Saturday, October 28, 2017

Jami: Mun Khaak-e-Kaaf-e-Paaye

Kharabaat (Persian: خرابات ‎‎) is a term in Persian poetry, created as a combination of the two opposite fragments  kharaab (ruinous) and aabad (prosperous.)

The word originally meant tavern, or house of ill repute, but was eventually appropriated by mystics to refer to a place that they frequented, by way of suspending all hypocritical pretense to piety. This was a place that you could frequent that would dismantle your superficial, show-off beliefs, and, in doing so, restore you to the true, deep faith. The proverbial tavern of the seers and mystics, with wise men masquerading as drunks, is in Persian poetry called Kharabaat.

The Malāmatiyya (ملامتية) or Malaamatis were a Muslim mystic group active in the 9th century in  Greater Khorasan. The root of their name is the Arabic word malāmah (ملامة), or 'blame'. The Malaamatiyya believed in the value of self-blame; that piety should be a private matter; and that being held in good esteem due to public demonstrations of piety, would lead to worldly attachment and defeat the purpose. A Malaamati concealed his knowledge, but made sure his faults were be known, reminding everyone of his imperfections. The Malaamati despises personal piety, not because he is focused on the perceptions or reactions of people, but because he must constantly, involuntarily witness his own pious hypocrisy. Malaamati thus refers to a method of teaching within Sufism, based on surrendering self-glorification, and taking blame.

Nur ad-Dīn Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī (Persian: نورالدین عبدالرحمن جامی‎‎), known simply as Jami (1414 – 1492), was a medieval Persian poet, prolific scholar, and writer of mystical Sufi literature. A prominent poet-theologian of the school of Ibn Arabi and a Khwājagānī Sũfī, Jami is remembered today for his eloquent brevity, and for his analysis of the metaphysics of mercy.

Here is Subhan Ahmed Nizami Qawwal performing the qalaam of Jami.

Mun khaak-e-kaaf-e-paaye Rindan-e-Kharabaatam

I am as dust 'neath the feet of the Drunkards of Kharabaat
Sacrificed, for the red lips of the Beloveds of Kharabaat

Dil reshi-o-be-kheshi shud ain-e-namaaz-e-mun
Dar qibla-e-abroo-e-khubaan-e-Kharabaatam

My prayer now consists of tormenting my heart, and erasing my Self
My prostrations toward the arched brows, of the Beauties of Kharabaat

Mun aaina-e-yaarum, ganjeena-e-asraarum
Hairat zada-e-ishqam, mun shaan-e-Kharabaatam

I am as a mirror for my Beloved, I am a treasure-chest full of Secrets
Smitten by the wonder of Love, I am now the pride of Kharabaat

Een khirqa-e-hasti ra dar mae-kada-e-Vahdat
Sad baar girau kardam uryaan-e-Kharabaatam

This robe of Self, in the Drunkards' tavern of Unity
A hundred times I cast away, I am now naked in Kharabaat

Een tauba-o-taqwa shud az Jami-e-be-deene
Dar koo-e-Malamaati, hairaan-e-Kharabaatam

All this piety and this supplication, from the heretic Jami
Living in a den of Malaamatis, I am wonderstruck in Kharabaat.