I have phrases and whole pages memorized,
but nothing can be told of love.
You must wait until you and I
are living together.
In the conversation we’ll have
— Jalal-ud-din Rumi
Translator: Coleman Barks
“A friend of Joseph [Prophet Yusuf] returned from a far journey.
Joseph asked, “What present have you brought me?”
The friend replied, “What is there you do not possess? What could you need?
Since no one exists more handsome than you, I have brought a mirror
so that every moment you may gaze in it upon your own face.”
– Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Taken from the book: “Discourses of Rumi“, Or, “Fihi ma Fihi” (Arabic: فیه مافیه)
By Doug Marman, Based on the original translation by A. J. Arberry
What is there that God does not possess? What does He need?
Therefore, bring before God a heart, crystal clear, so that He may see His own perfection. “God looks not at your form, nor at your deeds, but at your heart.”
Similar idea is also mentioned by Rumi at another place:
You’ve no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine,
Or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It’s no good giving my heart and my soul
Because you already have these.
So- I’ve brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.
– Jalaluddin Rumi
Moses saw a shepherd on the way, crying,
“O Lord… Where are You, that I may serve You and sew Your shoes and comb Your hair?
That I may wash Your clothes and kill Your lice and bring milk to You,
O worshipful One: That I may kiss Your little hand and rub Your little feet and sweep Your little room at bed-time.”
On hearing these foolish words, Moses said, “Man, to whom are you speaking?
What babble! What blasphemy and raving!
Stuff some cotton into your mouth!
… the High God is not in want of suchlike service.”
The shepherd rent his garment, heaved a sigh, and took his way to the wilderness.
Then came to Moses a Revelation: “You have separated My servant from Me.
Were you sent as a prophet to unite, or were you sent to divide?
I have bestowed on every one a particular mode of worship, I have given every one a peculiar form of expression.
The idiom of Hindustan is excellent for Hindus; the idiom of Sind is excellent for the people of Sind.
I look not at tongue and speech, I look at the spirit and the inward feeling.
I look into the heart to see whether it be lowly [humble], though the words uttered be not lowly. Enough of phrases and conceits and metaphors!
I want burning, burning: become familiar with that burning!
Light up a fire of love in thy soul, burn all thought and expression away!
O Moses, they that know the conventions are of one sort, they whose souls burn are of another.”
The religion of love is apart from all religions. The lovers of God have no religion but God alone.
From the book “Rumi, Poet and Mystic, a selection of his writings“,
Translated from the Persian by Reynolds A. Nicholson.
[Slightly abridged by me to make it more easy to understand]