I know nothing, I understand nothing
I am unaware of myself.
I am in love, but with whom I do not know.
My heart is at the same time both full and empty of love.
During my writing, I realised that my outpouring was a sort of meditation on sūra al-Fātiḥa, the first chapter of the Qurʾān. For those who are interested, I will include the text of this chapter at the end. It feels amazing and sacred to me how I’m starting to process the Qurʾān from within, separate from any dogma which can grow so stale and removed from daily life. Islam was very important to me for a few years and although I don’t think I can ever go back to how I was then, that tradition continues to whisper to my core. I continue to take an active interest in Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam to which that magical poet Rumi belonged. I do not know where life will take me, but I want to surrender to the Source of Love and His/Her infinite mercy.
How far away from me you seem.
My heart is hurting from not knowing
you near me, from the absolute silence
during the night, pressing upon me
and from the mindless chatter of a world in
overdrive, during the day.
I want to know You, but I know You
are shy. You do not appear where you are
not welcome, where lips don’t mutter
Your name. So many names you have and
even then we forget! Pray, make me wakeful
to Your splendid love and do not let me
be amongst those who turn You away, blind
to their abundant and wonderous blessings
and cursing at what their hands have made.
Let me be amongst those who recognise You wherever
You appear, whether by a gentle, imperceptible touch
or the fierce storm that cleans out all the dirt and illusions
of people gone astray.
O gentle one, You who know me better than
I know myself. Fully, without the blind spots
that I have. You give sight, so let me see.
My Beloved, I do not exist without You
and the whole of my existence longs for You.
Every breath sings Your praise, O Sustainer of Life.
Please come near me, O shy one, and open my
eyes to all the idols I bow to instead of You.
Al-Fātiḥa (The Opening)
First chapter of the Qurʾān
In the name of God, Merciful to all, Compassionate to each!
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds:
Merciful to all,
Compassionate to each!
Lord of the Day of Judgement.
It is You we worship, and upon You we call for help.
Guide us to the straigth path,
The path of those upon whom Your grace abounds,
Not those upon whom anger falls,
Nor those who are lost.
Translation by Tarif Khalidi