Today's Beautiful Gem: "Worship" by Rabi'a the Mystic (712-801), a poetess
from Basra (presently in Iraq), translated by Willis Barnstone.

"O my Lord,
if I worship you from fear of Hell,
burn me in Hell.
If I worship you from hope of Paradise,
exclude me from that place.
But if I worship you for your own sake,
do not withhold from me your eternal beauty."

Note: Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya, a celibate mystic and zahid (ascetic),
was canonized as an Islamic saint. Fire was a central symbol in
her poems and in her spiritual life. She was called "that woman
on fire with love."

om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao