a sufi poem by rabi’a a’ ‘adawiyya

Everyone prays to You from fear of the Fire;
And if You do not put them in the Fire,
This is their reward.
Or they pray to You for the Garden,
Full of fruits and flowers.
And that is their prize.
But I do not pray to You like this,
For I am not afraid of the Fire,
And I do not ask You for the Garden.
But all I want is the Essence of Your Love,
And to return to be One with You,
And to become Your Face.

O God, if I worship You for fear of Hell,
burn me in Hell,
And if I worship You in hope of Paradise,
Exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
Grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty

O God, my whole occupation
And all my desire in this world,
Of all worldly things,
Is to remember You.
And in the Hereafter
It is to meet You.
This is on my side, as I have stated.
Now You do whatever You will.


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