Al-Nay Illahi: The Divine Flute
bismi‘llah ir-rahman ir-rahim
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
I speak with the Tongue of the Presence
of the Highest Divine Essence:
Follow Our order and We raise for you all the veils;
And We thereby give acceptance to all who love Us.
Come to Us and find shelter at Our side;
To protect you from the evils of Our creation.
Be humble and lowly under Our protection, and be sincere toward Us;
Then you will meet with happiness and fulfillment.
Leave to Us the whole affair in all that it entails;
For there is neither nearness nor separation except by Our order.
Do not oppose Us in any matter;
Everyone whom We wanted We loved so that he could love Us.
It is proclaimed in all the creation that We love him;
And all the creation hears and obeys the order of Our beloved.
And he is dressed in the garments of dignity;
Because he stood with humility and lowliness
at the door of Our greatness and might.
And We raised for him the veils and permitted him to look upon Us;
And We gave him the secret of Our secrets.
How to arrive, O seeker, to the path of God?
Take hold firmly of the reins of Our love and take advantage of the night;
And so you will benefit from the time of Our nearness.
And rise in the watches of the night;
For the night is the appointed time for him who wants to reach his Love.
Take advantage of it to reach Us;
For the night is but a means for the one who is intent on reaching his Beloved;
And a raceway, so advance and you will reach the goal.
And move toward Us in the night, fearing nothing;
Stay in the remembrance, for in the steadfastness of remembrance,
the inner peace is to be found.
Do not let anything distract you from the remembrance of Us;
And make Our face the intention of your remembrance.
Do not forget the covenant We made with you in the beginning;
For We inscribed it, with your consent.
Do not forget the favors We have bestowed upon you.
You ignored them before, when you were ignorant;
Yet, through the knowledge which We have given you,
you can know, and you can know Us well.
Do not forget anything that We have bestowed upon you;
You must be trustful, and you must not break Our covenant.
We ordered you to come to Us obediently, but you slackened;
So We sent for you the best of messengers.
We have sufficed and enriched you more than other people;
So do not turn in any other direction but Ours.
You forgot Us, but We reminded you;
Do you not remember Our benevolence and do you forget Our favors?
We found you destitute and so We said to you, “Ask Us and We will accept you”;
But you rejected what We sent.
We bestowed upon you the best of things, but you turned away;
Can you find anyone who will fulfill your desires, apart from Us?
You asked Us and We gave you more than you needed;
You disobeyed Us, but We gave you chances because of Our clemency.
We forgave you and We gave you whatever you needed charitably;
We showed you a way full of clemency, and We forgave your faults.
We call you with kindness, but you act in the opposite way,
Although We know you and have chosen you for Our slaves.
Have you no shame? What you have wrought is enough.
Are you not afraid of our chastisement when you come before Us?
Has not the time come to abandon your mistakes, to return to Us,
And to see the fulfillment of Our promise?
Our lovers chose love as their faith;
And they do not resist Our way, the way of love.
We said to the lovers in a retreat of deep surrender,
“We gave you sight to behold Us and thereby to unveil you,
and to fill you with Our infinite beauty.”
If you saw Our beauty as Our beloveds have seen it,
You would not have fled to any other.
If you had seen Our lights,
You would have left all others and come to us.
And if you had been touched by the breezes of Our nearness,
You would have loved Us and yearned to dwell with Us.
And if you had tasted a morsel of Our love,
You would have forgiven those who died for Our love.
And if you had heard the beauty of Our voice,
You would have shed your pride and come to Us lovingly,
obediently and humbly in order to obtain security in Our sacred presence.
We receive any person who comes to Us obediently;
And We remove from him misery, distress and despair.
And if he moves away from Us, he loses his way and his faith;
He would find rejection, and would not achieve his aim.
But the one who loves Us must be steadfast
And patient in what We decree.
Our Love is not easy;
And who claims it to be so,
We tell him that he does not know it completely.
The easiest way in love is to be slain;
For forsaking Us is more difficult than being slain.
This is the way in which We speak to Our lovers;
What excuses do you have to make to Us?
The most special lovers said, in a humble and obedient way,
“We like to be slain in the battle of love.
“We will accept no ransom but Your nearness;
Yet we will be satisfied by a fleeting glance from You.
“Our intention is to make You feel satisfied with us;
And everyone says that You are our sustenance.
“We found You before and after birth,
To be the most generous lover we ever had.
“You gathered us in the wombs with Your kindness;
And Your protection is our greatest support.
“You made our mothers’ bellies our beds;
And You took responsibility for us in our weakness.
“You gave all mothers calmness to have mercy on us;
For You made our sustenance flow into their breasts.
“You raised us as little children;
And through Your compassion, made our tongues say, ‘You are our Lord.’
“You made this known for us, so we are always thankful;
For finding our way through Your inspiration.
“You have inspired and instructed us by true Islam;
And You have mercy upon us.
“Muhammad is sent to all creatures on this earth as a mercy for them;
Yea! He is their salvation.
“Yea, he is a messenger who came to save the people,
and who brought a straight religion;
He is our secret order.
“By our obedience to him, we are the first to attain,
and we have reached safety, have won our happiness, and quenched our thirst.
“He is our guide, God’s mercy be upon him, our goodness and our shelter;
On the Day of Judgment and Resurrection.”
Ibn al Rifa’i said, singing with the Tongue of the Essence of Allah,
“Follow Our orders and We will raise Our veils for you.”