old yarns.

What thing is history, O self-unaware?

A fable? Or a legendary tale?

Nay, ’tis the thing that maketh thee aware

Of thy true self, alert unto the task,

A seasoned traveller; this is the source

Of the soul’s ardour, this the nerves that knit

The body of the whole Community.

This whets thee like a dagger on its sheath,

To dash thee in the face of all the world.

Ah, how delightful is this instrument

And how inspiring, that within its strings

Imprisons those departed memories!

See the extinguished splendour blaze anew!

Behold all yesterdays in the embrace

Of its to-day! Its candle is a star

To light the peoples’ fortunes, and illume

To-night and yesternight in equal shine.

The skilful vision that beholds the past

Can recreate before thy wondering gaze

The past anew; wine of a hundred years

That bowl contains, an ancient drunkenness

Flames in its juice; a cunning fowler it

To snare the bird that from our garden flew.

Preserve this history, and so abide

Unshaken, vital with departed breaths;

Fix in firm bond to-day with yesterday;

Make life a bird accustomed to the hand.

Draw to thy hand the thread of all the days,

Else thou art blind-by-day, night-worshipping.

Thy present thrusts its head up from the past,

And from thy present shall thy future stem.

If thou desirest everlasting life,

Break not the thread between the past and now

And the far future. What is Life? A wave

Of consciousness of continuity,

A gurgling wine that flames the revellers.


That the Continuance of the Species Derives from

Motherhood; and that the Preservation and Honouring

of Motherhood is the Foundation of Islam


The instrument of Man sings melodies

When struck by Woman’s plectrum; his soul’s pride

Swells of her deference. -The Woman clothes [96]

The nakedness of Man-; the loveliness

Of the beloved a garment weaves for love.

The love of God is nourished at her breast,

A lovely air struck from her silent hand;

And he in whom all beings make their boast

Declared he loved three tings – -sweet perfume, prayer,

And womankind-. What Muslim reckons her

A servant, nothing more, no part has won

Of the Book’s wisdom. If thou lookest well,

Motherhood is a mercy, being linked

By close affinity to Prophethood,

And her compassion is the Prophet’s own.

For mothers shape the way that men shall go;

Maturer, by the grace of Motherhood,

The character of nations is; the lines

That score that brow determine our estate.

If thou art learned to attain the truth

Behind the form, our word Community

Hath, in the Persian, many subtleties.

He, for whose sake God said -Let there be life-, [97]

Declared that -Paradise lies at the feet [98]

Of mothers-. In the honouring of the womb

The life communal is alone secured,

Else is life raw and brutish. Motherhood

Quickens the pace of life, the mysteries

Of life revealing; tortuously twists

The current of our stream, so that it flows

Bubbling and whirling on its rapid course.

Take any peasant woman, ignorant,

Squat-figured, fat, uncomely, unrefined,

Unlettered, dim of vision, simple, dumb;

The pangs of motherhood have torn her heart,

Dark, tragic rings have underscored her eyes;

If from her bosom the Community

Receive one Muslim zealous for the Faith,

God’s faithful servant, all the pains she bore

Have fortified our being, and our dawn

Glows radiant in the lustre of her dusk.

Now take the slender figure, bosomless,

Close-cosseted, a riot in her glance,

Her thoughts resplendent with the Western light;

In outward guise a woman, inwardly

No woman she; she hath destroyed the bonds

That hold our pure Community secure;

Her sacred charms are all unloosed and spilled;

Bold-eyed her freedom is, provocative,

And wholly ignorant of modesty;

Her learning is inadequate to bear

The charge of motherhood, and on the dusk

And evening of her days not one star shines;

Better it were this rose had never grown

Within our garden, better were her brand

Washed from the skirt of the Community.

Stars without number whispering -No god

But God-, ungleaming in the dark of time

And not yet risen from nonentity,

Still wait without the bounded territories

Of quality and quantity, being hid

Within the shadows of our patent life,

These our epiphanies still unbeheld;

Dew not descended on the rose’s bloom,

Buds not yet torn by the lascivious breeze.

This garden of potentialities,

These unseen tulips blossom from the bower

Of fertile Motherhood. A people’s wealth

Rests not, my prudent friend, in linen fine

Or treasured hoards of silver and of gold;

Its riches are its sons, clean-limbed and strong

Of body, supple-brained, hard-labouring,

Healthy and nimble to high enterprise.

Mothers preserve the clue of Brotherhood,

The strength of Scripture and Community.


That the Lady Fatima is the Perfect Pattern

of Muslim Womanhood


Mary is hallowed in one line alone,

That she bore Jesus; Fatima in three. [99]

For that she was the sweet delight of him

Who came a mercy to all living things,

Leader of former as of latter saints,

Who breathed new spirit into this dead world

And brought to birth the age of a New Law.

His lady she, whose regal diadem

God’s words adorn -Hath there come any time-, [100]

The chosen one, resolver of all knots

And hard perplexities, the Lion of God,

An emperor whose palace was a hut,

Accoutred with one sword, one coat of mail.

And she his mother, upon whom revolves

Love’s compasses, the leader of Love’s train,

That single candle in the corridor

Of sanctity resplendent, guardian

Of the integrity of that best race

Of all God’s peoples; who, that the fierce flame

Of war and hatred might extinguished be,

Trod underfoot the crown and royal ring.

His mother too, the lord of all earth’s saints

And strong right arm of every freeborn man,

Husain, the passion in the song of life,

Teacher of freedom to God’s chosen few.

The character, the essential purity.

Of holy children from their mothers come.

She was the harvest of the well-sown field

Of self-surrender, to all mothers she

The perfect pattern, Fatima the chaste.

Her heart so grieved, because one came in need,

She stripped her cloak and sold it to a Jew;

Though creatures all, of light alike and fire,

Obeyed her bidding, yet she sank her will

In her good consort’s pleasure. Fortitude

And meekness were her schooling; while her lips

Chanted the Book, she ground the homely mill.

No pillow needed she to catch her tears,

But wept contrition’s offering of pearls

Upon the skirt of prayer; which Gabriel stooped

To gather, as they glistened in the dust,

And rained like dew upon the Throne of God.

God’s Law a fetter locks about my feet

To guard secure the Prophet’s high behest,

Else had I surely gone about her tomb

And fallen prostrate, worshipping her dust.


Address to the Veiled Ladies of Islam


O thou, whose mantle is the covering

That guards our honour, whose effulgency

Our candle’s capital, whose nature poure

To us a mercy, our religion’s strength,

Foundation of our true Community!

Our children’s lips, being suckled at thy breast,

From thee first learn to lisp -No god but God-.

Thy love it is, that shapes our little ways,

Thy love that moulds our thoughts, our words, our deeds.

Our lightning-flash, that slumbered in thy cloud,

Glitters upon the mountain, sweeps the plain.

O guardian of the blessings of God’s Law,

Thou from whose breath the Faith of God draws fire,

Coxcomb and crafty is the present age,

Its caravan a highwayman, well armed

To seize and spoil Faith’s riches; blind its brain,

That knoweth naught of God; ignoble they

Who are the captives of its twisted chains;

Bold is its eye, and reckless; swift to snatch

The talons of its lashes; its poor prey

Calls itself free, its victim vaunts it lives!

Thine is the hand that keepeth fresh and green

The young tree of our Commonwealth, as thou

Guardest inviolate the capital

Of our Community. Fret not thyself

To calculate the profit and the loss,

Being content to tread the well-worn path

Our fathers went before. Be wary of

Time’s depredations, and to thy broad breast

Gather thy children close; these meadow-chicks,

Unfledged as yet to fly, have fallen far

From their warm nest. High, high the cravings are

That wrestle with thy soul; be conscious still

And ever of thy model, Fatima,

So that thy branch may bear a new Husain,

Our garden blossom with the Golden Age.



[93] se referă la cuvântul-creator كن „Fii!”.

[94] Arāf, 139: Ceea ce urmează ei va fi nimicit, iar faptele lor deşarte vor fi.

[95] Baqara, 29: El este Cel ce v-a făcut vouă totul pe pământ, apoi s-a întors către firmament şi l-a rânduit în şapte ceruri. El este Atoateştiutorul.

[96] Baqara, 183: Voi cei ce credeţi! și vouă vă este prescris postul, așa cum a fost prescris şi leaturilor dinaintea voastră. Poate veți fi conștienți!

[97] 93.

[98] citează o relatare profetică.

[99] Fatima este fiica lui Muhammad, soția lui Ali și mama lui Hasan și Husain.

[100] Insān, 1: Nu a trecut oare peste om vremea când nu era pomenit?

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