Moses and Shepherd
by: Molana Jalal-e-Din Mohammad Molavi Rumi
Translated by: Shahriar Shahriari
On the path Moses came upon a shepherd
His prayers with his God he overheard.
Where are you so your needs I can serve
Mend your shoes, your hair comb, curl & curve.
Wash your clothes, kill your lice, pick your nits
Bring you milk, while your Majesty just sits.
Kiss your lovely hands, and rub your tiny feet
When it is time to sleep, sweep your room, make it neat.
For you I will sacrifice all my goats
Thinking of you I shout and sing my notes.
The shepherd is this manner went on and on
Moses asked, who do you talk to my son?
Said to the only One who gave me birth
Did the same with the skies and this earth.
Said Moses, poor man, you just ruined your luck
Not yet found God, infidel, you are stuck.
You blaspheme, you babble such idle talk
Gag yourself, inside your mouth stick a sock.
Of your blasphemy, the whole world now stinks
Piety in mire and muck now sinks.
Sandals and leggings are what you deserve
Wanting all these for the One, you have some nerve.
If at once you do not hold your tongue
Fire and brimstone will burn so strong
If there is no fire, then whence the smoke?
Soul is blackened and spirit is broke.
Did you know that God himself will be the Judge?
Your belief and insolence will make him grudge.
Mindless friendship is no more than enmity
God has such servant for as long as eternity.
Who do you think you address? Uncle or aunt?
For Glorious One, body and need don't count.
He who drinks milk needs to be growing up
Shoes are but for the feet that need to walk or hop.
If you speak of these, say for creatures
What God said, he is me, I, his features.
He who thus speaks, will roll in disease
As well as he, I too have lost my ease.
He who has lost hearing as well as sight
This disease is much worse, with endless fright.
If you call him Fatima, a woman's name
Though in creation, they are both the same
Will seek vengeance with blood, and will blame
Although compassionate, kind and perhaps tame.
Fatima, for a woman is only praise
For a man, spear wound, set ablaze.
Arms and legs our features define and paint
Yet for Almighty God, pollute and taint.
What the Almighty deserves is only praise
Parent & child, he will give birth and raze.
Whatever has a body, birth must own
And what is born, on this side is thrown.
Everything in existence in this world
Is caused and no doubt will unfold.
Said, Moses, you have now cut my tongue
I repent, cause you have made my soul wrong.
Rent his own shirt, steamed and sighed
Unto the arid desert fled and cried.
God's voice came to Moses at that time
Separating our lovers is a crime.
You have come with the purpose to join & heal
Not sever and differences reveal.
Keep away with all your might from making part
Creatures begrudge each other and depart.
To each I have given a unique face
And a way to express and embrace.
For him all my praise , for you the blame
For him all sweetness, poison your game.
We transcend cleanliness and things vile
Tardiness, agility, foolishness, guile.
I do not profit from what I demand
For their own goodness comes every command.
Hindis in their own tongue God will praise
Sindis in prayer their arms will raise.
I do not become cleansed from counting beads
Rosary clears and lightens their needs.
We do not hear complaints of their ordeal
We look inside & see what their souls reveal.
We observe and can see the humble heart
Although much arrogance tongue may impart.
Since the heart is the essence, to transform
It's motive, to give birth to shape and form.
How many words, adjectives and metaphors
I want fire, burn with fire, burn in scores.
Fire of Love sets your heart and soul ablaze
Every thought and every word scorch, erase.
Moses, although proper and nice may be some
Others with soul on fire may have come.
The lovers, with each breath once again burn
In a ruined city, you can't tax and earn.
If his word is wrong, do not say that he lies
Washing the martyr's blood, purpose defies.
This blood, every water will exceed
This sin supersedes every good deed.
Inside the Kaaba, which way to face?
Footwear for the diver has no place.
Guidance of he drunkards do not seek
Of mending shirts to renders don't speak.
Nation of Love is other than religion
For Lovers, God is nation, faith and region.
Without love, those ruby lips are just a fad
In the ocean of sorrows love ain't sad.
In Moses' head God then planted the seed
Of hidden secrets that no mind could breed
With many stories, his heart would feed
That sound and sight and sense easily exceed.
Any more explanation is just insane
Giving more information will be in vain.
If I say, it will uproot every mind
If I write, pen after pen it will grind.
When Moses heard the Lord's harsh reprimand
Ran after the old shepherd over the sand.
Footprints of the shepherd he would trace
Dust and wind of the desert gladly brace.
Agitated steps of one like he
Apart from other prints one can see.
One step, just like a rook, straight and long
Another, just like a knight, aside flung.
Sometimes will rise up, like a tall wave
Other times, like a crawling fish behave
Sometimes writes of his state upon the sand
Like a fortune-teller, opening his hand.
Finally Moses found him, ended his search
With good tidings for shepherd to rest and perch.
Seek no ceremony, system or rule
To deny your aching heart will be cruel.
Your blasphemy is faith, light of the soul
You are saved, and the world is in control.
You are exempt from the rules of the Lord
Opening your heart and soul, you can afford.
Said, Moses this too, I have passed by
I drown in bloody tears that I cry.
I've long passed that intoxicant tree
Hundred thousand years back, was set free.
I cracked my whip and my horse returned
Made this great dome that fate overturned.
Keeper of worldly secrets is the divine
I hail the very hands that made mine.
Yet now, my state defies speech
nay, not mine, it's out of reach.
The image in the mirror that you see
Is your own reflection, and not me.
The breath that all breathers inhale
Is worthy of the lungs, yet souls fail.
If you praise or say thanks in loud cries
Like the old shepherd, you will see your demise.
Even if all your praises are better
Compared to God's mercy, they won't matter.
Say no more, cause when the veil is pulled aside
Whatever they thought was, will not abide.
God accepts you praises from his grace
Permits you to pray, while a stone you face.
His prayers with blood are entwined
Your praise, impure images have defined.
Blood may be vile, yet in water dissolves
But impurities of soul, nothing resolves.
This can be cleaned only by god's grace
Else remains inside the man of disgrace.
In prostration I wish you turned your face
Understood meaning of divine grace.
How can I praise when my soul I taint?
Unless I punish evil with the goodness of a saint.
This earth, just like God, is kind and meek
Absorbs every dirt, yet flowers peak.
Till it covers evils in its mud
Instead, it yields flowers that bud.
Infidel surrendered his life in trust
Became worthless, descended lower than dust.
His essence flower and fruit did not yield
Gave up evil to earth, and his goodness shield.
Said I've gone backwards, in going away
I envy dirt and dust, the price I pay
I wish I'd never risen from clay
Like clay, with seeds I'd rather play.
This journey my soul has tested and tried
What gains this journey brought to my side?
He desires to return to the clay
he who sees no benefits coming his way.
To turn back, is nothing but his greed
To go forth, can only stem from his need.
Each plant that is seeking to reach its height
Increase, vitality, growth its right.
Whenever it turns around towards the earth
Will face draught, disease, even dearth.
And when your soul is looking above
It can only increase in its love;
If you look towards the earth for your wage
You're a bird that is trapped inside a cage.