Ali Salami

Rumi: Ghazal 28 [The Color of God]

O sovereign of our flesh and spirit, O enchantress who lures forth our laughter and reveals our splendor, O who adorns our gaze with kohl, O radiance that illuminates our inner eye.

O fair one, at thy splendor even the moon trembles when it beholds thy splendor; our life-blood is an offering for thy affection; at the sight of thee my heart proclaims, ‘Trial returns. The trial returns.’

We have become playthings of your whim, bending to the unpredictable swing of your mallet, which sweeps us sometimes to rejoicing and revelry, sometimes to misfortune and despair.

Sometimes you lure us into slumber, sometimes you wake us up to reflect; sometimes you hurl us into the realm of being, sometimes into the vastness of nothingness.

And he, who is bound to his ruler, sometimes shows his gratitude, sometimes breaks out in lamentation and reviles his fate. Sometimes he serves Layla, sometimes he revels as a bacchanal of the divine and rages in heavenly ecstasy.

You have driven the soul mad. Sometimes you charm it with loneliness, sometimes you plunge it into boasting and duplicity.

Sometimes it longs for gold, sometimes it dives into the earth, sometimes it imagines itself a ruler, sometimes it dresses in the patchwork of a beggar.

What a strange tree it is, sometimes bearing apples, sometimes pumpkins, sometimes poison, sometimes sweetness, sometimes sickness, sometimes healing.

What a mysterious river that turns sometimes into water, sometimes into blood, sometimes into purple wine, sometimes into milk, sometimes into healing honey.

Sometimes it fills the heart with wisdom, sometimes it tears it out and throws it from the breast; sometimes it attains sublimity, sometimes it perceives everything as misfortune.

One moment it rises as a prince like Mohammed, the next it turns into a beast, then it humbles itself into a cur; now its nature becomes an enemy, now it becomes a relative, a confidant.

Sometimes it is a thorn, sometimes a rose. Sometimes it is vinegar, sometimes wine; sometimes it beats the drum, sometimes it becomes a drum that is beaten and resounds.

Now it longs for mere numbers, now for beautiful spirits; now it wanders around, lost like a stray camel.

Now its ambition dives deep like the well digger, now it searches for riches like Croesus hiding treasures; now it renews itself like Christ ascending to heaven.

In the end, when your favor allows the transition from state to state, from hue to hue unchanged, our Lord truly emerges, enraptured and drenched in a unique hue like the sun at its zenith.

He dives into the depths like a fish and finds his abode and his kingdom in the sea. His grave is also the sea, his shroud; he considers everything else a doom, a torment.

He casts off these colors and enters the dyeing vat of Jesus. The color of the divine becomes visible, and now he submits to the will of God.

He escapes wickedness, life itself, the cycle of ebb and flow. Like a millstone freed from its rotation, he transcends the cycle of arrival and departure.

Verily, we have thrown the gate wide open for you, do not spurn your comrades, we have received your offspring in your place, this is the reward of love.

Indeed, we have girded you tightly, indeed, we have delivered you from your transgressions. You have given thanks to your Lord, all this springs from reason, for gratitude creates peace.

Mustef’iluen mustef’iluen mustef’iluen mustef’iluen; the gate of conversation now closes, henceforth let us say: In silence lies our mending, our comfort.


ای شاه جسم و جان ما خندان کن دندان ما

سرمه کش چشمان ما ای چشم جان را توتیا

ای مه ز اجلالت خجل عشقت ز خون ما بحل

چون دیدمت می‌گفت دل جاء القضا جاء القضا

ما گوی سرگردان تو اندر خم چوگان تو

گه خوانیش سوی طرب گه رانیش سوی بلا

گه جانب خوابش کشی گه سوی اسبابش کشی

گه جانب شهر بقا گه جانب دشت فنا

گه شکر آن مولی کند گه آه واویلی کند

گه خدمت لیلی کند گه مست و مجنون خدا

جان را تو پیدا کرده‌ای مجنون و شیدا کرده‌ای

گه عاشق کنج خلا گه عاشق رو و ریا

گه قصد تاج زر کند گه خاک‌ها بر سر کند

گه خویش را قیصر کند گه دلق پوشد چون گدا

طرفه درخت آمد کز او گه سیب روید گه کدو

گه زهر روید گه شکر گه درد روید گه دوا

جویی عجایب کاندرون گه آب رانی گاه خون

گه باده‌های لعل گون گه شیر و گه شهد شفا

گه علم بر دل برتند گه دانش از دل برکند

گه فضل‌ها حاصل کند گه جمله را روبد بلا

روزی محمدبک شود روزی پلنگ و سگ شود

گه دشمن بدرگ شود گه والدین و اقربا

گه خار گردد گاه گل گه سرکه گردد گاه مل

گاهی دهلزن گه دهل تا می‌خورد زخم عصا

گه عاشق این پنج و شش گه طالب جان‌های خوش

این سوش کش آن سوش کش چون اشتری گم کرده جا

گاهی چو چه کن پست رو مانند قارون سوی گو

گه چون مسیح و کشت نو بالاروان سوی علا

تا فضل تو راهش دهد وز شید و تلوین وارهد

شیاد ما شیدا شود یک رنگ چون شمس الضحی

چون ماهیان بحرش سکن بحرش بود باغ و وطن

بحرش بود گور و کفن جز بحر را داند وبا

زین رنگ‌ها مفرد شود در خنب عیسی دررود

در صبغه الله رو نهد تا یفعل الله ما یشا

رست از وقاحت وز حیا وز دور وز نقلان جا

رست از برو رست از بیا چون سنگ زیر آسیا

انا فتحنا بابکم لا تهجروا اصحابکم

نلحق بکم اعقابکم هذا مکافات الولا

انا شددنا جنبکم انا غفرنا ذنبکم

مما شکرتم ربکم و الشکر جرار الرضا

مستفعلن مستفعلن مستفعلن مستفعلن

باب البیان مغلق قل صمتنا اولی بنا


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