Monday, July 25, 2011

The gospel in Sufi poetry?

Here are some excerpts from a devotional manual popular among South Asian Muslims, picked out by the Christian scholar Kenneth Cragg.

Lo, I am Thy servant at Thy door ...
O Thou Helper of them that seek for help.
Thine anxious one is at Thy door,
O Thou Who dost lift away the care of all the careworn.
And I, Thy rebel, O Thou Who seekest for penitents, Thy rebel who acknowledges his faults is at Thy door.
O Thou Who forgivest sinners,
One who confesses his sin is at Thy door.
O most merciful, he who has erred is at Thy door
O Lord of the worlds, he who has wronged is at Thy door
Have mercy upon me, my Lord.

I have nought but my destitution to plead with Thee for me.
And in my poverty I put forward that destitution as my plea.
I have no power save to knock at Thy door.
And if I be turned away, at what door shall I knock?

--> Kenneth Cragg and Marston Speight, Islam from Within (2000: Belmont, CA,

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