Ibn Hazm Poem
I say to my soul, "Crystal-clear, not at all obscure.
The fact is that all people are born to die,
Being the sons of others who were born to die.
Keep yourself well away from anything that may disgrace you;
Refuse all lusts; lust is the key that opens the gate to disaster.
I have observed that lust is easy and sweet at the beginning but
bitter at the end and hard to negotiate.
No matter what the pleasure, they are all followed by death,
even if a man lived twice as long as Noah, the son of Lamech.
Do not be tempted by the attractions of this world wich will
only last for a short time;
Death always hovering near us, warning us that this world
will pass away.
It is not possible to rise above the attractions of this world
you start by being greatly attached to it and have many possessions.
Many have already attempted to rise above the world but their minds
are still firmly fixed on it.
A man who renounces hopes and pride in an empty world
wich has been sucked dry
Is not like one who leaves it when it is like a milch cow
with heavy udders.
A man who remembers the things that he shall receive in the world
desiring them with a lover's passion and a holy mind,
Is most worthy in Paradise where he shall be furnished with a footstool
Anyone who has a certain knowledge of his own desires will see
everything in other people's hands is
mean and insignificant.
Anyone who has a sure knowledge of God would never disobey His
commandments even if he were given all the kingdoms of the world.
The best of all ways in life is the way of piety and
asceticism and the person who chooses this way is wise and the
But anyone who misses this path will find himself always in
And have no enjoyment from his life, since he has not obeyed the
commandment to be pious.
Paradise is for those who march towards it light in spirit and
virtuous in character.
They are purged of the soul's grudges and have been granted the
privilege of feeling as powerful as kings and as carefree as beggars.
They lived as they wished, and they died as they desired,
And they won a lasting abode wich is spacious and blessed.
They disobeyed the call of their bodies in every aspect of pleasure,
lit by their spirit wich dispelled the darkness of strong lusts.
Were it not for their mortal bodies one might think they
were living the life of angels.
O God, grant them the best position and increase their goodness;
Shower them with mercy wherever they are and bless them.
If people thought deeply about the reason for their creation,
nobody alive would laugh."
The heart refrained from amusement and pleasure,
It abstained in its appetite for love and liquor,
It did not desire to drink wine, nor to hunt gazelle.
The time had come for the heart to awaken and cast
away the covering veils of darkness;
Its attention was drawn away from all that it usually
admired from fear of the day when God will reveal all secrets.
O soul! Work hard, gird your loins,
Abdandon the empty quest of lust wich exhausts you.
Hasten towards salvationh and work to be delivered from
passion's anxiety and eternal punishment.
It is possible that I may be victorious and escape from
its flames and hardship.
You trifler! Time is rushing past,
Are you not afraid of the pain of destrcution?
After all the admonishments, it should be enough for
you just to see
The amazing invention of Time and what it does to people.
Abdandon the place that provides no reliable pleasures.
Do not worry about gaining money wich is only
bringing ridicule upon you; in this world
No one is so sure-footed that he never slips;
The world is taken from under his feet and he is left
in his misery.
Anyone who knows God in the real sense will refrain
from disobeying Him,
And the fear of God will be deeply seated in his heart.
The transitory world is not like the everlasting one,
And true piety is not like an assumed garment.
A pious man is not like the impious.
True words are different from lies.
Even if we feel secure from God's punishmnet,
And have no fear of His Anger, or of the hellfire
wich He created
For wrongdoers who tell lies and amass sins,
Obedience to God should still be incumbent on us
and help to beat back the temptations of lusts.
We have seen how the world treats its own.
It is like fire making ashes.
How many of those who wear out their bodies in
the service of God
And found their pleasure in hardship and trouble
such as no one would wish upon himself.
a man working hard to snatch the rosebuds of this
world is suddenly snatched by death and loses everything.
How many who achieved their desires, captured
good things they longed for,
Then found themselves facing what they always feared.
A man striving his hardest after his desires may in
fact be chasing his own ruin.
Sometimes when we see someone at the peak of society,
the next moment we see him brought low,
Having lost all his position and ranking,
Like a field of strong wheat, ready for harvesting,
suddenly trampled underfoot.
How many there are who nearly kill themselves from
longing and lusting after some rapidly disappearing object.
Is this not a wonderful word of warning to the wise,
confirming the merit of their way of life?
Hellfire awaits the wrongdoer if he turns aside from
the right path.
In the day of final reckoning, Allah will expose him and
reveal all his secrets.
As for those whom God has favoured with unending mercy
and ever increasing bounties,
But from ignorance they have missed misused God's gifts in
ways that are condemned by the holy books,
Do they not deserve God's punishments on the Day of
To be cast into His wrath and fire?
Give thanks to the Lord God whose gentle might works
in us as near as the jugular vein,
Who has sustained all the people who have ever lived
in this world, wether Arabs or not,
And praise be to Allah for the favours He bestowed on us,
Who is the master of time and its vicissitudes.
He subjected to us earth and heaven and whatever is in the air,
the water and stars.
Listen (to Allah) and leave the sinner in his sin, for
each of us must carry his own load.
This mortal world that gives us such lovely things
always takes them back again.
We flourish in our prime, then wither away and decay.
Can a prudent man wish for anything so shortlived
And always followed by death?
How can eyes enjoy one hour of sleep
When they have observed the transience of everything?
How can the soul settle in a place known to be transitory?
How can it find time on earth to think when it does
not know where it will be after death?
How can it feel secure in a stronghold wich can be
One hour of pleasure leads the ill doer to the eternal
The soul is constantly goaded towards a destination
It gave no thought to.
The soul was created for one purpose and yearns after
a different one;
it does not know where its true happiness lies,
And chases after the wrong goal.
It rushes towards something that will eventually
And has no thought for God's punishment.
It neglects her obligations towards God;
It busies itself with trifling things.
An arrogant ruler goes too far in oppressing his
Blind to the fate that awaits his soul, happily working
towards its ruin,
Turned away from all that would bring true success.
His soul turns away from God's guidance and chases
the elusive pleasures of this world.
Wake up, arrogant people, and hasten back to God!
God has an abode full of unending fire.
Do not choose transitory things and lose something
that lasts forever.
A man chooses and thereby reveals the strength of his