Fida’i Kurasani: “Like the sun in the sky He is always present”

Selected verses from a poem titled Recognition of the Imam by Fida’i Khurasani:

He is always present, a witness with his followers;
but who has seen his beauty except the blessed?

He who is the cupbearer of the fount of paradise,
is aware altogether of the hearts of his followers.

He is the Imam of the time, the guide and comforter,
the protector of his followers, whether young or old.

Like the sun in the sky, he is manifest in the world,
but the blind bat cannot see his luminous face….

If you do not see Ali in this world, know that on
the Day of Judgement, you will be resurrected blind.

If you fail to recognize the Imam of the time, you will
take nothing to your grave but sighs and remorse.

Mawlana Hazar Imam Aga Khan IV. Image: The.Ismaili

Fida’i Khurasani
“Fida’i” was the pen-name of Muhammad b. Zayn al-Abidin Khurasani, a descendant of the poet Khaki Khurasani (d. after 1646) of Dizbad (in modern-day Iran). He was born in the same village in northern Khurasan around 1850. After completing his early education, Fida’i went to Mashhad for higher studies, which included theology and jurisprudence. As the most learned of the Khurasani Ismailis, he travelled to India several times to meet the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III (d. 1957), who appointed him as mu’allim, the chief religious instructor of his community in Iran. Besides being a prolific poet, Fida’i was the author of several works on Ismaili theology, law, and history. He died in 1923 and was buried next to the grave of Khaki Khurasani in Dizbad. The poem is from his Mathnawi-i nigaristan, also known as Qasida-i nigaristan ed. A.A. Semenov, in Iran (1929).

Source: Shimmering Light An Anthology of Ismaili Poetry tr. Faquir M. Hunzai, I.B. Tauris, London, 1996 (p 117-120)

Contributed by Nimira Dewji

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