One of the famous poems of Ottoman history was one penned by the Caliph Sultan Murad III, who ruled the Ottoman Caliphate between 1574-1595. The Sultan’s term was more devoted to internal affairs than other Caliphs, who would more likely be out on campaigns.

He ruled over a polity that was embroiled in an environment of financial difficulty, with the rapid inflation caused by an influx of silver from the New World. Despite this, he managed to improve the diplomatic and military institutions of the Ottomans, who would see more political and military domination before the decline that started in the coming centuries. An example of his work in evolving state institutions was of his impact on the army and his moving it toward the use of firearms.

However, the financial troubles made for a constant struggle to appease the Jannisary and other classes, and this political strife further cemented his role as a domestically focused ruler.

Sultan Murad III

Sultan Murad III

This poem found it’s inspiration one day when the Sultan did not wake up for the dawn prayer. With a feeling of immense shame and guilt, he penned this famous poem, perhaps as penance or atonement. For a man who had immense power in the worldly sense, these words indicate a man who knew his ultimate judgement would be by The One, The Irresistable: his Creator.

May Allah have mercy on and forive the sins of the Caliph, the Ameerul Mu’mineen, and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Sultan Murad III.


WAKE UP O MY EYES FROM HEEDLESSNESS

Wake up, o my eyes, wake up from heedlessness
Wake up, o my very sleepy eyes, wake up
Azrael’s intent is the soul, believe me
Wake up, o my eyes, wake up from heedlessness
Wake up, o my very sleepy eyes, wake up

All birds wake up before dawn
They start reciting God’s names in their own tongues
Mountains, rocks and trees declare His unity
Wake up, o my eyes, wake up from heedlessness
Wake up, o my very sleepy eyes, wake up

They open the doors of the heavens
They sprinkle the water of Mercy upon believers
They sew the heaven dress for those waking up at dawn
Wake up, o my eyes, wake up from heedlessness
Wake up, o my very sleepy eyes, wake up

This world is transient, don’t ever be deceived
Don’t rely on the crown and throne in vanity
Don’t feel confident by saying “the seven climates are mine”
Wake up, o my eyes, wake up from heedlessness
Wake up, o my very sleepy eyes, wake up

Forgive me, your servant Murad
Excuse my offenses, abolish my misdeeds
Resurrect me under the Messenger’s Flag
Wake up, o my eyes, wake up from heedlessness
Wake up, o my very sleepy eyes, wake up

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