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Kashf al-Asrar [The Unveiling of Secrets]

Ruzbihan Baqli
1209
Shiraz, Iran (Original Language: Persian)

THE EARLY YEARS Explaining Past Experience I was fifteen years old when the beginnings of these secrets occurred in my heart. I am now fifty-five; how shall I explain to you the secrets of my unveilings, and my subtle witnessings, things that have escaped you? But I shall explain some things that were unveiled to …

How I learned to Read and Write

Bibi Ashraf
1899
Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Urdu)

The original essay appeared in two instalments in Tehzib-e Niswan (Lahore) (23 and 30 March 1899).  It was then published with a biographical introduction by the journal’s editor, Muhammadi Begum, in a book entitled Hayat-e Ashraf (Lahore: Imambara Sayyida Mubarak Begum, n.d.).  The essay has been translated from this source with a biographical introduction to …

Munis al-Arvah

Jahanara Begum
1640
Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Persian)

Know that, after the performance of religious duties, requirements, and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, this weak woman who hopes for salvation regards no action as nobler than the remembrance of the spiritual states and stations of the revered saints (may God sanctify their spirits). Therefore, I have spent a portion of my time …

Roznamcha

Nazr Sajjad Haidar
1942
Dehradun, India (Original Language: Urdu)

EXTRACT ONE 26 May 1912: Today was the most important day of life. When I woke up in the morning to offer my prayers, I saw a different atmosphere in the house. My elder female relatives were busy in arrangements for hosting someone. Everyone in the house including its younger as well as elder members …

Risalah Sahibiya

Jahanara Begum
1640
Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Persian)

Extract from Risala-i-Sahibiyah (1640) Translated by Sunil Sharma   Since my twentieth year I have had a sincere resolution and firm belief in the … order of the masters of Chisht (may their secrets be sanctified) and the ring of discipleship and servitude to the guiding pir, who is the pole of the saints,    leader …

Kaghazi Hai Pairahan

Ismat Chughtai
1994
Badayun, India (Original Language: Urdu)

EXTRACT ONE I was weeping inconsolably.   Someone was being beaten brutally. The perpetrator was a giant-like monster, while the one being beaten was a tiny, dark-skinned child. I do not remember clearly the people involved as I was very small at the time. But I remember that when the big cane struck it made …

Tazkirat al-Ahwal

٘Muhammad Ali ‘Hazin’ Lahiji
1742
Isfahan (Original Language: Persian)

[From Hazin’s days of study as a young man] During those days [in Isfahan], of all the strange occurrences and events, there was the passion for a beauty [with such] manner of beautiful qualities, that my heart became maddened. You showed me a trace of the beauty of the friend but / Should this world …

160 Kafis

Piro
Punjab (Original Language: Panjabi)

  KAFIS 14-31 Turaks[1] (I)[2] left have come wheedling, they who stay aggrieved[3] Scared they don’t come near (you), they roam about in discord Piro (says) in guru’s court power of none will matter What shall (I) say of others, even kings stutter Petrified they (Turaks) come and cry before the guru Wearing their scarves …