Paradise is greed and Hell is a fear,
Oh God! I love just because you are dear,
You are hidden in beauty you are hidden in love,
You are branch of olive in the nib of a dove
I know you are not on a throne at skies,
My Kind Savior! Save me from the lies,
Lead me to the path aromatic and brighten,
Let the soul rest, into your arms enlighten,
At times I fall but I feel your grips,
On my forehead I feel your lips,
So kind you put back the toy on the rails,
Yes, you scratch the dirt with nails,
Not afraid though I know you might!
You are within me I see your light!
Poet’s Note –
Rabia Basri prayed: “O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty. “One day, she was seen running through the streets of Basra (Iraq) carrying a pot of fire in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When asked what she was doing, she said,”I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah. In his Life of St Louis, Jean de Joinville reports this story of a woman, but no name or religious affiliation is given to the woman, and the report appears to be contemporary (when in fact Joinville lived three centuries after Rabia).