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“I have turned away from all creation” by Rabia al-Adawiyyah

My peace, O my brothers, lies in my solitude

And my Beloved is always in my presence

There is no exchange for my longing for Him

And longing for Him is my trial in this world

In whatever direction I witness His beauty

He is my prayer-niche and my qiblah

Should I die of love and not find acceptance

How distressed and wretched in creation I would be

O heart’s Physician, O You of every hope

It is connection to You that heals my soul

O my everlasting joy and life

From You comes my existence and my elation

I have turned away from all creation

In hope of union with You for that is my utmost longing


راحتي يا إخوتي في خلوتي وحبيبي دائما في حَضرتي

لم أجد لي عن هواه عِوضا وهواه في البرايا مِحنتي

حيثما كنت أشاهِد حُسنه فهو محرابي إليه قبلتي

إن أمت وجداً وما ثم رضا واعَنَائي في الورى وشقوَتي

يا طبيب القلب يا كل المنى جد بوصلٍ منك يَشفى مُهجتي

يا سروري وحياتي دائما نشأتي منك وأيضا نشوتي

قد هجرتُ الخلق جمعا أرتجي منك وصلا فهو أقصى مُنيتي


A poem by Rabia al-Adawiyyah

Rabia al-Adawiyyah

Born to a poor family in Basra around 714, Rabia al-Adawiyyah first become an orphan and then a slave. Her owner later freed her after one night looking down from a window of the house to see a spiritual light above her head while she was praying illuminating the entire space around her. After being given her freedom she lived the life of an ascetic, and was known for her great love for and devotion to God and renunciation of everything else. Miraculous stories are told of Rabia such as the Kaaba leaving its place to meet her in the desert on the way to Mecca, and on another occasion her ass dying in the desert on her Hajj pilgrimage and then coming back to life due to her supplications. Accounts portray her having many disciples and visitors who came to her house to discuss spiritual matters. Many stories tell of her refusing marriage proposals, including a proposal from Hasan Al-Basri, although this is unlikely given the probable age gap between them. When refusing these proposals she said she didn’t want a husband to distract her from God. The verses above are said to have been written by her when refusing a marriage proposal.

Early Sufi Poets

Early Sufi Poets

We explore more about the life and verses of Rabi’a Al-‘Adawiyyah and other early Sufi poets in on-demand sessions in our membership. Discover their spiritual poetry and learn about the historical context of their lives, including the sources of early Sufi thought and the debates around the controversial statements made by some Sufis.