Rahman Baba

The great 17th century Pashtun mystic Abd-ur Rahman Momand better known as Rahman Baba, ‘the Patriarch Rahman’ is a source of inspiration for many.  While many as a literary Pashto classic admire his poetry, it is his deep sense of understanding and eloquence though colorful poetic metaphors of his time and place that sets him apart from other seekers of the Truth in the Cheshtia Sufi Order. The following is from Rahman Baba’s collection (Diwan sections 145 / 1656 p. 106):

In Contrasting Suspense

A Poem by Rahman Baba

English rendition by Zaman Stanizai

Like a river constantly running from myself,

It’s no wonder I am a treasure trove of pearls.

Death is harsh when life is defined by joy and pleasure

I rejoice in Beloved’s longing than in His union.

Like a child all my ignorance seems wisdom,

yet in ruinous worldly decadence I remain pure.

Ego’s vast dominion I conquered and its greed,

like Solomon I ride a winged celestial throne.


Of no use is the body when the Beloved steals my heart

in solitude I am merely an empty chamber’s guardian.

Between life and death suspended on a thread,

I am a broken flower hanging on its stem,


Now I see myself as a saint and now a sinner

a predicament between this loss and gain.


The Beloved’s image is etched deep in my heart

I am lost between the self and the Self.



لکه دریاب

چې هر دم له خپله ځانه ګرېزان یم 

هم په دا لکه دریاب د دُرو کان یم

مرګی تریخ دی چې ژوندون د چا شیرین شی 

زه خورسند د یار تر وصل په هجران یم

نادانی مې دانایی شوه لکه طفل 

په ناپاکو ګوهره کې پاک دامان یم

چې د نفس د حرص ملک مې مسخر کړ 

په هوا د پاسه تخت د سلیمان یم

تن می څه کړې چې زړه یار را څخه یووړ 

بېهوده د خالی خونې نګهبان یم

لکه ګل چې په نارمات کړی اوېزاند وی 

زه هم هسې د ژوندو  د مړو تر میان یم

کله ځان را ته ولی کله عاصی شی 

نه خبر په خپل کمال نه په نقصان یم

خپل جانان مې هسې نقش دی په زړه کې 

نه پوهېږم  چې رحمان یم که جانان یم

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