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The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, by Ibn al-Arabi, tr. Reynold A. Nicholson, [1911], at


1. In the valley-curve between the two stony tracts is the trysting-place. Make our camels kneel, for here is the journey's end.

2. Do not seek (any other spot) and do not call after this, 'O Báriq! O Ḥájir! O Thahmad!'

3. And play as friendly full-breasted damsels played, and pasture as shy gazelles pastured

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4. In a meadow whose flies sang and hummed and a warbling bird there answered them joyously.

5. Soft were its sides and soft its breeze, and the clouds were flashing and thundering,

6. And the raindrops were descending from the crevices of the clouds like tears shed by a passionate lover because he is parted from her he loves.

7. And drink the pure essence of its wine with its intoxication, and listen rapturously to a singer who chanteth there:

8. 'O the pure wine that in Adam's time related concerning the Garden of Eden an authentic tradition!

9. Verily, the fair women scattered it from the water of their mouths like musk and the virgins bestowed it on us without stint.'


1. 'In the valley-curve between the two stony tracts,' i.e. in the place where Divine favours are bestowed on the soul which is the locus of an Essential manifestation.

'The trysting-place,' referring either to the station of Faith or to God's taking a covenant from the souls of mankind.

'The journey's end,' i.e. the mystery of everlasting life.

2. 'Do not seek,' etc., in accordance with the Tradition, 'There is no mark beyond God.'

3. 'And play,' etc., referring to the various states of this gnostic in which he is transported from one Divine Name to another. 'Full-breasted damsels' and 'shy gazelles' refer to the abstruse sciences of pure unification.

4. 'In a meadow,' i.e. the Divine Presence, together with the Holy Names contained in it.

'Flies,' i.e. subtle spirits.

'A warbling bird,' i.e. the human soul, in respect of the forms with which it is endued in every sphere and station.

5. 'Were flashing and thundering,' in reference to the two states, viz. contemplation and interlocution (###) Cf. Kor. ii, 206, and the Tradition, 'God was in a dense cloud; there was no air above Him or below Him.'

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6. 'The raindrops,' i.e. manifold sorts of Divine knowledge.

7. 'The pure essence of its wine,' i.e. spiritual meanings and Divine sciences, which fill the heart with delight.

'A singer,' i.e. the voice (###) produced by the universal praise (###); the human soul hears it in its essence and is enraptured.

8. 'The Garden of Eden,' i.e. this wine is derived from the Presence which comes to dwell in the souls of gnostics at the time of nurture (###).

9. 'The fair women,' i.e. the Divine Names.

'From the water of their mouths,' i.e. from the station of speech and expression.

'The virgins,' i.e. from the station of shame, referring to contemplation.