Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Poetry of Imam Khomeini.

The Sufi Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri in his autobiographical work "Son of Karbala , The Spiritual Journey of an Iraqi Muslim" describes his meeting with Imam Khomeini. In that chapter he provides a translation of one of Khomeini's Sufi inspired Irfani poems. That Khomeini had an interest in Sufism/ Irfan will probably come as a surprise to many and I wanted share the poem to shed light on this aspect of his worldview.

"Oh, I desire a cup of wine from the Beloved's own hands.
In whom can I confide this secret?
Where am I to take my grief?
I have yearned a lifetime to see the Beloved's face;
I am a frenzied moth circling a flame,
A wild rue seed pod roasting in the fire.
See my stained cloak and this prayer-rug of hypocrisy;
Can I , one day, tear them to shreds at the tavern door? "
- Imam Khomeini

You can purchase "Son Of Karbala" here.

::EDIT:: Feb 5 O9 .
Found translations of some of his other poems!


Oh my Beloved!
After witnessing your Infinite Beauty
I become entangled.
Seeing, the manifestation of Your Glory
I become saturated with joy and ecstasy.
I forget my own existence
and proclaimed the slogan - "I am the truth",
and like the Mansoor Hallaj
volunteered my self for hanging.
The agony and pain of your love
has burnt my entire existence.
That I become fed up with my own self,
and my affairs become the talks of the town.
Let the doors of the tavern be opened,
and let us go there day and night.
Because, I become disgusted with the Mosque
as well as the School.
I took off the dress of asceticism and dissimulation.
And become awakened
after wearing the robe of a tavern's haunter.
The town's preacher with his preaching
made me uncomfortable
Therefore I sought refuge in some on who was inwardly
upright but outwardly lewd.


O for the day
That I be the dust of his way
That I give up life for him
That his true lover I stay
O for the day
That a cup soul- stirring
I get from his kind hand
And, forgetting both worlds
Be chained to his hair's strand
O for the dayThat my head be at his feet
Kissing till life's time is up
And I be, till doomsday
Drunken from his cup
O for the dayThat I burn like a lover
Always for him and gaze
At his sweet face
In drunkard's daze
O for the day
That I be fully drunk
In drunkard's fold
And come to know all
Its secrets untold
O for the day
That I have at bed's end
My Joseph's merriment
And if not, like Jacob
Be enamored of his scent
- Imam Khomeini

For more information on the influence of Irfan and Islamic Mysticism on the worldview of Imam Khomeini:

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