Brotherhood and Jihad

Brotherhood and Jihad

by Aşık Mahzuni Şerif (Turkish original – Ankara, Turkey)
by David Selim Sayers and Evrim Emir-Sayers (English translation – Paris, France)

THIS translation is of the poem “Gardaş ve Cihat” by the Alevi folk poet and bard Aşık Mahzuni Şerif (1939-2002).1 You can hear it performed by Aşık Mahzuni Şerif himself at this link.

From six thousand six hundred and sixty-six
How could it be that just five have been picked?
Haydar, you tell me, by God and Quran,
How could Murtaza’s equal be Abu Sufyan?

How could it be that the Lord’s so inane
That he turns his own servants to ashes in vain?
Myriad’s the wisdom in one sip contained
How could a stone match the heart of a saint?

All the four books are the Truth, believe me
Muhammad and Moses don’t quarrel, you see?
If God bestowed souls upon humans, tell me,
How could one be whole and the other empty?

Who’s seen the Truth, friend, that he cries jihad?
Takes love of humanity, turning it bad?
Our days, o Mahzuni, go by just like that
As one shoots another, how could Truth be glad?

1. The word aşık (Arabic for “lover”) denotes a wandering bard inspired by mystical love.