A Translation of Iqbal’s Prayer in the Mosque of Cordova

By Asif Jehangir

(Written in the Mosque of Cordova)

(Pentameter translation)

This alone is my prayer, this alone my ablution
In my cries there is the blood of my liver.
The company of the Purified ones
Is Light and presence and tranquillity.
Giddy, anguished, the tulip at stream’s edge.
On the path of love no one is a friend-
My longing alone is my companion.
My nest is no haven for chiefs, viziers
You alone are my nest, You alone its’ branch.
From You my collar opens to the dawn
From You the flame of ‘He is God’ lights my breast
From You my life is anguish, fever, pain.
You alone are my longing, my desire.
If You aren’t with me, the town seems barren.
If You are, wild alleys seem full of life.
Give me again, that ancient wine as I
Am craving it, breaking all flasks and jugs!
Have mercy Winebringer! For a long time
The cups of those who live in the world and
The flasks of the secluded have been waiting!
My madness compels me to complain ’bout
Your divinity: For Yourself you are
Placeless but for me You are everywhere!
What else is all philosophy and all
Poetry except a word of longing
Which we cannot speak with You face-to-Face!

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