Poem #10

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إذا حارَ أمرُكَ في مَعْنَيَيْن *** ولم تدرِ فيما الخطا و الصواب

فخَالِفْ هَوَاكَ فإنَّ الهوَى *** يقودُ النفوسَ إلى ما يعاب

If you are caught in confusion between two matters,

And you don’t know what is right and what is wrong.

At that point, disobey your desires; for indeed desires,

Only lead the soul to what is blameworthy and wrong.


ما حك جلدك مثل ظفرك *** فتول أنت جميع أمـرك

وإذا قصـدت لـحاجـةٍ *** فاقصد لمعترفٍ بفضلك

Nothing can scratch your skin quite like your nails,

So take care of all your affairs by yourself.

And if you must seek help for some of your needs,

Then seek out a person who knows well your virtue.


يريد المرء أن يعطى منـاه *** ويأبـى الله إلا مــا أرادا

يقول المرء فائدتي ومالـي *** وتقوى الله أفضل ما استفادا

A person wants to be given their lot of fate,

But Allāh refuses it to be except what He wishes.

A person will say ‘My profits! My wealth!’

But the fear of Allāh is the best of all profits.


كل العداوات قد ترجى مودتها *** إلا عداوة من عاداك من حسد


Every type of enmity can be turned into love,

Except the enmity of he who hates you out of envy.


ولا تعطين الرأي من لا يريده *** فلا أنت محمود ولا الرأي نافعه

Do not give your opinion to one who does not want it,

For you are not praiseworthy, and the opinion will not benefit him.


لقد أصبحت نفسي تتوق إلى مصر *** ومن دونها أرض المهامه والقفر

فوالله لا أدري أللفوز والغنى *** أساق إليها أم أساق إلى القبر

My soul has come to yearn for Egypt,

And all other lands are lands of toil and emptiness.

By Allāh I do not know; is it towards success and riches,

That I am being driven to, or is it my grave?

[The first line is amazing; Imām Shafi'i رحمه الله تعالى passed away in Egypt ♡]

Poems by Imam ash-Shaf'iRead this story for FREE!