Message from the Office of His Eminence Sayyid Ali Husayni Sistani Regarding the Coronavirus
Fire Retires – A fiery tale of Woe
Air water and earth are my companions
You may even call them my bosom cronies
From birth, an oath did we take
Live we will, but for others sake
Class, color or creed would matter not
Was a promise, that could be broken not
But now it really is too much, far too much
Ingratitude of society, none to match,
Warm the knuckles, in winter I do
Help cook a hot breakfast, I Do
Help cook lunch and Supper I do
Heat water for a bath I do
It is my nature to light up
By my very presence air clears up
Giving warmth and comfort my specialty
Cleaning up rubbish generated by society
Creation of Adam, began my misery
Iblis refused to prostrate, made me an accessory
“I am made of fire and Adam of clay
Said he, thus vainglory did he display
When Iblis implicated me, did he consult me?
It was he who boasted, so why blame me
This is what vexes me. This idle talk
Is it fact or fiction, no one cares to ask me?
If Zoroastrians deified me, I am not to blame
T’was providence that granted me my flame
That they were dazzled by my light
Was but a limit of their mental might?
Since then, intellectuals have been at play
To prove, I fire, am not superior to clay
A cardinal principle they have forgotten
That clay and fire are but one Creator creation
As my flame lights over a lamp or a candle
Moths circumambulate me in a trance
They burn themselves in supreme sacrifice
Alas, the way man interprets this is not nice
Does man appreciate this love and care?
Moth’s spirit of sacrifice does he share.
No, No, He accuses me of murder
And Waxes lyrical about moth-slaughter
How long can I forebear the maligning?
Wherever I turn, nothing but criticizing
No mouth a loss for words of blaming
Surely there must be a limit or an ending
Why should I emerge, here and there?
Whenever called upon, ready to serve
Always yes, never no to all and sundry
How to please all, always my quandary.
Being of service is what I aspired for
Such ungratefulness I did not bargain for
Hardly did I sow to reap thus
Acts of mine to burden the heart thus
But a question that boggle the mind
Was it fire that caught on to mankind?
Or was it man himself who caught fire,
Is an issue, unresolved, what a conjecture?
Enough - Tell them not to look for me any more
For my spark amongst dry branches no more
Nor between sparkling flints no more
Nor at the tip of a matchstick anymore
If Allah permitted, I would even disappear
From the pits of hell for ever and ever
Do please excuse this lament
In the heat of the moment!
Translated by Hasnain Walji from Gujarati original "Agni e Nivruti Lidhi"
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