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(Masnavi Book 5: 01) Proem


 1. The (spiritual) King, Husámuddín, who is the light of the stars, demands the beginning of the Fifth
O Ziyá’u l-Haqq (Radiance of God), noble Husámu’ddín, master to the masters of purity,
If the people were not veiled (from the Truth) and gross, and if their throats (capacities) were not narrow and feeble,
In (my) praise of you I should have done justice to the reality and expressed myself in language other than this;

5. But the falcon's mounthful is not that of the wagtail: now (therefore) recourse must be had to water and oil.
It is wrong to praise you to the prisoners (of sensuality): I will tell (Your praise) in the assembly of the spiritual.
It is fraud to discourse of you to the worldly: I will keep it hidden like the secret of love.
Praise consists in describing (excellent qualities) and in rending the veil (of ignorance): the Sun is independent of exposition and description.
The praiser of the Sun is (really) pronouncing an encomium on himself, for (he says implicitly), My eyes are clear and not inflamed.

10. To blame the Sun of the world is to blame one's self, for (it implies), My eyes are blind and dark and bad.”
Do you pity any one in the world who has become envious of the fortunate Sun.
Can he ever mask it (the Sun) from (men's) eyes and (prevent it) from giving freshness to things rotten? Or can they diminish its infinite light or rise in resistance to its power?
Whosoever is envious of (him who is) the Worldverily, that envy is everlasting death.

15. your dignity has transcended intellectual apprehension: in describing you the intellect has become an idle fool.
(Yet), although this intellect is too weak to declare (what you art), one must weakly make a movement
(attempt) in that (direction).
Know that when the whole of a thing is unattainable the whole of it is not (therefore to be) relinquished. If you cannot drink (all) the flood-rain of the clouds, (yet) how can you give up water-drinking?
If you wilt not communicate the mystery, (at least) refresh (our) apprehensions with the husk thereof.

20. (My) spoken words are (only) a husk in relation to you, but they are a good kernel for other understandings.
The sky is low in relation to the empyrean; else, in respect of the earth-mound, it is exceedingly high.
I will tell your description in order that they (my hearers) may take their way (towards you) ere they grieve at the loss of that (opportunity).
You art the Light of God and a mighty drawer of the soul to God. His creatures are in the darkness of vain imagination and opinion.
Reverence is the necessary condition for this goodly Light to bestow a salve on these sightless ones.

25. The ready sharp-eared man gains the Lighthe who is not in love with darkness like a mouse.
The weak-eyed (bat-like) ones that go about at night, how shall they make a circuit round the Cresset of the
Difficult subtle points of disputation are the chains of (hold in bondage) the nature that has become dark
(blind) to the (true) Religion.
So long as he (such an one) decks out the warp and woof of (his own) cleverness, he cannot open his eyes to the Sun.
He does not lift up branches (to the sky) like a date-palm: he has bored holes in the earth after the fashion of mice.

30. This humankind have four heart-oppressing qualities: these four have become the gibbet of Reason.

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