865 Idols, girdles and Christianity in this discourse
Are all infidelity; if not, say what they are.


Here idol is the evidence of love and unity,
Girdle is the binding of the bond of obedience.
Since infidelity and faith are both based on Being,
Idol-worship is essentially Unification.*
Since all things are the manifestors of Being,
One amongst them must be an idol.
Consider well, O wise man,
An idol as regards its real being is not vain.*
870 Know that God Most High created it,
And whatever comes from the Good is good.
Being is purely good in whatever it be,
If it also contains evil, that proceeds from ‘other.’*
If the Musulman but knew what is faith,
He would see that faith is idol-worship.
If the polytheist only knew what idols are,
How would he be wrong in his religion?
He sees in idols naught but the visible creature,*
And that is the reason that he is legally a heathen.
875 You also, if you see not “The Truth” hid in the idols,
In the eye of the law are not a Musulman.
By telling beads and saying prayers and reading the Koran
The heathen becomes not a Musulman.
That man is disgusted with superficial faith,
To whom the true infidelity has once been revealed.
Within every body is hidden a soul,
And within infidelity is hidden true faith.
Infidelity is ever giving praise to “The Truth;”
The text, “All things praise God,” proves it. Who can gain- say it?*
880 What am I saying? I have gone astray from the road?*
Leave them, and after all that is revealed, say, God,”*
Who adorned the face of the idol with such beauty?
Who became an idol-worshipper, unless “The Truth” willed it?
It is He that made, He that said, He that is,*
Made good, said good, is good.
See but One, say One, know but One,
In this are summed up the roots and branches of faith.
It is not I who declare this; hear it from the Koran,
There is no distinction in the creatures of the Merciful.”*


885 The knotted girdle is the emblem of obedience.
I have looked and seen the origin of every thing,
For the wise man finds no trustworthy information
As to anything except in its original usage.*
Gird your loins, like a valiant man, with manliness,
Join the band who “fulfil my covenant.”*
With the horse of knowledge and the bat of obedience
Bear off from the field the ball of good fortune.
For this duty did God create you,
Albeit He created many creatures besides you.*
890 Knowledge is as a father, practice a mother
Of mystic states which are “a joy of the eyes.”*
Doubtless, there is no mortal man but has a father,*
There was never but one Messiah in the world.*
Cast aside vain tales, and mystic states and visions,
Dreams of lights, and marvels of miracles.*
Your miracles are comprised in “Truth” worship,*
All besides is pride, vain glory and illusion of existence.
In this path whatever is not of poverty of spirit
Is but being puffed up and seeking our own glory.*
895 By cursed Iblis, who witnesses not verity,
Are wrought thousands of miracles.
Now he approaches from the wall, now from the roof,
Now he dwells in your heart, now in your body.
He knows all the hidden counsels of your heart,
He works in you unbelief, and transgression and sin.
Iblis is the Imám, and you his followers,*
But how can you rival him in his miracles?
If your miracles are wrought only in self-ostentation,
You are a Pharaoh, to wit, one arrogating divinity.
900 But he who has fellowship with “The Truth”
Is never one who vaunts himself.
All your regard is set on creatures; Beware
That you fall not into captivity of this disease.*
If you consort with the base, you become an animal;
Nay, not an animal, but at once a stone.*
Flee from connection with the base,
Lest you fall headlong from your natural rank.
You have wasted your precious life in trifling,
You think not of what use is such a life as yours.
905 They call it peace when it is confusion,
They take an ass for their guide—see his beard!*
The leadership having now devolved on fools,
All men have fallen on evil days.
See the one-eyed Dajjal,* in what way
He is sent into the world as an ensample.
See this ensample, O man of sense!
Know him for the ass whose name is Jassás.
See all these asses in the toils of that ass,
Being the forerunners in ignorance of that ass.
910 When our lord told the story of the latter days,
In several places he signified this matter.
See now how there are blind and gluttons,
All knowledge of the faith has departed to heaven.
There remain not in the midst courtesy and modesty,
None have shame for their ignorance.
The whole condition of the world is upset;
If you are wise, see in what state it is.
One who is accursed and banned and hated
Is now Shaikh of the age, because his father was good.
915 Yet that wicked son was slain by Khizr,*
Because his father and grandfather were good.
O ass, now you have chosen for your Shaikh
An ass who is more ass-like than yourselves.
For as much as “he knows not cat from mouse,”*
How will your secret be purified through him?
If the son shows a trace of his father,
What shall I say? Verily he is light upon light.
If the son be of good judgment and fortune,
He is as fruit, the cream and perfection of the tree.
920 But how can he be Shaikh of the faith,
Who knows not good from evil, evil from good?
Discipleship is learning the knowledge of the faith,
Kindling with light the lamp of the heart.
Did ever one learn knowledge from the dead?
Was ever lamp lighted from ashes?
For this cause my mind is resolved on this,
To gird my loins with the Magian girdle.*
Not for this cause that I may gain fame,
That I have, but am ashamed of it.*
925 Since my rival is base for this cause,
My obscurity is preferable to his fame.
Again an inspiration came to me from “The Truth,”
“Cavil not at Wisdom because of a fool.”*
If there were no sweepers in the world,
The world would be buried in dust.
After all, the bond of genus connects us all—
So goes the world, Allah is all-wise.
Nevertheless flee from the society of the base,
If you seek to be a true servant abandon form;*
930 Form accords not with true obedience,
Practise true obedience, and abandon form.


In Christianity the end I see is purification from self,*
Deliverance from the yoke of bondage.*
The blessed portal of Unity is the sanctuary of the soul,
Which is the nest of the Everlasting—the Simurg.
This doctrine was taught by God's spirit (Jesus),
Who proceeded from the Blessed Spirit.*
Also by God is placed in you a soul,
Wherein is a sample of the Blessed Spirit.
935 If you find release from the carnal mind of humanity,
You will obtain entrance to the life of Divinity.
Every man who is purified as angels are pure
Will ascend with God's spirit to the fourth heaven.


The infant that sucks the breast is confined
At his mother's side in a cradle.
But when he is grown up and able to travel,
If he is manly he goes with his father.
The elements are to you as your mother after the flesh,
You are an infant, and your father is the Father on high.*
940 For this cause said Jesus at the time of His ascension,
“I go unto my Father which is on high.”*
You too, O soul of your Father, turn to your Father,
Your companions are gone, go forth too.
If you desire to take wing as a bird,
Cast the carrion world to the vultures.
Give to the base the treacherous world,
It is not meet to give carrion but to dogs.*
What matters relationship? Seek your real friend,
Set your face towards “The Truth,” forsake relations.*
945 For him who is drowning in the sea of not being,
The text “no relation* is the coin of his state.
Every relationship that arises from lust
Yields no issue but pride and high-mindedness.
If lust remained not in the midst,
All relations would become an empty tale.
When lust is doing its work in the midst,
One becomes a father, another a mother.
I say not what your father and mother are,
For it behoves you to regard them with reverence.
950 The deficient in sense is called sister,*
The envious is named brother.
Your own enemy is called your son,*
And a stranger your kinsman.
Say then who are your paternal and maternal uncles,
What proceeds from them but pain and wrinkles?
The companions who are with you on the mystic path,
O brother, are also companions in foolish jesting.*
If you sit in the street of their pleasantry,
What good can I say you see of them?
955 All relations are a fairy tale, a spell, a bond,
By the soul of the prophet they are naught but a delusion.
With manliness deliver yourself like a valiant man,
But yet make not vain the truth of any.*
If one atom of the law be neglected,
You will be excluded from the faith in both worlds.
Beware! Omit not the duties of the law,
But at the same time have regard to yourself.
From gold and women* comes naught but store of pain,
Abandon them as Jesus abandoned Mary.
960 Be a “true believer,”* and forsaking the bond of sects,
Enter the cloister of faith as a Christian monk.*
While “other” and “others” are set before your eyes,
Though you be in a mosque, it is no better than a Christian cloister.
When the vesture of “other” passes out of sight,
The cloister becomes to you as a mosque.*
I know not in what religious state you are,
Cast out your adversary the flesh, that you may escape.
Idols, girdles, Christianity and church bells
All indicate the renouncing of name and fame.
965 If you would become a faithful servant,
Prepare yourself in faithfulness and sincerity.
Go, take yourself out of your own road,
Every moment renew your faith.
While infidelity dwells in your inmost soul,
Be not satisfied with this outward Islam.
Of yourself every moment renew your faith,
Be a believer, Be a believer, Be a believer!
Verily faith is born of infidelity,
That is not infidelity from which faith is increased.
970 Abandon study to be seen and heard of men,
Cast off the Durvesh cloak, bind on the Magian girdle.
Be as our Magian sage in pure infidelity,
If you are a man, give your heart to manliness.
Purge yourself from affirmations and negations,
Give your mind wholly to the young Christian.


Idols and young Christians are the Light made manifest,
For it finds its exponent in the idol's face.
It leads captive all hearts,
It is now the minstrel,—now the cupbearer.
975 What a minstrel is he who by one sweet melody
Burns up the garners of a hundred devotees!*
What a cupbearer is he who by a single cup
Makes drunken two hundred men of threescore and ten!
If he enters the mosque at early dawn,
He leaves not a single wakeful man therein.*
If he enters the cloister drunken at night,
He makes Sufis' stories an empty tale.
If he enters the college as a veiled drunkard,
The professor becomes helplessly drunken.
980 From love to him devotees lost their heads,
And became outcasts from house and home.
He makes one faithful, another an infidel,*
He fills the world with tumult and wrong.
Taverns have been edified by his lips,
Mosques have been illumined by his cheek.*
All my desire has been accomplished through him,
Through him I gained deliverance from infidel lust.
My heart was hid from knowledge of itself by a hundred veils,
By pride and vanity and self conceit and illusion.
985 That fair idol entered my door at early morn,
And wakened me from the sleep of negligence.
By his face the secret chamber of my soul was illumined.
Thereby I saw what I myself really am.
When I cast a look on his fair face
I heaved a sigh of wonder from my soul.
He said to me, “O Pharisee and hypocrite,
“Thy life has been spent in seeking name and fame,
“Behold this knowledge, devotion, self seeking and illusion,
“From what have they kept thee back, O laggard!
990 “To cast one glance on my face for half a moment,
“Is worth a thousand years of devotion.”
In fine the face of that world-adorner
Was disclosed and unveiled before my eyes.
The face of my soul was blackened with shame
To think of my life lost and my wasted days.
But when that moon, whose face was as the sun,
Saw that I had cast away hope from my soul,
He filled a goblet and gave it me to drink,*
And from that draught fire was kindled within me.
995 “Now,” quoth he, “with this wine, tasteless and odourless,*
“Wash from thee the writing on the tablet of Being.”
When I had drained that pure draught to the last drop
I fell beside myself on the bare dust.
Now I neither exist in myself, nor do I not exist,
I am not sober, not sick, not drunken.
Sometimes like his eye I am joyful,
Sometimes like his curls I am fluttering.
Sometimes by force of nature I am lying on ashes,
Sometimes at a look from him I am in the rose garden.*