Fariduddin Attar: The Path of Love

Fariduddin Attar is the pen name of Abu Hamid bin Abu Bakr Ibrahim (1145-1221 CE) who spent most of his life in Nishapur, in north-east Persia.  He was an apothecary (attar) by trade, but is remembered for an abundance of beautiful mystical poetry, including the Mantiq al Tayr or Conference of the Birds.

The path of Love is without end;
If you value life, then stay away.

If you give your life, then learn,
A thousand are given in return.

He who shies away and saves his life
Shall be forever regretful of his fate.

Love of the Beloved enters my heart,
Announces that tonight is the night.

If your heart is annihilated for your Beloved,
Then peace is being restless and distraught.

Your first step in the field of Love
Is to be slain or reach the cross!

And then you will be burnt, so you can see
That the light of Love shines in the fire’s heart.

And when you become ashes and dust,
Then you will dance reflected by the Sun.

Fariduddin Attar
Tr. Mahmood Jamal


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