The Sweetness of Life – al-Ghawth Shaykh Abu Madyan

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

 

ما لَذَّةُ العيش إلا صحبةُ الفُقرَا

هم السَّلاطينُ والسَّاداتُ و الأُمَرَا

1. The sweetness of life is only tasted in the companionship of the fuqara’

They are the sultans, the lords and rulers.

فاصحَبهمُ وتأدَّب في مجالسِهم

وخلِّ حظَّك مهما قدَّموكَ ورَا

2. So keep their company and have etiquette in their gatherings

And cast away any desire for personal gain, even if they honour you

و استَغنمِ الوقتَ واحضُر دائماً معهم

واعلم بأنّ الرّضى يختَصّ من حضرا

3. Profit from your time and be constantly in their presence

And know that (Divine) pleasure is solely for those present

ولازِمِ الصَّمتَ إلاّ إن ئ سُلتَ فقل

لا علمَ عندي، وكُن بالجَهلِ مُستَتِرَا

4. Be constantly silent, unless you are questioned, in which case say:

“No knowledge have I,” and conceal yourself with ignorance

ولا تَرَ العَيبَ إلاَّ فيكَ مُعتَقِدًا

عيباً بدا بيِّنًا لكنَّه اسْتَتَرا

5. Do not witness deficiencies in other than yourself, and believe

Your deficiencies to be manifest, although they have been concealed

وحُطَّ رأسَكَ واستغفِر بِلا سببٍ

وقُم على قدمِ الإنصافِ مُعتَذِرَا

6. Lower your head and seek forgiveness without (apparent) cause

Be just in your judgement of yourself and seek pardon

وإن بَدَا منك عَيبٌ فاعترِف وأقِم

وجهَ اعتذارِك عمَّا فيكَ منكَ جَرى

7. If a fault appears in you, acknowledge it

And seek pardon for that which has come forth from within you

وقُل: عُبيدُكمُ أَولَى بِصَفحِكمُ

فسامِحُوا وخُذُوا بالرِّفقِ يا فُقَرا

8. Say: “Your small slave is most worthy of your forgiveness

So excuse me and be gentle with me, O fuqara’!”

هُم بالتَّفضُّلِ أَولى وهو شِيمتهُم

فلا تخَف دَرَكاً مِنهُم ولا ضَرَرا

9. They are truly people of generosity, and it is their nature

So do not fear from them harm or punishment

وبالتَّفَتِّي على الإخوانِ جُد أبدا

ح سا ومعنًى وغُضَّ الطَّرفَ إن عَثَرَا

10. In magnanimity towards the brothers be forever limitless

In things material and spiritual and avert your gaze if one of them stumbles

ورَاقبِ الشَّيخَ في أحوالهِ فعَسى

يُرَى عليكَ مِن استِحسَانِهِ أثَرَا

11. Observe the Shaykh in all his states, perhaps

A trace of his approval will be seen upon you

وقَدِّمِ الجِدَّ وانهَضْ عندَ خِدمَتِهِ

عساهُ يرضَى وحاذِر أنْ تَكُن ضَجِرَا

12. Display earnestness and be eager in his service

Perhaps he will be pleased (with you) and beware of being discontent

فَفِي رِضاهُ رِضَا الباري وطاعتِهِ

يرضَى عَليكَ فَكُن مِن تَركِهَا حَذِرَا

13. For in his pleasure and obedience is the pleasure of the Creator

He is content with you, so beware of leaving it.

واعلَم بأنَّ طريقَ ا ق لومِ دَارِسَةٌ

وحالُ مَن يدَّعِيها اليومَ كيفَ تَرَى

14. Know that the Way of the Folk no longer exists

And that the state of the one who claims to be upon it today is as you see

متى أراهُم وأنَّى لي بِرُؤيَتِهم

أو تسمَعُ الأذنُ منِّي عنهمُ خَبرَا

15. When shall I see them, and how may I see them

Or my ear hear news of them?

مَن لِي وأنَّى لِمثلِي أنْ يزاحمَهم

على مَوارِدَ لَم أُلَفِ بها كَدَرَا

16. Who am I and how can someone like me share with them

In drinking from springs in which I find no impurity?

أُحِبُّهم وأُدارِيهِم وأُوثِرُهم

بِمُهجتِي وخصُوصاً منهمُ نفرَا

17. I love them, seek to please them and prefer them

Over my own self, specifically a group amongst them.

قومٌ كرامُ السَّجايا حيثُما جَلسُوا

يبقَى المكانُ على آثارِهِم عَطِرَا

18. They are a folk noble in character, wherever they sit

That place remains fragrant from their traces

يُهدِي التَّصوُّفُ مِن أخلاقِهم طُرفًا

حُسنُ التَّآلُفِ منهُم رَاقنِي نَظَرا

19. Tasawwuf bestows (upon the seeker) a choice portion of their noble attributes

The intimacy which they display is a joy for me to behold

هُمْ أهلُ وُدِّي وأحبابي الذينَ همُ

مِمّن يجرُّ ذيولَ العِزِّ مُفتَخِرَا

20. They are the ones for whom I reserve my affection, my loved ones

Who proudly bear the honour with which they have been invested.

لا زالَ شَملِي بِهم في اللهِ مُجتمِعًا

وذنبُنا فيهِ مَغفورًا ومُغتَفَرا

21. (I ask) that I am constantly united with them for Allah’s sake

And that our transgressions (against Him) be forgiven and pardoned

ثمَّ الصَّلاةُ على المختارِ سيِّدِنا

محمَّدٍ خيرِ مَن أوفَى ومَن نَذَرَا

22. Then may blessings be bestowed upon the Chosen One, Our Master

Muhammad, the best of those who fulfil their vows.

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