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Rumi Quotes & Poetry

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Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was 13th century, poet, mystic and theologian who managed to conquer the world with his heart. Born in modern-day Afghanistan, he was under the guiding hand of his father and other renowned mystics and Sufis at the time.

Perhaps, no terminology can portray Rumi accurately so we will refer to him as the “Awakened.”

Rumi QuotesHis work is an untouched flower which soars in the garden of love and poetry. In his poetic expression, Rumi punctures through a literal interpretation of religious tenets and introduces a more spiritual outlook on life, that the world has never seen before.

Even to this day, people from various religious backgrounds continue to praise him for his endless striving to alleviate the pain from their hearts.

His whirling dervishes denote purity and brilliance in their connection with the Source, which in Rumi’s terminology can be presented within different context. The words uttered on a piece of paper are all that separates you from yourself.

In this comprehensive collection of thoughts, insights, and mystical experiences we try to take a sip from his infinite ocean.

Rumi Quotes & Poems on Life, Love, and Friendship

lovers, lovers, this day you and we are fallen into a whirlpool: who knows how to swim?

Our faces are lighted up with gratitude, schooled as we are in wave and sea, inasmuch as ocean and flood are life-increasing to the fish.

You who seek to behold Him, gaze upon this mountain chain of His. O mountain, what wind has blown upon you? We have become intoxicated with the echo. O gardener, gardener, why have you come to grapple with us? If we have carried off your grapes, you have carried off our purse!

Do not stir the clay every moment, so that your water may become clear, so that your dregs may be illumined, so that your pains may be cured.

If you look into muddy water, you see neither the moon nor the sky; sun and moon both disappear when darkness possesses the air.

The seven spheres of heaven are drunk with passion for you; we are as counters in your hand; our being through your being is myriad times at ease.

How sweet it is to give speech and head, to converse with his lip, especially when he opens the door and says, “Good sir, come in!”

Since the Soul of the soul of the soul has come, it is not meet to mention the soul; in his presence of what use is the soul, save as a sacrifice?

Like the rose I am laughing with all my body, not only with my mouth, because I am without myself, alone with the king of the world.

Be silent; for out of jealous regard He desires not to bring all and sundry into the sea.

Let go the tales of this world; we have grown a weary of them. The soul that has fallen into the sugar-sprinkler—how should such things be contained in its heart? He who has become the earth for your feet, how should he be mindful of the heavens?

Open not your eye surreptitiously on any idol out of treachery, lest that all-seeing prince cast you from his regard.

In the genuflections of prayer your image, O king, is as necessary and obligatory to me as the seven oft-repeated verses. When unbelievers sin, you are all compassion and intercession; to me you are the chief and leader of the stonyhearted

Life is a vessel, and in it union is a pure wine; without you, of what avail to me is the labor of the vessels?

Come, say, what loss did earth suffer from this bond? What kindnesses has not reason done to the members?

When a slave grows old, his master sets him free; when I became old, He enslaved me over again.

All men, from king to beggar, are in the tug of appetite; Love delivers the soul out of all appetites and desires.

Beggar of Love, for all the joys that the world contains, reckon that Love is the gold-mine, and those things but gilded.

Since the encounter of Love is near, be joyous of presence for the day of meeting. For us, death is gladness and encounter; if for you it is an occasion of mourning, depart hence! Inasmuch as this present world is our prison, the ruining of prisons is surely a cause for joy.

Rumi Love Quotes

The entire world from end to end is but half a morsel; because of greed for half a morsel, the water vanished. Earth and heaven are bucket and pitcher; water is outside earth and heaven.

Take hold of Him firmly, for He has taken firm hold on you; first He and last He—go, discover Him. Gently He draws the bow, for that arrow of His quivers in the hearts of the lovers.

Speech is that wind which was formerly water; it becomes water when it casts off the veil.

Love’s path is outside the two and seventy sects; since your love and way is mere trickery and hypocrisy, sleep on.

Since midnight sickness has manifested itself in that Master; till daybreak he has been beating his head uncontrollably against our wall.

When did you ever see Love? You have never heard from lovers; keep silent, chant no spells; this is not a case for magic or jugglery!

What is a mere rose? You are the All, you are the speaker of the command Say. If no one else knows you, since you are I, I know you. You are my soul and spirit, you are my Faith. a-chanter; become altogether the Faith. a, so that I may chant you in my heart.

This is the Master of heaven, who is like unto Venus and the moon, and this is the house of Love, which is without bound and end. The soul, like a mirror, has received your image in its heart; the heart has sunk like a comb into the tip of your tress.

This is the Master of heaven, who is like unto Venus and the moon, and this is the house of Love, which is without bound and end. The soul, like a mirror, has received your image in its heart; the heart has sunk like a comb into the tip of your tress.

Come, for today is for us a day of festival; henceforward joy and pleasure are on the increase.

Now I have fallen asleep and stretched out my feet, since I have realized that good fortune has drawn me on.

Keep silent, for the faults of vision always come from question and answer.

So long as the form of the Beloved’s image is with us, for us the whole of life is a joyful parade.

My heart, do not come wandering in this direction; sit there, for it is a pleasant station.

O moon, come forth from the heart’s sky and turn our night to day, that no night-traveler may say, “Tonight is not a night of moonshine.

Mind you do not slip, for the road behind and ahead is wet with blood; man-robbers are nowadays more numerous than gold-robbers. If they are intent on robbing people of reason and awareness, what then will they make of him who is unaware of himself?

Fill your heart with hope, and polish it well and clear, for your pure heart is the mirror of the sun of splendor. Say, who is the companion of Hamad the Apostle in this world? Shams-i Tabr¯ız the Emperor, who is one of the greatest things.

He said, “What is your intention?” I said, “Fidelity and friendship.” He said, “What do you desire of me?” I said, “Your universal grace.” He said, “Where is it most agreeable?” I said, “Caesar’s palace.” He said, “What did you see there?” I said, “A hundred miracles.”

Desolation of both worlds on this road is true cultivation; to eschew all benefits is a benefit in Love. Jesus from the fourth sphere calls, “Welcome! Wash your hands and mouth, for now is the time for the Table.

Drink so much wine that you cease to chatter; after all, are you not a lover? And is not this love a tavern? Though you should utter verse and prose like Jafari gold, there where Jaffar is it is all worthless tales.

That spirit which wears not true love as a garment is better not to have been; its being is nothing but a disgrace. Be drunk in love, for love is all that exists; without the commerce of love there is no admittance to the Beloved.

Love it is and the lover that remain till all eternity; set not your heart on aught but this, for it is merely borrowed. How long will you embrace a dead beloved? Embrace the soul which naught embraces.

Set your heart on the true coin, if you are not counterfeit; give ear to this subtlety, if you lack an earring.

Mankind are stars, and Shams-i Tabrizi is the sun; which star is there that is not illumined by his sun? What pearl are you?
For in no man’s hand is the price of you. What does the world possess that is not your gift? Is there a worse punishment than his who lives exiled from your face?
Do not punish your servant, for all that he is unworthy of you.

How should the drunkard’s soul not utter thanks for a wine to which there is no boundary and limit? Whomsoever you have seen sorrowful and scowling is not a lover, and belongs not to that province.
Otherwise, every bud is a veil of a garden, jealousy and envy have no contagion.

When Love called my heart towards Him, my heart began to flee from all creation. Creatures are sticks; the blind man flings away the stick when he begins to see.

It is rapture which in good and evil gives strength to hand and foot, for this rapture mates the strength of a Rustam to the body of a poor wretch

If you tear the heart away from God, to whom will you then commit it? Tell me this. Soulless is the person who has been able to tear his heart away from God for a single moment.

Do you know why the lovers’ eyes have become like a cloud in Love? Because that moon generally is concealed in clouds.

One day that root will raise its head from the dust, it will become a fresh green branch; what if two or three branches should wither, the rest of the tree will be pregnant with life.

That lion-overthrowing deer—it is evident in its eyes that outside the two worlds it has another desert. This mad heart departed; both heart and madness became lost, for it has another madness loftier than this madness

If I make a difference between envenomed water from His hand and wine, in the path of the Spirit my spirit has come, by Allah, but insincerely. How should any animal drink His water of life? How should the eye which is closed behold His face?

Its only dwelling place is in the well of Babylon; until the soul becomes a magician, it reposes not in any place.
Tabriz! If Shams al-D¯ın shines forth from your zodiac, even the cloud will become like the moon, even the moon will wax in brightness.

Die now, die now, in this Love die; when you have died in this Love, you will all receive new life. Die now, die now, and do not fear this death, for you will come forth from this earth and seize the heavens.

Every foam-fleck of body which received a sign from that sea melted forthwith and became spirit in that sea.
Without the royal fortune of Shams ad-Din of Tabriz one could neither behold the moon nor become the sea.

Let all other men be sorrowful, yet the lover’s soul will be gay and happy and sprightly. Give to the lover every place where a candle is extinguished, for he is endowed with a hundred thousand lights.

We have become drunk and our heart has departed, it has fled from us—whither has it gone? When it saw that the chain of reason was broken, immediately my heart took to flight.

Azrael has no power or way to overcome lovers; love itself and passion slays the lovers of love.

That idea the Christian carries abroad, the Moslem has not that idea, that He is slaying this Messiah upon the cross. Every true lover is like Mansour, they slay themselves; show ¯ any beside the lover who deliberately slays himself.

The sea broke into waves; heaven received a token of this night, and in pride set that token on its head and face.

What do you know, what do you know what kind of mind and soul you are? It is God who knows and sees the virtue that belongs to men.
Become accustomed to speak without lips, like a balance, for lips and teeth do not remain when one passes from the world.

When no more breath remains to the sheep, he fills it with his own breath; you will see whither God’s breath will bring you!

The way to heaven is within; shake the wings of love—when love’s wings have become strong, there is no need to trouble about a ladder. Consider not the world that exists without, for the true world is within the eye; when you have shut your eyes on the world, the world will not remain.

Our blood in our body is the water of life, and sweet; when it comes forth from its place, see how it is all the same! Do not congeal the water of speech, and bring it not from that fountain, so that it is silk on that side and striped cloth on this.

Have you heard that sugar has become cheap in the town? Have you heard that winter has vanished and summer is here?
Have you heard that now in the garden the branches of the trees have heard glad news of the rose, and shake their hands?

All the dead ones of the garden have come to life at the summons of God; their unbelief by God’s mercy has all been turned to faith.

What a marriage feast it is! What a wedding! Heaven is like a curtain; the moon with this plate of gold for a sign is coming. What a hunt! For the arrow of fate is flying; if it is not so, why comes the sound of the bow?

Let me have done. Though it is a cipher, I will not explain it; what are you trying to explain? The soul of explanation is coming.

Little by little the drunkards congregate, little by little the wine-worshippers arrive. The heart-cherishers coquettishly come along the way, the rosy-cheeked ones are arriving from the garden.

Laughter tells of your lovingkindness, tears complain of your wrath; These two mutually contrary messages relate in this world about a single Beloved.

Between the sinner and God, like the Messenger, it runs much to and fro and busies itself greatly.

Our death is an eternal wedding-feast; what is the secret of this? He is God, One. The sun became dispersed through the windows; the windows became shut, and the numbers departed.

Speak not evil, speak not good regarding those who have passed away from good and evil. Fix your eye on God, and speak not of what you have not seen, that He may implant another eye in your eye.

Everywhere the scent of God is coming—see how the people are coming uncontrollably; From him for whom all souls are athirst, to the thirsty the cry of the water carrier is coming.

The fire the day before yesterday whispered secretly to the smoke, “The aloes-wood cannot rest without me, and with me it is happy. It knows well my worth, and expresses thanks to me, for the aloes-wood has perceived that in its passing away there is profit.

See how heaven and earth are pawns of existence; flee into nonexistence from the blindness of the one and the blueness of the other. Every soul which flees away from poverty and nonexistence is misfortune fleeing away from prosperity and good fortune.

When bread and broth ferment in the intestines, they then become reason and soul, the despair of the envious. So long as black rock did not pass away from itself, it did not become gold and silver, neither found its way into coins.

Night has died and come to life again; it is life after death. O sorrow, slay me, for I am Husain and you are Yazid. The pearl held auction, saying, “Who will buy this?” None had the price, so the pearl bought itself from itself. Saki, today we have all become your guests; every night through you has become a Night of Power, every day a day of festival.

Last night a tumult arose amongst the stars, for the most auspicious star arrived from the propitious ones. Mercury became out of control, he broke the Tablet and the Pen; in his wake Venus leaped, drunken arrived at the Pole Star.

The Pride of Tabriz, Shams-i Haqq u Din whispered, “Love is sour-faced with you: it is not fitting to add more vinegar.

Is not the bird of your imagination fleet as an arrow in existence? Know that for a certainty the Absolute flees from the imaginary.

Look not meanly on the world, for that the world is perishing, for afterwards He will fashion it into an eternal world. Men marvel at the alchemy which converts copper into gold; regard the copper that every instant fashion alchemy!

He gives the house a soul and makes it a master; when He slays the master, He fashions of him again a house; Though the form of the master has descended under the dust, He fashions the heart of the master into an abode of majesty.

Whoso falls into Love’s hands weeps like a cloud; whoso dwells afar from Love freezes like snow. Every instant Love shatters a thousand bowls into fragments, every moment stitches and rends a thousand garments.

Though the rose is drunk, it is not dissolute like me, that it should tell you the secret of the intoxicated narcissus. When you seek secrets, go amongst the drunkards, for the tipsy head shamelessly tells the secret. Inasmuch as wine is the daughter of the vine and the family of generosity, it has opened the purse’s mouth and speaks of lavishness;

What, the desire of love for you, and then the fear of ruination? You with purse fastened, and then the love for that sugar lip?

Especially the love of that One the like of whom, from Alast till now, has never been so devoted to chastity. If you say, “I have seen Him,” for God’s sake open another eye and close these twains;

Love for you took away my rosary and gave verses and songs; I cried “No strength (save with God)” and repented oft, but my heart did not heed. At Love’s hand I became a singer of odes, hand-clapping; love for you consumed reputation and shame and all that I possessed.

Your praise is as the sea, our tongue is a ship; the soul voyages on the sea, and its end is praiseworthy. The tender care of the sea is for me like wakeful fortune; why should I grieve, if my eye is stained with sleep.

In the world of Divine Unity there is no room for number, but number exists of necessity in the world of five and four. You may count myriad sweet apple in your hand; if you want to make one, squeeze them all together.

Enquire not of me concerning love, enquire not of any man, enquire of Love itself; Love in speaking is like a pearl-raining cloud, my son. Love requires not the interpreter service of me and a hundred like me; concerning realities Love is its own interpreter, my son.

Tonight is a night of union for the stars and of scattering, scattering, since a bride is coming from the skies, consisting of a full moon. Venus cannot contain herself for charming melodies, like the nightingale which becomes intoxicated with the rose in springtime.

Do not regard Love, which without hands made your hand a hand, as being without hand or head; look in another fashion.

We tear to shreds all snares, we devour all properties; we are sweeter than all others—despite all the blind and deaf.

What is the worth of the gold-pale cheek? Say: the ruby of the Beloved. What is the worth of the pearl-like tear? Say: that glance.

We are slaves to that saki, till eternity we continue; our world is secure and content, the worldlings are passing by. Whoever has been born has died and committed his soul to the guardian angel; the lover was born of no man, love has no father.

I am like reason and mind within your veil, alike in time of pleasure and happiness and in the hour of pain and weariness. On the strange night, when you hear the voice familiar, you will escape from the bite of snake and leap away from the horror of ant.

Beware of mistaking me in a human shape, for the spirit is very subtle, and Love is exceedingly jealous. What room is there for form, if the felt be a hundredfold? It is the rays of the soul’s mirror that pitch the flag visibly.

That pure radiance which the angels discover from him—if it should reach the satans, they would all become houris. And even if that light belonged not for a single day to the devil, he would veil the devil with the veils of his bountifulness.

Minstrel of the lovers, shake the string, strike fire into believer and infidel! Silence is not the proper course of love; unveil the face of welfare.

So drunk am I, so drunk am I today that I have leaped out of the hoop today. Such a thing as never enters the mind, even so am I, even so am I today. In spirit I departed to the heaven of Love, even though in form I am in this low world today.

Since you are a coin of red gold, receive the seal of the king; if you are not red gold, then why all this snipping? In the time when you became a treasure you did not realize that, wherever a treasure is, the informer sets to work.

If this body is infidel at heart, propose “testimony” to it; and if this spirit is fruitless, what matters that? Draw it to the fruit.
Quicken it, and if you cannot, make Messiah your deputy; grant it union, or if you grant it not, draw it by your grace to the Lord of grace.

The fair one whom I am seeking with all my soul I do not see amongst those present here. Where has he gone? He is not amongst those present; I do not see any sign of him in this assembly.

I prostrated before him and drew the bowl to me; the wine lighted a fire in me from its own brazier. When the saki had poured continuously and dispensed for me many glasses after that wise, that wine like red gold transported me to its own quarry.

When union with the Beloved showed itself to Mansour, it was right that the gallows should bring him to the heart’s Origin. I snatched a cap’s length from his robe; his cap’s length consumed my reason and head and foot

The man entered eagerly and reached the skin of the bear; that eagerness made him prisoner in the bear’s arms. I said to him, “Let go the fur coat, come back! How long and far you have remained through toiling and battling with it!

I have no need of wine, I am indifferent to lees and pure liquor; I thirst for my own blood, the time of battle has come. Draw the sharp sword, shed the blood of the envious until the head without the body circumambulates about its own body.

I will enter the heart of the fire, I will become a morsel for the fire; foretelling what, have they cut the navel of the sulphurlike soul? Fire is our child, it thirsts and is in bondage to us; we two are becoming one so that no difference may prevail.

Bid farewell to eating and sleeping; go seek the true religion, that you may be a prince of eternity without your little laws and customs.

If death is a man, let him come before me that I may draw him fondly and tightly into my bosom; I will carry off from him a soul without hue and scent, he will seize from me a cloak of many colors.

I cried out at midnight, “Who is in this house of the heart?” He said, “It is I, by whose countenance the sun and the moon are put to shame.

Let us leave go of earth and fly heavenwards, let us flee from childhood to the banquet of men. Look not to see how the earthly mold has put you in a sack; split the sack and lift your head out of the sack.

Enter my eye and behold me with my own sight, for I have chosen a dwelling place beyond all sight. You are drunk, drunk and happy, I am drunk and happy, without a head; you are a lover with laughing lips, I am laughing without any mouth.

He will make your essence confection better than by giving a hundred confections; I have not heard the delight of the soul’s confection save from his lips.
Be silent, for in speaking the confection falls out of the mouth; without speech a man catches a scent such as I have snuffed.

That nut lacking pith which has chosen the husk—how shall it have perceived the relish of the almond-essence of my Prophet? A sweetmeat full of his nuts, his sugar, and almonds sweetens my throat and lip, gives light to my eyes.

I was dead, I became alive; I was weeping, I became laughing; the power of love came, and I became everlasting power.

My darkling earth gives thanks for my bent sky and sphere, for through its gaze and circling I became light-receiving. The sphere of heaven gives thanks for king and kingdom and angel, for through his generosity and bounty I have become bright and bountiful.

Because every moment my heart is confused with your fantasy, if you are joyous I am joyful, if you are sorrowing I am sorrowful. You give bitterness and I become bitter, you give grace and I become all grace; with you it is pleasant, O my sugar-lipped, sweet-chinned idol.

Lord of Lords and Formless Maker of forms, what form are You drawing over me? You know; I do not know. Now I am stone, now iron; for a while I am all fire; now I am a balance without a weight, now I am both weight and balance.

I am not grieving for a grain, though about this house I circle deep in thought like the heron. I do not seek a house in the village, neither ox and fat herd, but I am intoxicated with the Prince and circle seeking the Prince.

Why do you bite my lips privily saying, “Be silent, do not speak”? Is it not your doing, your craft too that I circle about speech? Come, Shams-I Tabrizi, like twilight although you flee; like twilight in the track of your sun I circle about these lands.

I am not that luckless lover, to flee from the Beloved; I do not hold that dagger in my hand to flee from battle. I am that plank with which the carpenter has much to do, I do not shrink from the axe or flee from the nails.

Not for one single moment do I let hold of you, for you are my whole concern, you are my whole affair. I eat and enjoy your candy, I labour at your counselling; I am a heart-wounded quarry, you are my heart-devouring lion.

My soul, in the sky the sun is the moon’s companion; I know that you will not leave me in this assembly of strangers. I went to a dervish and he said, “May God befriend you!

The voice of your tambourine is hidden, and this dance of the world is visible; hidden is that itch, wherever I scratch. I will be silent out of jealousy, because from your sugarcane I am a cloud scattering sugar, it is only your candy that I rain.

Now I am Turk, now Hindu, now Rumi, now Zang; it is of your engraving, my soul, that I believe or disbelieve. Tabriz, my heart and soul are with Shams-i Haqq here, even though in body I vex him no more.

I am your disciple, for all that I am stupid and twisted of mouth, so that I may learn one smile from your smiling lip. Fountain of learning, do you want me for a pupil? What device shall I invent to stitch myself to you?

Rumi Quotes on Life

Heaven, the bent old man full of wizardry and deceit— by virtue of your youthful fortune I have escaped from this old man. Night and day I ran, I broke away from night and day; ask of this sphere how like an arrow I sped.

All creatures have been made deaf or blind by predestination; I have escaped from the attack and retreat of predestination, and from predestination. Outwardly skin, inwardly stone, the fruit is a prisoner; like a fig, I have escaped from that skin and that stone.

Saki, my spirit is moving in the track of love, but because of your weariness my tongue is tied. Like an arrow I am flying towards your joyous company; beloved, do not break my bow with cruelties.

But on the day when like the spirit you are hidden from my eyes, like the heart of a bird I am fluttering with anxiety.

It is not to blame, since you intoxicated me, if I am scandalous and wrought injustice. Silence, for the mirror is rusting over; when I blew upon it, it protested against me.

How close your soul is to my soul! For whatever thing you are thinking, I know. I have a token even closer than this; come close, and behold my token.
In dervish guise you come into the midst; do not jest and say, “I am in the midst.

Out of all the world I choose you alone; do you deem it right for me to sit sorrowful? My heart is like a pen in your hand; through you it is, whether I am glad or grieve.

By that power whereby a serpent became a staff, every night we are like a staff, daily a serpent; For arrogant Pharaoh we are serpents, for Moses we are staves and obedient.

From these counterfeiters I carried also as a present a filing of the soul to the goldsmith. In the Unseen the boundless world I saw; to that bound I transported my tent.

For the sake of their need and anguish we rise to the spheres and the stars. We come as amber for a necklace from the silver-bosomed Beloved.

On the day when brave men flee, we come as Sanjar in the thick of the battle; We make wine of the foeman’s blood, then we drain it and come like daggers.

In the body the soul has become pure; we become bodiless and come yet purer. Shams-I Tabriz is the soul of the soul; we come shoulder to shoulder in the house of eternity.

If I do not express in speech your elegance, I have your love within my breast. If I smell a rose without your love, forthwith burn me like a thorn.

On the day when you pass over my grave, bring to mind this terror and confusion of mine; Fill full of light that bottom of the tomb, O eye and lamp of my light.

I have fallen silent; do you speak the rest, for I am shunning henceforth my own speaking and listening. Shams-i Tabriz, do you invite me, since your invitation is my blast of the trumpet.

We are living by the light of Majesty, we are strangers and exceeding familiar.

This form of man is a veil; we are the qibla of all prostrations. Regard that breath, do not see the Adam in us, that we may transport your soul with grace. Iblis looked with a separate regard, he supposed that we are apart from God.
Shams-i Tabriz himself is the pretext; it is we who are in the beauty of grace, we. For the sake of a veil say to men, “He is the noble king and we are beggars.

How long shall I speak of “below” and “above”? Place-lessness is my origin, I am not of place, for I know whence place comes.
No, be silent, depart into nonexistence, become naught in nonexistence; behold, how I know things from no-things!

Since my sun and star arose higher than form, I am happier to go from realities into realities.
I have become lost in realities—so it is sweeter; I will not return towards form, I will not look upon the two worlds.

Shams-i Tabriz, I have a realm like Alexander; consequently, out of grace I am army-leader towards the armies of meaning.

Drink, my heart, the spiritual wine, and sleep secure and free of care; for I have beheaded anguish, I have escaped from sorrow and anguish.
My heart has gone up, my body has gone down; where am I, the helpless one? I am neither above nor below.

I am that drunken drummer who went drunk into the arena, I tied my drum like a flag to the top of my lance. What a happy and unselfed king you are!
Ho, silent as a fish— since I have escaped from being, why do you draw me back to being?

Since I drink of your honey, why should I sell vinegar? Why should I labor for my daily bread? It is not the case that I do not possess an ample allowance.

Hear not these words as from me, nor from this clear thought, for I neither receive nor seize this outward and inward. Though your face is beautiful, the cage of your soul is of wood; run away from me or you will burn, for my tongue is a flame.

There is a passion in my head that I have no inclination for mankind, this passion makes me so that I am unaware of myself. The king of love bestows every moment two thousand kingdoms; I desire nothing from him save his beauty.

Since there is a secret and perfect way from heart to heart, I gathered gold and silver from the treasuries of hearts.
Into the thought that was like a brazen stove I flung the dead dog; out of the thought that was like a rose bower I plucked roses and jasmine.

Reason says, “I will beguile him with the tongue”; Love says, “Be silent. I will beguile him with the soul.” The soul says to the heart, “Go, do not laugh at me and yourself. What is there that is not his, that I may beguile him thereby?”
He is not sorrowful and anxious and seeking oblivion that I may beguile him with wine and a heavy measure. The arrow of his glance needs not a bow that I should beguile the shaft of his gaze with a bow.

Sorrow has died for joy in him of “may God bind your consolation”; how should not such a sword strike the neck of sorrow? By tyranny he seizes the soul of whom he desires; justices are all slaves of such injustice and tyranny.

Like the tale of the heart we must be without head or ending, that we may become dwellers in the heart of lovers like a tale.
If he acts the seeker, we shall attain to being sought; if he acts the key, we shall become all the wards of the lock.

Last night my soul cried, “O exalted sphere of heaven, you hang indeed inverted, with flames in your belly.
“Without sin and crime, eternally revolving, upon your body in its complaining is the deep indigo of mourning, “Now happy, now unhappy, like Abraham in the fire; at once king and beggar like Ibrahim Adam.

Every day I bear a burden, and I bear this calamity for a purpose: I bear the discomfort of cold and December’s snow in hope of spring. Before the fattener-up of all who are lean, I drag this so emaciated body; Though they expel me from two hundred cities, I bear it for the sake of the love of a prince;

Only then are glory and respect mine, when his glorious love renders me contemptible. Only then does the vine of my body become wine, when the wine-presser stamps on me and spurns me underfoot.

I have got out of my own control, I have fallen into unconsciousness; in my utter unconsciousness how joyful I am with myself!

Without you, Darling, in both worlds I have seen no joy; many wonders I have seen, a wonder like you I have not seen. They said, “The blaze of fire will be the infidel’s portion”; none have I seen exempted of your fire save Bu Lahab.

We are iron filings and your love is the magnet; you are the source of all questing, in your quest none I have seen. Be silent, brother, dismiss learning and culture; till you recited culture, no culture in you I saw.

If you have barred sleep to us, the way of intoxication is open. Since I have one to assist, he offers wine in both hands. Be silent, that without this tongue the heart may speak; when I hear the speech of the heart, I feel ashamed of this speech.

Wash your face and become clean for beholding us, else remain afar, for we are beloveds of ourselves. We are not that beauty who tomorrow will become a crone; till eternity we are young and heart-comforting and fair of stature.

What place is there for a beauty? For he is the Lion of God. Like a child we prattled, for we are children of the alphabet. Children are beguiled with nuts and raisins, else, how are we meet for nuts and sesame-grains?

Hear the rest from Shams the Pride of Tabriz for we did not take the end of the story from that king.

Rise, lovers, that we may go towards heaven; we have seen this world, so let us go to that world. No, no, for though these two gardens are beautiful and fair, let us pass beyond these two, and go to that Gardener. Let us go prostrating to the sea like a torrent, then let us go foaming upon the face of the sea.

Let us be silent, that the giver of speech may say this; even as he shall say, so let us go.

Even though in anger you depart a hundred thousand years from me, in the end you will come to me, for I am your goal. Did I not say to you, “Be not content with worldly forms, for I am the fashioner of the tabernacle of your contentment?

Bring wine, for I am suffering crop sickness {hang-over} from the vintner; God has seized me, and I am thus held fast. By love’s soul, bring me a cup of wine that is the envy of the sun, for I care nothing for aught but love.

Bring that which, when it is not present, I am stupid and ignorant, but when I am with it, I am the king of the subtle and crafty ones. Bring that which, the moment it is void of my head, I become black and dark, you might say I am of the infidels.

Become empty of belly, and weep entreatingly like the reed pipe; become empty of belly, and tell secrets with the reed pen. If your belly is full at the time of concourse, it will bring Satan in place of your reason, an idol in place of the Kaaba.

By the God who was in pre-eternity living and knowing and omnipotent, everlasting, His light lit the candles of love so that a hundred thousand secrets became known.

That prison became a palace with orchards and meadows, Paradise, and a royal hall and vestibule of sanctity. As when you fling a clod into the water, the water that very moment parts open;

Lovers, lovers, it is time to migrate from the world; the drum of departure is reaching my spirit’s ear from heaven. See, the driver has arisen, the camel train is arrayed, he has begged us for quittance; caravanners, why are you asleep?

I have no stone in my hand; I have no quarrel with anyone; I deal harshly with none, for I am gay as a rose bower. My anger is therefore from that source, it is from the other world; this side a world, that side a world—I am seated on the threshold.

How long this denial and doubt? Behold the mine of joy and salt; fly to heaven like a manikin without a ladder, without a ladder! The beastlike autumn dies, you stamp upon its grave; lo, the dawn of fortune is breaking, O watchman, watchman!

How long must I ask news of you from the zephyr? How long must I seek your moon’s image in the water of my well?
I have been burnt up a hundred ways like the garden, and likewise I have learned from spring—in both states I am dumbfounded at the handiwork of my God.

I become not satiated with you—this is my only sin; be not satiated with compassion for me, O my refuge in both worlds!
Satiated and weary of me have become his jar, and watercarrier and waterskin; every moment my water-seeking fish becomes thirstier.

No more patience has remained for me, nor sleep, nor tears nor water; Lord, how long will he raid all the four of mine? Where is the house of water and clay, compared with that of soul and heart? Lord, my sole desire has become my hometown and habitation.

My lion-catching deer would drink to the full of my milk, he whose quarry I am would have become my quarry. Black-faced night is then not the mate and consort of my day; stonyhearted autumn follows not in the wake of my springtide.

To the eye of the envious I am the wolf; to Jacob himself, Jospeh; to the ignorant, Bu Jahl; Muhammad, before him who ¯ knows God.” Sweet-breathed rosewater is death and asphyxiation to the black beetle; sugary syrup is fatal to the bilious.

Be silent, for the tongue has become a door keeper from measuring words; when the heart speaks without words, it occupies the high throne like a king. Shine, Shams-i Tabr¯ız¯ı, upon the Houses of the heart, for the sun of a secure seat is not like this spinning sun.

Go, know that the code of lovers is opposite to all other ways, for from the Beloved lies are better than truth and beneficence. His impossibility comes to pass, his insalubriousness is a bonus, his injustice is all rectitude. Calumny from him is justice.

Shams al-H. aqq-i Tabrizi! Dear Lord, what sugar you sprinkle! You might say that out of my mouth proceed a hundred proofs and demonstrations.
Become placeless in the Unity, make your place in the essence of annihilation; every head which possesses duality put on a Christian neck. In the cage of being, before this bird of sanctity flies on the wing, make it sugar-cracking in thankfulness.

Become at once secretive and intimate, be silent and become companion; at once become us and become ours, likewise be servant to us. Lest the Christian should steal into your monastery, now be a lover of the girdle, now aim at the cross.

Do you not see how your head is in my bowstring? You are a bow, you must bend to the string. Why do you kick up your hind legs saying, “I have escaped the load?”
I have merely let you go for a moment to graze. In fear and awe of me the sea’s heart surges with billows and throbbing.

Become as ab¯ab¯ıl, and do not flee from the elephant; the heart is like ab¯ab¯ıl in picking up grains. It plucks the enemy like grains, it knows to hear the message of the Kaaba.

This is love: to fly to heaven, every moment to rend a hundred veils; At first instance, to break away from breath—first step, to renounce feet; To disregard this world, to see only that which you yourself have seen.

In the end these moonfaced ones are becoming strawfaced; that is the state of thieves in the presence of my King.” Day has come; earthly ones, restore the stolen goods.
O my soul, whence come goods for earthly man, and whence beauty? When at night the sun has vanished, the stars make boast.

The man who goes to the trouble of offering advice to lovers gets nothing for his pains but to be a mockery of passion. Love has the scent of musk, it is therefore notorious; how can musk escape from such notoriety?
Love is like a tree, and lovers are the shade of that tree; though the shade fall afar, yet it must attend the tree.

Lover, open your two eyes and behold in yourself four streams—a stream of water, a stream of wine, streams of milk and honey. Lover, look into yourself, do not be a laughingstock of men, so that So-and-so says this, and So-and-so says that.

God of his generosity gave you the eye of vision, to whose languidness the pinion of Gabriel prostrates. Bandage not the narcissus-eye, and take not the vulture-eye; bandage not the first eye, and look not with the squint-eye.
Lovers of form have fallen into form, like the fly which falls from honey into a vat of whey.

Beautiful one, by your roguish eye, signal with your eye; for one moment repair with a glance this your ruin. Heart and soul, martyrs to your love, in the tomb of the body—pass along by the tomb of those martyrs, pay a pilgrimage.

Passion for that Beloved brought me out of learning and reciting so that I became mad and distracted. Once I took my way earnestly to prayer rug and mosque; I put on the shirt of abstinence to increase good works.

Do full justice to ruffianism, if you are a dissolute and drunkard; if you are lovely and beautiful, why do you remain behind the veil? “Lovely ones may not flee from exhibiting their features; how can idols suffer not to indulge in coquetry and face decoration?

There entered the city of man a mighty torrent; the heavens were destroyed, and a waterwheel of pure light was set turning. That city was simply madness, mankind therein distracted; for he had escaped from yesterday and tomorrow, when he awakened from a sleep.

O spiritual form, why are you fleeing from us? You are after all of the house, you know the state of this servant. By the right of my hot tears, by the right of my pale cheeks, by the bond that I have with you beyond this human phase.

The physician of the soul brought a tray as a present; if you are a doting old man you will become fair and youthful.
It gives life to the body, intoxication to the soul; it takes away from the heart’s slackness, from the cheeks’ pallor.
That was the tray of Jesus, it became the inheritance of the physicians; you will find in it the antidote, if you have swallowed the poison of death.
You who seek that tray, turn your face to this qibla; when you turn your face thither, you will become the moonfaced of the world.

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Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

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Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

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