About Grief - 9

This is the final piece in the series. It's from Rumuz-e-bekhudi, written in latter part of life by Iqbal.

We see that he has found his anchor. Sometimes I wonder, is it truly that people have found their anchor or with age just compromised and stick to one because the truth without anchor is too unsettling.

I am putting it out there to see, if you can relate. You might already have a similar anchor. All it does is reassure, reinforce.

The amputation of desire condemns
To Death; Life rests secure on the behest

Do not despair. Desire continuing
The substance is of hope, while hopelessness

Poisons the very blood of life. Despair
Presses you down, a tombstone on your heart,

And, though you be as high as Alond’s mount,
It casts you down; impotence is the slave

Of its poor favours, unambition hangs
Upon its skirts. Despair lulls life asleep,

And proves the langour of its element;
The spirit’s eye is blinded by the smear

Of its collyrium, and brightest day
Transformed to pitchy night; life’s faculties

Die at its breath, Life’s springs are all dried up.
Despair and Sorrow sleep beneath one quilt;

Grief, like a lancet, pierces the soul’s vein.
O you who are a prisoner of care,

Learn from the Prophet’s message, "Do not grieve!"
This lesson fortified with trusty faith

The heart of Abu Bakr, and with the cup
Of blessed certitude rejoiced his soul.

The Muslim, well content with God’s good grace,
Is like a star, and goes upon his way

Smiling. If you acknowledged a God,
Shake free from sorrow, and deliver you

From vain imaging of Fortune’s turns.
Life more abundant strength of faith bestows.

"No fear shall be upon them": let this be
Constantly on your lips. When Moses strides

Before the Pharaoh, steadfast is his heart
As he remembered you shall not fear.

Fear, save of God, is the dire enemy
Of Works, the highwayman that plundered

Life‘s caravan. Purpose most resolute.
When fear attends, thinks upon what may be,

And lofty zeal to circumspection yields.
Or let its seed be sown within thy soil,

Life remains stunted of its full display.
Feeble its nature is, and well accords.

With heart a‐tremble and with palsied hand.
Fear robs the foot of strength to rove abroad,

And filches from the brain the power of thought.
Thy enemy, observing you afraid,

Will pluck you from your bower like a bloom;
Stronger will be the impact of his swords,

His very glance transfix you like a knife.
Fear is a chain that fetters close our feet,

A hundred torrents roaring in our sea.
And if your melody not freely soars,

Fear has relaxed the tension of your strings;
Then twist the pegs that keep your lute in tune,

And hear its music mount into the skies
In unrestrained and passionate lament.

Fear is a spy sent from the clime of Death,
Its spirit dark and chill as Death’s own heart;

Its eye wreaks havoc in the realm of Life,
Its ear’s a thief of Life’s intelligence.

Whatever evil lurks within your heart
You can be certain that its origin

Is fear: fraud, cunning, malice, lies – all these
Flourish on terror, who is wrapped about

With falsehood and hypocrisy for veil,
And fondles foul sedition at her breast.

And since it is least strong when zeal is high,
It is most happy in disunion.

Who understands the Prophet’s clue aright
Sees infidelity concealed in fear.

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