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The Longing

by Nasim Ma'ani

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about

My debut album released in December 2011 is about a topic that I was reflecting on for some time … this sensation of longing so characteristic of the human heart. What does this longing mean and where does it take us?

It is exciting for me to share my perspective with you gleaned from sacred writings and inspired poetry through the wonderful vehicle of music.

These musical meditations have touched my heart and my hope is that they will also touch the hearts of my listeners with their messages of peace and unity.

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released December 9, 2011

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Nasim Ma'ani Beijing, China

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Track Name: The Longing
Deafened by the voice of desire,
You are unaware the Beloved lives
in the core of your heart.
Stop the noise,
And you will hear His voice
in the silence.

Poem by Rumi
as printed in Rumi Hidden Music - Paintings and Poems , p 42
translated by Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin

She woke up one morning,
with a sense of deep longing.
She followed that longing,
like a map etched into her heart.

Along rivers, through forests,
Across the oceans,
to the deserts and back.

Deafened by the voice of desire,
She was unaware, the Beloved
Lives in the core of her heart.

“Where are you?” “ Who are you?”
“Where are you leading me to?”
The longing was deafening,
fiercely calling out her name.

Along rivers, through forests,
Across the oceans,
to the deserts and back.

Deafened by the voice of desire,
She was unaware, the Beloved
Lives in the core of her heart.

Stop the noise,
stop the noise,
stop the noise.

And you will hear
His voice
in the silence.
Track Name: In Search of Him
O Son o Desire!
The learned and wise have for long years striven and failed
to attain the presence of the All-Glorious;
they have spent their lives in search of Him,
yet did not behold the beauty of His countenance.
Thou without the least effort didst attain Thy goal,
and without search hast obtained the object of thy quest.
Yet, notwithstanding, thou didst remain so wrapt in the veil of self,
that thine eyes beheld not the beauty of the Beloved,
nor did thy hand touch the hem of His robe.
Ye that have eyes, behold and wonder.
Track Name: True Lover
O Son of Justice!
Whither can a lover go, but to the land of his beloved? And what seeker findeth rest away from his heart’s desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace.
A myriad lives he would forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved.

- Baha’u’llah
Track Name: Face Towards God
O thou who art turning thy face towards God!
Close thine eyes to all things else,
and open them to the realm of the All-Glorious.
Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone;
seek whatsoever thou seekest from Him alone.
With a look he granteth a hundred thousand hopes,
With a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills,
With a nod he layeth balm on every wound,
With a glimpse He freeth the hearts from the shackles of grief.
He doeth what He doeth and what recourse have we?
He carrieth out His Will, He ordaineth as He pleaseth.
Then better for thee to bow down thy head in submission and put thy trust in the All-Merciful Lord.
Track Name: Illumine
O Son of Earth!
Wouldst thou have Me, seek none other than Me;
and wouldst thou gaze upon My beauty, close thine eyes to the world
and all that is therein; for My will and the will of another than Me, even as fire and water, cannot dwell together in one heart.

- Words: Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, Persian #31

Illumine, O Lord the faces of Thy servants. That they may behold Thee and cleanse their hearts that they may turn, unto the court of thy heavenly favors and recognize Him Who is the manifestation of Thyself and the Dayspring of Thine Essence. Verily, Thou art the Lord of all Worlds. There is no God but Thee, the Unconstrained, the All-Subduing.

Words: Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations (1987), p 95
Track Name: This is Faith
To walk where there is no path
To breathe where there is no air
To see where there is no light –
This is Faith.

To cry out in the silence,
The silence of the night,
And hearing no echo believe
And believe again and again –
This is Faith.

To hold pebbles and see jewels
To raise sticks and see forests
To smile with weeping eyes –
This is Faith.

To say: “God, I believe” when others deny,
“I hear” when there is no answer,
“I see” though naught is seen –
This is Faith.

And the fierce love in the heart,
The savage love that cries
Hidden thou art yet there!
Veil Thy face and mute Thy tongue
Yet I see and hear Thee, Love.
Beat me down to the bare earth,
Yet I rise and love Thee, Love!
This is Faith.
Track Name: Song of Badi
He was a wild youth, his heart of cold granite stone.
Yet when the story was told, the granite heart turned into gold.
He found a new truth, his lonely eyes as they shone
Were filled with tears as he grew near Baha’u’llah.

O my Beloved now I see, that my desire must ever be
To live my life in praise of Thee, say Allah’u’abha!
O nightingale, I must now rise and wing my flight across the skies
To Sheba where my loved one lies, Ya Baha’ul-Abha!

He made a journey across the fields and the plains
To where the goal of his life, waited in patience to give to the dove
A gift of glory that he might rise once again.
And wing his flight into the night to serve his Lord.

O nightingale, I hear Thy call, a captive, I stand enthralled
And watch the stars of heaven fall, by a single word.
O my Beloved make me strong to guard this gift that made me long
to sing the words of this wondrous song, Ya Baha’ul-Abha!

Across the mountains, he called king Solomon’s name
A gift from Sheba I bring, a weighty message, o king.
The people seized him, cast him in fetters and chains
Said for his love this lonely dove must surely die.

O people, will you never see, that your threats cannot frighten me.
I long to die, I long to be in the realms on high.
O Shah, you howl these words in vain, at one who rides the steed of pain
A martyr to the Greatest Name, Ya Baha’ul-Abha!
It was a wise man who cried in horror and fear.
They say to brand this young one, beat him so justice is done.
How can I beat him, this child of seventeen years?
And yet I must, but it’s not justice that I see.

O my Beloved, I fear his cries, remove the veils that blind his eyes
Thy justice now I realize, is not meant for me
O Lord of Bounty, show him how, this gift that’s branded on my brow
is sweeter that thy justice now, Ya Baha’ul-Abha!

However cruel his death may be, the world remembers young Badi
The pride of martyrs, now we say, say Allah’u’abha
For how many voices now proclaim, Ya Baha’ul-Abha!

(This is the story of a brave youth and his spiritual transformation into a new creation at a time when he completely understood who his, and the Beloved of the world, was.
I dedicate this song to my uncle, aunt and cousins and their families in Iran,
and to the beloved Baha’i youth in Iran, whose steadfastness and devotion in the face of daily persecution is mirrored in this story.
May you soon be free to follow your dreams and fulfill your potential.)
Track Name: Rejoice
O Son of Being!
My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish.

O Son of Spirit!
With the joyful tidings of light I hail thee: rejoice!
To the court of holiness I summon thee. Abide therein that thou mayest live in peace for evermore.
Track Name: Peace Is Light
Peace is light, whereas war is darkness. Peace is life; war is death.
Peace is guidance; war is error.
- Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p 123

I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your hearts on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all good and harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.
Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood,
peace, friendship, and happiness.

- Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p 29

For love is light, no matter in what abode it dwelleth.

- Abdu’l-Baha, Selections From the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p 3
Track Name: Thy Name
Thy name is my healing, o my God and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope and love for Thee is my companion.
Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both his world and the world to come. Thou verily art, the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Track Name: Trust in God
If the heart turns away from the blessings God offers
how can it hope for happiness?
If it does not put its hope and trust in God’s Mercy,
Where can it find rest?
Oh, trust in God! for His Bounty is everlasting,
and in His Blessings, for they are superb.
Oh! Put your faith in the Almighty, for He faileth not (never),
and His goodness endureth forever! His Sun giveth Light continually,
And the Clouds of His Mercy are full of the Waters of Compassion with which He waters the hearts of all who trust in Him.
His refreshing Breeze ever carries healing in its wings to the parched souls of men!
Is it wise to turn away from such a loving Father?