Written from the ninth to the twentieth century, these poems represent the peak of Islamic Mystical writing, from Rabia Basri to Mian Mohammad Baksh. Reflecting both private devotional love and the attempt to attain union with God and become absorbed into the Divine, many poems in this edition are imbued with the symbols and metaphors that develop many of the central ideas of Sufism: the Lover, the Beloved, the Wine, and the Tavern; while others are more personal and echo the poet's battle to leave earthly love behind.
These translations capture the passion of the original poetry and are accompanied by an introduction on Sufism and the common themes apparent in the works. This edition also includes suggested further reading.
Mahmood Jamal is the author of the Penguin Book Of Modern Urdu Poetry and has several volumes of poetry to his name and has been published widely in anthologies of British poetry. His latest volume, Sugar-Coated Pill was published in May 2006 to wide critical acclaim.