The Visions of Daqooqi the Dervish

Mathnawi III: 1973-1975, 1982-1988, 1991-1995, 2001-2003,
2046-2055, 2064-2076, 2084-2085

1973 That [dervish] Daqooqi, (may) the Mercy of God (be) upon
him, said, "I traveled for a time between His two horizons.1

"I walked (for) months and years, because of love for the Moon,2
unaware of the way, (and) bewildered in (the presence of) God."

1975 (Asked,) "Why are you walking barefoot over thorns and
stones?", he answered, "I am bewildered, ecstatic,3 and amazed!"

. . . . . . .

1982 He said, "One day I was going (along) like a longing (lover),
so that I might see the splendors of the Beloved4 [reflected] in

"So that I might see an ocean5 in a drop, (and) a sun folded up in a
mote (of dust).

"When I arrived by foot to the side of a shore, the day had become
late6 and (it was) the sun's time (to set).

1985 "Suddenly, I saw seven candles7 from a distance, (and) I
hurried toward them along the shore.

"The light from the flames of each candle went up beautifully to
the clouds in the sky.

"I became astounded. Even (my) amazement became astonished,
(and) the waves of bewilderment passed over the head of (my)

1988 "(I wondered,) 'What kind of candles (are) these (that) He has
lit, from which both eyes of the people are sewn (shut and

. . . . . . .

1991 "Again, I saw that the seven were becoming one (and that) its
light was ripping the robe8 of the sky.

"(And) then that one (candle) became seven once again.9 My
drunkenness and amazement reached fullness.

"(There was) a connectedness between the candles, (about) which
(the explanation) could not come to (my) tongue and speech.10

"(Because) the comprehension made by one (act) of seeing cannot
be shown by the tongue (during many) years

1995 "(And) that which the comprehension of awareness sees in
one moment cannot be heard by the ears (during many) years.

. . . . . . .

2001 "The seven candles became seven men in appearance, (and)
their light was going (up) to the blue roof (of the sky).

"In the presence of that radiance, the light of day (was like the
murky) dregs (of wine);11 due to (its) power, it was erasing (all
other) lights.

2003 "Again, each man took on the shape of a tree, (and) my eyes
(were) blessed (with good fortune) because of their greenness."12

. . . . . . .

2046 He said, "I urged myself, good-fortuned (one), farther ahead
(and) again the seven became entirely one tree.

"Every moment it was becoming seven (then) single,13 (and) what
I was becoming like due to (this) continuing bewilderment [cannot
be described].

"After that, I saw the trees (standing) for the ritual prayer, drawn
up in rows, prepared (just) like a congregation (of Muslims).14

"One tree (stood) in front, like the (prayer) leader, (while) the
others (were) behind in the standing (position).

2050 "That standing, bowing, and prostrating of the trees15 seemed
amazing to me.

"(But at) that moment, I remembered the words of God, (who)
said about the stars and trees, 'They both prostrate.'16

"The trees didn't have knees or waists, (so how was) this
arrangement of the ritual prayer (done) like that?

"(Then) the inspiration of God came, saying, 'O illumined one, do
you still have amazement about My actions?'

"After a time, those (trees) became seven men (again). (All were)
sitting [after the prayer] for the sake of God, the Unique.

2055 "I kept rubbing my eyes, saying (to myself), 'Who are those
seven lions, and what (need) do they have of the world?'

. . . . . . .

2064 "After that they said, 'We have the desire to follow you17 [in
another ritual prayer], O holy friend.'

2065 "I said, 'Yes-- but (in) a while, (because) I have some
difficulties18 about the cycle of time,

"[And wish to wait] so that they may become solved by holy
companionship. For a grape grows from the ground by

"A seed full of kernels shared solitude and companionship19 with
the dark soil by the grace [of God].

"It completely obliterated itself20 in the earth until no shape or
scent or (color) of red or yellow remained.21

"After that obliteration, its constriction22 did not remain. It
became expanded23 and opened (its) wings, [and happily] urged
(its) mount (forward).

2070 "Since it became devoid of self in the presence of its source,
(its outward) form left (and) its (inner) reality became revealed.

"(The saints) motioned (their) heads24 in such a way, (meaning)
'Go ahead! The command is yours.' (And) from head
movements such as these, a flame in (my) heart rose up.

"When I had become attentive25 (to the presence of God) and
separated from myself26 (after) an hour with that chosen group,

"In that same hour, (my) soul escaped from (all) hours. Because
hours cause young to change (into) old."

All colors27 arise from (the passing of) hours; the one (who
escapes from hours (is) freed from (the changes of) color.

2075 (For) when you go beyond hours for an hour, likenesses do
not remain (and) you become the confidant of (what is) beyond

2076 The hours are not aware of (the state of) being beyond
time;29 because of that, there is no way (to) that direction for him
except (through) bewilderment.

. . . . . . .

2084 This speech has no end. Move quickly! Hurry, (since the time
for) the ritual prayer has arrived. Go forward, Daqooqi!

2085 O incomparable one, perform the two30 (sections of the
prayer), so that Time may become decorated31 because of you!

--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 1930 British translation)
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (, 10/21/99

Notes on the text, with line number:

1. (1973) His two horizons: between East and West. Means the
known world, created and ruled by God. "(He is) Lord of the two
places of sunrise and Lord of the two places of sunset." (Qur'an
55:17). Nicholson says about the "two horizons": "i.e. the spiritual
and material worlds." (Commentary)

2. (1974) love for the Moon: means he only thought of reaching the
presence of the beautiful beloved, like a crazy man who keeps
walking in order to get closer to the moon and is oblivious of
anything else.

3. (1975) ecstatic: this word literally means "without self," and is an
idiom for being raptured, ecstatic, beyond one self, devoid of self,
out of one's senses, crazed.

4. (1982) splendors of the Beloved: means God (and may also be
translated as "splendors of the Friend"). Means the shining rays of
the Attributes of God.

5. (1983) an ocean: "i.e. the Perfect Man, who is the form of
Universal Reason." (Nicholson, Commentary)

6. (1984) the day had become late: "'Evening' may refer to the
occultation [= blocking from perception] of the physical senses."
(Nicholson, Commentary)

7. (1985) seven candles: "The Seven Candles in Daqúqí's vision are
interpreted as signifying (a) the seven Abdál [= high-ranking saints
in the sufi hierarchy], who preside over the seven climes, and each
one of whom is the spiritual representative of a prophet; (b) the
seven principle Divine Names.... The symbolism used throughout
this revelation of Reality is far from clear, but certain details so
that the 'Seven Candles' typify an exalted class of the 'Men of the
Unseen' (rijálu 'l-ghayb)." (Nicholson, Commentary)

8. (1991) ripping the robe: means tearing the robe from the front
collar downward, exposing the chest, and here is an image of the
sky tearing the front of its robe in ecstasy. Refers to the ancient
custom of tearing one's garments during states of overwhelming
grief or joy. Dervishes used to tear the fronts of their shirts or their
cloaks during ecstatic dancing (samâ`), but this did not involve
public nudity (forbidden in Islam).

9. (1992) became seven once again: "The vision of the Candles, first
as seven then as one, then again as seven, reveals the truth that all
prophets and saints are identical in reality, and only differ
externally in so far as they are individualisations (ta'ayyunát) of the
One Essence. Similarly, the Divine Names and Attributes,
notwithstanding their appearance of diversity, are essentially one".
(Nicholson, Commentary)

10. (1993) tongue and speech: "Speech cannot express, nor hearing
(i.e., oral teaching) instill, the esoteric knowledge that is gained by
immediate perception." (Nicholson, Commentary)

11. (2002) dregs (of wine): refers to the dark sediment left over after
most of the wine has been drunk from a cup.

12. (2003) greenness: the color green symbolizes blessing and good-
fortune in Islamic cultures, probably because the Islamic revelation
occurred in the deserts of Arabia.

13. (2047) seven (then) single: "Daqúqí describes a unitive state in
which the mystic contemplates the unity of the One and the Many.
See... the rubá'í [= quatrain] cited by WM [= Walí Muhammad,
"Sharh-i Mathnawí," Lucknow, India, 1894]: a'yán-i hamah
áyinah, Haq jalwah-gar-ast,/ yá núr-i Haq áyinah u a'yán suwar-
ast./ dar chashm-i muhaqqiq kih hadídu 'l-basar-ast/ har yak zi-du
ín áyinah án-i digar-ast. 'All phenomena are the mirror wherein
God is displayed;/ Or the Light of God is the mirror, and
phenomena the images (reflected in it)./ In the eyes of the true
adept who is keen-sighted/ Each of these two mirrors is the mirror
of the other.'" (Nicholson, Commentary)

14. (2048) a congregation (of Muslims): "Since the trees represent
Divine Names and Attributes, they are individualisations
(ta'ayyunát) of the Divine Essence, and as such may be said to
worship God." (Nicholson, Commentary)

15. (2050) prostrating of the trees: in the Islamic ritual prayer, each
section consists of standing, bowing from the waist (with hands on
the knees), prostrating the head and nose to the floor or ground,
and sitting.

16. (2051) prostrate: refers to a passage from the Qur'an (5:3-6), "He
created man, and He taught him speech and understanding. (At His
command), the sun and moon follow (exactly) reckoned courses,
and the stars and the trees both prostrate (before Him)." This
means that the "setting" of the stars and the "bowing" of trees (as
when palm trees are curved to the ground during a powerful storm)
are examples of how all of creation worships God.

17. (2064) to follow you: means that the exalted saints wanted
Daqooqi to stand in front of them and lead them in another ritual

18. (2065) some difficulties: "Before complying with the request of the
Abdál, Daqúqí begs them to let him associate with them for a
while, so that he may attain to their spiritual freedom and become
worthy to lead them in prayer." (Nicholson, Commentary)

19. (2067) companionship [suHbat]: a technical term in sufism,
referring to the transmission of spiritual grace from the holy
companionship and conversations of the spiritual guide.

20. (2068) completely obliterated itself: "The analogy of the seed
suggests the passing-away (faná) of the muríd's [= the disciple's]
self-existence in the universal nature of the murshid" [= the
spiritual guide]. (Nicholson, Commentary)

21. (2068) remained: Nicholson followed a variant for this verse and
translated: " that no colour or scent or red or yellow (hue)
remained to it."

22. (2069) constriction [qabZ]: a technical sufi term, meaning a
spiritual state of deprivation, emptiness, and separation from
harmony and joy.

23. (2069) expanded: [basT]: a technical sufi term, meaning a state of
spiritual fullness, joy, and sometimes ecstasy.

24. (2071) motioned (with their) heads: Nicholson translated, "They
nodded so (as thought saying," and explained, "i.e. 'they signified
by nodding their heads.'" (Commentary)

25. (2072) attentive (to the presence of God): this word [murâqib] is
related to "murâqabah," which is a technical sufi term referring to
the spiritual practice of watchfulness and guarding against thoughts
other than about God, and returning to attention to the Divine
presence. Nicholson translated, "had taken part... in
contemplation," and explained, "'Meditation' is a more exact
rendering of muráqabah than 'contemplation.'" (Commentary)

26. (2072) separated from myself: means a state of ecstasy, following
the passing away or annihilation [fanâ] of self.

27. (2074) all colors: Nicholson translated, "All changes." Means the
varieties of all things in the material world, which change over
time, such as the colors of leaves from the time they are new and
green to when they die and become yellow and brown.

28. (2075) (what is) beyond comparison: may also be translated, "the
confidant of the Incomparable"-- meaning God.

29. (2076) being beyond time: Nicholson translated "hourlessness
(timelessness)," and commented: "I.e. those who are convinced of
the reality of time and are subject to its limitations cannot realise a
mystical experience in which all sense of time is lost. WM [= the
commentary by Walí Muhammad, mentioned in an earlier note
above] takes the meaning of the second hemistich to be that their
attempt to apprehend 'timelessness' leads to nothing but perplexity
(tahayyur) and ignorance; tahayyur, however, probably denotes
here mystical 'bewilderment' as opposed to normal consciousness."

30. (2085) perform the two: means two sections of the ritual prayer.
"According to the commentators, this refers to the morning prayer:
it is called 'twofold' because it consists of two fard (obligatory) and
two sunnah (customary) rak'ahs. But the poet may have in mind--
what seems more appropriate here-- the salât of two rak'ahs [= the
prayer of two sections] authorised for the benefit of travellers."
(Nicholson, Commentary)

31. (2085) that Time may become decorated: means by being adorned
with the spiritual state of being beyond time brought by Daqooqi to
the ritual prayer--- a state of profound mystical consciousness
while in the deepest submission before the presence of God during
the ritual prayer. The story of the visions of Daqooqi continue for
quite a few pages after this section.


1973 ân daqûqî, raHmatu 'llâhi `alayh
goft sâfartu mad-an fî khâfiqayh

sâl-o mah raft-am safar az `ishq-é mâh
bê-khabar az râh, Hayrân dar alâh

1975 pâ-barahna mê-rawî bar khâr-o sang
goft man Hayrân-am-o bê-khwesh-o dang

. . . . . . .

1982 goft rôzê mê-shod-am mushtâq-wâr
tâ be-bîn-am dar bashar anwâr-é yâr

tâ be-bîn-am qulzumê dar qaTra'yê
âftâbê darj andar Zarra'yê

chûn rasîd-am sôy-é yak sâHil ba-gâm
bûd bêgah gashta rôz-o waqt-é shâm

1985 haft sham` az dûr dîd-am nâ-gahân
andar ân sâHil, shetâbîd-am ba-d-ân

nûr-é shu`la-yé har yakê sham`ê az ân
bar shoda khôsh tâ `anân-é âsmân

khêra gasht-am, khêragî ham khêra gasht
mawj-é Hayrat `aql-râ az sar goZasht

1988 în che-gûna sham`-hâ afrôkht-ast
k-în dô dîda-yé khalq az-în-hâ dôkht-ast?

. . . . . . .

1991 bâz mê-dîd-am ke mê-shod haft, yak
mê-shekâf-ad nûr-é ô jayb-é falak

bâz ân yak bâr dêgar haft shod
mastî-wo Hayrânî-yé man zaft shod

ittiSâlâtê meyân-é sham`-hâ
ke na-y-ây-ad bar zabân-o goft-é mâ

ân-ke yak dîdan kon-ad idrâk-é ân
sâl-hâ na-t'wân namûdan az zabân

1995 ân-ke yak dam bîn-ad-ash idrâk-é hôsh
sâl-hâ na-t'wân shenûdan ân ba-gôsh

. . . . . . .

2001 haft sham` andar naZar shod haft mard
nûr-eshân mê-shod ba-saqf-é lazhoward

pêsh-é ân anwâr nr-é rôz dord
az Silâbat nûr-hâ-râ mê-setord

2003 bâz har yak mard shod shakl-é derakht
chashm-am az sabziy-é êshân nêk-bakht

. . . . . . .

2046 goft rând-am pêsh-tar man nêk-bakht
bâz shod ân haft, jomla yak derakht

haft mê-shod, fard mê-shod har damê
man che sân mê-gasht-am az Hayrat hamê

ba`d az ân dîd-am derakht-ân dar namâz
Saf kashîda chûn jamâ`at karda sâz

yak derakht az pêsh mânand-é imâm
dêgar-ân andar pas-é ô dar qiyâm

2050 ân qiyâm-o ân rukû`-wo ân sujûd
az derakht-ân bas shegeft-am mê-namûd

yâd kard-am qawl-é Haq-râ ân zamân
goft an-najm-o shajar-râ yasjud-ân

în derakht-ân-râ na zânô na meyân
în che tartîb-é namâz-ast ân-chonân?

âmad ilhâm-é khodâ, k-ay bâ-forûz
mê `ajab dâr-î ze- kâr-é mâ hanôz?

ba`d-é dîrê gasht ân-hâ haft mard
jomla dar qa`da pay-é yazdân-é fard

2055 chash mê-mâl-am ke ân haft arslân
tâ kayân-and-o che dâr-and az jahân?

. . . . . . .

2064 ba`d az ân goft-and mâ-râ ârzô-st
iqdadâ kardan ba-tô ay pâk-dôst

2065 goft-am ârî lêk yak sâ`at ke man
mushkilâtê dâr-am az dawr-é zaman

tâ shaw-ad ân Hal ba-SuHbat-hây-é pâk
ke ba-SuHbat rôy-ad angûrê ze-khâk

dâna-yé por maghz bâ khâk-é dozham
khalwatî-wo SuHbatî kard az karam

khwêshtan dar khâk kullî maHw kard
tâ na-mând shakl-o bô-wo sorkh-o zard

az pas-é ân maHw, qabZ-é ô na-mând
par goshâd-o basT shod, markab be-rând

2070 pêsh-é aSl-é khwêsh chûn bê-khwêsh shod
raft Sûrat jalwa-yé ma`nî-sh shod

sar chon-în kard-and hîn farmân to-râ-st
taff-é del az sar chon-în kardan be-khâst

sâ`atê bâ ân gorôh-é mujtabà
chûn murâqib gasht-am-o az khwad jodâ

ham dar ân sâ`at ze-sâ`at rast jân
z-ân-ke sâ`at pîr gardân-ad jawân

jomla talwîn-hâ ze-sâ`at khâst-ast
rast az talwîn ke az sâ`at be-rast

2075 chûn ze-sâ`at sâ`atê bêrûn shaw-î
chûn na-mân-ad, maHram-é bê-chûn shaw-î

2076 sâ`at az bê-sâ`atî âgâh nêst
z-ân-esh ân sô joz taHayyur râh nêst

. . . . . . .

2084 în sokhon pâyân na-dâr-ad têz daw
hîn namâz âm-ad daqûqî pêsh raw

2085 ay yagâna hîn dô-gâna bar gozâr
tâ muzayyan gard-ad az tô rôzgâr

(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)