Rabia al Basri

(717 - 801 / Basra / Iraq)

If I Adore You - Poem by Rabia al Basri

If I adore You out of fear of Hell, burn me in Hell!
If I adore you out of desire for Paradise,
Lock me out of Paradise.
But if I adore you for Yourself alone,
Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

From: Doorkeeper of the heart: versions of Rabia / [translated by] Charles Upton. Putney, Vt.: Threshold Books, c1988

Taken from Other Women's Voices

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 8, 2012


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