Incomparable Mercy

Mathnawi III: 3632-3634

3632 (For) His Mercy is not the mercy of Adam, since sorrow is
(part of) the mixture of the mercy of Adam.

The mercy of the created is full of sadness, (but) the Mercy of God
is (completely) pure of (any) sadness or anxiety.

3634 Know, O father,1 that the Mercy of the Incomparable is like
this: nothing except Its effect comes into the imagination.2

--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" (, 5/6/99

Notes on the text, with line number:

1. (3634) O father: refers to the listener. Rumi uses a number of
names to address the listener, such as "O son," "O master."
Sometimes these are "fillers" necessary for the purposes of
maintaining meter.

2. (3634) into the imagination: means that the human imagination is
incapable of conceiving the real nature of Divine Mercy, other than
its external effects. This is a reference to the explanation of a
Qur'anic verse [32:17, "No one knows what (Heavenly) delights
are kept hidden for them as a reward for their (good) deeds"] given
by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who said, "God
says, 'I have prepared for My righteous servants that which no eye
has seen and no ear has heard, and which the heart of man cannot


3632 raHmat-ash na raHmat-é âdam bow-ad
ke mizâj-é raHm-é âdam gham bow-ad

raHmat-é makhlûq bâsh-ad ghuSSa-nâk
raHmat-é Haq az gham-o ghusSSa-st pâk

3634 raHmat-é bê-chûn chon-în dân ay pedar
n-ây-ad andar wahm az way joz aSar

(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)