Commentary: Also from Sami Yusuf’s 2016 ‘Barakah’ album, this song was written by the Moroccan poet Sidi Othman ibn Yahya Cherki (known as “Sidi Bahloul Cherki”) in the 17th century. The qasidah (ode) “Fiyyashiyya” became a standard classic of the Maghrebi genre of malhoun— a genre of Sufi music popular amongst tradesmen in the urban centres of what is today Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
This qasidah continues to be one of the best-known and loved traditional songs amongst Moroccans from all walks of life. The inclusion of tanbour and daf gives this new arrangement a Persian or ‘Khorasani’ touch. Sami Yusuf has also added English lyrics to the song.
Arranged and performed by Sami Yusuf
Words & Music by Sidi Othman ibn Yahya Cherki (Traditional)
English translation by Dr. Tim Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad)
Special thanks to Ismail Boujia & his group for joining as guest vocalists:
Ismail Boujia (solo)
Mohammed El Ouafi
Mustafa Al Ashqar
Mohammed El Alami
Published by Andante Records Administered by Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd for the World
A humble slave I am of an almighty Lord
No work is too hard for that One who’s adored
But though I’m a beggar who cannot afford
To claim any strength, sure and strong is my Lord
He says, where He wills, when He wishes a thing,
just “Be”, and it is, by the might of a King
The ruler whose edicts and wise rulings bring
All blessings and grace by the might of a King
I haven’t got the force,
No strength between my sides
Why feel such remorse
when the Maker provides?
I’m but a humble slave, what should I worry about?
All affairs are ordained, of this there is no doubt
My Lord sees everything, while my sight leaves much out
In the womb, He formed me from a drop
O Allah, send your blessings on The Chosen One
Our beloved Muhammad, Peace be upon him
I’m safe in the shade of his all-knowing height
And no strength have I — His all power and might.
So glory to God, his bounty shining bright,
All gratitude and praise are His due and His right.