We Are In His Hands In Anger And In Peace

Mathnawi I: 1510-1513

1510 If we come to (a state of) ignorance, that is His prison. And if
we come to (a state of) knowledge, that is His (lofty) balcony.

If we come to (a state of) sleep, we are His drowsy-drunken ones.
And if we come to (a state of) wakeful alertness, we are in His
Hands.

If we come to (a state of) weeping, we are His cloud full of
glistening (raindrops).1 And if we come to (a state of) laughing,2
we are His lightning in that moment.

1513 If we come to (a state of) anger and battle, it is the reflection
of His Wrath.3 And if we come to (a state of) peace and pardon, it
is the reflection of His Love.4

--From "The Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî" [Rhymed Couplets of Deep Spiritual Meaning] of Jalaluddin Rumi. Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard (with gratitude for R. A. Nicholson's 1926 British translation) Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration) (4/27/02)

Notes on the text, with line number:

1(1512) we are His (raining) cloud full of glistening (raindrops): The rhyme ("zarq" with "barq") suggests the idiom "zarq-o barq," which means "gleaming and flashing," "dark-blue and glittering (with lightning)," as well as "magnificence and grandeur." Nicholson later changed his translation to, "we are His cloud shedding rain-drops abundantly" (from, "we are a cloud laden with the bounty dispensed by Him"). And he explained: "i.e. full of the rain of Divine Mercy. GH [= the two earliest manuscripts of the Mathnawi] read 'zarq,' 'brightness', 'splendour'. . . In that case there would be a comparison of glistening tears to rain-drops." (Commentary)

2(1512) laughing: refers to the flashing gleam of smiling or
laughing teeth, which is compared to the flashing quality of
lightning.

3(1513) it is the reflection of His Wrath: "If we are full of anger and
are quarrelsome, that anger of ours is the reflection and the effect
of the Wrath of God [qahr-é khodâ]. In other words, the qualities
of anger and rage which manifest in us are the reflection and effect
of the qualities of Divine Punishment and Wrath which have
manifested in us. Because human existence is the mirror and place
of manifestation of the Divine Attributes." (Anqaravi, the 17th
century Turkish commentator, translated here into English from a
Persian translation)

4(1513) it is the reflection of His Love: "And, likewise, if we are
inclined to peace and gentle kindness [SulH wa luTf], those are
also the effects of the Love and Gentle Kindness of God which
have appeared in us. In sum, whether (it is) anger or kindness, both
qualities (derive) from Divine Being, become overflowing in the
servant (of God) [= the human being] and mankind is never the
source of any attribute." (Anqaravi, Commentary)

1510 gar ba-jahl ây-êm, ân zendân-é ô-st
w-ar ba-`ilm ây-êm, ân aywân-é ô-st

wa-r be-g'riy-ém abr-é por-zarq-é way-êm
w-ar ba-khand-êm ân zamân barq-é way-êm

1513 w-ar ba-khashm-o jang `aks-é qahr-é ô-st
w-ar ba SulH-o `aZr `aks-é mehr-é ô-st

(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)