River of Milk Lyrics – Sami Yusuf

Table of Contents

Maqām: Bayātī
Commentary: This is a beautiful love song in praise of the blessed family of the Prophet (Ahl al-Bayt). The four principle rivers of paradise (water, date wine, honey, and milk) go back to Prophetic descriptions of paradise. The poem is inspired by these early traditions. It is of unknown provenance, though it may originate from Morocco or Andalusia. The earliest known reference to this piece dates back to the 17th century, though it may have been composed earlier. Although this piece is traditionally performed a cappella and without harmony, it has been rearranged and modified with minor vocal harmonies for this recording.

*In Islamic orthodoxy, love alone is not sufficient to gain entry into paradise. This verse is a pious, poetic hyperbole that is not to be taken literally.

Words & Music: Traditional (most likely of Moroccan-Andalusian origin)
Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf

[Arabic with English Translation] River of Milk Lyrics

Inna fi l-jannati nahran min laban
Surely, a river of milk flows in heaven,

Li-‘Aliyyin wa-Ḥusaynin wa-Ḥasan
For Ali, Husayn and Hasan.

Kullu man kāna muḥibban lahumu
And all those who have love for these three,

Yadkhulu l-jannata min ghayri ḥazan
shall enter the garden with no misery.*

Ḥubbu ahlil-bayti farḍun ‘indanā
For us, love of the Prophet’s family is a duty,

Wa-bi-hādha l-ḥubbi lā nakhsha l-miḥan
And with a love like that, we fear no difficulty


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