W A R N I N G
In accordance with the rule ‘A man is hostile to what he does not know,’ I have attached no importance to the rules of versification and rhyme, since I do not know them. I at no time wanted to transform reality to comply with the demands of versification, as though sacrificing lucidity to rhyme. I have clothed the most exalted truths in a rumpled dress in this unversified, unrhymed piece. Firstly, I did not know any better and was only thinking of the meaning. Secondly, I wanted to demonstrate my criticism of those poets who chip away and file the body to suit the clothes. Thirdly, a childish style such as this was preferred in order to busy the instinctual soul as well as the heart during Ramadan. But, my reader, I confess I made a mistake. Beware, do not do likewise! Don’t be distracted by the torn style and so be disrespectful towards its exalted truths!
S T A T E M E N T O F I N T E N T I O N
O Reader! I confess in advance that I have many complaints about my abilities in the art of writing and versification. Even now I cannot write my name properly. Nor have I made versification and metre a chapter of my life. But suddenly my mind was beset by a persistent desire for verse. There is an epic about the expeditions of the Companions called Qawl-i Nawala Sisaban. Its natural verse, like a hymn, was pleasing to my spirit. So I chose its form of verse, but in a way particular to myself. I wrote some poetry which resembled verse, but I took absolutely no pains with the metre. Anyone who wishes may read it easily as prose without thinking of the versification. Also it should be thought of as prose so that the meaning may be understood. In every section there is a pointer to the meaning. It should not depend on rhyme. A hat may be without a tassel, and metre may be without rhyme, and verse without rules. I think that if the words and versification attract the attention to themselves through their art, they busy the mind with themselves. It is better to be at odds and ends in order not to distract attention from the meaning.
My master in this work was the Qur’an; my book was life; the one I addressed, myself. And you, my reader, are my listener. The listener has no