Very little is know of the life of the Persian mystic Mohammad Shirin Maghribi (1349-1406? CE). He was a native of the province of Tabriz, and died there, perhaps in a battle between Turkish and Timurid armies, although this is uncertain. He used the pen-name ‘Maghribi’, (meaning ‘of the west’, and by extension, referring to the western portion of the Muslim empire, North- and North-West Africa) which may have some connection with his respect for the Sufi master Ibn Arabi, who came from al-Andalus. In the poem below, urging the shedding of pretence and honest simplicity, he uses the image of the drop and the ocean. This is a metaphor that was very dear to Hazrat Inayat Khan; consider this verse from Vadan, Gamakas:
When I open my eyes to the outer world
I feel myself as a drop in the sea;
but when I close my eyes and look within
I see the whole universe as a bubble raised in the ocean of my heart.
You are a Drop
You are a drop, speak not of the ocean.
You are an atom, speak not of the mighty Sun.
You are of today, speak of today;
Speak not of yesterday or tomorrow.
Since you know not of earth and sky
Talk no more of above or below.
Since you do not have musical talent,
Speak not of tune or tone.
Go beyond No and Yes, my son;
Speak not of bearing witness
With La or Illa*, my son.
If they ask you to sacrifice yourself
Go and give it up, and do not speak;
Till you understand who ‘I’ and ‘We’ are,
Be quiet; speak not of ‘We’ and ‘I’.
Unless, like Adam, you know the true Names
Do not speak about the sacred Names.
He who is the essence of Everything,
He asked Maghribi not to speak of Things.
*Referring to the phrase of the Zikar.
Tr. Mahmood Jamal