Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sayings of Abū Yazīd Bisṭāmī

    [Arabic, 9th century]

دخلت إلى أبي يزيد فسرّني بقاؤه واستفدتُ منه. ثم قال لي في وقت خروجي من عنده:
يا متقرّئ ! أنظر إن أعطاك كل ما أعطى الأنبياء، فقل: أريدك، لا أريد غيرك.

I went to the house of Abū Yazīd. His company delighted me and I benefited much from him. Then, as I was about to leave his place, he said to me: “O seeker! Even if He had given you all that He gave to the prophets, say: ‘I want You, I want only You.’”

توبة الناس من ذنوبهم وتوبتي من قولي: لا إله إلا اللّٰه.
إني أقول بالآلة والحروف، والحق خارج عن الحروف والآلة.

People repent of their sins. As for me, I repent of saying: “There is no god but God.” For I say so with the tongue and with letters; while the Real is beyond letters, beyond the tongue.

أعرفه بي حتى فنيت، ثم عرفته به فحييت.

I knew Him through myself until I ceased to be; then I knew Him through Him, and I came to life.

من نظر إلى الناس بالعلم مقتهم؛ ومن نظر إلى الناس بالحقيقة رحمهم.

Whoever looks at people with the eye of knowledge abhors them; whoever looks at them with the eye of the Real has compassion for them.

من نظر إلى الخلق بالخلق أبغضهم؛ ومن نظر إلى الخلق بالخالق رحمهم.

Whoever looks at creatures with the eye of the creature loathes them; whoever looks at them with the eye of the Creator has compassion for them.

رأيت ربّ العزة في المنام، فقول لي: كل الناس يطلبون مِنّي، غير أنك تطلبني.

I saw the Lord of Glory in a dream. He said to me: “Everyone asks favours from Me, while you ask only for Me.”

سئل أبو يزيد: كيف عرف اللّٰه؟ فقال للسائل: لو عرفت لما كنت تسألني عنه. 
ومن لم يعرف اللّٰه فلا يعرف قول العارف. ومن عرف اللّٰه يستغن عن السَؤال.

Abū Yazīd was asked: “How have you come to know God?” He replied: “If you had known Him you would not ask me about Him. Whoever has not known God cannot fathom the words of the knower, and whoever knows God does not need to ask.”

من تكلم في الأزل يحتاج أن يكون معه سراج الأزل.

Whoever speaks of eternity must be lit by the lantern of eternity.

عرج قلبي إلى السماء، وطاف ودار ورجع فقلت: أيش جبت معك ؟ قال: المحبة والرضا.

My heart ascended to Heaven. It roamed and wandered about, and then returned. I said: “What have you brought back?” It said: “Love and acceptance.”

عرفتُ اللّٰه باللّٰه، وعرفتُ ما دون اللّٰه بنور اللّٰه.

I have known God by God, and I have known what is not God by the light of God.

غلّقت الملوك أبوابها وبابُك مفتوح لمن دعاك يا اللّٰه !

Kings bar their doors, but Your door remains open to those who call on You, O God!

ربّ افهمني عنك فإني لا أفهم عنك إلا بك.

Lord, make me understand who You are, for I cannot understand You except by You.

[my translations]

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