No one can come to know It by any measure
Its Essence solely via It Self truly manifest
The mind for Its sake galloping as fast as possible
Other than powerlessness nothing else is known or learnt
Its benevolence said, “If you are to know Me”
“No cognition by means of mind or senses ever possible”
How can the senses avail to suffice?
As if a hunchback climbing a dome agile
Mind is the leader but at Its gates [1]
Only Its generosity may carry you near It Self
Reasoning of mind shall guide you to no place
Do not stare as others like a mule dumb founded 
The leader on this path is Its generosity [2] 
Its handicraft towards It Self the reason and eye-opener
O! The one helpless little knowing about your self [3] 
How could you ever come to know the Lord for real?
If you are lowly in knowledge of your self
How could you be cognizant of It Self?
Since you know not the secrets of Its workmanship
Its knowledge just a bunch of doubt and ambiguities
Imaginations are inferior in describing It
Nonsense and boastings filled our understanding
When it comes time for Its description
Ours: Either metaphoric talk or denial of It Self
Outer limits of mind on Its path just bewilderment
Essence of mind towards It just estrangement
King and owner of mind and love are It
The destinations for seeker and traveler are It
Our mind just a guide for Its existence [4]
All beings under the feet of Its existence
Its ‘verb’ far from ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ [5]
Its Essence superior to “How?” or “Why?”
Its Essence ventures not to the path of cognizance [6]
Love and heart chopping the mind to pieces on this path
Mind unadorned by the eye-shadow of Its cognition [7]
Unaware of Its deity and holiness
How can we excite the imagination to seek?
How can an old narration bring to life something afresh? [8]
Even the prophets are lost by this story
Its closest companions bewildered by Its attributes

Language: The term ‘Ma-e-refat’ derived from the Arabic root word ‘Orf’ which means to know or recognize something specifically. I tend to use the words like ‘cognizance’ to translate the concept.
[1] The foolish and the arrogant believe that they have the power or the knowledge to gain access and closeness to the Creator. The poet teaches that the only means to be carried towards the Beloved is by Its own generosity and no power of mind or senses any other faculty or object in the universe can accommodate for that.
Mind is a leader for mankind for his own daily affairs and to manipulate the elements and people to its favor. But this is not a tool suitable for any approach to the Creator.
[2] The generosity of the Beloved provides handicrafts produced by The Excellency, which can sail us towards It Self. These handicrafts could be anything ranging from revelations, dreams, accidents, instincts, unearthing secrets, and messengers… not matter the nature of these, there are gifts of generosity from the Beloved to guide us towards It Self, if and when It commands it necessary.
[3] For some reason the man thinks that he knows himself. What wrong thought gone astray. If you do not know and feel the DNA within your cells, what makes you think you know anything within your heart? And if you know not your self then you know nothing about It Self the Creator.
[4] Our mind is a guide to inform us that It is! And not really much else other than the fact that Beloved exists can be deducted by our mind or sensate by our senses. And the existence of this lowly mind is under Its power which was metaphoric as feet in the poem.
[5] I used the exact translation of the Arabic word ‘F-ell’ (which reads like fell with a little pause after ‘f’) which means ‘doing’ or more poetic the ‘verb’. What the poet says is that the deeds and actions of this Super Being are not subject to the most fundamental aspect of the universe i.e. inside or outside. It is pure and clean of any such concepts. And on the same token It is pure and afar from questions like “why?” or “what?” which ordinary creation may be subjected to but not the Creator.
[6] The essence (Zaat) of the Creator is nothing close the path of our understanding. Love and heart, which sense this Essence, tear up the mind trying to figure It out with no success.
[7] As we have read Ansaari and others the term eye-shadow or mascara which is the usage of the Arabic word ‘Kohol’ a dark substance for eye-lining the eyelids, is a term used to describe the addition of a something beautiful to the eye. Sanaa-ee says that the mind has no such eyeliner and therefore unable to comprehend anything of the Creator.
[8] I suspect by the old narrations the poet means the revelations or books or some such sarcastic expression of helplessness as confessed in the following verse.

© 2003-2002,  Dara Shayda