أعطنى الناى و غنى — جبران خليل جبران

With man, religion is a field

Tilled only by those who sow it with selfish prayers —

Whether preachers hoping for eternal happiness

Or ignorant men who fear the flames of hell.

Without the penalty of Judgement

Man would not have worshipped any Lord

And without the promise of reward he would have blasphemed,

As though religion were a business matter

Devotion to its cause will bring him gain;

Neglect, loss.

In the forest there is no religion,

No hideous blasphemies;

For when the nightingale sings

He is not saying: ‘This is just.’

The religion of man appears

Like a shadow, then disappears.

After God and the Messiah

There is no religion on earth.

Give me the nay and sing

For song is the pearl of prayers;

The laments of the Nay will linger

Beyond the decline of existence

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