Sultan Bahu: Alif Allah chambe di booti

Part of the Matheson Trust Sacred Audio Collection

Sultan Bahu (d. 1691) was a Sufi poet and scholar active during Mughal times in the Punjab region. He belonged to the Qadiri order, and he founded the branch known as Sarwari Qadiri.

Alif: Allah is like the jasmine plant which the master planted in my heart — He!
He watered my veins with “negation and affirmation”. — He!
Blossoming, the bush spread its fragrance through me. — He!
Long live my perfect guide, Bahu, who has planted this shrub! — He!

Click here to view a PDF with selected poems.

In the audio recording we can hear the prolonged final syllable of each verse: Hu, which is the Arabic third person pronoun, “He”. It refers to God, and it is often repeated liturgically in many Sufi orders, to the point of merging indistinctly with the breathing.

Alif Allah chambe di booti

Click here to download – 7:48 (11.3MB)

A transcription of the text is found here.

Translation by Jamal J. Elias, with thanks to the publishers. A related post is available from the Sufi Poetry magazine. Thanks to Radha Soami Satsang Beas for the audio recording.