Posted in Arts, Events, Interfaith, London

‘Rubaiyat’: New Translations and New Poetry, and Zikr (Saturday, May 7, 7 PM, London)


Do not worry , O Khushal!

No matter how wretched you are

You are only flesh and blood

And not some heavenly seraph.

We are delighted to welcome Sami ur Rahman who has flown in from Pakistan to present his new translations of the national poet of Afghanistan – Khushal Khan Khattak. A contemporary of Bulleh Shah, he likewise rejected caste and clerical edicts. Part warrior poet who led the Pashtun struggles against emperor Aurangzeb, part mystic, part scholar, he produced ghazals, rubaiyat, and verse treatises on the body and falconry.

Sami ur Rahman (journalist, translator, lover of mystic poetry and theoretical physics), hails from the same obscure village as the 17th century Khushal, and has published two books of translations. He will be reading in Pashtu, Farsi and English, and will include Rumi in Farsi and English.

In the other half we have original poetry from guest Jane Silk who studied Islamic and Sufi philosophy at Kings College and SOAS and then deepened her academic experience with a spiritual awakening in Isfahan. She took to a form of meditation-writing at night, covering her wall with scores of jottings. This outpouring is sometimes described in farsi as ‘taravoosh zehniyat’ – a ‘dripping of the mind’.


As always we keep our floor open to contributions of original poetry or music from our audience.

Ending with a Sufi zikr- a traditional meditation of remembrance with chanting, movement, breathing, and music, which closes with prayers for humanity and the planet.

Please note: the Sufi zikr at approximately 9pm is FREE and you are welcome to come only for the zikr.

‘Rubaiyat’: New Translations and New Poetry, and Zikr

Poetry Cafe
22 Betterton St, Covent Garden WCH2 9BX
Saturday 7th May 2016
7pm to 9:45pm

£8 on the door


This the official blog of the Ansari Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order of the United Kingdom (

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