Why must I forever lose, forever forgo profit that is my due,
Sunk in the gloom of evenings past, no plans for the morrow pursue.
Why must I all attentive be to the nightingales lament,
Friend, am I as dumb as a flower? Must I remain silent?
My theme makes me bold, makes my tongue more eloquent,
Dust fills my mouth, against Allah I make complaint.
We won renown for submitting to Your willand it is so;
We speak out now, we are compelled to repeat our tale of woe.
We are like the silent lute whose chords are full of voice;
When grief wells up to our lips, we speak; we have no choice.
Lord God! We are Your faithful servants, for a while with us bear,
It is in our nature to always praise You, a small plaint also hear.
That Your Presence was primal from the beginning of time is true;
The rose also adorned the garden but of its fragrance no one knew.
Justice is all we ask for. You are perfect, You are benevolent.
If there were no breeze, how could the rose have spread its scent?
We Your people were dispersed, no solace could we find,
Or, would Your Beloveds following have gone out of its mind?
Before our time, a strange sight was the world You had made:
Some worshipped stone idols, others bowed to trees and prayed.
Accustomed to believing what they saw, the peoples vision wasnt free,
How then could anyone believe in a God he couldnt see?
Do you know of anyone, Lord, who then took Your Name? I ask.
It was the muscle in the Muslims arms that did Your task.
~ Translation by Khushwant Singh