That the organization of the community is only possible though law, and that the law of the Muhammadan Community is the Quran
When a community forsakes its Law
Its parts are severed, like the scattered dust.
The being of the Muslim rests alone
On Law which is in truth the inner core
Of the Apostle’s faith. A rose is born
When its component petals are conjoined
By Law; and roses, being likewise bound
By Law together, fashion a bouquet.
As sound controlled creates a melody
So, when control is absent, dissonance
Results. The breath we draw within our throat
Is but a wave of air which, in the reed
Being constricted, blows a tuneful note.
Knowest thou what thy Law is, wherein lies
Beneath yon spheres the secret of thy power?
It is the living Book, that wise Quran
Whose wisdom is eternal, uncreate.
The secrets of the fashioning of life
Are therein written; instability
Is firmly established by its potency.
Undoubted and unchanging are its words,
Its verses to interpretation not
Beholden; in its strength the raw desire
Acquires maturity, the bowl fears not
To dash against the rock. It casts away
The shackling chains, and leads the free man forth
But brings the exultant captor unto woe.
The final message to all humankind
Was borne by him elect of God to be
A mercy unto every living thing;
By this the worthless unto worth attains,
The prostrate slave lifts up his head on high.
Having by heart this message, highwaymen
Turned guides upon the road, and by this book
Were qualified high masters of the rolls;
Rude desert‐farers through one lantern’s glow
A hundred revelations to their brain
In every science won. So he, whose load
The mountain’s massive shoulders could not bear,
Clove by his might the power of the spheres.
See how the capital of all our hopes
Is lodged securely in our children’s breasts!
The weary wanderer in the wilderness
Unwatered, eyes aflame in the hot sun,
His camel nimbler than the agile deer,
Its breath as fire, when he would look to sleep
Casting him down bencath some shady palm,
Then with the dawn awake, the caravan
Clanged to departure, ever journeying
Through the wide prairies, unfamiliar
With roof and door, stranger to fixed abodes—
When his wild heart responded vibrantly
To the Quran’s warm glow, its restless waves
Sank to the calm of a sequestered pearl.
Reading the lesson of its verses clear
He who had come a slave went forth from
A master. Now upon his instrument
New melodies imperial were heard;
Jamshid’s high throne he trampled underfoot;
Cities sprang up out of the dust he trod,
A hundred bowers blossomed from his rose.
O thou, whose faith by custom is enslaved,
Imprisoned by the charms of heathendom,
Thou who hast torn thy heritage to shreds
Treading the highway to a hateful goal,
If thou wouldst live the Muslim life anew
This cannot be, except by the Quran
Thou livest. See the Sufi in his garb
Of mystic minstrelsy, his heart inflamed
By the fierce fervour of Iraqi’s verse!
Little do his wild ecstasies accord
With the austere Quran; the dervish cap
And mat of reeds replace the crown and throne;
His boasted poverty rich tribute takes
Secured on many a hermitage endowed.
The preacher, with his wealth of anecdote
And wordy legend, little has to tell
If truth, for all his fine grandiloquence;
Khatib and Dailami are on his lips,
In every week Tradition he delights,
The little met with, and the insecure.
It is thy duty to recite the Book,
And therein find the purpose thou dost seek.