Blessed Arrogance

each one a small loyalty
to what lies in the hive.
—Luisa A. Igloria, “Extravagance

It is said
Hasan of Basra
once wrote out
a legal document
requested
by an old man
upon his death-
bed, and had it
witnessed
properly, signed
by two just
men. In this
testament,
Hasan promised
God would not
punish
the dying one
for sins.

The old man
then surrendered
his ghost,
was washed
and buried
with the signed
document
between cold
folded hands.

Hasan questioned
himself regarding
arrogance:
who was he
to make such
promises
on behalf
of the Beloved,
who was he
who boldly
wrote out such
a contract
committing God
to mercy?


Based on “Hasan of Basra: Hasan of Basra and the Fire-worshipper” in
Muslim Saints and Mystics: Episodes from the Tadhkiral al-Auliya’ (“Memorial of the Saints”) by Farid al-Din Attar, translated by A.J. Arberry (Rutledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1966)

3 Comments



  1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Cindy. “Stunning” is the word I most often find myself using to describe your photography, so to have you use it in relation to my poetry is truly an honor.

    Reply

Leave a Reply