Nasir Khushraw – “Foundations of the Faith of Muhammad…”

…The Qur’an and Zulfiqar

The Qur’an and the pure
sword of Haydar – these are
the two foundations of
the faith of Muhammad.

For he, ‘Ali, stood with
his sword Dhu’l-faqar*,
drawn in every battle on the
right hand of Muhammad.

Ali’s rank in the faith
was like Aaron to Moses,
for he was both the peer
and companion of Muhammad.

On the Day of Resurrection
Aaron and Moses will kiss
the mantle of  ‘Ali and
the sleeve of Muhammad.

Muhammad’s religion was
like a dense forest;
‘Ali was the lion in
the forest of Muhammad.


Poem Acknowledment:

Shimmering Light: An Anthology of Ismaili Poems, ed. Faquir M. Hunzai and Kutub Kassam, pub. I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 1997.  Note: The poem is titled “The Sword of Ali” in the Anthology.


*The sword of the first Shia Imam, Hazrat ‘Ali.  The name is also commonly transliterated as Dhu al-Fiqar, Dhulfiqar, Zulfiqar etc. The scimitar is one of the oldest and best known symbols of Islam, and is particularly important to the Shī‘a, Alevis and Sufis.

By most accounts, Muhammad presented Zulfiqar to a young ‘Alī at the Battle of Uhud. During the battle, ‘Alī struck one of the fiercest adversaries, breaking both his helmet and his shield. Seeing this, Muhammad was reported to have said  “La fata illa Ali, la saif  illa Zulfiqar” (There is no hero but ‘Ali and no sword except Zukfiqar”).

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s