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Listen to God as He tells a story;

He gives guidance to those who gamble all for love.

He says: First of all, I burned you up,

then I taught you the way of loving.

To see the image of My own face,

I manifested My own form.

From the first, My love guided you

until the practice of loving was fully realized.

In pre-eternity I set the trap of love

so that I might cause you to love Me.

No one can be a lover until I want it,

nor can one sincerely love Me unless I desire it.

There can be no Beloved unless there is a lover;

there must be an attractor for one to be attracted.

                    * * * * *

As soon as I found you worthy of Me

I started the ferment of love in your heart.

First, love makes you crazy

and estranges you from “I” and “we.”

As you make the journey through the twists and turns of love,

awareness of everything else is driven from your being.

When love comes to settle in your breast,

it confounds and humiliates the intellect. 

You become free from all being and non-being,

free from the bonds of self-display.

Love is not tamed by every ruffian and rascal;

God’s trap does not ensnare unworthy people.

This feast from the unseen is fit only for the valiant;

not every heart is worthy of divine beneficence.

Love cannot go hand-in-hand with lust;

the immature are not worthy companions for the mature.

What has love to do with unbelief or faith?

What has love to do with paradise or hell? 

Love makes those who gamble all away its fair game;

it is not interested in hunting good-for-nothings.

Only those whose hearts are alive become drunk on love.

How could those with deadened hearts ever realize love?

Love trades with non-being alone.

As long as you still exist, how can there be love?

Love seeks a contender who has thrown care to the winds,

who is not afraid of being annihilated.

Love brings your intellect to heel, so that

no questioning may remain in your heart. 

If love is fully established in your breast, then set out

for the valley of faqr and fana.

Be a lover, be mad, lose consciousness of self!

Be a Sufi in the ranks of the liberated!

                    * * * * *

Who is the lover? Nothing. Not even a mirage.

There’s not even a trace of him on the water.

In both worlds, for him the Beloved suffices;

everyone else is a stranger to him.

In his world there is only the Beloved;

the only passion in the lover’s heart is the passion for Him.

Whatever the Beloved wants is fine with him;

he desires only what the Beloved desires.

If desire for union fills your head, that is merely passion;

this approach leads to a different path.

The lover wants only what the Beloved wants;

it is something beyond personal desire.

Lovers are not involved with the ego;

the lover’s heart contains the Beloved alone.

The love-crazed lover doesn’t know who he is;

although he appears to be, in fact he really is not.

To say “I love you,” is itself a claim,

a claim that is invalid and out of place.

Whoever expresses love before the Beloved

is trying to manipulate the course of love.

How can you claim to be a lover through your carnal self?

Forget yourself if you are a sincere seeker!

Never desire anything from your Beloved;

do not make an appeal, even in looking!

Before His face, you should stitch the eyes of existence shut;

if you still exist, you are a non-believer in love.

The Beloved is all, and the lover is not;

the Beloved is alive, and the lover is dead.

                    * * * * *

Who is the Beloved? The One Who burns up your being

and teaches you the method of non-existence.

Who is the Beloved? The One Who makes you selfless,

the One Who separates you from all fear and apprehension.

Who is the Beloved? The One Who makes you free

from the noose of the self and brings joy to your heart.

Who is the Beloved? The One Who makes you lose yourself,

the One Who casts you into the vat of Unity.

                    * * * * *

No one but God is such a beloved;

In reality, this is God’s word, nothing else.

Devote your heart to a master who is aware;

consign your self to the flames of God’s fire. 

To find the heart-sought end,

seek out a traveler who truly knows the path.

To reach the Kaaba of faqr and fana,

follow him on the feet of submission and contentment.

If you don’t you’ll wander down dead-end paths,

and become indebted to those who are ignorant.

In such circles lurk monsters and the abyss;

so be careful, for the path is hard.

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