Bibi Hayati Kermani was born in the early 19th c. in a Sufi family in the Kerman province of south-eastern Iran. She was raised by her brother, who guided her early spiritual development, and then took initiation with Shaikh Nur Ali Shah, of the Nimatullahi Order, whom she later married. She published her mystical poetry at her husband’s request. Bibi Hayati was also known in her community for feeding the hungry.
Before there was a trace of this world of men,
I carried the memory of a lock of your hair,
A stray end gathered within me, though unknown.
Inside that invisible realm,
Your face like the sun longed to be seen,
Until each separate object was finally flung into light.
From the moment of Time’s first-drawn breath,
Love resides in us,
A treasure locked into the heart’s hidden vault;
Before the first seed broke open the rose bed of Being,
An inner lark soared through your meadows,
Heading toward Home.
What can I do but thank you, one hundred times?
Your face illumines the shrine of Hayati’s eyes,
Constantly present and lovely.