Sanai: A Hidden Treasure

Hakim Sanai (1080-1131? CE) was a Persian poet and mystic, but very little is known of his life.  It is said that he lived as a poet in the court of Sultan Ibrahim of Ghazna, but was startled into a different way of seeing by a strange event, described in this post.  The verse quoted here is based upon a recorded saying of the Prophet Mohammed, that God declared: “I was a hidden treasure; I desired to be known. Therefore I created the world so that I would be known.”  This concept, that the purpose of creation is so that perfection may be known, and that the seeker has therefore never been separate from that perfection, is fundamental to Sufi philosophy.

You are the hidden treasure of the nine heavens;
Come out of the four walls of time!
Break even the binding spell of salvation!
Tear down the door and vestibule of created beings!
You, the Treasure contained in an enchanted palace,
You are Life, though imprisoned in a body.
If you show your face from behind the curtain,
You will consume the seven ancient heavens.
Why should anyone who, for God’s sake, does not leave
This prison be astonished that he does not find Him?

Translation Fr. Paul Jackson SJ

One Reply to “Sanai: A Hidden Treasure”

  1. Khalil

    Somos el tesoro contenido en el Palacio encantado. Somos la vida Aunque encarcelada en un cuerpo… y el propósito es abandonar esta prisión trascendiendo en el amor de Dios. Encontrar la verdad contenida en estas palabras Es el camino, el camino del sufi.


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