A story I have heard
Sweeter than honey is its every word.
One morning on Eid day
Bayazid was on his way,
He had come out from a bath
And was walking on the path.
Someone threw down some ash
Unknowingly from a stash,
His face and head were soiled
And his clothes were spoiled.
Bayazid thanked God with grace
And said as he cleaned his face:
"I am worthy of this fire
May it burn my attire,
Ash I do not despise
Nor will I complain in guise."
Wise men seek to be humble
With pride they do not rumble,
Those who proudly yelp
Cannot look at God for help.
By boasting, honor you won't attain
From pride you should abstain,
With humility you will earn fame
Pride will destroy you in shame.
(Pata Khazana, p. 193)
Rabia is another old Pashto poetess who, according to Mohammad Hotak, lived in Kandahar during the reign of Babur Shah. Mohammad Hotak has recorded on of her quatrain in his book. The author does not say much about the life or family of Rabia. But even this one quatrain is very valuable, both from the viewpoint of meaning and wording, and it seems that Rabia was an experienced poetess and deep thinker who lived to the year 1541.
Poets have found many and varied subjects in the life of man on love and pain. Mawlana Balkhi wrote:
With love, the earth of man was made of mud,
Untold mischief and suffering were born in this world;
A hundred times was the vein of soul pierced
A single drop dripped to the ground;
And they called it the heart.
Iraqi has folded the philosophy of love and pain in his poetic logic as such:
††††††††††† The very first wine poured into the cup,
††††††††††† Was borrowed from the captivating eyes of the cup-bearer;
††††††††††† In the world wherever there was a heartache,
††††††††††† It was brought together and they called it love.
In the same vein Rabia also has a quatrain which embodies some very deep meaning. The Sufi and the Ishraqi scholars believe that man has been separated from a supernal origin and that his soul is always seeking its original source and that the world is a home full of the pains of separation. Therefore we hear a continuous and interrupted wailing of separation everywhere. In the words of Mawlana Balkhi:
††††††††††† Since I was cut off from the reed-bed,
††††††††††† Men and women have cried over my separation.
††††††††††† Whoever is left from his origins
††††††††††† Of necessity must seek the day of unification.
††††† Rabia also pictures the world of separation, a world full of pain and sorrow, and manís role in it in these words:
††††††††††† He brought man to the worldís mire
††††††††††† And put his inner body on fire,
††††††††††† By creating hell on earth called separation
††††††††††† To endure, if you Divine love desire.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Pata Khazana,† p. 195)
††††† The first quatrain signifies the philosophy of pessimism which is shared by some later scholars such as Schopenhauer. The second quatrain is an indicator of manís separation from the Divine source. These thoughts have entered Pashto literature from other sources and are not considered as the original thinking of the Pashtuns.
Pashto Quarterly Vol. 3, No. 3, 1980.