I stepped out of my house and encountered one who was crazed,
and in whose every look could be glimpsed a hundred worlds.
Like a boat in a storm, he twisted this way and that,
and all who saw him were transfixed by his presence.
"Where are you from?" I asked. He laughed and said, "My friend,
I am half from Turkestan and half from Ferghaneh;
I am half earth and water; half heart and soul;
half at the ocean's shore; half the pearl (that lies hidden in it)."
I said, "Befriend me, for I am your kin."
He said, "I do not distinguish between kin and stranger.
I am heartbroken and bereft in the wine-maker's house,
all I have is a word in my heart. Shall I speak it or not?
Shall one drunk on such beauty be less eloquent than a piece of wood?
Even the pillar of Hannaneh cried out at last!"
Jalaluddin Rumi (1207 - 1273)
(Translated from Persian by Ali Minai)
The pillar of Hannaneh refers to an apocryphal story about the Prophet Muhammad. It is said that during his sermons in the mosque of Hannana, he would lean against a wooden pillar. One day, he moved his pulpit away from the pillar, and the pillar cried out in grief. For Sufis, the event symbolizes separation from the Beloved and the grief it engenders.