Where are you, O God’s martyrs,
O ones who looked for trouble in the Karbala* desert?
Where are you, O impatient lovers,
O ones who fly faster than the birds in the sky?
Where are you, O sultans of the sky,
O ones who know how to open the doors of the sky?
Where are you, O ones who are saved from soul as well as place?
Who could ask the mind questions about where you are
and expect it to answer?
Where are you, O ones who break the door of the dungeon
and free the debtors from jail?
Where are you, O ones who opened the door of the treasure?
Where are you, O ones who became the possessions of the needy?
You are at such an ocean
that this universe is nothing but its foam.
You knew how to swim long before.
The shapes of this world are the foam of that sea.
If you are one of the clean people,
give up the foam.
My heart is exalted, excited that this world came into existence.
If you belong to us,
leave forms and try to reach Essence.
O Shems of Tebriz, rise from the East,
because you are the source of the source of the source of every light.
*This poem is a eulogy to the martyrs of the battle of Karbala. The battle in 680 C.E. in present-day Irag was where Yezid and his 4,000 men murdered Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and slaughtered Husayn’s men who numbered only 70. The battle galvanized the development of the Shia movement. Today, both Shia and Sunni Muslims celebrate the battle as a great tragedy.
Divan-i Kebir, Volume 19, Ghazal 279, verses 2908-2917, pages 145-146.