Friday, February 24, 2006

Thirty-three Tritinas (28 - 31)

28. Al-Hayy, the Alive One; Al-Wasi, the All Comprehending; An-Nur, the Self-Emitting Light

This is the journey of life:
from ignorance to comprehension
from darkness into light.

The world began with light
then it brought forth life
and then comprehension

and now it's our task to comprehend
the reasons behind light
the purposes of life.

Live, that you may comprehend light.

29. Al-Mubdi, the Originator; Al-Muta’ali, the Supreme One; Al-Muhaymin, the Guardian

We try so hard to be "original"
thereby asserting the supremacy
of "now" over the past and its guardians.

And those whose task it is to guard
our history, our customs and our origins
are looked on with supreme

contempt, swamped by the supremacy
of the modern and post-modern. "Old guard"
scornful appellation, twin to "unoriginal".

Neither originality nor tradition need be our supreme guardian.

30. Al-Mudhill, the Humiliator; Dhul Jalali Wal Ikram, the Lord of Majesty and Bounty; Al-Haqq, the Truth

We're told that a pauper, most humble
was mistaken for a prince and crowned His Majesty
--perhaps not history, but still truth.

Now this story, we're told, is true:
the mouse, tiny and humble
rescued the lion in his majesty.

Robes and trappings confer no majesty.
Such outward show can only be true
if it is graced with inward humility.

A humble heart gives majesty its truth.

31. Al-Ghafur, the Forgiver and Hider of Faults; Al-Warith, the Inheritor of All; Al-Hakim, the Wise

One who considered himself faultless
declared that he should inherit
the mantle of the wise.

The folk accepted his claim of wisdom,
overlooked his hidden faults,
and made him a judge of inheritances.

But the lawsuits to which he fell heir
were judged unfairly and unwisely
though he said it wasn't his fault.

Faultless wisdom is not inherited, but earned.

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