Rumi on Eid al-Adha, Eid Qurban or Feast of Sacrifice

Wishing all Muslims a very happy Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice. 
Eid Mubarak!

For Rumi Poems on Eid al-Fitr- Feast of Breaking the Fast- please see my previous post:

Rumi on Feast of Breaking the Fast

Eid Al-Adha, Eid Qurban in Persian/Farsi, or Islamic Festival of Sacrifice commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his own son, Ishmael, at God's Command (according to Biblical teachings and within the Judeo-Christian traditions, Abraham's other son, Isaac was offered by Abraham to be sacrificed).

Within the Islamic traditions, at the end of Hajj (Muslims' annual Pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia), the three-day Festival of Sacrifice is commemorated throughout the Islamic world by offering prayers, visiting families and friends, and exchanging of 'Eid Mubaraki' greetings and gifts.

As an integral part of the sacrificial ceremony to remember and honor Abraham's willingness to obey God's Command, an animal- traditionally a ram, goat, lamb, cow, or a camel- is sacrificed. A major part of the sacrificial meat is then distributed to the poor and needy families as an Islamic act of generosity and charity giving.

Islamic painting depicting Ibrahim [Abraham] sacrificing his son, Ismael [Ishmael] at God's Command

"And Abraham said [after being saved from the fire]: ‘Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!’ ‘My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.’ So We gave him glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he [his son] was old enough to walk with him, Abraham said: ‘O my son! I have been seeing in a dream that I am offering you in sacrifice [to Allah]. So look what you think!’ He [Ishmael/Isaac] said: ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha Allah [God willing], you shall find me of the patient. Then, when they had both submitted themselves [to the Will of Allah], and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead, We called out to him: ‘O Abraham! You have made the dream a reality.’ Verily, thus do We reward the good-doers. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice [a ram]; And We left for him [a goodly remembrance] among the later generations. Peace be upon Abraham."
The Holy Quran 37: 99-112.

 Abraham sacrificing his son, Isaac at God's Command -
Famous 'Abraham's Sacrifice' painting by Dutch painter, Rembrandt (1606-1669

The most astonishing aspect of the following verses by Rumi in praise of the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice lies in the fact that on numerous occasions, Rumi mentions Isaac instead of Ishmael to be sacrificed. As we all know, within the Islamic perspectives, it was Ishmael who was offered for sacrifice by Abraham, while the Judeo-Christian and Biblical teachings mention Isaac. Was Rumi deliberately trying to reconcile the holy teachings of the three eternally interconnected Abrahamic Faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by repeatedly mentioning Isaac instead of Ishmael?

He (God) said: "O My servant,
Only an exceptional one like Isaac
Would happily sacrifice himself at My Command.
It takes a righteous messenger like Isaac
To accept being sacrificed and scattered like dust at My Doorstep.

Even the fatherly love of Abraham for Isaac
Did not deter him from sacrificing his beloved son 
Like a sacrificial ram at My Command.

Abraham then said to his son: "You are Isaac,
You are my son, y
ou are my joy and pride. 
I'm your father, how can I lose you o my precious pearl?
But I must obey my Lord's Command."

As I listened to my Lord's Divine Words,
I felt the soft breeze of dawn passing over me.
Then tears started flowing down my face...
~Rumi~ my translation~

گفتا نشود قربانی من
جز نادره‌ای ای چاکر من
اسحاق نبی باید که بود
قربان شده بر خاک در من
عشق است پدر عاشق رمه را
زاینده از او کر و فر من
اسحاق تویی من والد تو
کی بشکنمت ای گوهر من
این گفت و بشد چون باد صبا
شد اشک روان از منظر من
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

O heart, 
Since Abraham's willingness
[to sacrifice his own son at God's Command]
Was compensated by holding back his hand,
Sacrificing Isaac wouldn't have caused him any harm.
~Rumi~ my translation~

چون عنایت‌های ابراهیم باشد دستگیر
سر بریدن کی زیان دارد دلا اسحاق را
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

I'm intoxicated and bewildered by You (God)
I pay good attention to obey all Your Commands.
I'm the Isaac to be sacrificed at Your Command
This is my Festival of Sacrifice.
~Rumi~ my translation~

مست و پريشان توام موقوف فرمان توام
اسحاق قربان توام این عید قربانی است این
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Overly eager to obey his Lord's Command,
The soul of Abraham has started to act
Like the mad-lover Majnun:
Abraham has placed his sharp knife
Under the throats of both Ishmael and Isaac!
~Rumi~ my translation~

جان ابراهیم مجنون گشت اندر شوق او
تیغ را بر حلق اسماعیل و اسحق می‌زند
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Jirjis (Saint George) got martyred a hundred times over*
For the sake of His Divine Love.
Isaac was willing and ready to be sacrificed
By His Sacrificial Dagger.
~Rumi~ my translation~

*Saint George - known among Muslims as Jirjis - is deeply venerated as a righteous Saint. He's also widely recognized as a symbol of bravery, love, and devotion within the Islamic traditions and Middle Eastern culture and folklore. Hence Rumi's using St. George in above verse as a metaphor for love and sacrifice.

همچو جرجیس شود کشته عشقش صد بار 
یا چو اسحاق شود بسمل از آن خنجر او
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

You're covered in blood like the red rose flower
How come you're so happy and in such a good mood?
Don't tell me you are Isaac son of Abraham
Happily going under the knife while fasting!
~Rumi~ my translation~

تو گلا غرقه خونی ز چیی دلخوش و خندان
مگر اسحاق خلیلی خوشی از خنجر روزه
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Stick your neck out, become our Isaac.
Take a vow of silence, become our ocean.
So your ship doesn't get wrecked
So you don't end up shipwrecked on our island!
~Rumi~ my translation~

اسحاق شو در نحر ما خاموش شو در بحر ما
تا نشکند کشتی تو در گنگ ما در گنگ ما
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Like Ishmael, sacrifice your own self in this love.
A night's sacrifice brings the dawn of a new day.
~Rumi~ my translation~

چو اسماعیل قربان شو در این عشق
که شب قربان شود پیوسته در روز
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

I go around in circles for Your Love.
I sacrifice my own self for Your Love.
Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice
Doesn't even compare to my kind of sacrifice!
~Rumi~ my translation~

بر عشق گذشتم من قربان تو گشتم من
آن عید بدین قربان یعنی بنمی ارزد
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Go and sacrifice the best cow in the world
For this Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice.
Unless you are a poisonous scorpion
Crawling crooked through the thick mud!
~Rumi~ my translation~

اندر این عید برو گاو فلک قربان کن
گر نه‌ای چون سرطان در وحلی کژرفتار
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

We should all gain weight and get fat
Like those well-fed sacrificial animals of
Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice!
Because that 'Butcher of Lovers' knows perfectly*
How to cut and slice our sacrificial meats!

* By 'Butcher of Lovers' metaphor, Rumi is referring to God. Rumi has also used 'Sacrificial Meats' as a Sufi metaphor for devout believers in God.

خویش فربه می‌نماییم از پی قربان عید
کان قصاب عاشقان بس خوب و زیبا می‌کشد
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Tell the Festival of Sacrifice
Tell the Candlelight of Holy Quran
Tell the Pride of Paradise:
The drunkard Sufi mystics are sending 
Their warmest Feast of Sacrifice greetings!
~Rumi~ my translation~

آن عيد قربان را بگو وآن شمع قرآن را بگو
آن فخر رضوان را بگو مستان سلامت مي‌کنند
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

The blessed Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice is here.
Just like its sacrificial ceremony,
may all your rivals be also slaughtered
like that soon to be sacrificed and resigned camel!

As you celebrate the blessed Festival of Sacrifice,

May you be surrounded by all your friends and loved ones.
May you are bestowed the best of lucks.
May you have a happy heart,
and may you enjoy the best of health.
~Rumi~ my translation~

عيد فرخنده و در عيد به رسم قربان
سر بريده عدويت همچو شتر زار و نزار 
دوستان جمع و نديمان خوش و دولت باقي
سر تو سبز و دلت شاد و تنت بي‌آزار
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Open your eyes and see
How I'm so happily taking my soul towards my Beloved.
To celebrate the blessed Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice,
I'm also taking my humble soul to be sacrificed.
~Rumi~ my translation~

چشم بگشا جان نگر کش سوی جانان می برم
پیش آن عید ازل جان بهر قربان می برم
  مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

You (God) are the Soul of this Festival of Sacrifice
all Your lovers get sacrificed by Your Presence.
Sacrifice me in Your Divine Kitchen
I'm ready to get scarified for Your Soul.
~Rumi~ my translation~

تو عيد جان قرباني و پيشت عاشقان قربان
بکش در مطبخ خويشم که قربانم به جان تو
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

He (God) said with a smile:
"Go and be grateful that it's Eid Al-Adha
and you've been finally sacrificed for Me."
I asked: "I've been sacrificed for whom?"
The Beloved loudly responded!
~Rumi~ my translation~

گفت به خنده که برو شکر کن
عید مرا ای شده قربان من
گفتم قربان کیم یار گفت
آن منی آن منی آن من
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

O Most Beautiful Moon (God),
May all the rams, calves and cows
Of this whole world be sacrificed for You.

Because all the sacrificed ones
Become immortal by Your Eternal Grace
During Your Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice.
~Rumi~ my translation~

گاو و بزغاله و بره گردون چرخ
باد ای ماه بتان قربان تو
ز آنک قربان‌ها همه باقی شوند
در هوای عید بی‌پایان تو
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Everyone else celebrates two Eids per year.*
For us, Sufi soul-seekers though,
Every instant brings a couple of new Eids!
~Rumi~ my translation~

* By 'Two Eids', Rumi is referring to Eid Al-Fitr of Festival of Breaking the Fast at the end of fasting month of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice at the end of Hajj-Pilgrimage commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his own son (Ishmael or Isaac) at God's Command.

سالی دو عید کردن کار عوام باشد
ما صوفیان جان را هر دم دو عید باید
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

You (God) has given us both the Sacred Day of Arafa*
and Eid Al-Adha of Festival of Sacrifice.
I am a Hajj-Pilgrim shouting cries of devotion**
During Dhu al-Ḥijjah or the Sacred Month of Pilgrimage***
But I can neither reach You nor fully know You yet.
~Rumi~ my translation~

* By Day of Arafa, Rumi is referring to second and holiest day of Hajj-Pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia when Pilgrims stand on the plains of Mount Arafat to fast and pray, commemorating prophet Muhammad's Final Sermon. The very next day after 'Day of Arafa', Eid Al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice begins.

** By "Shouting Cries of Devotion", Rumi is referring to Hajj-Pilgrims' devotional chants of "Labaik Allahum Labaik/I am responding O Lord, I am responding to Your Call.", as they make their way towards Mount Arafat - near the holy city of Mecca - to offer prayers and also engage in remembrance.

*** By Dhu al-Ḥijjah, Rumi is referring to the Sacred Month of Pilgrimage in Islamic Calendar when Muslims embark on Hajj-Pilgrimage to Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

چون عرفه و عید تویی غره ذی الحجه منم
هیچ به تو درنرسم وز پی تو هم نبرم
 مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی

Rumi's following mystical poem is one of my all time favorites. This deeply meaningful poem clearly manifests Rumi's profound mystical Sufi argument that a believer's "Inner" reality always outweighs the "Outer" practices and rituals of his/her faith. Through these highly mystical and meaningful verses, Rumi is effectively teaching us that while it's a noble Islamic cause and a Muslim's lifelong obligation to embark on the Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, our genuine pilgrimage must first start by not only helping our next-door neighbors and loved ones under our own roofs , but also by embarking on the Sufi mystical pilgrimage deep within own self in search of our hidden inner realities.

Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the 'Five Pillars' of the Islamic faith, and also a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for any Muslim who has the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey. Rumi is simply at his best in this short poem. I hope my translation can capture Maulana's intended Sufi mystical messages and teachings. By Kaaba (House of Allah/God), Rumi is referring to the Cube-shaped structure in Mecca, Saudi Arabia where Muslim make their annual Hajj-Pilgrimage after which Eid al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice is celebrated (see above image).

O People Gone On Hajj Pilgrimage, Where Are You?
By Rumi (Ghazal/Ode # 648 from Divan-e Shams)

O people gone on Hajj Pilgrimage
Where are you? Where are you?
The Beloved is right here
Come on back! Come on back!

Your Beloved is your next-door neighbor -
Wall-to-Walls -
Why are you wandering in the Arabian deserts?

If you take a good look at Beloved's Faceless Face,
You 'll get to see clearly that
The Master, the Holy House, and the Kaaba
Are all in reality You!

You've already journeyed like ten times
On the path of Hajj-Pilgrimage
To visit that Holy House.
For once in your life,
Also climb up to the roof of your own house.

That Holy House is indeed magnificent
You've already talked about its many wonders.
But from the Master of that House,
Did you even get its correct address?

Where is your flower bouquet
If you've seen that Divine Garden?

Where is your soul's pearly essence
If you now belong to the Ocean of God?

Well, despite of it all,
May all your sufferings turn into your treasures.
Alas, you're always veiling your own treasures.
~Rumi~ my translation~

غزل شماره ۶۴۸ مولانا جلال الدین بلخی رومی از دیوان شمس تبریزی یا دیوان کبیر

ای قوم به حج رفته کجایید کجایید
معشوق همین جاست بیایید بیایید
معشوق تو همسایه و دیوار به دیوار
در بادیه سرگشته شما در چه هوایید
گر صورت بیصورت معشوق ببینید
هم خواجه و هم خانه و هم کعبه شمایید
ده بار از آن راه بدان خانه برفتید
یک بار از این خانه بر این بام برآیید
آن خانه لطیفست نشانهاش بگفتید
از خواجه آن خانه نشانی بنمایید
یک دسته گل کو اگر آن باغ بدیدیت
یک گوهر جان کو اگر از بحر خدایید
با این همه آن رنج شما گنج شما باد
افسوس که بر گنج شما پرده شمایید

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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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