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Black Locks
May 1, 2008

You shot me in the heart, set me on fire,

The only rose of my fate, sweet musk-scented hair

My enshrouding sphere, You bestow abundantly,

Wings of the angel lay down for you on the way to the Lote-tree.1

The Station of Two-Bows’ Length, the highest peak of all,

You are the breath of the original nature,2 the cosmos’ lofty call.

You are the rain of mercy and compassion from the most Supreme,

You are the Master of existence, prior even to Adam.

O the Ocean of Light! Would your grace cascade from a fountain?

The myriads of hearts would each become for you a crystal pool.

Black Locks you must be called, O the Beloved,

I wonder if my cry can reach you, dull, enfeebled.

My troubles are far too many, and I myself possess no cures at all,

I spent summers in vain, and am left in poverty in the fall.

“Perhaps a hand will be extended,” I thought, “if I knock on your door,”

“Perhaps my Master could find a cure for this sinner.”

I am afraid to hear you say, “Who is he?”

Then, all abodes would become a dungeon for me.

You are a cure for troubles, let this heart burn,

O the Beloved of the Merciful; to ashes let it burn.

Moons split at your command,3

Nothing but a full moon is seen in your face.

Purest water pours down from your fingers quenching armies,4

The hardest hearts soften in rapture with your breath.

Your blessed saliva is a heavenly river and a salve for the wounded,

Every moment in your company is time spent in heaven.

Black Locks I say, for the color of the Hira cave

Is united in harmony with that of the Miraj night.

Hajar al-Asad5 is imbued in black,

Inspired by the black of your hair, O the Beloved with rosebud lips.

Black Locks I say, for the pitch black of the Ka‘ba,

Draining the color of your eyes, as if from Kawthar.

O Black Locks, come before laments are no longer of use,

O Black Locks, come before my life comes to a close.

O Black Locks, come before my love fades in my heart,

O Black Locks, come before the Angel descends to take this life away.

With sparkling light, bestow upon me the horizons of future,

May all the horror on the road change into glory.

Burying my face into your prints in the dust,

Burning in flames, crying your name “O Muhammad!”

I wish to reach the land beyond, thirsty and tired,

On my lips, may cries of “water” and “Lord” become entwined.

Perhaps my burning could be the lowest of mercy,

A kiss from an angel whispering “He” while touching.

O Black Locks, all my days roam in this way,

Each ordeal passes engulfed in longing for you.

Stop this pain, put an end to this longing,

Uproot and hurl away this torment of separation from my heart.

Hurl it away to the unknown or to extermination,

Burn this heart forever with your light of reunion.


1. sidrat al-muntaha: (the Lote-tree of the Boundary) a station which the Prophet was raised during his Ascension.

2. fitrat: the original state in which humans are created by God

3. One of the well known miracles of the Prophet was “splitting the moon.” Once, the most staunched idolaters of Mecca came and asked him to show them a miracle to prove his mission. The Prophet prayed and the moon split. One half of the moon appeared above a mountain while the other half appeared above another mountain. This miracle is confirmed by the following verse: The Hour has approached and the moon split (Qamar 54:1).

4. This verse refers to one of the Prophet’s miracles. The Prophet dipped his fingers into a pot of water and immediately after he took them out, from each water flowed like a fountain.

5. Hajar al-Asad is the black stone that is found in one of the corners of the Ka‘ba in Mecca. Pilgrims start circumambulation from the corner on which this stone is placed.