Sunday, March 13, 2011

Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, the ninth descendant of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari r.a., wrote the Munajat Namah (Litanies/Dialogues with God).

O my friend, behold yon cemetery, and see
how many tombs and graves there be;
introduction xvhow many hundred thousand delicate
ones there sleep
in slumber deep.

Much toiled they every one and strove,
and feverishly burned with barren hope
and selfish love,
and shining garments jewel-sprinkled

Jars of gold and silver fashioned they,
and from the people profit bore away,
much trickery revealing, and great moneys
but, at the end, with a full regretful sigh
they laid them down to die.

Their treasuries they filled,
and in their hearts well-tilled
planted the seed
of lustful greed;
but, at the last,
from all these things they passed.

So burdened, suddenly
at the door of death they sank,
and there the cup of destiny
they drank.
xvi introductionO my friend, ponder well thy dissolution,
and get thee betimes thine absolution;
or, know it full well,
thou shalt in torment dwell.

From Muslim Saints and Mystics
Translated by A.J. Arberry