Mevlidi Sherif


In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Allah! This name invoke we in beginning,
For this is ever due from us, his servants.

Allah ! The name which brings to all who call it,
God's present aid, the weight of labour light'ning.

Did Allah's name begin each fresh endeavour,
The end would ne'er fall short of full attainment.

With every breath repeat that name, unceasing ;
In Allah's name see every task completed.

Who says: Allah ! in language truly loving
Shall see his sins, like autumn leaves, removing.

That man is pure who on the pure name calleth ;
Who cries : Allah ! attains his every purpose.

Come then in love, that holy name repeating ;
Your woeful tears and heartfelt fears commingle.

He may accord us mercy, that great Sov'reign,
The Generous, the Merciful, the Holy.

He's One ! Doubt not his Unity eternal,
Though multitudes profess their creeds of error.

While yet the worlds were not, Allah had being,
Mighty was he, richer than all creation.


He was, while yet was found nor man nor angel, No earth, moon, sun, nine spheres nor highest heaven.

His was the art by which these all were founded, Him they confess, his Unity they witness.

Omnipotence in these revealed his power While giving proofs that testified his Oneness.

" Be ! " said he, and the world stood forth in splendour ; Were he to say : " Be not ! " so would it vanish.

Why, therefore, need we still prolong discussion ? Allah is One ; beyond him is none other.

The proofs might be till Judgement Day extended Yea, more such Days might fall ere they were ended.

Since Muhammed is cause of this existence, With simple hearts petition his assistance.

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With grief and love repeat the Salutation.



Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah I Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !


O worthy friends, ere we begin our story, We charge you with a legacy most solemn ;

A charge which he who holds in due observance, Musk-sweet shall be his soul among its fellows


May God Most High remember with his mercy Each one of you who me * in prayer remembers.

For me, your slave, make earnest supplication ; A Fatiha I beg, your rich donation.


Praise be unto Allah, the Lord of all creatures, the Most Merciful, the King of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we worship and of Thee do we beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, the way of those to whom Thou hast been gracious; not of those against whom Thou are incensed, nor of those who go astray. Amin.


When man was first by Allah's pow'r created, The ornament was he of all things living.

To Adam came all angels in submission, A gesture oft, at God's command, repeated.

On his brow first God set the Light of Prophets. Saying : This Light belongs to my Beloved.

Long years that Light shone there, nor ever wavered, Until the prophet's earthly life was ended.

Know that to Eve's brow next the Light migrated, Remaining there through many months and seasons.

Then Seth received this sigil of Mustafa,2

Which glowed more bright as year to year was added.

1 I.e. the soul of the author, Siileyman.

2 Throughout this poem the names Ahmed, Muhammed and Mustafa are used for the Prophet.


Thus Abraham and Ishmael received it

My time would fail should all the line be counted.

From brow to brow, in linked chain unbroken, The Light at last attained its goal, Muhammed.

The Mercy of the Worlds appeared, and straightway To him the Light took wing, its journey ended.

Give ear, then, to his merits, O ye pious, And know who is the one will justify us.

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !

THE BIRTH OF MUHAMMED (on whom be peace /)

Now Amine, Muhammed's tender mother (Mother-of-pearl, her one pearl like none other),

Had been with child by Abdullah, the faithful, And time had sped, her hour was fast approaching.

But in that night when he to earth descended, A host of herald signs bespoke his coming.

It was the happy month, Rebi-ul-evel. And of this month the twelfth, Isneyn, the Blessed, 20

On which was born the Welfare of the Peoples, 'Mid marvels by his wond'ring mother witnessed.

" I saw," said she, " a wondrous light up-springing, And streaming from my house, with blaze increasing.

Round it the sun revolved, moth-like and dazzled, While earth and sky gave back this matchless splendour.

Heaven's radiant doors stood wide, and Dark was vanquished. There came three angels bearing shining banners;

They raised one at the world's east brink, another At farthest west, the third atop the Kaaba.

Then rank on rank the heavenly host descended,

And round my dwelling marched, as 'twere God's mansion.

This multitude made clear to me that straightway Their lord to earth would come, to bless his people.

In air I saw a silken mattress wafted, By angel band adoringly attended.

So clear before my eyes appeared these visions, That all my heart o'erflowed with glowing wonder.

But now the wall at hand was sharply riven ;

In stepped three shining houris' fresh from Heaven.

Some say that one was Asiye, fair consort Of Egypt's King, who noble Moses nurtured.

One was, without a doubt, the Lady Mary ; The third, a graceful houri, their attendant.

Most graciously the moon-browed three approached me, And, bowing low, said kindly : ' Peace be on thee !'

1 Angelic, heavenly beings.


Then close at hand they sat in friendly circle While each announced glad tidings of Mustafa.

To me they said : ' Not since the world's creation Hath mother had such cause for exultation.

No son like thine, such strength and grace possessing, Hath God to earth sent down, for its redressing.

Great favour hast thou found, thou lovely mother, To bear a son surpassing every other.

Sultan is he, all hidden truth possessing, Full knowledge of the Unity professing.

For love of him, thy son, the skies are turning ; Mankind and angels for his face are yearning.

This is the night foretold in song and story, In which the worlds rejoice to see his glory.

This night the world a paradise he maketh, This night God's mercy on mankind awaketh.

Men of goodwill this night are all elated, All upright men this night have long awaited.

The Mercy of both Worlds is he, Mustafa, The Refuge of the sinner is Mustafa ! '

With gracious words his nature thus they pictured, And for that blessed Radiance set me yearning."

Here Amine made ending, for the hour

In which should come that best of men had sounded.

" I thirst," she cried, " I thirst, I burn with fever ! " A brimming glass to her at once was proffered.


White was that glass, than snow more white, and colder ; No sweetmeat ever made held half such sweetness.

" I drank it, and my being filled with glory, Nor could I longer self from light distinguish.

On pinions bright a bird of white came floating,1 And stroked my back, so strongly yet how kindly ;

The Sultan of the Faith that hour was given,

And drowned in glory lay both earth and heaven."

Now pray to him, make peace and full submission, That Paradise be yours for your contrition.

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !

All things created joyfully acclaimed him,

Sorrow was done, new life the world was flooding.

The very atoms joined in mighty chorus,

Crying with sweetest voices: Welcome, welcome !

Welcome, O matchless Sultan, thou art welcome, Welcome, O Source of Knowledge, thou art welcome.

Welcome, thou Secret of the Koran, welcome, Welcome, Affliction's Cure, thou art most welcome.

1 At this point in the recital the congregation stands to welcome the arrival of the Prophet.


Welcome, thou Nightingale of Beauty's garden, Welcome, to him who knows the Lord of Pardon.

Welcome, thou Moon and Sun of God's salvation, Welcome, who knowst from Truth no deviation.

Welcome, the rebel's only place of hiding, Welcome, the poor man's only sure confiding.

Welcome, Abiding Spirit, thou art welcome, Welcome, the Lovers' Cup-bearer, O welcome.

Welcome, thou Eyesight of thy true adorer, Welcome, thou Prince, loved by the World's Restorer.

Welcome, the humble soul's Illuminator, Welcome, thou cherished Friend of the Creator.

Welcome, thou Soul Beloved, thou art welcome, Welcome, Affliction's Cure, thou art most welcome.

Welcome, since thou of both worlds art the Blesser, Welcome to thee, the sinner's Intercessor.

Welcome, thou Monarch by two worlds awaited, For whom both earth and heaven were created.

O thou, whose face with noonday splendour gloweth, Whose hand is quick to raise up all the fallen,

Thou art the stay and comfort of all lovers, The only refuge both of slave and freeman ;

O balm of broken hearts, joy of the contrite, O Sultan of the world and all its creatures,

King art thou to the noble race of Prophets, Light-of-the-eye to men, both saint and simple ;

O, last to mount the throne of the Apostles, O thou, the seal and warrant of the Prophets,

Whose light did make the whole world shine in brilliance, Whose rose-like beauty filled the world with roses,

O'ercame the night of ignorance and error,

And brought Attainment's Vineyard to perfection,

O thou, Belov'd of God, grant thy assistance, Smile on us in that hour when ends existence.

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !

When he, the Friend of God ruthful and clement, Brought to the world the beauty of his presence,

Each angel to his fellow bore glad tidings, While earth itself in exultation trembled.1

Affrighted by these portents, sweet Amine

'Twixt swoon and waking saw a wondrous vision

She found herself alone, the houris vanished, Likewise her son. Believing that they had him,

In tremulous dismay her loss she pondered, Imploring God the while to send him to her.

1 A reference to the earthquake believed to have taken place at the time of the Prophet's birth. In this earthquake the famous vaulted hall at Ctesiphon is supposed to have been ruined.


Her anxious eye sought every nook and corner, Till suddenly she spied him, deep in worship ;

The Welfare of Mankind, facing the Kaaba, Had fallen prone, in holy adoration.

There he with head and tongue was praising Allah, Whose Unity his outstretched finger witnessed.

He cried : " Oh God, I look to thee, beseeching, Grant me my people, let them all be near me ! "

Amine said : "So clear I saw this vision, That I to earth was drawn by my impatience.

So my mind cleared, these shadows all departed, And lo, my son, light of my eyes, Mustafa !

But hear the marvelcord already severed, Eyes painted, and his circumcision perfect !

His face was lighted with a smile like daybreak, A sight which set my heart with joy a-tremble.

My heart glowed hot with fires of tender passion, I snatched him up, and pressed him to my bosom.

Trembled his lips, I saw that words were forming. What could my Bird of Paradise be saying ?

I bent my ear towards his mouth and listened With wonder, for his speech was plain to follow.

Freely submitting all his will to Allah,

He murmured low : ' My people, oh, my people ! ' "

For you he prayed, though he was but an infant, Yet you, full-grown, forsake his path of virtue

' My people !' thus he yearningly addressed you Salute him then, for love will heal and rest you.

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah I


That night the Meccan chiefs, men pure and guileless, While circling round the Kaaba, deep in worship,

Beheld the shrine in homage bow its summit, And right itself again, not one stone missing.

At this each noble chief his neighbour greeted, Crying : " The Welfare of Mankind is with us ! "

And how the Kaaba spoke with voice of triumph ; " Tonight is born the Sun, who all men lighteth.

From idols and all blasphemy he'll cleanse me,

And save from those who hold that God hath partners.

Henceforth his people, pure of heart and lowly,

Round me will march barefoot, with heads uncovered !"

That night the Prophet's thund'rous drums resounded, Satan that night from heaven was ejected ;


In shrine and temple dashed were god and painting, While 'neath God's scourge the sons of wrath were fainting.

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !

The Glory of the World, when he was forty, Assumed the crown of prophecy, mysterious.

Oft heard he then a great voice cry : " O Faithful, Thee have I made to be the world's sure Mercy ! "

By verse and verse came down the sacred Koran, While miracles most passing strange were witnessed.

Know first that never did that sacred body Cast shadow on the earth, not e'en at noonday ;

From head to foot his frame was light in essence, And sure it is that light has not a shadow.

Above that noble head there hung unfailing,

A cloudy fragment sent from heav'n to shield him ;

Its shadow cooled the burning heats of summer, And where he moved, the cloud to him was faithful.

The miracles his eyes displayed are many ; Attend, while I recount these blessed marvels.

Whate'er those eyes might see before them lying, Could they behold as clear when left behind him.


When Gabriel brought down a revelation, The very instant when from heav'n he parted,

On earth his scent would fill the Prophet's nostrils, Who waited then with joy the coming message.

Those glorious lips had but to quiver faintly, And lo, the sun with all his train would tremble.

When winds of dawn about his head played lightly, The scent of musk and amber filled their eddies.

By night his pearly teeth so brightly glittered, Lost needles by that light might be recovered.

His breast poured forth a light by which his comrades Through darkest night could walk the path of safety.

The Friend of God in twain the moon divided, Though he but gestured towards it with his finger.

The Ruler of the World would oft plant palm-trees, And pluck the honeyed fruit within the hour.

This tale might be till Judgement Day extended Yea, more such Days might fall ere it were ended.

If from Hell's flame you hope toflnd salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !


Come hither, ye who long to' feel love's fires,

Who count yourselves true lovers of the Loved One.

Come, hear how he one night to heav'n ascended ; And burn with love the while, if ye be lovers.

Upon a Thursday night, and this is certain, For this became th' illustrious Night of Power,1

Our Lord, the royal child of noble fortune, At home was resting in the cool of evening.

While thus in high-souled ease he was there seated, To Paradise 2 God sent his angel saying :

" Take thence a belt of rank, a crown well-jewelled, A trusty chestnut steed of noble breeding,

Lead him to my Beloved for his service, To visit highest heaven and behold me."

So Gabriel to Paradise descended,

And saw that countless horses there were grazing.

But in their midst stood one with eyes right tearful, Who would nor eat nor drink, so mournful was he.

His sorrowing eyes streamed like the flooded Jeyhan, Pining and grief his woeful heart had melted.

Said Gabriel: " Why weep you so, what ails you, What wounds are these your soul and body carry ?

1 The ayth night in the month of Ramazan. 2 Lowest of the heavenly spheres.


Your comrades all do graze and drink or wander, While you stand moaning ; say, what do you long for ?

He answered : " Forty thousand years, O Master, Not food or drink, but love my frame has nourished.

For, once, my ear was drawn by sudden music, Voices divinely sweet, low, but heart-piercing,

Which sang in lovely unison : ' Muhammed !' Since then I know not what strange mood is on me,

My left from right can I not now distinguish ; The Master of that name I love for ever.

Within my breast my heart is lean with longing ; Not sight but only sound has made me love him.

This yearning makes of Paradise a prison,

By night and day these groans and sighs I utter.

Though to the eye I seem to stand in heaven, The pangs of absence are my endless torment.

Him. must I find, whose glorious name I cherish, Or else this frame incontinent must perish ! "

Cried Gabriel: " O matchless steed celestial, Languish no more, for God your prayer has answered.

Whoever bears love's emblems in his body Shall know, some day, the joy of lovers' meeting

Come now to meet your loved one as appointed, With healing balm your heart shall be anointed."

The steed and Gabriel set forth together, And soon appeared before the body Prophet.

Our Intercessor in the Day of Judgement ! The crown of bliss tonight thy brow encircles ;

Wander at will throughout the storeyed heavens, And share tonight our Sultan's conversation,

An honour ne'er before to man accorded, For none was worthy thus to be exalted."

That night the Prophet roamed, led on by passion, To view the spheres with comprehending glances.

From each he garnered store of hidden wisdom, Until his steps approached the bourn of Sidre,1

Beyond which point had Gabriel not ventured Since first the spheres to order were subjected.

When Gabriel made sign he could no further, The Mercy of the Worlds declared in sadness :

" These paths I know not, all is blank before me ; A stranger I, how shall I go without thee ? "

At this the angel cried : " Prophet beloved, Think not thyself to be e'en here a stranger !

For thee alone these spheres have been created, With men and jinns, the houris and bright angels.

But here my range doth end, here is my border, Nor know I what beyond this frontier lieth.

It is commanded by our glorious Master, That I nor wing nor heart beyond this venture.

1 A tree in the seventh heaven. Also the mansion of the Angel Gabriel.

Should I transgress, swift as the lightning flashci The fire of God would smite my bones to ushci.'

The Glory of the World to this made ansvvci : " Stay thou within the pale, as is commanded.

But I, whose steps hath Love to this point guided, I must go on, although at once I perish.

Who presses on, in death's despite, unshrinking, Shall see his love, and stand, those features drinking.

Count not the way of love adverse or winding ; To yield the head may prove the surest finding."

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and zeal repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah ! Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah I

While thus he was with Gabriel conversing, Refref' appeared and, bowing, bade him follow.

The Sultan of the World and he together Set forth from Sidre for their destination.

Soon came a chasm, abysmal and upreaching, Where's neither sky, nor earth, nor habitation ;

* There is uncertainty among the commentators as to what Kr/rr/ represents. Some suppose it to be a heavenly beast not unlike (lie Burak which had carried the Prophet during the first stage ot Im heavenly journey.


This boundless space is neither full nor empty, Its qualities escape man's comprehension.

Before they found the seat of the Eternal. Full seven times ten thousand veils were lifted.

When each was raised, a solemn voice commanded : " Approach, my friend ; delay not to come hither ! "

He saw and crossed those empyrean spaces, And stood at last before the Lord Almighty.

There Majesty revealed to the Beloved, In fullest light, six aspects of his Beauty.

He saw the Lord of Glory full and clearly, As will his followers in the World Hereafter.

The King communed with Mustafa, 'tis certain, Though neither word, nor voice, nor sign were needed.

" I am your heart's desire," he said, " your solace, Your only love, the only God you worship. For me by night and day you sigh, unceasing, And say : ' Why may I not behold his beauty ? '

Come Friend, the love I feel for you is boundless, To you I give all people for your bondsmen.

Whatever you desire shall now be granted ; For every ill a thousand cures stand ready."

Then answered Mustafa : " O God of Mercy, Veiler of Faults, most graciously forgiving,

What shall become of these thy halting people, How shall they find their way into thy presence ?

By day and night their deeds compass rebellion ; I fear lest the Abyss should be their portion.

O Majesty, this is my sole petition

My people, may they be by thee accepted."

From Truth Supreme a loving cry resounded :

" I grant them all to you, my friend, Muhammed !

Your people now to you have I accorded ;

My Paradise I promise for their portion.

O Friend, was such a trifle worth the asking ?

Since you now have my love, my gentle Lover,

Would you make suit for this rebellious handful ?

You might have asked both worlds for your possessing.

You are the glass which mirrors my reflection ; Your name have I inscribed with mine together." God said moreover : " Well I know, my Prophet, That gazing thus your soul will ne'er feel surfeit;

But go, and give my slaves my invitation To come and gaze at will upon my features.

You came to heav'n and for them interceded ; Your people shall approach me in the Natnaz.

Whenever one performs the Namaz duly, It wins him merit like to those in heaven.

All forms of worship are in it included ; It is both way to God and sure arrival. Those faithful souls who pay it five times daily Shall God reward as though they had done fifty." 37

This conversation lasted but an instant,

Though ninety thousand words were in it spoken.

In that same breath, the world's great Prince and Sultan Was back once more, under the roof familiar.

To his revered companions he narrated, From first to last, the story of his journey.

They said : " Oh thou to whom we turn our faces, Blessed be thine exalted, heavenly journey !

We all are slaves, thou art our glorious ruler In all our hearts thou art the full-moon shining.

Enough for us the call to be thy nation ; Enough if we may win thine approbation."


So come, let us confess our sad rebellions ; With secret moan and bitter groan repenting.

Though life should last however many seasons, Death shall one day become our sole employment.

So let us now defeat death's pangs and sadness, By evermore entreating : God forgive us !

Our deeds have ever been of God unworthy ; We know not what may be our last condition.

Our worthless course have we not left nor altered No preparations made for life eternal.

Our names we make to shine before the people, But secretly our hearts we all have tarnished.

Each breath sees us commit sins by the thousand, Yet not once in our life repent we one sin.1

Yielding to self we sin and know no limit What shall we do, O God, how make repentance ?

No one of us but knows his heart's sedition, Yet we have come, thy mercy to petition.

We hope for grace to make a good profession, For Mercy's touch, and Ahmed's intercession.


O God, for sake of him, thy friend, Muhammed, For sake of Ahmed, rich in intercession,

For sake of Sidre and of highest heaven,

For sake of paths he trod on that high journey,

For sake of noble words on that night spoken, For eyes which gazed that night upon their Maker,

For sake of light divine and of the Koran, For Zion's sake, for Kaaba, Merve,2 Zemzem,

For sake of tears thy lovers shed, unceasing, For heads and hearts of all thy faithful people,

For hearts aflame with Love's consuming passion, For mourners weeping blood, so sharp their sorrow,

1 An attempt to reproduce the word-play of the original, " Bir giinaha etmedik hi bir gun ah ".

2 A hill near Mecca, visited during the annual pilgrimage.


For slaves who walk thy Way in firm devotion, For this sure Way, straight to thy presence leading ;

What time the span of life on earth is meted, What time the shades of death must be entreated,

O Holy One, when our last breath doth falter, Confirm our faith, that it nor change nor alter.

Absolve us, sinful, guilty, rebel creatures, Free from us sin, that we behold thy features.

Our tombs with Faith's pure light do thou make splendid, Our way by cheerful seraph bands attended.

When souls are weighed, our hope in thee we centre ; Guide by thy grace, till Paradise we enter ;

Set us near Mustafa, O thou Benignant,

In gardens where there blows no wind malignant;

Then graciously thy face to us revealing, Content our every wish beyond appealing.

Forgive our rebel deeds, thy mercy hasten, For Ahmed's sake, our sins but lightly chasten.

Join us to those with whom thou art contented, Nor gather us among the souls tormented.

May Siileyman, the lowly, find salvation, Make faith his guide and Paradise his station.

Almighty God, from evil now deliver ! Amen, say all who hope in God the Giver.

A hundred thousand blessings, morn and even, To Mustafa's pure soul by God be given.


May all his clan, companions and his nation, His friends and comrades share this acceptation.

May he, our Advocate, reject us never ! May God be gracious to you all for ever !

If from Hell's flame you hope to find salvation, With love and grief repeat the Salutation.


Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Apostle of Allah I Blessing and greeting upon thee, O Beloved of Allah !


Praise and thanks be unto thee, O Lord God.

Accept in thy courts of glory this recitation of the Mevlidi Sherif and of the glorious Koran, given in honour of thy noble Friend (prayers and peace be upon him), O Lord God.

We make a gift of the merit and reward of this recitation to the honoured soul of our Master and Prophet; accept it, we pray thee, O Lord God. We make a gift of it to the souls of all the apostles, to their companions and descendants, to the souls of the saints and of all true Believers; accept it on their behalf, O Lord God.

Let thy mercy rejoice all the spirits of such as are departed from among the friends who have been responsible for this recitation of the Mevlidi Sherif, O Lord God. Especially the souls of ........ (Here the leader reads the names of those

for the repose of whose souls the recitation has been made, if this has been a service of that nature.) Grant long life to those who remain, O Lord God.


Make the government of our Republic victorious over all its enemies by land, sea and air, O Lord God. Make our beloved land and nation fortunate-and happy, O Lord God.

When life comes to an end, may the peace of the Faith be ours, and grant us forgiveness and remission of our sins, O Lord God.

Praise be unto God, the Lord of Glory and of the Abstinent, and peace be upon the Apostles, and thanks be unto God, the Lord of the Here and the Hereafter. Amen.


Praise be unto Allah, the Lord of all creatures, the Most Merciful, the King of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we worship and of Thee do we beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, the way of those to whom Thou hast been gracious; not of those against whom Thou are incensed, nor of those who go astray. Amin.