20 September 2007
poetess of the faith
In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?
Among all the known poems of Rabia Al-Basri, this one is thought-soul provoking. It is beautiful as it is mystical, simple and powerful. Rabia lived in the 8th century and was known to have said that the veil was a "hindrance to the vision of Allah". She was a mystic, a Sufi. The Sufis at several times in history suffered from persecution. When asked where she came and where she was going, Rabia said, "From the other World... to the other World". She was said to "pray all night, sleep briefly before dawn and on the rise again just as dawn tinged the sky with gold."