Rabia of Basra (c.717-801).


More on Rabi'a can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabia_al-Adawiyya

I need the Lord of the Kaaba; what good is the Kaaba to me? Buber, Ecstatic Confessions, P. 31.

She said, "I am consumed by an inner wound of my heart, which can only be healed through union with my friend, I shall remain sick until I achieve my goal on the Judgement Day." Ibid., P.31.


One day He did not leave after

kissing

me.

P.3.

 

Love is

the perfect stillness

and the greatest excitement, and most profound act,

and the word almost as complete

as His name.

P.5.

 

Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts

of our body is

death.

So beautiful appeared my death – knowing who then I would kiss,

I died a thousand times before I died.

“die before you die,” said the Prophet

Muhammad.

Have wings that feared ever

touched the Sun?

I was born when all I once

feared – I could

love.

P.7.

 

(…)

The soul does not understand the word seasons. The

petals on the sun can only be touched now.

The beauty of dried flowers, how can they

compare to

Him?

P.8.

 

(…)

The cure for me was His beauty, the remedy –

for me was to

love.

P.9.

 

 

It helps,

putting my hands on a pot, on a broom,

in a wash

pail.

I

tried painting

but it was easier to fly slicing

potatoes.

P.10.

 

In

my soul

there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church

where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.

Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is

illumined nothing.

where ecstasy gets poured into itself

and becomes

lost,

where the wing is fully alive

but has no mind or

body?

In

my soul

there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,

a church

that dissolve, that

dissolve in

God.

P.11.

 

Would you come if someone called you

by the wrong name?

I wept, because for years He did not enter my arms;

then one night I was told a

secret:

Perhaps the name you call God is

not really His, maybe it

is just an

alias.

I thought about it, and came up with a pet name

for my Beloved I never mention

to others.

All I can say is-

it works.

P.12.

 

Maybe if I brought the moon a little closer

lovers would argue

less.

They might hold hands outside and point to

the heavens and say,

“I think God is up to

something

sweet!”

P.13.

 

(…)

There is a powerful delegation in us that

lobbies every moment for

contentment.

How will you ever find peace

unless you yield to love

the way the gracious earth

does to out hand’s

impulse.

P.14.

 

I could not move against this wind if I did not pray.

And all that is said of me that is untrue

would make lame my gait if I

could not free myself from

the weight of other’s

malice.

I could not move against all His light

if I did not

pray.

See how things become: what a change

can happen, when we find a way

to keep Him

close.

P.16.

 

(…)

Those who are trusted by others

God trusts.

P.17.

I know how it will be when I die,

my beauty will be so extraordinary that God will worship me.

He will not worship me from a distance, for our minds will have wed,

our souls will have flowed into each other.

How to say this: God and I

will forever cherish

Myself.

P.18.

 

When God said, “My hands are yours,” I saw that I could heal any

creature in this world;

I saw that the divine beauty in each heart

is the root of all time

and space.

(…)

Until we know that God lives in us

and we can see Him

there,

a great poverty

we suffer.

P.19.

 

There is a dog I sometimes take for a walk

and turn loose in a

field,

when I can’t give her that freedom

I feel in debt.

I hope God thinks like that and

is keeping track of all

the bliss He

owes

me.

P.20.

 

It acts like love – music,

it reaches toward the face, touches it, and tries to let you know

His promise: that all will be okay.

It acts like love – music, and

tells the feet, “You do not have to be so burdened.”

My body is covered with wounds

this world made,

but I still longed to kiss Him, even when God said,

“Could you also kiss the hand that caused

each scar,

for you will not find me until

you do.”

It does that-music-helps us

to forgive.

P.21.

 

The moon was once a moth who ran to her lover,

they embraced, and she ultimately passed away

with such a smile everywhere on

her body.

Over a period of time, her wings fell to the earth

and sanctified the meadows.

Angels came and buried the limbs

that touched His mouth.

The moon was once a moth who ran to God,

they entwined.

Now just her luminous soul remains

and we gaze at it

at night.

P.22.

 

I am always holding a priceless vase in my hands.

If you asked me about the deeper truths

of the path and I told you

the answers,

it would be like handling sacred relics to you.

But most have their hands tied

behind their

back;

that is, most are not free of events their eyes have seen

and their ears have heard

and their bodies have felt.

Most cannot focus their abilities

in the present, and

might drop what

I said.

So I’ll wait; I don’t mind waiting until

your love for all

makes luminous

the now.

P.23.

 

I hear talk about the famous.

I hear talk about different cities.

The most intimate events of families come to my ears.

I hear about temples and

mosques and

saints.

All that can be said I have heard.

All that can be wanted I

have seen.

My interest in this world has waned, though

not because I am

depressed.

A fish in a bowl I was

a bottom feeder,

but now I nurse

upon a breast

in the

sky.

P.24.

 

My understanding used to be like a stream

that easily described all along the banks as its ken moved

through the world.

When I entered God, my vision became like His,

it flooded out over existence,

I knew no limits.

The future I can now see with as much certainty

as the past.

If I stretched my arm its full length

I could caress any creature in this universe;

and Rabia does not

exaggerate.

Thus going to bed one night

I knew a thief would be breaking

in at 3 A.M.,

so I wrote a note and put it on my door,

that said,

“Could you wait till 4?”

for the passions in prayers

usually starts to wane

by then.

P.25.

 

He is

sweet that way,

trying to coax the world to dance.

Look how the wind holds the trees in its hands

helping them to

sway.

Look how the sky takes the fields and the oceans

and our bodies in its arms, and moves

all beings toward

His lips.

God must get hungry for us; why is he not also

a lover who wants His lovers

near?

Beauty

is my teacher

helping me to know He

cares for

me.

P.26.

 

Since no one really knows anything about God,

those who think they do are just

troublemakers.

P.27.

 

So amazing this choir of

socks, shoes, shirt, skirt, undergarments,

earth, sky, suns, and

moons.

No wonder I too, now,

sing all

day.

P.28.

All the above quotes from:

Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. Penguin Group.

Last updated: 2008/10/27.

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