Should you not gain your wants, my soul, then be not grieved;
but hasten to that banquet which your Lord’s bequeathed.
And when a thing for which you ask is slow to come,
Then know that often through delay are gifts received.
Find solace in privation and respect is due,
For only by contentment is the heart relieved.
And know that when the trails of life have rendered you
Despairing of all hope, and of all joy bereaved,
Then shake yourself and rouse yourself from heedlessness,
And make pure hope a meadow that you never leave.
Your Maker’s gift take subtle and uncounted forms.
How fine the fabric of the world His hands have weaved.
The journey done, they came to water of life,
And all the caravan drank deep, their thirst allieved.
Far be it from the host to leave them thirsty there,
His spring pours forth all generosity received.
My Lord, my trust in all Your purposes is strong,
That trust is now my shield; I’m safe, and undeceived.
All those who hope for grace from You will feel Your rain;
Too generous are You to leave my branch unleaved.
May blessings rest upon the loved one, Muhammad,
Who’s been my means to high degrees since I believed.
He is my fortress and my handhold, so my soul,
Hold fast, and travel to a joy still unconceived.
Imam ‘Ali bin Husayn al-Habshi
(translated by Abdal Hakim Murad)