The Removal of Confusion ~ Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse

The following is quoted from the “Removal of Confusion” of Shaykh al Islam Ibrahim Niasse ‘in response to the misguided and misguiding deniers, for the poem has not left anything unsaid’:

“The Visitor returned to me, silently, at the time of sleeping. The heart was seized, ceaselessly

By the lover’s remembrance of the Beloved, then He left
I spent the night after His departure without sleeping

I do not taste sleep, except a little
The bird of thamud drank the water of antimony

I spent the night prattling to myself that the destination should be close
But alas! How far it is!

The distance and the fatigue cause me doubt
Since I had thought it was no further than the next campsite

Or is it the wind blowing from the South that makes me sad?
Surely the southern winds sadden the heart

Rather it is the fragrance blowing from the Beloved
With the Spring’s fresh air, air which can even quench the thirst

Reminding us of the dwelling of beautiful maidens
And meeting and appointments that have been held there

I will never forget the way these maidens pass in front of my eyes As if they have no purpose but to haunt me

Toward me with great slowness they come, taking their time
They are discussing the highlands.

Indeed knowledge has become dead in these lands!
This epoch has donned robes of mourning

Its maidens of knowedege, before protected and veiled
Have fallen in the hands of the enemies

They have been humiliated, where before they were worthy of fabulous dowries
Expensive, difficult to possess

Their deflowering has been licensed unjustly
By every depraved reprobate, even though they are decent women

So knowledge became, after having been glorious and sublime
A toy in the hands of ignoramuses and scoundrels

Now the bald women starts to demand
Expensive dowries of fine horses!

Oh this sighing! How weak I have become!
Now my frailty is clear to everyone

Among the ignorant you will find ever dumb and blind person
Those who cannot survive without a dog to guide them

Clinging to the earth, unable to stand
Devoid of consciousness, deaf, like an inanimate object

And despite his incapacity and blindness, such a person denies
The vision of he who sees, the hearing of he who hears, the direction of he who guides

How strange the criticism of this blind man for the holy person!
How can those who are asleep challenge those who are awake!

Is the sight of the afflicted the same as the sight of the liberated ones?
Surely the afflicted one is strained by perpetual chains

So they have denied out of ignorance
Things whose rules are clear for the people of principle

So the blind man denies the sun in broad daylight
Only because of his blindness, just as the sick man knows not the taste of cream

By my soul! How distant are the veiled ones, those full of lust
From those excellent, distinguished beings

The one who gets wet by the seaside
Then claims to be the ocean!

He is nothing but a laughing stock
An example of idiocy paraded in the villages and towns

So they conceive of knowledge as the state they find themselves in,
For all eternity, how great a lie is their illusion!

Knowledge for them is boasting and slander
Stubborn arguing

What sort of knowledge is this! Woe to your knowledge!
Leading naught but to slander of the saintly poles (aqtab) and cardinal supports (awtad)

Knowledge is not simply literature or rhetoric (ilm al -lisan)
Knowledge is having fear of Allah in the heart

Indeed, the knowledge of rhetoric contributes nothing
To its possessors on the Day we shall stand witness (before Allah)

A parable is of a donkey carrying books
No benefit do they bring, only suffering

If it is really knowledge you are seeking Come to our spiritual master (ashyakh), like shining stars they are

In them you will find numerous oceans
Each filled, undulating with precious gems

Such masters have left aside beautiful virgins to seek knowledge
They have left behind carpets and pillows

So they have returned with profound knowledge
Flabbergasting their critics

Rich meadows of knowledge from fellow servants
Then directly from Allah, Lord of all servants

They have come to witness the Real openly, with their eyes
So they are elevated with every passing moment

Whenever they desire, they expand on any science at hand
With continuous overflowing bounty and spiritual support

Such expansion cannot be contained by the seven continents
Measured out, nor can it be contained in the seven heavens

Each of their nights is like the Night of Power
And their days are like festivals of celebration (‘Eid) for Allah

Were they to walk with their full presence on the earth
Whole lands would have been destroyed, mountains crushed

And against such people some dare to mount criticism?
What delinquent ignoramuses!

Surely the Lord of such saints has promised to wage war against their enemies
And this is sufficient as a defense against the arrows of any enemy

Therefore, beware of criticizing others as long as you live
Except for disbelievers, since you will face them with strong proofs

O my Lord! Surely I am innocent from what has come from people
Importing from other religions the evil of criticism

When the misguided mount their criticisms (against the Shaykhs)
Witness that my own heart is filled with reverence!

And when the miserable ones cast doubt on them
Surely our love for the people of Tasawuf has remained pure

Indeed! They are my family, and the carrier of my strength
My refuge against dismay on the Day of Reckoning.


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