Everywhere veiled

by Fakhruddin Iraqi

English version by William Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson
Original Language Persian/Farsi

Everywhere veiled
     by Your own Face
You are hidden from the world
     in Your very manifestation.
Look where I will
     I see Your Face alone;
in all these idols
     I see only You.
Jealous lest You be recognized
     at every instant
You dress Your Beauty
     in a different cloak.

-- from Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes (Classics of Western Spirituality) , Translated by William Chittick / Translated by Nasr Seyyed Hossein

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/ Image by nasrul ekram /

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Even amidst terrible suffering and devastation, we have the opportunity to glimpse the face of God. Sometimes it is in a helping hand or a healing voice. A kind gaze that doesn't turn away is often the most powerful thing of all. A heart that breaks, yet remains engaged, that is what the world is always yearning for. To see, to feel, to care-- these require courage and the willingness to face pain rather than run from it. But, when we do that, and breathe through it, we discover our deep humanity... and perhaps something of our shared divinity.

A broken heart, a willing hand, and a clear seeing eye, these are the pathways to God.


Iraqi suggests to us that all of life, all of reality is a game of divine hide-and-seek.

Reading this poem raises a question-- As we walk daily through the world, do we merely look, or do we see? And when we truly see, how can we not occasionally pause in mute wonder and melt?

Look where I will
     I see Your Face alone

Recommended Books: Fakhruddin Iraqi

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes (Classics of Western Spirituality) Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition

Everywhere veiled