The Robe of Nearness

Qad kasana dhikru'l-Habibi jamalan

                          The invocation of the Beloved has clothed us
                             in beauty, radiance, exaltation and delight.

                          In drawing near we cast aside every restraint
                             and openly proclaimed the One we love to glorify

                          The Beloved gave us a draught of pure love to drink
                             which forced all but the Beloved to disappear.

                          We saw the whole creation as mere floating specks of dust:
                             and witnessed the lights appear openly and clearly.

                          After having been effaced and annihilated
                             in a light-giving wine, we returned to creation.

                          By a pure gift from Allah we were given going-on
                             and then, with patience, we concealed the One we love.

                          How often have we looked on a wayfarer who has then risen
                            to the stations of those who have plunged into the seas!

                          We have healed the hearts of what had gripped and possessed them
                            through sciences whose taste is subtle; and then they soared.

                          We focused on something secretly and then it came about,
                            and so the One we have chosen to love has come to us.

                          We heard a secret call from the presence of the Unseen:
                             "In Our sight you are beloved so be filled with gratitude."

                          We have authority to quench the thirst of whoever comes longing
                             for the encounter and not seeking mere information.

                          Even if presents are plentiful and generous gifts abound,
                            pay no attention to them, but cling to poverty.

                          Humble yourselves to its people – they will satisfy your thirst.
                            You should draw near to them and have no fear of disgrace.

                          Strip yourselves of all knowledge and understanding
                            so that you may obtain what the great have obtained.

                          Freely offer up your self, you who desire union,
                            and follow the Shaykh in whatever he indicates.

                          Witness the truth in him, in both your essence and your heart,
                            annihilate yourself in him: by him you will win through.

                          He is the light of the Messenger from every point of view,
                            and the medicine of hearts, both openly and secretly.

                          So pay attention to him and show him great esteem.
                            Go into his presence in a completely broken state.

                          Blessings be upon the Prophet and all his family
                            and Companions and all who direct other people to him,

                          And peace, fragrant with musk and every sweet perfume,
                            and consummate beauty and unrivalled sublimity.

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