Take away the words of the devil
O God, take away the words of the devil
That mix with my prayer--
If not, then take my prayer as it is, devil and all.
I have loved Thee with two loves -
a selfish love and a love that is worthy of Thee.
As for the love which is selfish,
Therein I occupy myself with Thee,
to the exclusion of all others.
But in the love which is worthy of Thee,
Thou dost raise the veil that I may see Thee.
Yet is the praise not mine in this or that,
But the praise is to Thee in both that and this.
- Rabia al Basri
In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?
Daniel Ladinsky writes:
When Rabia was quite young she was separated from her parents, and while wandering homeless was stolen and sold into slavery. Because of her remarkable beauty she was bought by a brothel for a huge amount of money. She was both physically and sexually abused from an early age, and it is said that this may be a source of her erotic poetry. She wrote, "What a place for trials and transformations did my Lover out me, but never once did He look upon me as I were impure. Dear Sisters, all we do in this world, whatever happens, is bringing us closer to God."
IN MY SOUL
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I kneel.
Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.
Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
where ecstasy gets poured into itself
where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,
that dissolve, that
It is said that when Hazrat Rabia would not come to attend the sermons of Hazrat Hasan Basri, he would deliver no discourse that day. People in the audience asked him why he did that. He replied: “The syrup that is held by the vessels meant for the elephants cannot be contained in the vessels meant for the ants.”