Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Master - Shaykh Ahmed al-Alawi

The great Shadhili Shaykh, a real beacon of light, Shaykh Ahmed al-Alawi (Qaddasa Allahu Ruhahu), wrote,

The Master

If a summoner call unto guidance, alluding

To his attainment of the Truth, and the Supreme Station,

Of remissness beware, and examine well his words.

Question him of Union; see if he reflect It.

If he say It be far, 'tis because he is far,

But if he say It be near, count him most worthy.

He will make plain to thee the path unto the Truth

Whereby thou mayest seek the face of God.

He will take thee at once, even at thy first meeting,

And set thy foot on its way unto the Lord.

Keep in thy mind's eye the Name's letters

Through his grace thou wilt come to see them shine

Clear on the horizons, though they shine but in thy Heart,

And when the Name is thine, all forgetfulness will vanish.

Magnify then the Letters to as large as thou canst;

Trace them on all things, both high and low.

Through keeping the Name in thine eye, thou wilt rise

By Its Light to where the worlds vanish into nothingness.

But at the Shaikh's order, not at thine, do they vanish.

He is the Finger with which God pointeth.

Trust him then to take thee out of the cramp of prisons

To Freedom, to the First, who all beginnings doth precede,

And thou seest the whole world nothing in His Essence,

Less than nothing in the Infinity of the Lord.

When the Infinite doth appear thereat thou vanishest,

For 'thou' hast never been, from first until last.

Thou seest not who thou art, for thou art, yet art not 'thou'.

Thou endurest, yet not as thyself; no strength is there but God's.

After thine extinction to Eternity thou wilt rise,

Endlessly in Eternity of Eternity art affirmed,

Crown of all Altitude; for is it not Face

To Face with the Truth that our riders dismount?


  1. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Thank you for posting this most beautiful poem by Shaykh al-Aliwa. It really sums up in the most sublime language the journey to the Real.

  2. Jazakallah for sharing this poem with us.
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