PRAISE be to God, the Lord of both Worlds; and the Mercy of God and safety,—to the Sayyid (Lord) of Prophets, and to his chaste Offspring, and to his pure Companions!


O God, World-Sovereignty is Thine:
From us (slaves, or creatures) adoration comes; God-head (Lordship) is Thine!

Thou art the shelter of height (the upper world) and of depth (the lower world);
All things are non-existent; whatever is, Thou art:


“Panah” signifies the existence of created beings is dependent or?? God, not on themselves.

“Highth,” see Mason's “English Grammar,” 21st edition, page 125.

“Bulandí” signifies—bulandán-i-súrí va ma'naví.

“Pasti” signifies—pasta-i-áhirí va báaní.

Everything, high (the upper world) and low (the lower world), is created;
Thou art the Creator of whatever exists:

Thou art the teacher of the highest wisdom (the know­ledge of God);
With wisdom, Thou hast urged the pen over the tablet of dust (man's body).


When argument as to Thy Godhead (the Causer of Causes) became complete (by the world's creation),
Wisdom (by that argument) gave evidence regarding Thee.

Thou hast made the vision of wisdom luminous (to recog­nise Thee);
Thou hast lighted up the lamp of guidance (to the road of Salvation).


The affix “nák” in “ámoznák” signifies—khudávind va șáḥib. Thus is “nák” used in the words—arabnák, ghamnák, dardnák.

“Ámoznák” signifies—ámozanda.

After bihtarín dánish, “rá” is understood.

“Lauḥ-i-khák” may signify:—

Takhta,e khák; zamín; tan-i-mardum; or the name of a book of philosophy.


“Hujjat refers to:—

When God Most High, in eternity without beginning, produced by His absolute power and perfect wisdom, all created things from the concealment of non-existence into the plain of evidence; and cast, from the Eternal Court, the words—“Am I not your God?”—into the ear of things possible,—they with perfectness of vision and readiness, gave answer saying:—

“Yes; Thou art our Cherisher; Thou art our Creator from non­existence:

“Without Thee is no profit.”

See Clarke's literal translation of the “Bustán of Sa'dí,” pages 9 and 176.


O God, besides bestowing the jewel of reason on man, Thou hast sent the Prophets to show the way to us, lost in the desert of error and perplexity.

Thou art He, who up-lifted the sky;
Who made the earth its thoroughfare.

Thou art He, who from a drop of water (the seed of man, or of Adam) created
Jewels (holy men) more resplendent than the sun.

Thou madest manifest the jewel of kindness;
Thou gavest the key (the tongue of kindness) to the jewel-sellers (doers of good deeds, or poets).


Thou givest the jewel (of strange fancies) to the heart of the stone (the Poet);
Thou drawest the colour (of decoration, or of the graces of Wisdom) on the surface of the jewel.

So long as Thou sayst not—rain! the air (the cloud) rains not:
So long as Thou sayst not—produce! the earth produces not.


Since the auspicious and inauspicious aspects of the Heavens, and the splendour of the sun descend from the sky to the earth,—the earth is said to be the thoroughfare to the sky.

O wonderful skill. This Thou createdest quiescent; and to that (the sky) Thou gavest rotatory motion.


“Jauhar” may signify—

Sukhan-i-mauzún va kalám-i-rangín; ma'rifat-i-ḥaḳḳ

“Jauhar faroshan” signifies—

Poets, or bankers of speech; holy men who make the perfecting of those imperfect.

Even as the exalting of the roof of the sky, and the spreading of the carpet of the earth is the order of the earth,—so, in creating, is the quality of kindness in the liberal ones the state of the sons of Ádam. This indeed is evident in mothers of every kind of animal.

Again—Thou producest weighed (versified) speech and beautified language in the hearts of poets, and givest the key of its opening to those subtlety-weighing that they may unloose it from the mine of their own hearts, with the key of the tongue; and bring it into order in the balance of verse.


“Dil-i-sang” signifies—

The mine; the heart of an ignorant one (an infidel); the hearts of poets in which the jewel of strange conceits is produced as the jewel-stone in the mine.

Thou adornedst a world with this beauty (of order),
Without asking for a helper.

Of warmness and coldness; of dryness and wetness,
Thou kneadedst to the (proper) extent of each.

Thou didst draw out (exalt) and paint the picture (create the world) in such a way
That wisdom cannot bring into estimation (a picture) better than it.


The Geometrician seeks much regarding their secret (the mixing of the four elements);
He knows not how Thou didst make their beginning.

From us (imperfect ones) comes only—looking (at thy creation),
Further sleeping; or yet eating.

The freshening of the tongue in confession of Thee,
Not raising the (question of) cause of Thy work.


Note the idiom in the Persian text.


In the opinion of many, things possible (or created) are of four kinds, to wit:—warmness, coldness, dryness, and wetness, of which the results are—blackness, yellowness, bloodiness, and mucilaginousness.

Hence Niámí says:—O God, Thou, by the perfection of power, madest the composition of man's body of four elements, contrary to each other in nature; mixedst them in proper proportion in such a way that power of one over the other is impossible; and gavest unity to the four elements, notwithstanding the contrariety of their nature, in such a way that the luminous understanding is astonied!

Thus fire cannot consume air; nor air destroy fire; nor air dry up water; nor water enkindle dust.

Some say that couplet 13 should be read with couplet 14. Then “sarishte” must be read with “yá,e tankír,” or the “yá” of unity,

Of warmness and coldness; of dryness and wetness,

To the proper extent of each, a mixture,

Thou didst exalt and create, in such a way

That wisdom cannot bring into estimation (a mixture) better than it.


O God, Thou madest the different species of created beings in such a way that reason cannot imagine anything better. Then better than what God has created is not within the screen of possibility.

That calculation which passes boyond this is straying from the true path:
Of thy mystery, (our) thought is without knowledge.

Of whatever Thou didst create, or picture Thou didst paint—
Need (is) not Thine—O Thou independent of all!


Thou so createdst the earth, and the Heavens,
—Verily the revolution of the stars and sky,—

That, as much as thought becomes lofty (in effort),
It brings not forth its head from this noose (of effort).

Creation was not. God! Thou wast:
(When), all (creation) is not,—Thou art still in place (existent).

Neither, when creation was not, wast Thou in solitude (ease);

Nor, when it became accomplished, did trouble increase to Thee.

On account of Thy grandeur, before Thee, the existing or the non-existing
Is one;—whether it be, or whether it be not.


Thou establishedst the constellations of the skies;
Thou adornedst the dust (of the world) with man.

Thou art the jewel-preparer of the four elements;
The jewel-threader, in the constitution of the body.

Thou didst loftily up-lift the citadel of the sky;
Thou didst make thought captive within it.


This refers to the statements in couplets 16 and 17.


Creation became existing by command, not by toil.


“Akhshíj” signifies—'anásar-i-arba', the four opposites, or the four elements—water, fire, dust, and air.


“Shahr-band” signifies—a person who is forbidden by the magistrate to leave the city and to disport himself in the plain.

“The citadel of the sky” signifies—the sky.

Thou establishedst this arch of azure hue (the sky) in such a way
That for thought is no ascent beyond it.

Wisdom strives but finds Thee not;
For wisdom's power avails not against Thee.


From the inacessible Presence, Thy existence
Stones to death (admits not) the messenger of thought.

Neither art Thou scattered,—that Thou mayst be collected;
Nor also art Thou increased, that Thou mayst be decreased.

Vision's glance,—without the path to Thy (state);
Thy Court,—far from revolution (of change).

That head—which goes loftily inclining (in religion, or in worldly grandeur),
Falls not from its base by anyone's down-casting.

That one,—whom Thy wrath casts headlong
Becomes not lofty (in rank) by any one's aid.


We are all subject (to fate) and obedient (to Destiny),
Thou art the aid-giver (in our powerfulness); Thou art the hand-seizer (in our helplessness)

Whether it be the foot of the elephant, or the wing of the ant,
Thou gavest to each—feebleness and powerfulness.



(The lamp of) wisdom is kindled; but by its own light finds Thee not

For wisdom's power cannot endure Thy grạndeur.


O God, in Thy pure state is neither dispersion nor collection; neither decrease nor increase.


As Thy holy court is far from change, so the Court of Destiny is void of turning.

When Thou sendest force (strengthenest)—by pure Fate,
Thou bringest forth the destruction of the great snake by means of the little ant.

When Thou raisest (removest) the smoke (of the darkness of infidelity) from the path (of Islám),
The little gnat devours Nimrúd's brain.

When in the enemy's army Thou bringest departure (death),
By birds, Thou slayest the elephant and the elephant-masters.


When the great snake becomes old, the little ants enter his brain by his nose and so kill him. Further, when the great snake sleeps after eating flesh, the little ants, attracted by the smell of blood, fasten upon him and begin to bite him; and as the snake has no power of repelling them, he falls into agitation, strikes his head on the earth, and so dies.


They relate that:—Nimrúd sate in an iron-closet around which was kindled a fire; and, in fancy, said—“Behold! how will the Angel of Death come here, and take my soul?”

By the power of God, the Omnipotent, a gnat crept into his brain (by the ear), began to bite, and so distressed him that finally, in great torment, he died.

They also relate that:—When Nimrúd put aside his desire for war with his holiness Ibráhím, Ibráhím accepted his submission. On the appointed day, Nimrúd came with a countless army into the plain of battle; but Ibráhím, unattended, stood in front of him. Nimrúd and his army were astounded at the force which Ibráhím displayed, when suddenly, by God's command, a swarm of gnats appeared and began to bite their heads and faces, to such a degree that they all began to retreat.

Nimrúd, becoming confounded, made a smoke from fire-wood, so that, by this device, the gnats might not find a way to his army. By the Divine Decree, a small gnat, having crept into a person's garment, reached his army; bit the lip of the accursed Nimrúd; and, afterwards, entering his brain, took up his residence there.

For a long time, in exceeding pain and torment, he passed his life; and finally took his chattels to Hell.


“Rahíl áwardan” signifies—

Ba harakat áwardan; paidá kardan-i-harakat.

They relate that—In 569-571 A.D., when Abraha, an Abyssinian, Prince of Yaman, saw that, in the season of pilgrimage, men from all directions inclined towards Makka; and knew that their purpose was pilgrimage to the Ka'ba, the essence of his pride was agitated. He resolved that he would build a house equal in purity to the Ka'ba, and cause the faces of pilgrims to turn towards it. At San'-a he built, with great purity, a temple of white stone; adorned its walls with gold and jewels; and caused a great multitude of people to go to it, in pil­grimage.

When this became known to the people of the tribe of Kuraish, one of the family of Baní Kamána, becoming employed as “mujáwir,” one night polluted that idol and fled.

Hearing this Abraha collected an army (of Abyssinians), and pro­ceeded towards Makka, with elephants of mountain-form, for the pur­pose of destroying the Ka'ba. Taking the elephant Mahmud, that in bulk of body was like a mountain,—he came into the precincts of Makka and plundered the cattle of the tribe of Kuraish. The Chiefs of Makka fled to the mountains.

After the first day, having arranged his army and aroused the elephants he turned his face towards Makka. The elephant Mahmúd turned from Makka and inclined towards the camp; and the elephant-drivers found it impossible to turn his head towards the city. The other elephants also on account of his shunning the building of the Ka'ba advanced not. At this circumstance, Abraha became dejected and the tribe of Kuraish from the mountain-tops beheld his condition.

Suddenly from the sea-side, flocks of black birds (Abábíl) with green necks appeared, and rained stones on that army. In one breath the Abyssinian tribe of Abraha became wholly extirpated.

See—“Islám under the Arabs,” by Osborne, page 78; “A History of Arabia,” by Major Price, 1824, and the Kurán, chapter 105, Suratu-l fíl.

It is believed that Abraha and his host were destroyed by small-pox that raged at that time in Arabia. See canto 36, couplet 53.


Sometimes, Thou bringest forth a friend from an idol temple;
Sometimes, Thou makest an acquaintance of a stranger (the infidel):


Thou bringest forth the friend of Thy friends from the idol temple, or from the place of worship of infidels; and causest him to reach to the honour of Islám—even as Ibráhím, “the Friend of God,” brought forth from the idol temple, was exalted to the summit of prophecy. Sometimes Thou drawest forth the friend, or Mussulmán, from the back­bone of an infidel, even as “the Friend of God” came forth from the back-bone of Âzar (his father) the fire-worshipper.

Sometimes, from a seed (of man) Thou givest one of good Fortune;
Sometimes, from a fruit-stone Thou givest a (date) tree:

Sometimes, with (notwithstanding) such a jewel, house-sprung ('Alí),
Thou stonest (to death, in Hell) one like Abú Tálab.

From fear of Thee, to whom boldness to such an extent that
He may open the tongue, save in submission to Thee?

To those powerful of tongue (boasting of the knowledge of God) is no access to Thee;
Because to the treasure (God) is no need of the torch (of the tongue).


Thou takest the tongue from (makest silent) the keepers of Thy mystery (the Prophets),
So that they may not utter the secret of the Sultán (God).

In the dust of (within) such obscure dust (the body), to me,
Thou gavest the mind, luminous (by the light of safety); and the soul, pure (of pollution).


“Gauhar-i-khána-khez” may signify—Muhammad, or (his son-in-law) 'Alí.

Abú álab was uncle to Muhammad and the father of 'Alí.

Notwithstanding this relationship, Abú álab, by reason of his infi­delity, is in Hell.

Some say that Abú Jahl is meant. See canto 3, couplet 22.


“Zabán áwarán” may signify—

Ifshá kunandagán-i-asrár-i-rabúbiyat; mudd'ayán-i-ma'rifat-i-iláhí Or foolish boasters who give forth the Divine knowledge of others as their own.

Treasure, concealed in a dark or in a desolate place, has no need of a torch.


“Tíra-khák” signifies—jism-i-khákí; badan-i-ulmání.

If we be dust-stained (with sin),—is no anxiety;
Because, for road-dust is no occupation save revolving (in the air).

If this dust (the body) had turned its face from (forsaken) sin,
Who would have found the path to Thy forgiveness?

If my sin had not come into computation,
When would have been Thy name—the Pardoner?


Night and day, in the evening and in the morning,
(More) than every thing I have in mind, Thou art in remembrance.

When, in the first part of the night, I resolve to sleep,
In praise of Thy name,—I hasten.

And, if at mid-night, I raise my head from sleep,
I invoke Thee; and shed water (tears) from my eyes.

And, if it be morning, my path is to Thee (in excess of love, and in desire for pardon);
All day until the night, my shelter also is in Thee.

Since, day and night, I desire assistance (in faith) from Thee,
Make me not ashamed in that administration of justice (the Day of Resurrection).


O Ruler, work-performing! keep me (in the world) in such a path (of happiness),
That of these dependent (on the vanishing riches of the world) I may be independent.


“Gird” here signifies—gird kardan va buland shudan.


“Tasbíh” signifies—

Subhán-alláh guftan, uttering (the words) O Holy Creator!

A worshipper, who, by way of adoration (in sincerity of heart),
Performs adoration towards one like Thyself,—

Becomes prosperous, by treasure (of happiness) in this world;
Becomes free from trouble (the torments of Hell), in that world.

Thou art the Displayer of Creation and of the world;
Thou art the Death-Causer, and also Life-Restorer (at the Judgment-day).

Not mine—is an account of deeds of myself in the hand;
Mine, is the reckoning, as much as it is, from Thee.


From Thee, the key of evil and good (conduct) comes:
From Thee, good appears; and from me, evil.

Thou doest (me) good; I have done no evil;
For, I have assigned the evil to myself.

From Thee, is the issuing of the first picture (the begin­ning of Creation);
To Thee, is the returning of the last letter (of pardon, or of retribution).


O God! as from Thee goodness comes, even so from me goodness appears.

Because, whatever was evil I attributed to myself; and if, in truth, Thou wast the Creator of that evil, that evil of mine becomes changed to good.

Hence, Thou mayst say that evil issued not from me; and that, like Thee, I have done good. In some copies—although I have done evil.


“Awwalín naḳḳash” signifies—

Awwal-i-makhlúkát, the first of created beings, Muhammad; it may mean—raḳam-i-taḳdír

“Ákhirín haraf” signifies—

Ma'ád, the place to which one returns, or the Resurrection.

“Nakkash” and “haraf” may signify—the assigning of evil conduct to himself.

At the first, the issuing of this picture (of imputing evil to myself).

At the last, the returning of this letter (of imputation) to Thee.

This picture (the imputing of evil) although apparently it issues from me, yet in truth it is from Thee who art the Creator of all deeds, good or bad. From me, by Thy decree, this evil having issued, the returning of this letter (haraf) is to Thee, so that on the Judgment Day it may be represented.

From Thee, the teaching me a verse of the Kurán (the uttering of the Name of God);
From me, the stitching up of the eye of the demon (so that he may not behold me).

When Thy name cherishes my soul,
How commits the demon assault upon me (to take my faith)?


“Dev” signifies—shaian, satan; or nafas-i-umára, imperious lust.

“Áyat” signifies—

hawla va lá ḳúwata illá billáh, there is no power nor virtue except in God!

The flying of the demon, on the reciting of the Ḳurán is well known.

If by Thy grace, I had not the power of learning a verse of the Ḳurán, —the causing the demon to fly would not be my work.

A “dev” is a male being not man, not angel, not devil—but a “genius”; the female is called “Parí,” whose race is continued without the intervention of any other class of beings. God created the Devs before Ádam, and gave them the world for 7,000 years. The París suc­ceeded under their king Ján bin Ján, and remained 2,000 years.

On their becoming disobedient, God set over them Eblís, who had been elevated among the angels.

Eblís defeated the Devs and París and became master of this world. Getting proud, he refused to worship Ádam and was therefore driven from God's presence.

Those Devs who remained obedient staid on this earth till the time of Sulaiman.

The “Zand Avesta,” vol. ii., page 234, says:—

“Whoever sits down with the Dev, or the worshipper of Devs; who­ever opens his mouth to converse with them teareth himself as a dog doth a wolf.”


This couplet is a parenthesis.


In respect to Thee, I hold it not lawful on my part,
That I should say—(that) “Thou art”; again, I should say that “I am.”

If rested (by practising deeds of holy men) or distressed (by overpowering lust), I live;
As Thou createdst me,—so I live.

My hope of that Court (of God) is such
That, when I go far from this workshop (of the world),

(And), am poured out of the arrangement of the composi­tion of my body;
Am become of another kind from my own order:

(And), the wind makes my dust (in the grave) scattered;
No one beholds my pure soul:


(And) the inquirer into my hidden state
Attributes non-existence to my existence—


I consider it not lawful—that, in comparison with Thy existence,

I should speak of the existence of myself; for, of a truth, I possess the order of passing away.

This couplet savours of pure Sufíism.

The second line may be—

That I should say—Thou art (the Creator of deeds, good and evil); again, I should say I (have an account on my part).

See couplet 59.


I have in respect to myself no control; and, in respect to this matter, no choice.


Here begins another supplication; see couplet 71.


When I die, and the elemental parts of my body become separated.

“Tarkíb” signifies—the collecting several separate things; the con­junction of the limbs of the body.

“Tartíb” signifies—the putting each thing in its proper place.


When I die, and am scattered from the arrangement of the compo­sition of the elements, and changed from my present order; and, when the wind disperses my dust, and no one beholds my pure soul, and the inquirer into my state attributes non-existence to my existence,— then, Thou mayest, by a miracle reveal the matter, that it may be known that though I am hidden, I am in truth existing, for Reason (in the form of the Sikandar-Náma) is alive and existing. As, in the Book of Wisdom, it is written:—

“Especially the Saints and those favoured by God, can, after issuing from the body, perform the work of the body.”

Thou mayst, from the hidden, bring to his hand that token,
That of this hidden one (Nizámí) he may learn that he is existent.

Since, regarding Thy existence, I of weak understanding
Have evoked much argument, heart-exhilarating,

Do Thou also—if my cradle (of the soul, the body) goes into the concealment (of the grave)—
Give information that though the dust (body) sleeps (in death), the soul remains.

Make the purpose of my thought, in respect to Thee, so fervent,
That, when I come to Thee (at Death) I may come joyful of heart.


All (my limbs) are fellow-travellers with me up to the door (of Death);
When I depart (die), these friends are enemies (who report on my deeds).

Whether it be the eye and the ear; or whether the hand and the foot,
Each, in its place, remains behind me.


Khák khuft” signifies—badan mumahill shud.


“Hama” signifies parts of the body. See couplet 76. The couplet may be rendered as follows:—

All are friends with me, up to the door (of death);

When I depart (die), these friends are enemies (who cast me alone into the grave and take my property).

In the blessed Ḳurán, it is written:—the limbs of the body will testify to the deeds done by the man in this world.

Thou art He who art with me as long as I am (existing);
—And at this door (of death) let me not be empty skirted (portionless of thy favour).—

In this long road (the world), in which I strike my humble head (in adoration) at Thy great door,
I strive, in hope of a crown (of pardon and of rank in Heaven).

The head, which I withhold not from this door,—
Best, if Thou give to that head the crown, not the sword (of anger).


By reason of that order, which, in eternity without begin­ning, Thou hast passed,
The pen turns not from what Thou hast caused to pass (decreed).

But, in conformity with desire, I, order-bearing,
Make my own heart joyful, with these words:—

Thou saidst:—“That whoever, in sorrow and affliction,
“Offers prayer,—I will make him one whose prayer is answered.”

Since I know Thee (to be) the Releaser of the helpless,
How shall I not call upon Thee, in this helplessness?

Yes; Thy work is slave-cherishing;
My work is devotion-performing.


I have become battered,—nay shattered, to such a degree,
That every wind takes my (vigorousness) senses.


The soul is immortal, as the blessed Ḳurán says—

As long as I am, Thou art with me.


In the second line, “sar zadan” signifies—koshish-i-kamál kardan.

The student should observe the force of “yá” in “ráhe” and “sare.”


Compare this with—

Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The Bible, Matthew, chapter 11, verse 28.


“Ábádí” signifies—jam'íyat-i-hawass, the collection of the (5) senses.

Thou art He, who givest me release from being shattered,
And if Thou shatter, Thou givest me the preserving sub­stance.

In that midnight (the darkness of the grave), when I seek shelter from Thee,
By the moon-light of Thy grace, illumine my path.

Preserve me from the plunder (of devotion) of the high­wayman (carnal lusts or devils);
Make not the heart of the enemy (Shaitán) joyful over me.

That evil (of time) in respect to which I am impatient,
O Thou far from injustice! keep far from me.


Cause me to attain first to thanks, then to wealth (good health);
Give me first patience, then distress (ill-health).

If Thou make me afflicted in affliction,
Give me first patience, then the affliction.

If Thou shatter me, or if Thou place me in the rack,
(And) wish (me) the handful of the (collected) dust,—ask the (scattered) dust of me.

By the dispersion (of my elemental parts) I may fall out of myself (collapse);
(But), I will not fall out of devotion to Thee.


“Mumiyá” signifies—háfiu-l-ajsád; 'araḳu-l-jabál.

It is said to be the water of a fountain, like to congealed pitch, found in some of the cities of Persia.


Khák” signifies—dust in a collected form.

“Gird” signifies—dust in a dispersed form.


In both states (mentioned in couplet 92), I may, by the dispersion of parts, fall out of myself (collapse); but I will not depart from Thy service.

In every state, I will be Thy praise-utterer, and consider Thee my Lord.

The key (of the knowledge of God) became lost to the inquirer (the worldly sage), for the reason,
That he regarded Thee, with his own power (of thought).


The person, who regards Thee by Thy (grace),
Rends in pieces the foolish pages (of philosophy, and disre­gards them).

Save by Thy (grace), it is not possible to find Thee;
It is necessary to turn the rein from every door (of in­fidelity).

Thus far, (my) vision is (by Thy grace) the Stage-Recog­niser;
When Thou advancest beyond this, terror (at the Majesty of God) comes to the heart.

I have entrusted to Thee, my own capital (of endeavour);
Thou knowest the amount—less, or more.


The sage who, by the light of Reason, desires to find God and with limited comprehension pursues his way,—is in the whirl-pool of straying from the path of safety. If with Thy vision (as is the way of the Pro­phets, peace be on them!) he had looked at Thee O God! he would have reached Thee.


My gaze is by Thy grace the road-finder; for going aside or transgress­ing or choosing the path of one's own endeavour is path-losing.

If “biguzarí” be written with “yá,e khiáb,” the couplet will read:—

The gaze of the holy traveller is the road-recogniser up to this abode, to which it is not possible to go save by Thy Grace; if thou advance beyond this and go by thy own endeavour, terror at the Majesty of God comes to the heart.


Thou knowest whether the good deeds are in excess, or the bad. Niámí here relies on God's mercy.