That maturity of communal life derives from following the divine law
Seek thou no other meaning in the Law,
Nor look save light to find within the gem;
God was the jeweller who fashioned forth
This jewel, diamantine through and through.
Law is the only knowledge of the Truth,
Love the sole basis of the Prophet’s code;
The individual through Law attains
A faith maturer, and more fair adorned.
The rule of Law secures an ordered life
To all the nation, which established rule
Condition is of its continuance.
Power is patent in its knowledge, this
The sign of Moses’ staff and potent hand;
So I declare the secret of Islam
Is Law, in which all things begin and end.
Since thou art called to be a guardian
Of the Faith’s wisdom, I will tell to thee
A subtle truth of the perspicuous Law.
If any Muslim be engaged upon
A meritorious act, and causelessly
Therein be challenged, forthwith it becomes
His sacred duty to discharge the same;
Power is deemed the very spring of Life.
Upon the day of battle, if the foe
Supposing truce is imminent neglects
His army’s marshalling, and casually
Confronts his fortune, breaking down the wall
And citadel of his defence; until
His order is restored, to march against
His unarmed country is prohibited.
Knowest thou then the mystery of this
Divine commandment? Life not living is
Except we live in danger. Law requires
That when to war thou comest, thou shalt blaze
A fiery torch, and split the throat of rock.
Law tries the power of the strong right arm;
Confronting thee with Alond’s massive height,
It bids thee pound into collyrium
That craggy mount, and with the ardent breath
Drawn from thy throat its flint to liquefy.
The lean and feeble sheep is scarce a prey
Worthy the tiger’s claw; or if the hawk
Consorts with sparrows, meaner‐spirited
Than its poor victims it shall soon become.
The Lawgiver, to whom all fair and foul
Was fully known, this recipe of power
For thee prescribed. By toil the nerves are steeled,
And thou art raised to eminence in the world;
Or be thou wounded, this will make thee strong,
Yea, and mature as a firm mountain‐chain.
Full life’s religion is Muhammad’s faith,
His code the commentary on life’s law;
Be though earth‐lowly, it shall lift thee up
High as the heavens, and will fashion thee
Harmonious to God’s summons. The rough rock
Is polished to a mirror by this faith,
And this unrests the steel’s corroding heart.
Now when the Prophet’s watchword passed from ken
His people held no more the secret key
To their continuance. That lusty sprout
Tall and firm‐rooted (Muslim of the wastes
Mounted on camel, who in Batha’s vale
Took his first steps) that by the desert warmth
Was nourished up, now fanned by Persia’s breeze
Is so diminished, that it hath become
Thin as a reed. He who was wont to slay
Tigers like sheep now winces at the ant
Trampled unwittingly; he who in joy,
Allahu Akbar crying, turned the rock
To running water, trembles at the note
Of amorous nightingales; he whose high will
Reckoned the mountain trifling as a straw
Commits himself entire to abject trust;
He whose firm blow once broke his foemen’s neck,
His heart is wounded by his own breast’s beat;
He whose bold tread a hundred tumults limned
Now cowers in retirement from the world;
He whose command none dared to disobey,
Before whose door great Alexander stood
A suppliant, and Darius begged his bread,
His ardour is attuned to mean content,
His boast the proffered bowl of mendicants.
Shaykh Ahmad, Sayyid lofty as the spheres,
From whose keen brain the sun’s self borrowed light
(The roses that bedeck his holy grave
No other god but God breathe from his dust)
Thus spoke to a disciple: “O though life
Of thy dear father, it behoves us all
That we beware of Persia’s fantasies;
Though Persia’s thoughts the heavens have surpassed
They equally transgress the boundaries
Set by the Prophet’s Faith.” Brother, give ear
To his sage counsel, and attentively
Receive the rede of a protagonist
Of our community; take these wise words
To fortify thy heart; conform thyself
With Arab ways, to be a Muslim true.