My Greatest Need is You

By: Rabi’ah al-Adawiyya *


Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours
Are the hours I spend with You --
O Allah, I can't live in this world
Without remembering You--
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing Your face?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.




* Among other classical Islamic poets who were typically men, Adawiyya is the one who was a woman. With her teaching of “Love of God is the essence of life”, she was a major spiritual influence in the classical Islamic world. Born in 717 AD in the present-known Iraq, she was, uncommon to Islamic tradition, married to none until the end of her life.