Saturday, September 3, 2016

Reynold A. Nicholson - The Voice within your Hearts

Deep in our hearts the Light of Heaven is shining
Upon a soundless Sea without a shore.
Oh, happy they who found it in resigning
The images of all that men adore.
Blind eyes, to dote on shadows of things fair
Only at last to curse their fatal lure,
Like Harut and Marut, that Angel-pair
Who deemed themselves the purest of the pure.
Our ignorance and self-will and vicious pride
Destroy the harmony of part and whole.
In vain we seek with lusts unmortified
A vision of the One Eternal Soul.
Love, Love alone can kill what seemed so dead,
The frozen snake of passion. Love alone,
By tearful prayer and fiery longing fed,
Reveals a knowledge schools have never known.
God’s lovers learn from Him the secret ways
Of Providence, the universal plan.
Living in Him, they ever sing His praise
Who made the myriad worlds of Time for Man.
Evil they knew not, for in Him there’s none;
Yet without evil how should good be seen?
Love answers: “Feel with me, with me be one;
Where I am nought stands up to come between.”
There are degrees of heavenly light in souls;
Prophets and Saints have shown the path they trod,
Its starting points and stages, halts and goals,
All leading to the single end in God.
Love will not let his faithful servants tire,
Immortal Beauty draws them on and on
From glory unto glory drawing nigher
At each remove and loving to be drawn.
When Truth shines out words fail and nothing tell;
Now hear the Voice within your hearts. Farewell.

1868-1945. Professor of Arabic. 
R.A. Nicholson was a scholar of both Islamic literature and Islamic mysticism, and widely regarded as one of the greatest scholars and translators of Rumi, the 13th-century Persian Sufi mystic.
Nicholson was born in Yorkshire and educated at Aberdeen and Cambridge.  He became a lecturer in the Persian language (1902-26) and Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic at Cambridge (1926-1933). He is considered to have been a leading scholar in Islamic literature and Islamic mysticism who exercised a lasting influence on Islamic studies.
His most influential books were the Literary History of The Arabs (1907), The Mystics of Islam (1914), and his exhaustive eight-volume work on Rumi's Masnavi.  He also translated Muhammad Iqbal's first philosophical Persian poetry book Asrar-i-Khudi into English as The Secrets of the Self.

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