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“Ask Naught of Me but the Tale of Promise and Loyalty”
Rhyme and Reason
Rumi & Iqbal
(Tr. by:Asif Iftikhar)


Withered mind, withered nerves, withered body

Whence doth the Friend’s Voice come unto me?



Sound of the Bamboo Fife


Hear the bamboo fife, what tale in its tone?

Which separation it doth bemoan?

“When severed was I from bamboo mine

Wept man and woman at wails mine

Aye, for a bosom torn with holes I long

That sing I may my love-ached song

The soul that is from its essence away

Longeth to return one day

Secret of voice mine, not far from its wail

But no light, that ear or eye know the tale

Fire, this song o fife; nay, not a breeze

One devoid of it, to exist may cease


Befriendeth fife one that from Friend didst part

Tear our heart’s veil, its tunes apart

Who knoweth such poison, such cure!

A friend as the fife or a love so pure!

Of a gory path doth the fife tell

Majnun’s story, his love-spell!

Not every ear heareth a song pure

Not every bird doth the fig lure.”

Ecstatic this age in the song without soul1

Faithless, unconnected, unstable in goal

The secret, how this age can ever comprehend?*

Knoweth it not the Friend, the Sound of Friend

Ah the West, progress ‘n glitter that must*

Its song pulleth it to the dust!!

Silver, white and new may it appear

The hand and clothes doth it smear

In every hand incompetent shalt thou be indisposed

Unto thine Origin return, that thy soul be reposed!

Knowledge for the body doth only kill

Knowledge for soul doth the heart fill 

Knowledge and wisdom from honest bread

Love and feeling come from honest bread

For truth, break the emblem by truth owned

A friend’s mirror for friend be stoned!!

The noble, with endeavour obtain light

The lowly, in shame eschew the fight!

Of what use the words, if no pain of love in thy heart?*

If the lamb2 thou wilt not be, let thy torment too part!

Without sacrificial blood, all expression incomplete*

Without sacrificial blood, the song never sweet!! 

If true to Muhammad thou art, thine shall I be*

Thine shall be the Pen, thine the Destiny!!! 



1. These couplets are from Iqbal; the rest from Rumi

2. Sacrificial lamb

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