Abdullah Ansari: That is Doing Something!

Kwajah Abdullah Ansari (1006-1089 CE) was a very important Sufi in the area of present day Afghanistan, and was known as the Pir of Herat.  These verses are taken from his Song of the Dervish.

O Paradise,
I am not concerned with you: don’t be so long-winded!
O Hell,
I am not afraid of you: don’t tell me about yourself!
What is happiness?
To be concerned with loving God
and to rid oneself of love for Creation.
Do you know who the traveler on the true road is?
He is one who knows what poverty is.


What a happy abode is nothingness!

If you walk on water, you are wet.
If you fly in the air, you are a fly.
Fall in love in order to be somebody!
Fasting to endurance is a way to save on food.
Vigil and prayer is a labor for old women.
The pilgrimage is an occasion for tourism.
To distribute bread in alms is something for philanthropists:
Fall in love:
That is doing something!

The Song of the Dervish
Khwajah Abdullah Ansari
Tr. W. M. Thackston, Jr.

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