Hymns on the Noble Qur'an
47 Let There be No Forcing in Faith Q2:256
Let there be no forcing in faith
Is what is known to man and wraith.
To force is simply to impede
The soul and the soul’s lofty creed.
The mind and will know only two
Alternatives: the sweet and swill.
If choice there be for humankind,
It is a choice made by the blind.
One does not cure the lack of sight
By a display of power and might.
The still small voice within alone
Can teach what’s written down on stone.
Truth stands out clear from error’s way
To everyone come out to play.
Whether in fact he’s wrong or right,
He’s certain of truth in his sight.
The evil one and Allah stand
Before the soul’s fortress unmanned
And the one that the soul thinks good
Is the one she chooses as should.
That grasping is one never breaks,
No matter for what power’s stakes,
Perception is built into each
And does not change by what they preach.
I see one good and call Him God,
Another born of human pod
May see the other and think fair
And follow that one everywhere.
I do not hear the vain reproach,
I know not all things that encroach,
I only know that Allah hears,
And God Himself knows what appears.
All faiths that pressure and that teach,
All those religions come to preach,
All that make laws and that police,
Are vain religions come to fleece.
Before the temple of the sky
All temples are an empty try.
Before the still small voice in heart
All sermons are a failing art.
With robin in her hidden nest
I listen for the voice that’s best.
With hedgehog on the nightly prowl
I pray the prayers of beast and fowl.
No man can teach another what
Can only be learned from the gut
And from the meeting each may know
Of the divine beneath stars’ glow.
Hymns on the Noble Qur'an by Thomas McElwain