With My Very Own Hands
Poem By Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi
With my very own hands I laid my little daughter to rest because
she is of my very flesh,
Thus am I constrained to submit to the rule of parting, so that my
hand is now empty and contains nothing.
Bound to this moment we are in, caught between the yesterday that
has gone and the tomorrow that is yet to come.
This flesh of mine is as pure silver, while my inner reality is as pure
Like a bow have I grown, and my true posture is as my rib.
My Lord it is who says that He has created me in a state of
suffering and loss.
How then can I possibly hope for any rest, dwelling as I do in such
a place and state?
Were it not for that state I would be neither child nor parent.
Nor indeed would there be any to compare with me as is the case
with my Creator.
It is surely a case of the qualification being one with respect to
an essence which is full of implicit multiplicity.
Because I am for my Creator, in our creation like one of a
Then my God alighted between us, in the very fabric of existence -
not merely a figment of belief.
All with a firm, well established emergence, to which I may trace
my antecedents with confidence.
Thus, on the one hand, I can say that I am a mortal like yourselves,
while You do vouch for me.
Always, however, on the understanding that I am not ultimately
a 'like', thus to maintain my integrity.
For You have banished all 'being like' from me in the pre-eternal
state; and that is my conviction.
See how sublime and lofty is my garden of paradise, secure in the
company of matchless beautiful maidens.
He speaks of this as we have also in our book the Maqsid ai-Asmā'.
Is not created nature His family and people, as also the very
essence of the Unique One?
Consider how He is a consort for her and how they came together
upon my being, so that it split asunder.
These words of mine are not written after long deliberation, but
have been a part of me eternally.
It was none but the apostle of the Eternal One who activated them
He it was who dictated it, leaving me to write it with my hand.
Thus is the matter, and none truly knows it,
Save a leader of the spirit surpassing in goodness or one of the
Indeed, one who is 'other' cannot know it now or ever.
Every branch reverts to its root, no more in any way than when
it sprang forth.