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Deewan of Imam Shafi R

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A handful of poems from his famous and widely-available Diwan (Collection of Poems) …

Imam al-Shafi’i (150-202) was born in Mecca or Gaza, grew up in Mecca where he memorised the Koran and mastered Arabic and archery, all as a child.  He obtained a copy of the Muwatta’ of Imam Malik (93-179) from Medina and memorised it all (about 2,000 hadiths) in nine days flat.  He then went to Medina and became Imam Malik’s leading student.  He later studied with students of Imam Abu Hanifah (80-150) in Iraq and founded his own methodology in Hadith and Law.  His school of law later became one of the four main schools (madhhabs) of Sunni Islam.  He died and is buried in Fustat (in the suburbs of modern Cairo).

A master of the Qur’an, Arabic, Hadith and Law, he was also expert in archery, rhetoric and poetry.

Here are some of his poems: Poetry of Imam Shafii – 1

More here from another source: Poetry of Imam al-Shafi’i – 2

The poem in Arabic:

ولما قسـا قلبي وضـاقت مذاهبي
جعلت الرجـاء مني لعفوك سلمــا
تعاظمني ذنبـي فلمـا قرنتــه
بعفوك ربي كان عـفوك أعظمــا
فما زلتَ ذا عفو عن الذنب لم تزل
تـجـود وتعـفو منة وتكرمـــا
فلولاك لـم يصمـد لإبلـيس عابد
فكيف وقد أغوى صفيك أدما
فيا ليت شعــري هل أصير لجنة
أهنـــا؟ وأمـا للسعير فأندما
فإن تنتـقـم مني فلست بآسي
ولو أدخلت روحي بجــرم جهنمـا
فإن تعف عني تعف عـن متمرد
ظلوم غشــوم قاسي القلب مجرما
ويذكر أيام مضت من شبابه
وما كان فيها بالجهالة أجرما
يقيم إذا ما الليل مد ضلامه
على نفسه من شدة الخوف مأتما
يقول حبيبي أنت سؤلي وغايتي
كفى بك للراجين سؤلا و مغنما
الست الذي غذيتني و هديتني
ولازلت منانا علي ومنعما
عسى من له الإحسان يغفر زلتي
ويستر أوزاري وما قد تقدما

Translation into English:
When my heart hardened and my ways narrowed
My hope of your forgiveness towards You was my approach
I greatened my sin, yet when I compare it with your forgiveness
My Lord your forgiveness was greater
Yet, You forgive sins and still
Generously and gracefully bestow and forgive
Were it not for You, no worshipper would withstand Satan
How and he already has lured your chosen Adam
Alas! Would I be lead to paradise then I am a fortunate
Or a remorse to hell I am lead
Indeed not despaired if You avenged me
Or into the core of hell You brought my soul
And if You forgive me, a mutinous You forgive…
A wrongful unfair pitiless criminal…
He remembers the past youth days
And what crimes of ignorance were committed
Then, when the dark spread out
Fearfully he mourns himself
Saying my beloved You are my request and wish
Sufficient You are for the hopeful to ask and gain
Were not You who fed me and guided me?
And still, You give me generously and bless me
May You, to Whom my charity belongs, forgive me my faults,
Pardon my sins and what came before.

 

 

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