Islamic Poems

Address to God

By Sheik Saadi Shirazi

I begin in the name of the Lord, the Ruler of the World, the Creator of souls,

The Sage; One Who endowed the tongue with speech.

The Lord, Who is Bountiful and assisteth.;

The Merciful One, Who pardoneth faults and accepteth apologies.


A King from Whose door whosoever turneth away his head;

At no other door to which he betaketh himself obtaineth he any honour.

The heads of exalted Kings

Are laid at His Shrine, on the dust of humility.


He doth not, on the instant, seize the forward,

Nor doth He with sterness expel the contrite

And though He be angry at an evil deed,

When thou doth repenteth, He cancelleth

What is pass out of the book of Sin.


If one seeketh a quarrel with his father,

That father, doubtless, gets much enraged.

And if a kinsman is dissatisfied with his kinsman,

He drives him from his presence, as he would a stranger.


And if the sharp slave is not attentive to his work,

His master doth not hold him dear.

If thou art not kind to thy friends,,

They remove themselves a farsang from thee.


And if a soldier desert his service,

The King, the head of the army, is quit of him.

But the God of the Heavens and the Earth

Shutteth not the door of sustenance for his sin on anyone.


The two worlds (present and future) are as a drop in the ocean of His Knowledge.

He beholds sins, but out of compassion, He conceals them.

The (Adim) surface of the earth is the tablecloth of his feast;

At this universal banquet, whether enemies (infidels) or friends (the faithful) are fed, it matters not.


But for the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth

Who could have obtained safety from the hand of tyranny?

His nature is free from the imputation from being either contrary or homogenial.

His Kingdom is independent of the worship of genii and men.


All living things and creatures are obedient to His Mandate

Whether man or fowl, or ant or fly.

So universally hath He spread the tray of His bounty,

That even the Simurghi of the Caucasus eat its allotted portion.


The Benevlent One, Dispenser of Bounties, Director of Actions,

Protector of the People, and the Knower of Serets.

To Him only are greatness and self-esteem suitable,

For His Kingdom is of old, and His nature independent.


On the head of one He places the crown of fortune.

Another He brings down from the throne to the dust.

On the head of one He puts the cap of posterity’

The blanket of adversity on the body of another.


He converts the furnace into a rose garden for His friend (Abraham),

And through the waters of the Nile, He conveys a crowd of men to the Fire (of Hell).


If that (making the fire a rose garden) is the mandate of His Kindness,

And if this (the destruction of Farun –Pharoah – in the Nile) is the Royal Signet of His order.


He seeth evil deeds (committed) behind the curtain (that is, in secret),

And likewise, out of His Goodness, concealeth them.

If with menace He draweth the sword of authority,

The cherubin remain deaf and dumb.


And if, from the tray of generosity, He bestoweth victuals,

(Even) Satan says: “I take away my portion”

At the court of His Goodness and Majesty

The great ones laid aside their greatness.


To those who are destitute, He is near in compassion,

And accepts the prayers of those who make supplication to Him.

His presence foresees events not yet come to pass,

And His Goodness is informed as to unspoken secrets.


He protecteth Heaven and Earth  by His power,

(He is) the Lord of the Court of the Day of Judgment.

The back of no one can do without (bending to) His devotion,

Nor can anyone point a finger (to criticize) His words.


The Ancient Doer of Goodness and Approver of Goodness

Who,, with the pen of fate painteth figures in the womb.

The moon, and the sun, from East to West, He has set in motion

And has spread out the world upon water.

When the earth trembled from the violence of the earthquake,

He drove down mountains as nails on its skirt.


He gives to the seed of man a form like a fairy,

Who (besides Him) has made on the water a painting?

He places the ruby and the turquoise in the (backbone) middle of the stone,

 And the red rose on the turquoise- coloured branch.


From the clouds He lets fall a drop in one ocean.

From the loins of the father, He brings the seed into the womb,

From that pearl He makes a shining pearl,

And from this He makes a tall Cypress-like form.


From Him the knowledge of a single atom is not concealed.

For the manifest and the hidden are alike to Him.

He provides daily sustenance for the snake and the ant;

Though they are without hands and feet and without strength.


By His Command, He evolved existence from non-existence,

Who  but He knows how to make the existing from the non-existing?

Again, He carries into obscurity of non-existence

The created, and thence conveys them into the plain of resurrection.


The universe consents to His Divine Power,

Yet is unable to comprehend the substance of His Essence.

Except His Glory mankind know nothing of Him,

Nor can the human vision realize the extent of His Beauty.


The bird of fancy soars not to the height of His existence,

Nor can the hand of understanding reach the skirt of His Glory.

Thousands of boats (of reason) sank (in this whirlpool),

And not even a single plank has been cast on the shore.


How many a night did I sit, lost in this reflection,

When a friend seized my sleeve, saying: “Arise!”

The knowledge of the Lord encircles everything;

Your imaginings cannot encircle Him.

Genius cannot fathom the substance of His nature,

Contemplation cannot arrive at a proper understanding of His attributes.


In eloquence one may attain the excellence of Sahban,

Yet will fail to tell the qualities of the incomparable God.


(The End)





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