In memory of Professor Franklin Lewis

21 September 2022

The Beyond Sharia team conveys heartfelt condolences for the loss of our colleague Professor Frank Lewis, a brilliant scholar with a noble and generous character. We offer our deepest sympathies to his respected family, friends, colleagues and students.

به روز مرگ چو تابوت من روان باشد
گمان مبر که مرا درد این جهان باشد
برای من مگری و مگو دریغ دریغ
به دوغ دیو درافتی دریغ آن باشد
جنازه‌ام چو ببینی مگو فراق فراق
مرا وصال و ملاقات آن زمان باشد
مرا به گور سپاری مگو وداع وداع
که گور پرده جمعیت جنان باشد
فروشدن چو بدیدی برآمدن بنگر
غروب شمس و قمر را چرا زیان باشد
تو را غروب نماید ولی شروق بود
لحد چو حبس نماید خلاص جان باشد
کدام دانه فرورفت در زمین که نرست
چرا به دانه انسانت این گمان باشد
کدام دلو فرورفت و پر برون نامد
ز چاه یوسف جان را چرا فغان باشد
دهان چو بستی از این سوی آن طرف بگشا
که های هوی تو در جو لامکان باشد

The day I die, as my bier is borne grave-ward,
don’t think I am missing this world at all.
Don’t weep for me, do not cry out, ‘Alas!’
The only cause to cry ‘alas’ would be
you sinking into grief’s fiendish morass.
So don’t look on my corpse and say, ‘What loss!’
That is my hour of vision, my tryst with God!
Leave me in the earth, but do not bid ‘Farewell!’
the grave’s a passageway to paradise.
You saw me lowered, now look for rising up!
What harm comes to the sun or moon by setting?
What seems to you like setting is a dawning.
The crypt’s no prison, it’s the soul’s release.
Do seeds not sprout when planted in the earth?
Why doubt the seed of your humanity?
Your soul’s a Joseph in the well! Why cry?
What bucket lowered does not come up full?
Your mouth is stopt down here, but open it
up there. Raise up your voice in Placeless realms!
(a ghazal by Jalal al-Din Rumi, translated by Franklin Lewis, cited from “In Memoriam, Leonard Lewisohn (1953–2018) Founding Editor of the Mawlana Rumi Review,” in Mawlana Rumi Review, 9 2018, pp. 3-4)