This poem has been written by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī who was a Persian poet, philosopher, and scholar. He was born in September 1207 A.D. And died in December 1273. The native language of Rumi’s parents was also Persian. This poem “God’s attributes” was originally written in Persia. Afterward, it was translated into English by Dr. Nicholson who was born in August 1868 and died in August 1945. He was an English Orientalist, scholar, and translator. He devoted his life to the study of Islamic literature and Islamic mysticism. Dr. Nicholson translated so many books and poems of Rumi into English. “God’s attributes” is one of those translated poems.
About the poem:
In this poem, the poet talks about three names of ALMIGHTY ALLAH. He says that these names are His attributes. Poet not only describes God’s attributes, but he also discusses the significance and impact of these names and attributes on the life of human beings. These attributes of ALMIGHTY ALLAH bring a positive change in the life of human beings. The qualities and attributes of ALMIGHTY ALLAH which are being described in this poem depict three beliefs of Muslims. In short, we can say that this poem comprises three of our beliefs. Being a Muslim, it’s our belief that ALMIGHTY ALLAH can see each and everything, He can hear each and everything and He knows each and everything. All the above-mentioned beliefs of Muslims are depicted in this poem.
God calls Himself “seeing” to the end that
His eye may scare you from sinning.
In these lines, the poet says that God calls Himself All-seeing. So, when a person believes that God is seeing us and He is seeing each and everything we do, then a person stops himself from doing wrong things. This belief stops a person from committing sins. In this sense, it brings a positive change in a person’s life.
God calls Himself ‘Hearing’ to the end that
you may close your lips against foul discourse.
In these lines, Poet describes another attribute of ALMIGHTY ALLAH. and that is “All-Hearing”. When a person believes that God can hear each and everything we speak. Whether we speak it in public or in private. He can hear everything, then a person stops himself from using foul language.
God calls Himself ‘Knowing’ to the end that
You may be afraid of Him to plot an evil.
Third and the last attribute of ALMIGHTY ALLAH which is being described in this poem is the quality of “All-Knowing”. When a person believes that Almighty Allah knows each and everything and He even knows what we hide in our heart, then this belief stops a person from plotting anything evil against anyone. Being the believer of this belief, a person starts thinking good things about his fellow beings.
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These are not mere accidental names of God
As a Negro may be called camphor;
In these lines, the poet says that these names of Almighty Allah are not mere accidental names. These names are not vain. These names are not fake. These are real names of Almighty Allah. by comparing God’s names to the names of this world, the poet says that the names and titles of this world are not real. the names and titles of this world are not based on the qualities of a human being. For example, a negro ( a very black person, an African) may be called camphor( a white substance). This shows the falsification of the names and titles of this world. but God’s names are real. They are not mere accidental names like the names and titles of this world.
So are these names derived from God’s attributes,
And not mere vain titles of the first cause.
In these lines, the poet says that the above-mentioned names of Almighty Allah (“All-seeing”, “All hearing” and “All-knowing”) are not mere accidental names of Almighty Allah. These names are derived from the qualities and attributes of Allah Almighty.