Saturday, 19 February 2011

From the Dīwān of Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī, may Allah have mercy on him (2)

There's no veil between the asker and his Lord

A door will open if a door is closed
    Yes, and difficult matters will be made easy

One's state will be expanded
    After the vastness of the roads have become narrow

With concern there are two eases, so take it easy
    For concern has no benefit, neither does depression

How often does one become fed up with giving
    From that amount nothing is seen that can be feared

How many hailstones do you fear from the clouds
    Then you are restored to health, and the clouds move away from you

How much provision has come to you, without you coming to it
    Sleepless nights have no seekers

How many are far from their families; strangers
    After despair, they are given the opportunity to return

How many are saved from the sea after
    The foam of a mighty wave had overwhelmed them

If there is a barrier between the people and the one asking
    Indeed there is no barrier between the asker and his Lord

The one who pleads is recompensed with favour
    The one who pleads is always answered

Don't grieve today over what has passed
    From Him you have pleasure and reward

It must be from what is written
    In your book, either bringing joy or affliction

Who can prevent what is in your book,
    And who can bring about what is not in your book?

If you are not abandoning life’s adornments,
     When someone brings them he is held in suspicion,

You find yourself in situations in which
      Arrows are coming at you in succession

Understand your times and adopt a middle position
      For indeed this time of yours is a punishment

Reduce your blame of those who
      Are blamed when they deserve to be blamed

People have gone altogether, showing
     Nothing but their vices; dogs are exalted

The masses of humanity meet with you
     And greetings of peace from a slave from amongst them is a rebuke

So be good, as the free person does not approve,
     Protect them while staying away from them

For indeed Allah has no need of them, He is free
      And if not, then this is indeed the most astonishing test

If you are confused about two meanings,
      You don’t know right from wrong

So leave what is in your desires,
      For indeed desires drive souls towards that which is shameful.

[Translated from the Dīwān of Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī, p.29-30, Dār Al-Kutub Al-ʿIlmiyyah, Beirut, 1984]

Biography of Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī [d.204 AH/810 AD]:
D. 204 AH/819 AD. Known as the reviver and renewer of Islam in his era, Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī was the first of all the absolute mujtahids to write down a book explaining how to derive rulings in a systematic and cogent way. A direct descendant of the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muḥammad, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, and raised in the shadow of Masjid al-Aqṣā and the Sacred Masjid of Makkah, his knowledge of deriving furūʿ (branches) from Usūl (foundations) was second to none. It is for this reason that any faqīh after him owes a debt to him, for making fiqh an easier exercise to partake in for the scholar.

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