Bride Of Cities – Granada

‘Thence I went to on the city of Gharnata [Granada], the metropolis of Andalusia and the bride of its cities. Its environ has not its equal in any country in the world. They extend for a space of forty miles, and are traversed by the celebrated river of Shannil [Xanil] and many other streams. Around it on every side are orchards, gardens, flowery meads, noble buildings, and vineyards. One of the most beautiful places there is ‘Ayn ad-dama’, the Fountain of Tears, which is a hill covered with gardens and orchards and has no parallel in any other country. The king of Gharnata at the time was Sultan Abul Hajjaj Yousuf. I did not meet him on an account of an illness from which he was suffering, but the noble, pious, virtuous woman, his mother sent me some gold dinars, of which I made good use.
I met at Gharnata a number of its distinguished scholars and the principal Shaykh, who is also the superior of the Sufi orders. I spent some days with him in his hermitage outside Gharnata. He showed me the greatest honor, and went with me to visit the hospice, famed for its sanctity, known as ‘Outpost of Al Uqab’ [The Eagle]. Al Uqab is a hill overlooking the environs of Gharnata and close by the ruined city of Al Bira.’ Travels of Ibn Battuta

Hath you not taken me there, my teller,
Of the stories, to the bride of cities –
And tasted sweet water, eaten on Murcian
Pomegranates, and hath you not with
Your hospitality, to the Sheikh on the hill
Of the Eagle, through the steams and river
Of Shannil, and hath we not been together.
But before you announce the close, and hath,

The ensemble of encore not put asunder,
Like my little host’s hands and fingers
In fine collection of the bouqueted tendrils,
And meshed with the most deep colors,
Of the flowers from peaked hills, allowed
On its beds, the stone whiteness of sheets,
You, would have paid with I don’t know,
A curse worst than ‘guund pakir’s shorey’.

Sadiqullah Khan
Gilgit
June 10,2015.

by Sadiqullah Khan

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