A Poem by Abu Muhammad al-Barqi

This is a poem by Abu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Ammar al-Barqi who was from the poets of the Ahl ul-Bayt (as). This is a famous poem by him referred to as al-Nuniyah (poems that rhyme in the Arabic letter nun). He was put to death due to it by the Abbasid caliph al-Mutawakkil in 245 Hijri (859 CE). Mutawakkil ordered for his tongue to be cut and for his collection of poems to be ripped. This poem is also at times attributed to another Shi’a poet Abu Hashim Ismail ibn Muhammad, who is commonly known as Sayyid al-Himyari (d. 171 AH / 787 CE).

This translation is taken from page 25 of the book An Ismaili Heresiography: The “Bāb Al-Shayṭān” from Abū Tammām’s Kitāb Al-Shajara by Wilferd Madelung.

I shall not reconcile with one who treated Abu Hasan as an enemy
until I am at rest in my grave and my shroud.

Nor will I concur with those views of yours that are wrong
and I will not admit that your two imams are imams.

To God belongs the day wherein you will see all mankind perishing,
Larynges become hoarse from thirst and desiccation.

Many a caller will be calling out in his confusion,
Where now are those two who led me astray?

There, the faces will be deformed of his two detractors who pushed
him from the Imamate, the seducer and the Satan.

And when the father of the cat says to his companion
eat the sour milk soup, this is the delight of the gatherer.

O you who will reproach the occupant of the house that was built
what is the offense of its occupant in relation to the culprit, the builder?

If there were no stairs, he would not climb it
and the climber and the one who made him climb are equal.

If it were not for the Sihaki 1, the filthy ones of Hind and the defiled of Marwan
would not be playing with our reign.

1 Sikhaki was the paternal grandmother of Umar ibn al-Khattab

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