a hundred thousand faces;
gaze upon a different fair one
in every atom;
for He needs must show
to every separate mote
a different aspect
of His Beauty.
"One" is the fountainhead
of all numbers:
each split second wells up
a new perplexity.
'Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes'
By Fakhruddin Iraqi (Author), Peter Wilson (Translator), William Chittick (Translator), Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Foreword)
Fakhruddin `Iraqi (1213-1289) was already in his time a famous Sufi poet-gnostic, who was particularly gifted in expressing the mysteries of Union in the language of love. He lived during the thirteenth century at the peak of the revival of Islamic spirituality, and was contemporary with such figures as Ibn `Arabi, Jalaluddin Rumi and Shams Tabrizi, Sadruddin Qunawi, Najmuddin Kubra, and Kermani.
`Iraqi may be considered as one of the "fideli d'Amore" of Persian Sufism, gnostics who considered love as the foundation of transcendent awareness, such as Mansur al-Hallaj, Ahmad Ghazzali, `Ayn al-Qodhat Hamdhani, Ruzbihan Baqli, and Shihabuddin Suhrawardi.
"Divine Flashes" is his prose masterpiece, in which he re-wrote, in the language of love, the "Fusus al-Hikam" (lit. "The Seals of the Wisdoms") of Ibn al-`Arabi. Each "Flash" of `Iraqi corresponds with a "Seal of Wisdom" of Ibn al-`Arabi. After his death, `Iraqi was buried, at his request, beside the tomb of Ibn al-`Arabi in Damascus.
Through the "Lama'at" (Divine Flashes), the theoshophy of Ibn al-`Arabi was recreated and integrated into the Persion poetic tradition, and its influence on later poets cannot be overestimated.
Moreover, according to Sadruddin Qunawi, spiritual heir and stepson of Ibn al-`Arabi, " `Iraqi, you have published the secret of men's words. The "Lama'at" is in truth the pith of the "Fusus"!"
I like this text very much, although I had to struggle with this book. I think that the layout could be a little better. I have solved this by doing the following: type out the main text in my computer (while leaving out less important sentences); cut the sentences into a general poetry format. Only then could I more easily go through the text.
"I gaze at the glass which reveals my beauty
and see the universe but an image of that image.
In the paradise of theophany I am the Sun: marvel not
that every atom becomes a vehicle of my manifestation.
"What are the Holy Spirits? - The delegates of my secret;
and the shapes of men? - The vessels of my bodily form.
World-encircling Ocean? - A drop of my overflowing effusion;
purest Light? - But a spark of my illumination."
This book is a must-read, must-own for anyone seriously interested in its subject. I keep returning to it, and should have rated it 5 stars.