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The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, by Ibn al-Arabi, tr. Reynold A. Nicholson, [1911], at


1. Oh, is there any way to the damsels bright and fair? And is there anyone who will show me their traces?

2. And can I halt at night beside the tents of the curving sand? And can I rest at noon in the shade of the arák trees?

3. The tongue of inward feeling spoke, informing me that she says, 'Wish for that which is attainable.'

4. My love for thee is whole, O thou end of my hopes, and because of that love my heart is sick.

5. Thou art exalted, a full moon rising over the heart, a moon that never sets after it hath risen.

6. May I be thy ransom, O thou who art glorious in beauty and pride! for thou hast no equal amongst the fair.

7. Thy gardens are wet with dew and thy roses are blooming,

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and thy beauty is passionately loved: it is welcome to all.

8. Thy flowers are smiling and thy boughs are fresh: wherever they bend, the winds bend towards them.

9. Thy grace is tempting and thy look piercing: armed with it the knight, affliction, rushes upon me.


1. 'The damsels bright and fair,' i.e. the knowledge derived from the manifestations of His Beautiful Name.

2. 'The tents of the curving sand,' i.e. the stations of Divine favour.

'The shade of the arák trees,' i.e. contemplation of the pure and holy Presence.

3. This station is gained only by striving and sincere application, not by wishing. 'Travel that thou mayst attain' (###).

5. 'A moon that never sets,' etc.: he points out that God never manifests Himself to anything and then becomes veiled from it afterwards.

7. 'Thy gardens are wet with dew,' i.e. all Thy creatures are replenished by the Divine qualities which are revealed to them.

'Thy roses are blooming,' in reference to a particular manifestation which destroys every blameworthy quality.

'It is welcome,' i.e. it is loved for its essence (###).

8. 'Thy flowers,' etc., i.e. Thy knowledge is welcome to the heart.

'Thy boughs,' i.e. the spiritual influences which convey Thy knowledge (###).

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