top of page

In The Arena of Love Divine


Cloak of Non-Conformity - By Kul Nesimi




I put on the cloak of non- conformity, on my own.

I smashed the bottle of honor on the stone,

Sometimes I take to the sky, observe the world.

Sometimes I get on the face of the earth, and the world observes me.

Friend, I just love

Who cares?

Sometimes I visit the madrasah, for lessons to study the truth.

Sometimes I visit the tavern, to drink a draught of love.

Who cares?

The devout call it haram, the wine of my love.

It is I who fill and I who drink,

It is my sin (therefore)

Who cares?

They ask Nesimi, are you pleased with tomorrow?

Whether I am pleased, or I am not

Oh friend of mine, who cares?


Ali is the Friend. Ali is the Jaan of all Jaan




The Malamatis were a mystic Sufi group that formed in the 9th century, in the Greater Khorasan region, otherwise known as northeast Persia. Interesting to note how a tradition travels from one rich region like Nishapur in the Great Khorasan area and then to Lahore, to Multan and finally to Delhi. Sufism was adopted with much zeal in the Punjab region in what is modern day Pakistan but has roots originating in Persia. Even Qawwali, the great music genre of Indo- Pakistan, that is so rooted in Sufism, traveled all the way from Persia where it was called Sama.


Melamet is from the Arabic word “malaamah” or blame. Malamatiyas observes melamet or non -conformity happily. They handled their “nafs” or ego in a ruthless manner by taking to the path of blame with the way they dressed and lived. The tradition revolved around handling taboos to tackle hypocritical asceticism and mysticism. The claim is that a man who prays five times a day and does it for show, is as bad as the man who visits taverns. One finds in Malamati poetry references to cup, pub, gambler etc. Even beards and robes were frowned upon.


They kept their “qalb” or knowledge a secret, while drawing public shame. Living a life that earned public esteem they felt would only serve as obstacles to one’s personal growth. In other words, piety is a very personal matter.


Madrasas are schools for Islamic studies. They are often attached to mosques.


Haram is behaviour that goes against the tenets of the Kuran




Kul Nesimi, an Alevi-Bektashi poet describes a life lived in non- conformity, a decision taken all by himself. In doing so he cares not for honor. His behaviour can be a puzzle as he is comfortable in taverns just as he is in mosques. He can be in a higher state from where he can see the world for what it really is. At other times he can be embroiled in worldly affairs to the surprise of society. Throughout it all he is in love of the absolute truth. He takes full responsibility for his behaviour and its possible consequences. Ultimately he cares not as to what is profiled about him by others.


Ben melamet hırkasını
Kendim giydim eynime
Ar u namus şişesini
Taşa çaldım kime ne

Gah çıkarım gökyüzüne
Seyrederim alemi 
Gah inerim yeryüzüne
Seyreder alem beni

Gah giderim medreseye
Ders okurum hak için
Gah giderim meyhaneye
Dem çekerim kime ne

Sofular haram demişler
Bu aşkın şarabına
Ben doldurur ben içerim
Günah benim kime ne

Sofular secde ederler meclisin mihrabına

Benim ol dost eşiğidir secdegâhım kime ne

Nesimi'ye sordular ki
Yarin ilen hoş musun 
Hoş olayım olmayayım
O yar benim kime ne




Yar Ali yaradan Ali can Ali canan Ali


Yar Ali yaradan Ali canacanradan Ali



Cloak of Non-Conformity
00:00 / 03:52
enlarged amabahouse main strip
bottom of page