Telling My Hoopoe

Zainab Hussain Haeri

When I'm generous with my life
I'll make light of it to be delivered from myself
I'll seek perfection in far places
And shun passing Love.

For my real desire is to dwell
In the palace of the King
The seat of truth for my heart
Where my soul shall live in eternity.

The King is Unique in Power
To Him belongs the mountain Kaf
Beyond which I'll strive to reach my Beloved
Without whom nothing lives.

All that lives, lives by water
Which is without loyalty, so I trust it not
To give me what I desire
If what I desire is Union with Him.

Preferring Him to my own life
Means a lifelong struggle with myself
To make my heart a bright mirror
Fit to reflect Him.

Love is a cruel pain that devours everything
And loving truly means forgetting myself
With Love comes sorrow, bleeding hearts and difficult things
To be suffered deep in the marrow of my being.

He promises an open door to spiritual poverty
When Love can renounce faith, religion and unbelief
And when body and soul will disappear
Making way for worthyness to His mysteries.

Then Love grows in torment
For He has stolen my heart
And I can either claim it back
Or hope He accepts my Love.

Now with my heart full of Love for Him
I can begin the journey to the palace of the king
All I need is a guide whom I'll obey
From my heart making it an ocean of Love.

This ocean of Love will lend me
The strength to withdraw
From the attachments of this world
Not forgetting even the smallest thing.

But how can I save my soul
When the dog of desire hinders
My acquisition of spiritual qualities
And the thief in me is my own enemy.

With my heart on fire with passion
I'm still attached to visible things
Which can only bring me suffering and sorrow
Blinding me to spiritual things.

I will put my feet in the way of God
Seeking His celestial court
And let Him guide each of my atoms
Along with each breath given by Him.

Then perchance I shall reach a state of contentment
Having learned through Love to accept
And by selling my soul to Him
I will share in His qualities forever.

When I submit in obedience on this path
I'll be delivered from my own deceptions
In times of trials and ordeals
So that I may come to know myself.

Then if I strive in this way
With my whole heart in tranquillity
Dying to all things of this world one by one
I'll set myself free.

For then the bird of my soul will acquire wings
And be lifted by faith above temporal and spiritual things
Through aspiration to soar to God
Giving to my heart and reason ecstasy of my soul.

To be Mahram of the secrets of God
I must be fearless from Love and be bold
So as to see the Lord in all
And never cease to think of Him.

I will send a single sigh of Love
To carry the perfume of my heart
To the palace of the King
The place consecrated to the essence of the soul.

As a lover I must be patient
And strive in hope and let reason disappear
Then good and evil will cease to exist
Yet the pain of separation I must endure.

When I'm in possession of Real knowledge
It will be a jewel in my hand
Burning like a lamp
To guide me in this unlit place.

Yet there is no limit to this Journey
And no remedy for Love
Therefore now is the time for working
Instead of living in uncertainty.

To be immersed in the Ocean of Unity
'I' and 'Thou' has no significance
For I see no one other than Him
And He is both existence and non-existence.

My Love is so deep
Making my heart both full and empty
I am in Love but with whom?
What shall I do?

O my heart, if you wish to arrive
At the palace of the King
Be nothing and annihilate yourself
And melt in the fire of Love.

Having crossed seven oceans of Light
And seven oceans of fire
Travelling a very long road
To reach the door or His Majesty.

I'm on fire with Love
Having given my heart to the flame
So will He lift up the reason of my soul
Giving me contentment and union with Him.

Will His door open
And the hundred curtains be drawn aside
One after the other
Revealing to me a new world.

May the Light of Lights be manifested
To give me contentment and peace
So that I can enter new life
Free from all that was me.

Now that I am nothing
And the world no longer binds me
I need not retire from the world
But be in it and not of it.

Added May 2, 2004

The poem was read at the ASK conference in April 2004. It has been contributed to Nuradeen by Zainab Hussain Haeri