Abu-Madyan Al-Ghawth

أبو مَديَن الغَوث
Abu-Madyan Shuayb Ibn Al-Hussein Al-Ansari (b. 509 AH / 1115-16 AD; d. 594 AH / 1197 AD
A poet, teacher and Sufi mystic: called Sheikh of Sheikhs, Imam of the Ascetics and the Pious, Lord of the Gnostics, Exemplar of the Seekers, and The Aid or The Succor [Al-Ghawth]. He was one of the most influential Sufis of North Africa, and had a profound influence on the Qadiriya and Shadhuli [Shazleyya] Sufi tariqas.
Abu-Madyan was born in Cantillana, Seville, in Muslim Spain. The future Sheikh was orphaned early in life and suffered cruel treatment and exploitation at the hands of his elder brothers.
Abu-Madyan's own account of the often difficult, formative period of his intellectual development is available via the Sheikh's autobiographical comments in Kitab Al-tashawwuf ila rijal at-tasawwuf:
  • I was an orphan in Al-Andalus. My brothers made me a shepherd for their flocks, but whenever I saw someone praying or reciting [the Qur'an], it pleased me. I would come near to him and found a sadness in my soul because I had not memorized anything from the Qur'an and did not know how to pray. So I resolved to run away in order to learn how to read and pray.
  • I ran away, but my brother caught up with me, spear in hand, and said, 'By God, if you do not return I will kill you!' So I returned and remained for a short time. Then I strengthened my resolve to flee by night. I slipped away at night and took another road, but my brother again caught up with me after sunrise. He drew his sword and said, 'By God, I will kill you and be rid of you!' When he raised his sword in order to strike me, I fended off with a piece of wood that was in my hand and his sword broke and flew into pieces. When he saw this he said to me, 'go wherever you wish'.
On his way, he met a Sheikh, who told him: 'Return to the city, for God is not [properly] worshipped except with knowledge.' He drifted for several years in Maghreb, and finally, someone told him, 'If you want to devote yourself to religion, go to the city of Fez (Fas).' There he joined the Ghazalian tradition of Sufism and spent a number of years studying the works of Al-Ghazali, Al-Muhasibi, and Al-Qushayri
After spending many years learning from the most famous Sufis of Morocco and being introduced to the Qadiriya at the hand of Imam Abdel-Qadir Al-Jilani (d. 563/1148), he had assimilating all of the major traditions of Moroccan mysticism. Abu-Madyan settled in the Algerian city of Bijaya, where he founded his own centre for Sufi instruction, Rabitat az-Zayyat (Hermitage of the Oil Seller).
No other Sheikh in this period had a more electric spiritual and intellectual formation than did Abu-Madyan. He stands as the axial figure of early Maghribi Sufism, as proven by the popularity of his written works and the large number of his disciples.
Abu-Madyan's widespread prominence and social engagement did not sit well with the authorities, who viewed his activities with suspicion. Due to accusations by his enemies, the caliph Al-Mansur summoned the aged Sufi master for questioning. It was on this forced journey to Marrakech in 594/1179 that Abu-Madyan died in the western Algerian city of Telmecen. His tomb became a major stop on the overland pilgrimage route from Morocco. The ornate mosque of Bu-Madyan stands as one of the finest examples of Hispano-Maghribi architecture in the Maghreb.
Abu-Madyan's way followed a "middle path" between the sacred and the profane: a spiritual method in which all aspects of person's life (outer (dhahir) and inner (batin), public and private, worldly and spiritual) complemented each other as a part of a single reality. If Sufism is the essence of Islam, and if Islam is a way of life, then outer practice, (acts ['amal]), must complement, and not oppose, inner knowledge (['ilm]). Giving too much weight to either outer practice or inner knowledge might upset the balance required for spiritual growth.
Like Al-Muhasibi, Abu-Madyan saw the ego ([nafs]) as the main obstacle to self-awareness. Because the nafs thrives on desire, the most effective weapon against it is hunger. An important component of the practice of his way to systematically practice hunger was repeated and prolonged fasting.
Abu-Madyan advocated attaining complete quiescence ([khumul]), which meant the cessation of all-ego motivated thoughts and desires, so that the heart would open itself up to divine inspirations: "The heart has no more than one aspect at a time, such that when it is occupied with a certain thing, it is veiled from another. Take care that you are not attracted to anything but God, lest He deprives you of the delights of intimate converse [munajat] with Him."
For Abu-Madyan, a [mureed]'s spiritual progress could never be separated from his social responsibility: "Sufism is not the [mere] observance of rules, nor does it consist of degrees or stages. Instead, Sufism consists of personal integrity, generosity of spirit, the emulation of what has been revealed, knowledge of the [Divine] Message, and adhering to the way of the prophets. He who deviates from these sources finds himself grazing in the gardens of Satan, submerged in the ocean of lusts, and wandering in the darkness of ignorance."
A Sufi on the path of Abu-Madyan is no withdrawn ascetic, lost in the contemplation of God while ignoring the injustices that beset the Muslim community. Instead the Sufi is a full participant in social life, who uses discipline and detachment from the world to maintain a constant vigilance over oneself and becomes an example for his neighbors: "The true Sufi must be neither jealous, egotistical, nor arrogant with his knowledge nor miserly with his money. Rather, he must act as a guide: not confused, but merciful of heart and companionate with all of creation. He is an ascetic: everything is equal to him, whether it be praise or blame, receiving or giving, acceptance or rejection, wealth or poverty. He is neither joyful about what comes to him nor sad about what has been lost".
Abu-Madyan was also renowned for comprising poetic odes on various aspects of Sufi doctrine. Several of his most famous odes are regarded as literary master pieces. Ibn Ata'Illah AsSakandary wrote a small manuscript ("The Address to Success in the Manners on the Way" [unwan al-tawfeeq fi aadaab al-tareeq]) dedicated to explaining his most renowned poem (the "R" poem of behavior [al-qaseeda al-ra'iyya fil selook]). Mohyeddin Ibn Arabi, the grandest Sheikh, wrote additions to the "R" poem, adding 3 of his own verses to every 2 verses of the poem (and act in Arabic poetry called "fiving" [takhmees], or changing a poem made of 2 verse paragraphs to one made up of five verse paragraphs by adding to the initial author's verses).
Abu-Madyan left many successors. Among the most noted was Abu-Abdullah Ibn Harazem, who was the initial mentor and Sufi teacher of Abul Hassan Al-Shadhuli [Shazli], the figurehead of the Shadhuli [Shazleyya] Sufi tariqa.
In this site, we present the first English translation of the "Askings for Forgiveness" or the "M" poem [meemeyya], and the "R" poem, with both Ibn Ata'Illah's explanation and Ibn Arabi's modification, the "say Allah" poem, and several of his smaller less known poems.
 

Abu Madyan Al-Ghawth Askings for Forgiveness

إِستِغْفَارَات  أبُو مَدْيَن الغَوث
One of the best ever written in asking The Lord for forgiveness. Abu-Madyan divided the poem to several sections, where in each of five sections of several verses each he asks The Lord for forgiveness in a different way. The first verse is for asking for prayers upon and praising the prophet. The following 4 verses (2-5) he asks for forgiveness by praising The Lord by His Glorious Descriptions. The next 11 verses (6-16) he asks for forgiveness for some of what he sees as having been wron. The next 3 verses (17-19) he states how long or the length of the duration he asks for forgiveness (he uses different expressions to express that he is asking for forgiveness forever). The next 8 verses (20-27) he states how much he asks for forgiveness, and the verses indicate that he asks for forgiveness uncountably. The next 3 verses (28-30) he asks for forgiveness again by praising The Lord. The next verse (31) he asks for forgiveness multiples of all that he has already did. The last verse (32) he closes by asking for prayers upon and praising the prophet.
And may The Lord send His prayers upon the selected one from Mudar
the best of mankind, of whoever cried and who ever smiled
ثُمَّ الصَّلاَةُ عَلَى الُمخْتَارِ مِنْ مُضَرٍ
خَيْرِ البَرِيَّةِ مِنْ بَاكٍ وَمُبْتَسِمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), who runs ships in the darknesses
on currents and waves that clash in turmoil
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مُجْرِ الفُلْكِ فِي الظُّلَمِ
عَلَى عُبَابٍ مِنَ التِّيَارِ مُلْتَطِمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), The Deliverer of whoever seeks refuge with HIm
if he is inflicted by harm or by pain
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مُنْجِي المُسْتَجِيرِ بِهِ
إِذَا أَلَمَّ بِهِ ضُرّاً مِنَ الأَلَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), The Forgiver of sin for whoever
comes to Him broken, in humiliation and regret
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ غَفَّارَ الذُّنُوبِ لِمَنْ
بِالاِنْكِسَارِ أَتَى وَالذُّلِّ وَالنَّدَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), The Concealer of flaws for
those with faults, and their Savior from malice
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ سَتَّارَ العُيوبِ عَلَى
أَهْلِ العُيُوبِ وَمُنْجِيهِم مِنَ النَّقَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), for whatever I say and for my character
and for my bad affairs and for my shape and for my traits
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِن نُطْقِي وَمْنِ خُلُقِي
وَشِينِ شَأْنِي وَمِنْ شَكْلِي وَمِن شِيَمِى
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for my hidden secret and for my apparent
and for the changing of my heart and for my smiling
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِنْ سِرِّى وَمِنْ عَلَنِي
وَمِنْ تَقَلُّبِ قَلْبِي وَابْتِسَامِ فَمِي
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for my hearing and for my sight
and for my conscience and for my thoughts and for my talk
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِنْ سَمْعِي وَمِنْ بَصَرِي
وَمِنْ ضَمِيرِي وَمِنْ فَكْرِي وَمِنْ كَلَمِي
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for my crimes and for my slips
and for my major sins and for my small faults
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِنْ جُرْمِي وَمِنْ زَلَلِي
وَمِنْ كَبَائِرِ آثامى وَمِنْ لَمَمِي
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for what my hand committed
of errors, and for wherever my foot set
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِمَّا قَدْ جَنَتْهُ يَدِي
مِنَ الخَطَايَا وَما قَدَّمْتُ بِالقَدَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for whatever I have not yet earned
with my hand, and whatever I have earned since I came of age
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِمَّا لَمْ تَكُنْ كَسَبَتْ
كَفِّي وَمَا اكْتَسَبْتُ فِي مَبْلَغِ الحُلُمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for my character and for my traits
and for the changing of my states during times of sickness
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِنْ طَبْعِي وَمِنْ طََبَعِي
وَمِنْ تَحَوُّلِ حَالى حَالَة السَّقَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for my saying "me" and "with me"
and "for me" and "mine" and for my suspicions and for my swearing
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِنْ قَوْلِي أَنَا وَمَنْ مَعِي
وَلِي وَعِنْدِي وَمِنْ ظَنِّي وَمِنْ قَسَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for whatever I don't know
and for whatever I knew and for whatever my pen wrote
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِمَّا لَسْتُ أَعْلَمُهُ
وَمَا عَلْمِتُ وَمَا حَرَفْتُ بِالقَلَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for my sleep and for my slumber
and for my wakefulness, and as long as I live I will hold fast to Him
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِنْ نَوْمِي وَمِنْ سِنَتِي
وَيَقْظَتِي وَبِهِ مَا عِشْتُ مُعْتَصِمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) for all that happened in my youth
and from living till the age of greying and senility
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مِمَّا كَانَ فِي صِغَرِي
مِنَ الخِلاَفِ لِعُمْرِ الشِّيبِ وَالهَرَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as long as winds blow
and as long as clouds pour upon houses, and upon hills and reefs
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مَا هَبَّتْ يَمَانِيَّةٌ
وَسَحَّتِ السُّحُبُ فِي الأَطَام وَالأكَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as long as pilgrims tread to
sites that were honored with their locals and the Kaaba [Haram]
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مَا سَارَ الحَجِيجُ إِلَى
مَعَالِمَ شُرِّفَتْ بِالحِلِّ وَالحَرَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as long as morning dawns
and as long as birds sing tunes in the trees and the branches
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ مَا لاَحَ الصَّبَاحُ وَمَا
تَغَنَّتِ الطَّيْرُ فِي الأَغْصَانِ بِالنَّغَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the count of letters
in [zikr] and what it contains of signs and of wisdom [Hikam]
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الحُرُوفِ وَمَا
فِي الذِّكْرِ مِنْ آيَةٍ تُتْلَى وَمْنِ حِكَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the count of pests and what
is in the horizon of worlds and in the earth of signs
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الهَوَامِ وَمَا
فِي الأُفُقِ مِنْ عَالَمٍ وَاَلأرْضِ مِنْ عَلِمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the count of plants and whatever
the sea contains of bounties and the land contains of livestock
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ النَّبَاتِ وَمَا
فِي البَحْرِ مِنْ نِّعْمَةٍ وَالبَرِّ مِنْ نَعَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the winds and what
they blow upon of sustenance and of people
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الرِّيَاحَ وَمَا
تَجْرِي عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الأَقْوَاتِ والنَّسَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the count of planets
in the crown of darkness, whether crying or concealed
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الكوَاكِبَ فِي
تَاجِ الغَيَاهِبِ مِنْ بَاكٍ وَمُكْتَتِم
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the count of sands
and what falls upon the lower world of rains
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الرِّمَالِ وَمَا
يَنْهَلُّ فِي عَالَمِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الدِّيَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the number of creatures
of humans and of djinn and of Arabs and of non-Arabs
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الخَلاَئِقِ مِنْ
إِنْسٍ وَجِنٍّ وَمِنْ عُرْبٍ وَمِنْ عَجَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord) as plenty as the number of thoughts in
the minds of the those who possess intelligence and knowledge and wisdom
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ تِعْدَادَ الخَوَاطِرِ فِي
بُذورِ أُولِي النُّهَى وَالعِلْمِ وَالحِكَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), dignified is The Lord, our Creator
(Who created us) from among the creatures, and The Reviver of the decayed bones
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ جَلَّ اللهُ خَالِقُنَا
مِنَ البَرَايَا وَمُحْيِ الأَعْظُمِ الرِّمَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), dignified is The Lord, our Provider
The Bestower, The Benefactor, The Munificent, The One described as being Generous
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ جَلَّ اللهُ رَازِقُنَا
المُنْعِمُ المُفضِلُ المَوْصُوفُ بِالكَرَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), dignified is The Lord, our Resurrector,
form a day that will be crowded with kingdoms and with nations
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ جَلَّ اللهُ بَاعِثُنَا
مِنْ يَوْمٍ مُزْدَحَمِ الأَمْلاَكِ وَالأُمَمِ
[Astaghfirullah] (I ask forgiveness from The Lord), multiplied multiple times as plenty
as what I stated of types and oaths
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ أَضْعَافاً مُضَاعَفَةً
مِمَّا ذَكَرْتُ مِنَ الأَجْنَاسِ وَالقَسَمِ
And may The Lord send His prayers upon the selected one from Mudar
the best of mankind, of whoever cried and who ever smiled
ثُمَّ الصَّلاَةُ عَلَى المُخْتَارِ مِنْ مُضَرٍ
خَيْرِ البَرِيَّةِ مِنْ بَاكٍ وَمُبْتَسِمِ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Say Allah: By Abu Madyan Al-Ghawth

الله قل: من شعر  أبُو مَدْيَن الغَوث
Say Allah! and leave existence and all it contains

if your aspiration is to reach completeness

اللهَ قُلْ وذَرِ الْوُجُودَ وَمَا حَوى

إِنْ كُنْتَ مُرْتاداً بُلُوغَ كَمَالِ

For everything other than Allah, if you verify its truth

is nothingness, in its detail and in its totality and summation

فَالْكُلُّ دُونَ اللهِ إِنْ حَقَّقْتَهُ

عَدَمٌ عَلَى التَّفْصِيلِ وَالإِجْمَالِ

And know that you, and all the worlds

if it were not for Him, would have been eliminated, fading and disappearing

وَاعْلَمْ بِأَنَّكَ وَالْعَوَالِمَ كُلَّهَا

لَوْلاَهُ فِي مَحْوٍ وَفِي اضْمِحْلاَلِ

He who does not exist because of himself by cause of himself

then his existence without Him is utter impossibility

مَنْ لاَ وُجُودَ لِذَاتِهِ مِنْ ذَاتِهِ

فَوُجُودُهُ لَوْلاَهُ عَيْنُ مُحَالِ

The gnostics [aarifeen] faded and did not witness

anything except The Supreme in Greatness, The Majestic, The Most Exalted

فَالْعارِفُونَ فَنُوا وَلَمَّا يَشْهَدُوا

شَيْئاً سِوى الْمُتَكَبِّر الْمُتَعَالِ

and they saw everything else other than Him in its truth as perishing

either immediately, in the past, and in the future to come

وَرَأَوْا سِوَاهُ عَلى الْحَقِيقَةِ هَالِكاً

فِي الْحَالِ وَالْمَاضِي وَالْإسْتِقْبَالِ

So glimpse with your mind or with your sight: do you see

anything other than an act from among the acts?

فَالْمَحْ بِعَقْلِكَ أَوْ بِطَرْفِكَ هَلْ تَرى

شَيْئاً سِوى فِعْلٍ مِنَ الْأَفْعَالِ

And look at the height of existence and at its base

with a sight that you support by reasoning and interpretation,

وَانْظُرْ إِلى عُلْوِ الْوُجُودِ وَسُفْلِهِ

نَظَراً تُؤَيِّدُهُ بِالْإِسْتِدْلاَلِ

you find everything pointing towards His Majesty

with what it displays by its status or by its words

تَجِدِ الْجَمِيعَ يُشِيرُ نَحْوَ جَلاَلِهِ

بِلِسَانِ حَالٍ أَوْ لِسَانِ مَقَالِ

while He is holding everything from its top to

its bottom, and creating them, without a similar or an equal

هُوَ مُمْسِكُ الْأَشْيَاءِ مِنْ عُلْوٍ إلى

سُفْلٍ وَمُبْدِعُهَا بِغَيْرِ مِثَالِ

 
 
 
 
 
 

Abu Madyan "R" Poem of Conduct

القصيدةُ الرَّائية في السُّلوكِ لأبي مَدْين الغوث
The "R" poem (each verse rhymes with an ending with the letters 'ra") is a poem describing proper conduct to be adopted by the [mureed] on the path of Sufism, explaining the proper manners {adab] of the Path, and the relation of the [mureed] and the [salik] to the learned Gnostics and their Sheikhs along the path.The "R" is a greatly valued poem by the Sufis over all ages: Ibn Arabi added verses to it in a manner known as the "fiving" [takhmees] or changing the two line verse structure to a five line verse structure by adding three new lines that rhyme with the first line to the 2 original lines. Ibn Ata'Illah AsSakandary wrote a manuscript explaining titled: "The Address to Success in the Manners on the Path"
There is no pleasure in life except accompanying the [fuqara]
for they are the sultans and the masters and the princes [umara]
ما لذة العيش إلا صحبة الفقرا       
هم السلاطين و السادات والأمرا
So accompany them and show proper manners in their councils
and leave your fortunes behind, no matter how much they offer to bring you upfront
فاصحبهموا وتأدب في مجالسهم       
وخل حظك مهما قدموك ورا
And seize the time and always attend with them
and know that pleasure and content distinguish who attended
واستغنم الوقت واحضر دائما معهم        
واعلم بأن الرضا يختص من حضرا
And abide by silence, except if you are asked, then say
I have no knowledge, and conceal yourself in ignorance
ولازم الصمت إلا إن سئلت فقل      
لا علم عندي وكن بالجهل مستترا
And see defects only in you; and have faith
that your have a flaw that would have been apparent, but was concealed
ولا تَرَ العيب إلا فيك معتقداً     
عيباً بدا بيِّناً لكنه استترا
And lay down your head and ask for forgiveness for no reason
and stand up on the feet of fairness apologizing
وحط رأسك واستغفر بلا سبب     
وقف على قدم الإنصاف معتذرا
If you commit a fault, apologize, and hold up
your apology for what you committed and what happened from you
إن بدا منك عيب فاعتذر وأقم      
وجه اعتذارك عما فيك منك جرى
And say: your slave is more deserving of your pardon
so pardon and be lenient and clement, O [fuqara]
وقل عبيدكموا أولى بصفحكموا        
فسامحوا وخذوا بالرفق يا فقرا
They are more deserving of kindness, which is their character
so do not feel or expect from them any evil or harm
هم بالتفضل أولى وهو شيمتهم      
فلا تخف دركا منهم ولا ضررا
Always be generous in giving to the companions
actually and figuratively; and overlook if they slip
وبالتغني على الإخوان جد أبداً      
حساً ومعنى وغض الطرف إن عثرا
Observe the Sheikh carefully in his states, and hopefully
a trace of his achievement might appear in you.
وراقب الشيخ في أحواله فعسى        
يرى عليك من استحسانه أثرا
Wholeheartedly do the effort, and strive to serve him,
perhaps you please him, and take care not to become bored
وقَدِّمِ الجِدِّ وانهض عند خدمته      
عساه يرضى وحاذر أن تكن ضجرا
For his pleasure begets The Lord's pleasure and begets obedience
He will be pleased with you, so be cautious not to leave him
ففي رضاه رضا الباري وطاعته      
يرضى عليك فكن من تركه حذرا
And know that the people's Path needs study
and the state who claims it today is as you see.
واعلم بأن طريق القوم دارسة      
وحال من يدعيها اليوم كيف ترى
When will I see them, and how will I reach seeing them
or reach my ear hearing news about them?
متى أراهم وأنى لي برؤيتهم     
 أو تسمع الأذن مني عنهموا خبرا
I have no one, and how is it possible for the like of me to compete with them
over resources in which I did not know impurity?
من لي وأنى لمثلي أن يزاحمهم      
على موارد لم آلف بها كدرا
I love them and shelter them and prefer them
in my heart; specially a group of them.
أحبهم وأداريهم وأوثرهم     
بمهجتي وخصوصا منهم نفرا
A people with noble characteristics – wherever they sit,
the place continues to be fragrant with their traces
قوم كرام السجايا حيث ما جلسوا        
يبقى المكان على آثارهم عطرا
Sufism presents gifts from their manners and traits.
Their perfect harmony from them delights the eye
يهدي التصوف من أخلاقهم طرفا        
حسن التألف منهم راقني نظرا
They are the people I love and my loved ones who
proudly boast dragging the tails of honor
هم أهل ودي وأحبابي الذين هموا        
ممن يجر ذيول العز مفتخرا
I am still united with and connected to them in Allah,
and our sins there by Him forgiven and pardoned
لا زال شملي بهم في الله مجتمعا       
وذنبنا فيه مغفورا ومغتفرا
And then prayers upon the selected one, Sayyidina
Mohammed, the best of whoever fulfilled and whoever pledged
ثم الصلاة على المختار سيدنا       
محمد خير من أوفى ومن نذرا 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ibn Arabi: Modification of the "R" Poem of Coduct by Abu Madyan

ابن عربى - تخميس رائية السلوك لأبى مدين الغوث
The "R" poem (each verse rhymes with an ending with the letters 'ra") is a poem describing proper conduct to be adopted by the [mureed] on the path of Sufism, explaining the proper manners {adab] of the Path, and the relation of the [mureed] and the [salik] to the learned Gnostics and their Sheikhs along the path.The "R" is a greatly valued poem by the Sufis over all ages: Ibn Arabi added verses to it in a manner known as the "fiving" [takhmees] or changing the two line verse structure to a five line verse structure by adding three new lines that rhyme with the first line to the 2 original lines. The 3 lines of Ibn Arabi are added below before each of the 2 original lines:
O who wants a share of the pleasure of closeness
If you want all goodness to appear in you
The councillor is honest, so heed this news:
يَا طالِباً مِن لَذاذاتِ الدُّنَا وَطَرا
إذا أردتَّ جميع الخَير فيكَ يُرى
المُستشارُ أمينٌ فاسمَع الخَبرا
There is no pleasure in life except accompanying the [fuqara]
for they are the sultans and the masters and the princes [umara]
ما لذة العيش إلا صحبة الفقرا       
هم السلاطين و السادات والأمرا
They are people who are satisfied with little, of clothing
and food, and care not for the world.
Their hearts are free of whispering temptations
قَومٌ رَضُوا بيَسِيرٍ مِن مَلابسِهم
والقُوتِ لا تخطُر الدنيا بهاجِسِهم
صُدورهُم خالِياتٍ مِن وسَاوِسِهم
So accompany them and show proper manners in their councils
and leave your fortunes behind, no matter how much they offer to bring you upfront
فاصحبهموا وتأدب في مجالسهم       
وخل حظك مهما قدموك ورا
Take their Path if you want to follow them
And leave your claims, and be careful not to question them
abut their purpose, and let their benefit be your intention
اسْلُك طريقَهموا إنْ كُنتَ تابِعهُم
واتْرُك دعَاويكَ واحْذَرْ أن تراجعهم
فِيما يُريدونه واقصُد منافِعهُم
And seize the time and always attend with them
and know that pleasure and content distinguish who attended
واستغنم الوقت واحضر دائما معهم        
واعلم بأن الرضا يختص من حضرا
Be content with them, they elevate you, and you reach.
If they register you, hang on; and if they erase you, vanish;
and if they don't feed you, starve; and if they feed you, then eat.
كُنْ راضِياً بهِمُوا تَسْمُ بهم وتَصِلْ
إن أثبتُوكَ أقِمْ أو إنْ مَحَوكَ فَزُل
وإنْ أجاعوكَ جُعْ و إنْ أطعَمُوك فكُلْ
And abide by silence, except if you are asked, then say
I have no knowledge, and conceal yourself in ignorance
ولازم الصمت إلا إن سئلت فقل      
لا علم عندي وكن بالجهل مستترا
And don't be critical of people's flaws
even if it is apparent to existence
and look with an eye that sees only goodness and that does not see defects in anyone
ولا تكُن لعُيوبِ الناس مُنتقِدا
وإن يَكن ظاهِرا بين الوجود بدا
وانظُرْ بعَينِ كَمَالٍ لا تُعِبْ أحَدا
And see defects only in you; and have faith
that your have a flaw that would have been apparent, but was concealed
ولا تَرَ العيب إلا فيك معتقداً     
عيباً بدا بيِّناً لكنه استترا
With this you attain what you hope for of proper manners [adab]
Humble your self [nafs] to them in doubtless humility
a humility that takes the place of proper manners [adab]
تنَلْ بذلِكَ ما تَرجُوه من أدبٍ
والنفسُ ذَلِّلْ لهم ذلاً بلا ريب
بلْ كلُّ ذلك ذُلٌّ نَابَ عن أدبٍ
And lay down your head and ask for forgiveness for no reason
and stand up on the feet of fairness apologizing
وحط رأسك واستغفر بلا سبب     
وقف على قدم الإنصاف معتذرا
If you want a light for the Path from them then elevate
above everything they hate of your actions
and make your self [nafs] persist in doing good
إن شئتَ منهم بريْقاً للطَّريق تشُمْ
عن كلِّ ما يَكرهُوهُ مِن فِعالكَ ذُم
والنفسُ منكَ على حُسنِ الفِعالِ أدِم
If you commit a fault, apologize, and hold up
your apology for what you committed and what happened from you
إن بدا منك عيب فاعتذر وأقم      
وجه اعتذارك عما فيك منك جرى
Flatter them, and say: heal with your piety
with the cream of your pardon, the injury of your wound
It is me who is wrong, so grant me your pure advise
لهُم تمَلَّقْ وقُلْ داوُوُ بصُلحِكُمُوا
بمَرْهَمِ العَفْوِ مِنكمْ داء جُرحِكُمُوا
أنا المُسِيءُ هِبُوا لي مَحْضَ نِصْحِكُمُوا
And say: your slave is more deserving of your pardon
so pardon and be lenient and clement, O [fuqara]
وقل عبيدكموا أولى بصفحكموا        
فسامحوا وخذوا بالرفق يا فقرا
If you transgress, don't fear their enthusiasm
they are more sublime than you be harmed by their company
they are not the mighty whose power harm you
لا تخْشَ مِنهم إذا أذنَبتَ هِمَّتَهُم
أسنَى وأعظَمُ أن تُردِيكَ عِشْرَتهُم
ليسُوا جَبَابِرة تُؤذِيكَ سَطْوَتهُم
They are more deserving of kindness, which is their character
so do not feel or expect from them any evil or harm
هم بالتفضل أولى وهو شيمتهم      
فلا تخف دركا منهم ولا ضررا
If you want want them to guide you along the Path of piety
strive to fulfill what they request of you
immediately and don't delay it saying tomorrow
إذا أردتَّ بهِم تسْلُكْ طَريقَ هُدى
كنْ في الذي يَطلُبُوه مِنكَ مُجتهِدا
في نُور يومِكَ واحذَرْ أن تقُول غداً
Always be generous in giving to the companions
actually and figuratively; and overlook if they slip
وبالتغني على الإخوان جد أبداً      
حساً ومعنى وغض الطرف إن عثرا
Always be truthful with them, and don't be dishonest
because they are truthful people, masters and chiefs
and pardon anyone of them who ever offended you
أصدِقهُم الحَق لا تسْتعمِل الدنَسَا
لأنهم أهْلُ صِدقٍ سادَةٌ رُؤَسَا
واسمَح لِكلِّ امْرئٍ مِنهم إليكَ أسَا
Observe the Sheikh carefully in his states, and hopefully
a trace of his achievement might appear in you.
وراقب الشيخ في أحواله فعسى        
يرى عليك من استحسانه أثرا
Ask him to pray for you, you profit from his prayer
and through it you attain what you hope for of his blessing
and improve your assumption of him, and realize his sanctity
وأسْألهُ دَعوَتهُ تحْظَ بِدَعوَتِهِ
تنَلْ بذَلكَ مَا ترجُوا ببَركَتِهِ
وحَسِّنْ الظَّنَّ واعْرفْ حَقَّ حُرمَتِهِ
Wholeheartedly do the effort, and strive to serve him,
perhaps you please him, and take care not to become bored
وقَدِّمِ الجِدِّ وانهض عند خدمته      
عساه يرضى وحاذر أن تكن ضجرا
And memorize his advise, and increase your attending to him
and answer him immediately if he calls you
and lower your voice in confounding out of obedience
واحْفظْ وصِيَّتهُ زِدْ مِن رِعَايَتِهِ
ولَبِّهِ إنْ دَعَا فَوراً لِسَاعَتِهِ
وغُضَّ صَوتكَ بالنَّجْوى لِطاعَتِهِ
For his pleasure begets The Lord's pleasure and begets obedience
He will be pleased with you, so be cautious not to leave him
ففي رضاه رضا الباري وطاعته      
يرضى عليك فكن من تركه حذرا
And accompany whose self [nafs] is a gentle self [nafs]
in this time, for the selves [nafs] are generally despairing
of them, and their craft is underestimated by the people
والزَمْ بمَنْ نفسُهُ نفْسٌ مُسَايسَة
في ذا الزَّمانِ فإنَّ النَّفسَ آيسَة
منهُم وحِرفتُهُم في النَّاسِ باخِسَة
And know that the people's Path needs study
and the state who claims it today is as you see.
واعلم بأن طريق القوم دارسة      
وحال من يدعيها اليوم كيف ترى
If they distance me, because of their affection,
I should grieve for what I suffer due to parting with them
due to my breaking from them after accompanying them
يَحِقُّ لي إنْ نَأوْا عَني لأٌلفتِهِم
ألازمُ الحُزنَ ممَّا بي لِفُرقَتِهم
على انقِطاعِي عنهُم بَعدَ صُحبتِهم
When will I see them, and how will I reach seeing them
or reach my ear hearing news about them?
متى أراهم وأنى لي برؤيتهم     
 أو تسمع الأذن مني عنهموا خبرا
My lagging behind prevents me from being suitable for them
My origins are from them, so blame me, I do not blame them
O Lord, please grant me piety to be suitable to befriend them
تخَلُّفِي مَانِعِي مِن أنْ ألائِمُهُم
منهُم أتيتُ فلُمنِي لسْتُ لائِمُهُم
يا ربِّ هَبْ لي صَلاحاً كي أنَادِمُهُم
I have no one, and how is it possible for the like of me to compete with them
over resources in which I did not know impurity?
من لي وأنى لمثلي أن يزاحمهم      
على موارد لم آلف بها كدرا
Their traits are venerated beyond being countable
their appearances have pointed to their hidden inners
their glory is through obeying The Lord in this world
جَلَّتْ عن الوصْفِ أن تحصَى مآثِرهُم
عَلى البَواطِنِ قدْ دَلَّتْ ظَواهِرهُم
بطَاعةِ الله في الدنيا مفَاخِرهُم
I love them and shelter them and prefer them
in my heart; specially a group of them.
أحبهم وأداريهم وأوثرهم     
بمهجتي وخصوصا منهم نفرا
They have become superior above other people by obediences
their companion adopts proper manners [adab] from them
and how unlucky is he who misses their company
قَومٌ عَلى الخَلقِ بالطَّاعاتِ قدْ رُؤِسُوا
منهُم جَلِيسهُم الآدابَ يَقْتَبسُ
ومَن تخَلَّفَ عنهُم حَظَّهُ التعِسُ
A people with noble characteristics – wherever they sit,
the place continues to be fragrant with their traces
قوم كرام السجايا حيث ما جلسوا        
يبقى المكان على آثارهم عطرا
So devote to them and do not part with them and increase in attachment
and if you miss them, then weep out of sorrow
They are a clan who honor whoever relates to them
فهُم بهِم لا تفَارِقهُم وَزِدْ شَغَفا
وإن تخلَّفتَ عنهُم فانتحِب أسَفَا
عصَابةٌ بهِم يُكسَى الفتى شَرَفَا
Sufism presents gifts from their manners and traits.
Their perfect harmony from them delights the eye
يهدي التصوف من أخلاقهم طرفا        
حسن التألف منهم راقني نظرا
I "wagged the tail" of pride of love because of them
when they accepted me as a slave of their love
and their right to their love I never forget
جَرَرتُ بهِم ذَيلُ افتِخَاري فِي الهَوى بهِمُوا
لمَّا رضُوني عُبَيداً فِي الهَوى لَهمُوا
وحَقِّهم في هَواهم لسْتُ أنسَهُم
They are the people I love and my loved ones who
proudly boast dragging the tails of honor
هم أهل ودي وأحبابي الذين هموا        
ممن يجر ذيول العز مفتخرا
I cut my heart to pieces composing poetry in their love
and I have begged The Lord by them, desiring
that The Lord forgives me together with all the Muslims
قطَعتُ فِي النظمِ قلبِي فِي الهَوى قطْعا
وقد توسَّلتُ للمَولى بهِم طَمعا
أن يغفِرَ الله لِي والمسلمين معا
I am still united with and connected to them in Allah,
and our sins there by Him forgiven and pardoned
لا زال شملي بهم في الله مجتمعا       
وذنبنا فيه مغفورا ومغتفرا
O whoever was in this council with us
please ask The Lord to wipe our sins,
and pray for the one who "fived" the beautiful original
يا كلَّ مَن ضَمَّه النادِي بمَجْلِسِنا
أدعُ الإله بهِم يمحُو الذنوبَ لنَا
وادعُ لِمنْ خَمِّسَ الأصْلَ الذي حَسُنَا
And then prayers upon the selected one, Sayyidina
Mohammed, the best of whoever fulfilled and whoever pledged
ثم الصلاة على المختار سيدنا       
محمد خير من أوفى ومن نذرا 
[Fuqara] is the plural of [faqir]. (Literally [faqir] means poor, but in Sufism it refers to whoever is poor and impoverished to The Lord Almighty; he is poor because he is in need for The Lord, and because he realizes that it is only Allah Who is The Most Wealthy The All Sufficient [Al-Ghaneyy], and in this poem [fuqara] refers to the gnostic Sufis who have reached knowledge of The Lord).