The Lesser-Known Persian Sufi Poet, Abu Sayed Abul-Khair



ابوسعید ابوالخیر

The Outstanding 11th Century Persian Sufi Poet, 
Abu Sayed Abul-Khair
(967–1049)




Piousness and the Path of Love
Are two different roads.
Love is the fire that burns both:
The Believers and non-Believers.
Those who practice Love
Have neither religion nor caste.





Beg for Love.
Consider this burning, and those who
burn, as gifts from the Friend.
Nothing to learn.
Too much has already been said.
When you read a single page from
the silent book of your heart,
you will laugh at all this chattering,
all this pretentious learning.






Those who seek annihilation in the Beloved
and poverty in life
have no need of religion, knowledge or intellect.
They do not even exist, only the Beloved remains.
This is what the Verse, “The poor have Him only,” means.





A pious one with a hundred beads on your rosary,
or a drunkard in a tavern,
any gift you bring the Beloved will be accepted
as long as you come in longing.
It is this most secret pain,
this bleeding separation,
which will guide you to your Heart of Hearts.






Though burning has become an old habit for this heart,
I dare not think of Your company.
What would a moth mean
to the Fire that burns the worlds?






If You order me to spend my life
At the gates of monasteries,
or have me running to Mecca,
Your wish is my command.
Glorious will be the day
when You release me from my self.







Mansur[Hallaj], that whale of the Oceans of Love,
had separated his soul from the entanglements of this life.
It was not him who claimed:
Ana-al-Haq [I am the Truth],
It was the Friend in whom he had lost his self.
It was the Beloved.







My Beloved, don't be heartless with me.
Your Presence is my only cure.
How can I be left with neither a heart, nor my Beloved?
Either return my heart, or do not deny me
Your Presence.








Sorrow looted this heart,
and Your Love threw it to the winds.
This is how the secret which saints and seers were denied
was whispered to me.





Nothing but burning sobs and tears tonight.
No way out and no patience left.
Last night our hearts had a moment together,
I suppose this is how I have to pay for it!






The day Love was illumined,
Lovers learned from You how to burn, Beloved.
The flame was set by the Friend
to give the moth a gate to enter.
Love is a gift from the Beloved to the Lover.






One moment, You are all I know, Friend.
Next moment, eat, drink, and be merry!
Another moment, I put every beast to shame.
O' Friend, how will this scattered that is me
find his way to You?






All my vows, You laughed at, on day one,
only to call me up on them, that eve.
You taught me to live with You, Friend,
with vows never made,
never to be broken.






Lovers are sacrifices to the Beloved,
and this world is their slaughter-house.
They find this world a royal feast,
while they are needless of food.
They desire no heaven, since without You, Beloved,
a hundred times higher than that is hell.







It is Him manifest in us,
all our struggles and achievements,
from that source.
Humility and meekness are appropriate here.
Before tasting the Presence, one rejects all that is manifest.





Detached You are, even from your being,
and this being is nothing but You.
Non-manifest, yet the manifest is naught
but Your shadow.
Moons, galaxies and worlds drunk from His Cup.
Yet the Cup-bearer is nowhere to be seen!





Whatever road we take to You, Joy.
However one is received, Honor.
With whatever eye one beholds You, Beauty.
In whatever language Your Name is spoken, Joy.





Life here is a gamble in which when you win, you lose!
Be content, that's how you beat the game here.
This world is like a pair of dice,
the only reason you pick them up
is to throw them down!





"This is My Face," said the Beloved,
wearing a basket of roses.
Thick, dark mystery flowing over the shoulder,
"This is my hair!"
A hundred musk incense sticks burning,
"This is My Perfume."
Fires everywhere, the whole creation aflame,
"This is My Passion."





My Beloved, this torture and pain
I suffer because I am so addicted to Your Beauty.
People ask me whether I prefer Your
company to being in heaven.
Heedless fools, what would heaven itself mean
without the Friend's Presence?






Love came and emptied me of self,
every vein and every pore,
made into a container to be filled by the Beloved.
Of me, only a name is left,
the rest is You my Friend, my Beloved.




Rise early at dawn, 

when our storytelling begins.
In the dead of the night, 

when all other doors are locked,
the door for the Lovers to enter opens.
Be wide awake in the dark when Lovers
begin fluttering around the Beloved's window,
like homing pigeons arriving with flaming bodies.






If you do not give up the crowds
you won't find your way to Oneness.
If you do not drop your self
you won't find your true worth.
If you do not offer all you have to the Beloved,
you will live this life free of that
pain which makes it worth living.





If you keep seeking the jewel of understanding,
then you are a mine of understanding in the making.
If you live to reach the Essence one day,
then your life itself is an expression of the Essence.
Know that in the final analysis you are that
which you search for.




Love came
flowed like blood
beneath skin, through veins
emptied me of my self
filled me with the Beloved
till every limb
every organ was seized and occupied
till only my name remains
the rest is It.





On Unity's Way:
There is no infidelity and no faith.
Take one step
away from yourself
and behold! The Path!
You, soul of the world,
must choose the road
of Divine Submission
then sit with anyone you like
even a black snake
but not your self!





Beloved, show me the way out of this prison.
Make me needless of both worlds.
Pray, erase from mind all
that is not You.




Have mercy Beloved,
though I am nothing but forgetfulness,
You are the essence of forgiveness.
Make me needless of all but You.




Be humble.
Only fools take pride in their station here, 

trapped in a cage of 
dust, moisture, heat and air.
No need to complain of calamities,
this illusion of a life lasts but a moment.




Suppose you can recite a thousand holy
verses from memory.
What are you going to do
with your ego self, the true
mark of the heretic?
Every time your head touches
the ground in prayers, remember,
this was to teach you to
put down that load of ego
which bars you from entering
the chamber of the Beloved.





To your mind feed understanding,
to your heart, tolerance and compassion.
The simpler your life, the more meaningful.
The less you desire of the world,
the more room you will have in it
to fill with the Beloved.




The best use of your tongue
is to repeat the Beloved's Name in devotion.
The best prayers are those in
the solitude of the night.
The shortest way to the Friend
is through selfless service and
generosity to His creatures.





Drink from this heart now,
for all this loving it contains.
When you look for it again,
it will be dancing in the wind.




Let sorrowful longing dwell in your heart,
never give up, never losing hope.
The Beloved says, 

"The broken ones are My darlings."
Crush your heart, be broken.





If you do not give up the crowds
you won't find your way to Oneness.
If you do not drop your self
you won't find your true worth.
If you do not offer all you
have to the Beloved,
you will live this life free of that
pain which makes it worth living.





What sweeter than this in the world!
Friend met friend,

and the lover joined his Beloved.
That was all sorrow, this is all joy .
Those were all words, 

this is all reality.




ابوسعید ابوالخیر

The Outstanding Persian Sufi Poet, 

Abu Sayed Abul-Khair
(967–1049)







While virtually unknown in the West, particularly here in our beloved America, Abu Sayed Abul-Khair is one of the most revered of early Sufi masters. Just as Rudaki, the 9th century blind Persian poet, is regarded as the "Father of Persian Literature", Abul-Khair is considered as the "Father of Persian Sufi Poetry". Abul-Khair is even ranked, amongst the Persian speakers, above the three well-known Persian Sufi masters , Sanai, Attar, and Rumi. Abul Khair's poetry had such a huge influence on later Sufi poets that the great Persian Sufi, Attar had referred to him as his spiritual teacher. Heavily influenced by the 9th century "Ecstatic Persian Sufis", Bayazid Bestami and Mansur Hallaj, Abul-khair was the first Sufi writer to extensively use 'Love-themed' poems in conveying his mystical messages.

Abul-Khair was the contemporary of the great Persian philosopher and scholar, Abu Ali-Sina Balkhi(Avicenna). A Persian legend has it that after their very first meeting, Avicenna and Abul-Khair meditated for three days in seclusion, exchanging philosophical ideas and mystical poetry. After the meditation, Avicenna was asked what he had thought of Abul-Khair. He replied: 'Whatever I know, he can already see!'. Abul-Khair was asked what he had thought of Avicenna. He replied: 'Whatever I can see, he already knows!".

In my opinion, anyone who's interested in the study of early Persian Sufi masters and their deep influences on the later well-known Sufi poets, must first read the extraordinary mystical works of the following three imminent eleventh century Persian Sufis: Abdullah Ansari, Abu Sayed Abul-khair, and Ali Hujwiri (better known as Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh).
"This renowned but little-known Persian Sufi mystic of the 11th century preceded Rumi by over two hundred years on the same path of annihilation into God. He referred to himself as "Nobody Son of Nobody", as his expression of the reality that his life was subsumed in the Divine, and that the individual self had disappeared in the heart of God: 'Under this cloak is nothing but God. Introduce me as Nobody, Son of Nobody.'

Abul-Khair's mystical poems deal with the longing for union with God, the desire to know the Real from the False, the inexpressible beauty of Creation when seen through the eyes of Love, and the many attitudes of heart, mind and feeling that are necessary to those who would find the Beloved-The Friend-in this life."



Until you become an unbeliever in your own self
You cannot become a believer in God.

Abul-Khair.
عرفان شاعرانه ابوسعيد ابوالخير


هر كجا كه ذكر بوسعيد رود دل ها خوش گردد زيرا كه از بوسعيد با بوسعيد هيچ چيز نمانده است
- اسرارالتوحيد

شيخ ابوسعيد فضل الله بن ابي‌الخير محمد بن‌احمد ميهني يا ميهنه‌اي (مهنه‌اي) از عارفان بزرگ و مشهور اواخر قرن چهارم و اوايل قرن پنجم هجري است، ولادت او در سال 357 هجري در شهركي به نام ميهنه يا مهنه از توابع خراسان اتفاق افتاده است. علوم مقدماتي را كه صرف و نحو و لغت باشد در همان شهر آموخته و چون انديشه‌ي فقه داشته به مرو رفته است. در مرو به مدت پنج سال در حوزه‌ي درس امام ابو‌عبدالله حضري حاضر شده و پس از درگذشت وي، پيش امام ابوبكر قفال مروزي پنج سال ديگر فقه خوانده است. سپس از مرو قصد سرخس كرده چون به سرخس رسيد نزد امام ابوعلي‌زاهر‌ بن‌احمد كه علم تفسير و حديث مي‌گفته رفته است و چون مدتي تفسير و اصول و اخبار رسول را فرا‌گرفته، اتفاق ملاقات او با لقمان سرخسي كه از عاقلان مجانين بوده، افتاده است. لقمان سرخسي او را به در خانقاه(ابوالفضل محمد ‌بن حسن سرخسي) برده و دست او بدست ابوالفضل داده است و اين پير ابوالفضل مريد (شيخ ابوعبدالله بن‌علي سراج طوسي) بوده است. پير ابوالفضل مراد شيخ ابوسعيد بوده و شرايط تهذيب اخلاق و رياضت به او فرا داده است. شيخ ابوسعيد پس از اخذ طريقه‌ي تصوف به ديار خود (ميهنه) برگشت و هفت سال به رياضت پرداخت و سپس نزد ابوالفضل محمد بن حسن سرخسي، آمده و به اشاره‌ي شيخ و خود به نيشابور رفت و در نيشابور از عبدالرحمن محمد حسين بن محمد سلمي نيشابوري، صاحب طبقات الصوفيه خرقه‌ي ارشاد گرديد و به ميهنه برگشت و در آنجا خانقاهي بنا كرده و به تربيت و رياضت پرداخته و پس از هفت سال با مرگ ابوالفضل سرخسي به شهر آمل رفته و در آن شهر براي بار دوم از دست ابوالفضل احمدبن‌عبدالكريم قصاب آملي از خلفاي محمد بن عبدالله ... خرقه گرفته و يك سال در شهر عامل مقام كرده و باز به نيشابور بازگشته است. در اين سفرها بزرگان علمي و شرعي نيشابور با او به مخالفت برخاستند، اما چندي نگذشت كه مخالفت به مودت بدل شد و مخالفان وي تسليم شدند. ابوسعيد پس از يك سال اقامت در نيشابور به ميهنه مراجعت كرد و عاقبت در همانجا كه چشم به دنياي ظاهر گشوده بود شب آدينه‌ي چهارم شعبان سال 440هجري، وقت نماز خفتن دنيا را بدرود گفت. و روح بزرگ خود را كه همه در كار ... مردمان مي‌داشت تسليم خداي بزرگ كرد

غير از گفتار منظوم عربي و فارسي و رباعي گفتار و مأثورات و حكايات و حالات او، دو كتاب باقي مانده است: يكي (اسرارالتوحيد في مقالات الشيخ ابي سعيد)كه محمد بن منور ميهني نواده‌اش آن را تأليف كرده است و ديگري، (حالات و سخنان شيخ ابوسعيد ) كه بطور احتمال مؤلف آن، كمال‌الدين محمد، پسر عموي پسر مؤلف اسراالتوحيد است. هرمان اته خاورشناس نامي آلماني درباره‌ي شيخ ابوسعيد ابوالخير چنين آورده است: (وي نه تنها استاد ديرين شعر صوفيانه به شمار است بلكه صرفنظر از رودكي و معاصرينش، مي‌توان او را از مبتكرين رباعي كه زاييده طبع ايراني است دانست. ابتكار او در اين نوع شعر از دو لحاظ است: يكي آنكه وي اولين شاعر است كه شعر خود را منحصراٌ به شكل رباعي سرود. دوم آنكه رباعي را بر خلاف اسلاف خود نقشي از نو زد كه آن نقش، جاودانه باقي ماند. يعني آن را كانون اشتعال آتش عرفان وحدت وجود قرار داد و اين نوع شعر از آن زمان نمودار تصورات رنگين عقيده به خدا در همه چيز بوده است. اولين بار در اشعار اوست كه كنايات و اشارات عارفانه به‌كار رفته، تشبيهاتي از عشق زميني و جسماني در مورد عشق الهي ذكر شده و درين معني از ساقي بزم و شمع شعله‌ور سخن رفته و سالك راه خدا را عاشق حيران و جويان، ميگسار و مست، و پروانه‌ي دور شمع ناميده كه خود را به آتش عشق ‌مي‌افكند. بديهي است در عقايد شاعرانه‌ي ابوسعيد مطالب مبهم و تاريك موجود است و تعيين خط مرز ميان عشق زميني و آسماني، با مستي مي و مستي عشق الهي بسي دشوار است، ولي اين قامت به استثناي معدودي از استادان نظير حافظ كه به طريقه‌ي اول تمايل دارد و سنايي و عطار و جلال‌الدين رومي كه به دومي متمايلند در حق اغلب غزل‌سرايان و قصيده‌گويان متأخرتر هم صدق مي‌كند در هر صورت از رباعي‌هاي ابوسعيد نور تصوف واقعي ميدرخشد مانند اعراض از علايق زمين و صرف‌نظر از لذات هر دو جهان و استخفاف نسبت به رسوم ظاهري اديان و مذاهب، و تقدير مجاهدات آزاد مردان راه خدا كه در نظر آنان كعبه و بتخانه خالق و خلق يكي است و عقيده به وحدت كلي و اعتقاد به اينكه مظاهر كثيره در عالم ازل با ذات حق يكي بوده‌اند و جدايي كثرتي وجود نداشته است. بايد اين راه هم گفت كه ميان سروده ابوسعيد گاهي احساسات عميق مؤثري مشهود است كه نمود كامل حكم و امثال و نغمه‌هاي 

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Thank you for visiting Maulana Rumi Online, a blog dedicated entirely to the life, works and teachings of Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi better known simply as Rumi here in our beloved America. Just as a memory refresher, all articles, e-books, images, links and reading materials listed in this Blog are solely for Educational purposes. This Blog is designed and maintained by yours truly, your comments, critiques or suggestions are quite welcome and greatly appreciated. As for my own Rumi Translations, you are welcome to copy and use them as long as it's not for commercial purposes. For best viewing, please try this Blog on Google Chrome Browser. This is a very long Blog though, so please make sure to use the Scroll To Top or Bottom Buttons at the left side, or Back To Top Button at the bottom right corner of your screen for smooth navigation. If you have any question, comment, critique or suggestion, please contact me by clicking the Contact Box embedded at the right middle corner. As Rumi would say, "Come, come, whoever you are, come back again.."!








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