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Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

(1207 - 1273 / Persia)

Laila and the Khalifa.


The Khalifa said to Laila, "Art thou really she
For whom Majnun lost his head and went distracted?
Thou art not fairer than many other fair ones."
She replied, "Be silent; thou art not Majnun!"


If thou hadst Majnun's eyes,
The two worlds would be within thy view.
Thou art in thy senses, but Majnun is beside himself.
In love to be wide awake is treason.
The more a man is awake, the more he sleeps (to love);
His (critical) wakefulness is worse than slumbering.


Our wakefulness fetters our spirits,
Then our souls are a prey to divers whims,
Thoughts of loss and gain and fears of misery.
They retain not purity, nor dignity, nor lustre,
Nor aspiration to soar heavenwards.
That one is really sleeping who hankers after each whim
And holds parley with each fancy.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Rookie Abdullah Ahmed Geelah (5/23/2006 2:50:00 PM)

    Rumi is one of my favourite poets, eventhough he wrote and collaborated his poems 850 years ago his poems are still read today. One of his famous saying 'the lamps are different but the light is the same' sends messages to people, that this man was a peaceful, this is because he means that the three monothestic religions are the same but their beliefs are unique.

    His poem Laila and the Khalifa, is well.....OK but it has some vocabulary misunderstandings/mistakes. This is because he wrote his poems in Turkish, Arabic and Persian and people over time translated to different languages so the translaters didn't accurately translate it. For example, Khalifa means Caliph a muslim ruler, Laila is a Arabic name meaning Night and Majunun means Crazy man or lunatic in Arabic. So be careful. (Report) Reply

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