Let Days Go Forth…

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

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A beautiful poem by Imam al-Shafi’i

دع الأيام تفعل ما تشاء *** وطب نفسا إذا حكم القضاء
ولا تجزع لحادثة الليالي *** فما لحوادث الدنيا بقاء
وكن رجلا على الأهوال جلدا *** وشيمتك السماحة والوفاء
وإن كثرت عيوبك في البرايا *** وسرك أن يكون لها غطاء
يغطى بالسماحة كل عيب *** وكم عيب يغطيه السخاء
ولا حزن يدوم ولا سرور *** ولا بؤس عليك ولا رخاء
ولا ترج السماحة من بخيل *** فما في النار للظمآن ماء
ورزقك ليس ينقصه التأني *** وليس يزيد في الرزق العناء
إذا ما كنت ذا قلب قنوع *** فأنت ومالك الدنيا سواء
ومن نزلت بساحته المنايا *** فلا أرض تقيه ولا سماء
وأرض الله واسعة ولكن *** إذا نزل القضا ضاق الفضاء
دع الأيام تغدر كل حين *** ولا يغني عن الموت الدواء

Let days go forth and do as they please
And remain firm when settled is the Decree

Don’t be afraid of what happens by night
For the affairs of this world are not to last

And be a man, strong in the face of calamities
And let your nature be that of kindness and honesty

If your faults become too much in front of the people
And you wish that they were to be concealed,

Then know that kindness covers all faults
And how many faults are kept hidden by kindness!

No sadness lasts forever, nor any happiness
And you shall not remain in poverty, or any luxury

Generosity cannot be hoped from the miserly
For no water exists in the Fire for the thirsty

Your provision will not be decreased due to life’s delays
And it cannot be increased due to your haste

If, in your heart, you possess contentment
Then you and those who possess the world are equal

And for him upon whose horizon death descends,
No earth can offer him protection, nor any sky

Indeed, the earth of Allah is certainly vast
But if decree descends, then the world constricts

Let days be the ones that betray you at all times
For no cure can avail a person of death

18 thoughts on “Let Days Go Forth…

  1. Masha Allah, an excellent translation. The last sentence in the second last line, is it ضاق القضاء (with qaaf) or ضاق الفضاء (with faa’)?

  2. Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

    This is a very good reminder ma sha Allaah. It certainly brings comfort to the heart.

    The majority of the poem was straightforward ….except for….

    Generosity cannot be hoped from the miserly
    (For) no water exists in the Fire for the thirsty

    Is the ‘For’ at the beginning in this line a reason for whatever is stated in the preceding line or is that just a typical arabic thing to use ‘For’ without a specific connection to the line preceding it.?

    Let days be the ones that betray you at all times

    I understand the above line?

    Would you please enlighten us?

    Jazaaki Allaahu Khayr

  3. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    The ”For” kinda connects the two concepts mentioned… In other words, just like a thirsty person will not find any water in a blazing fire, he shall not find generosity in a miserly person. The particle ف is commonly used in Arabic prose/poetry to give further meaning/connection between concepts etc.

    As for the last line, I feel that the meaning is something along the lines of… :

    ‘Don’t be disheartened by what takes place in life, days never stay still and hence they will at times be in our favour and at times they will be against us. As the verse says, وتلك الأيام ندالها بين الناس – “And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns…” [Aal-'Imran] So let them be, because if there’s anything that will betray us in life, it’s the days which suddenly shift positions and seem to turn against our interests – and it ends with an example of when death comes (a person feels betrayed because they did not expect it to take place on that particular day).’ etc etc. That’s what I understood from it, perhaps someone like brother Ibn Uthman can shed more light on it insha’Allah.

  4. Jazaaki Allaah for providing clarification,

    Could “Let days be the ones that betray you at all times” also mean, Don’t be surprised by the changes that occur from one day to another from the rising to the dropping in eemaan to the change in status or wealth or fear and safety?

    or could it be something similar to the earlier line ?

    “No sadness lasts forever, nor any happiness
    And you shall not remain in poverty, or any luxury”

  5. Yeah it can also mean that… I guess it alludes to any time there is a sudden change in one’s life and realities become other than we expected or hoped for. Wallahu A’lam.

  6. We are powerless against the Qadr and Qada’ of Allah according to which times and events unfold and come to pass. So we are better off leaving (esp. unfavourable) events to take their divinely ordained course, instead of fighting them when they do come to pass; because in fighting them we are, in fact, fighting Allah’s Divine Decree. The best we can do is to persevere in the face of adversity, wait for it to pass (and pass they will because nothing in and of this world is permanent) and hope for the reward that comes with such perseverance. Do not try and fight the inevitable or strive to avoid it (esp. death from which there is absolutely no escape), but show strength of character instead and contentment with Allah’s Decree. Death, itself, is not only the destroyer of all pleasures but also brings an end to all worldly adversity which only shows once again the transient nature of things in and of this world. There is no such thing as being permanently happy or sad in this world, but there are positive attitudes that we can adopt when confronting the vicissitudes of life, and one of these attitudes that Imam al-Shafi’i reminds us of is to accept the ebbs and flows of life and to let the days take their course in accordance with Allah’s Decree, and resign ourselves to what Allah has decreed.

  7. Assalamoalaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatohu

    MashAllah very very nice post alhamdulillah

    just one point and really really not to nit pick but i ve heard perhaps this same comment too often from people and just wish to clarify or get a clarification…

    “We are powerless against the Qadr and Qada’ of Allah according to which times and events unfold and come to pass.”

    i am not sure how the brother meant this but the truly muslim muslim (ie the one who truly surrendered to His Lord) is never powerless is he? indeed his submission causes him to be always content with the Decree of His Creator. and so Allah SWT says of them “walaa khaufun alaihum walaa hum yahzanun” – with submission comes amn from Allah SWT ie security and for a wide variety of reasons as shown in the Holy Quraan and the ahadith no grief cos well Allah SWT is my Lord and i am always pleased with His decree, for what He withheld from me never belonged to me and what He gave there is more khair and barakah and only Allah SWT has the power to bestow that.

    As for afflictions, trials, etc they are a means of Allah SWT guiding us, purifying our iman and raising our status inshAllah in the duniyah and the Akhirah. witness the suffering and trials faced by Rasulillah SAW and the early muslims.

    Thinking well of Allah SWT at all times is a measure of iman. Allah SWT is never an oppressor so whatever He gives us of trials/test/tribulations can only be of good for us.

    The duniyah for the muslim is not the place of rest and enjoyment but a place of striving and sacrifice and endeavoring to worship/adore/praise/glorify the One and Only True God Allah SWT and fulfilling his convenant with Allah SWT in the best manner possible. so this is never a cause to be “resigned” to Allah’s Will and Decree. the muslim is always “pleased” with Allah’s Will and Decree. Not “resigned” which to me (and perhaps this is too personal for me?) sounds like one is dragging this awful awful weight behind them and all their reservoirs of iman are just being used up to pull themselves from one day to the next, barely surviving the onslaught.

    sorry im not a scholar or a fluent arabic speaker so please overlook the arabic english and all other mistakes.

  8. As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat Allahi wa barakaatuhu,

    Jazaakum Allahu khayran for making this available. May Allaah make us of those who benefit from it in a way that is pleasing to Him, and may Allaah reward and have mercy upon Imam Ash-shafi’i. Ameen.

    For anyone who would like to hear the lines read/recited, there is also a reading and translation available on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJQRGEswyUg. (MashaAllah it’s beautiful to read, but also beautiful to hear).

  9. assalamu alaikum sis,

    is it possible to provide the harakat for this poem? id really like to memorize it but fear erring with the harakat.

    your reward is with Allah inshallah :)

  10. Assalamu Alaykum

    ‘Let days be the ones that betray you at all times’

    I would like to add my interpretation which is from no great source of knowledge as it is an impossible task to fully understand the great Imaam Al-Shaafi.

    I understand it as let ALL days whether good or bad be our tormentors, for in the days of good man becomes proud, ungrateful and in the bad he becomes insolent.

    How should we let the days torment us? when we gain the best of the world it should make us fearful, that does Allah want to reward me in duniya and lessen my station in Akhira. It should cause us worry.and lead to giving away the bounty.

    In the bad times we must thank Allah for the pain, suffering and say how blessed I am Allah is remembering me! And not let ‘why me’ come out.

    The silent reminder in this sentence is do not be the betrayer of Allah like shaytaan, let the days take the blame they hurt us in good and bad but we did not betray our promise to Allah of submission, inshallah.

    if all the days of our lives betray us and we acheive this high goal, it means we have lived a life of servitude and submission every day of our lives. , we would be from those people whom Allah is pleased with.. Imaam Al-Shaafi is giving the key to Jannah in one sentence alone, sublime mashallah.

    This line must be read with first lines as it is echoing the same meaning
    Let days go forth and do as they please
    And remain firm, when settled is the Decree

    Jazzak’Allah Khair for posting this poem and sharing this inspirational advice from the Imaam May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdous, ameen.

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