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Nevertheless, both movements arose as more Arabic-speaking people began to realize the disparity between acquired ideals and the realities of life around them — an intense acknowledgment of the urgent need for liberation. For Gibran, liberation in artistic terms meant challenging the authority and ideals of classicism. Unable to harness himself to the yoke of traditional meter, he was rarely able to translate his poetic vision into the outworn forms of traditional verse. His experimentation in prose rather than poetry allowed him to perfect the prose-poem as a new genre, freeing him from the established poetic diction of the decadent period in Arabic literature.

He was therefore able to create a totally new rhythm with a life of its own, emanating from within the syntactical framework, and, as such, his poetic prose, or prose poetry, constitutes a unique contribution to modern Arabic literature. It took the poet more than eleven years assiduously to perfect the unity of a message he mirrored through text and pictorial medium.

They are hungry for beauty, for truth. Within a month all 1, copies of the first edition had been sold. As we follow this man from Lebanon, sometimes in his Irish homespun suit, sometimes in Dervish robes splattered with paint, and sometimes attired like a cultured Frenchman, we find the life of a man struggling against his weaknesses and trying to construct something permanent and holy out of his private failures and disappointments. Less than twenty years after his emigration to the New World, the youth from Bisharri found himself moving among the elite literary and artistic circles of America, where he would seemingly slip on new personas — masks that enchanted, fascinated, and sometimes beguiled his American acquaintances.

His vehicles of expression — the epigram, the parable, the short essay, poetry, the apophthegm, and the prose-poem — were sometimes interspersed with powerfully symbolic artwork. Such assaults represented the wildest insubordination to the status quo, and he was vilified and condemned as a heretic. His aphorisms, parables, and allegories closely resemble Sufi wisdom — the themes of paradox and illusion turning on the unripeness of a sleeping humanity attached to the ephemeral.

She paid for him to live and study in Paris and on his return the patroness and poet fell in love. Nevertheless it must also be acknowledged that many of his Arabic works possess a lasting appeal. It is doubtful whether any other writer who has attained such global popularity has been so neglected.

Lawrence, and Amy Lowell — none of the leading journals in the West reviewed his books when they were published. They invariably omitted Gibran from surveys of modern American literature — reflecting an inability to come to terms with literature that falls outside conventional terms of reference. Unlike his contemporaries Eliot, Pound, and Yeats, Gibran had no wish to refine the English language to meet the realities of the age, but yearned to inject into it the priceless values of the mysticism of the East.

If critics persist in regarding Gibran as an English writer to be considered and measured against his contemporaries, they will find that the existing criteria of evaluation do not apply. Driven by a mechanistic Weltanschauung, the Western mind has often been arrogantly unresponsive to mysticism, blatantly rejecting any vision of the unity of culture. Over recent decades, however, this piecemeal consciousness of the Western mind has begun to wither.

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For those academics still cloistered by their own one-dimensional ethnocentric attitudes and their analyses of the particular as against the universal the literature of Gibran will pass them by as it transcends global dualities, cultural barriers, and academic one-dimensionalism.

Our own words to each other bring us no surprise. It is only when a voice comes from India or China or Arabia that we get the thrill of strangeness from the beauty, and we feel that it might inspire another of the great cultural passions of humanity. There is a certain affinity of spirit and sentiment toward language; a common devotion to the manner of expression; a heady delight in the hypnotic rhythm of the music of speech and a deep awareness of the mystical elements that permeate the landscape of mist and mountain, desert and moonlit night.

The image of the morning sun in a dewdrop is not less than the sun. You and the stone are one. There is a difference only in heart-beats. Your heart beats a little faster, does it, my friend? Aye, but it is not so tranquil. Throughout his work with both pen and brush Gibran expressed his belief in the sanctity of the living earth and our duty to protect her and ennoble her, revere and celebrate her, learn from her and commune with her.

His views represented a significant new departure in Arabic literature which previously had usually treated the natural world as either a force to be reckoned with or as an ornament evoking little save aesthetic appreciation. For Gibran everything separate and closed within itself must perish for lack of a principle of renewal.

This renewal requires mutuality and within this matrix human destiny is irrevocably linked with that of the cosmos; only by the giving and receiving of energies can cosmic harmony be maintained. In the processional of the year — the spring breezes nursing the awakening buds, the iridescent leaves of autumn with their memory-laden smells — the poet acknowledges the thoughts and emotions of some great consciousness. Such tales should be seen as Arab meditations recast in the English idiom, albeit one that is in itself a translation from an oriental original.

It was an arabesque, going in and coming out, dependent on repeti- tions, both obvious but also suppressed, in alternate verses. We did an analysis on these lines in the introduction to the little book which we published. The arabesque pattern behind the imagery of the poetry seems to emanate from the same obsession with geometric symbols. This is an obsession that can be related to the constant longing on the part of Iranians - and indeed other Middle Easterners, if not all human beings - for order in place of chaos; in the case of the Iranians, for the trim pathways, canals and flowerbeds of gardens in place of the harshness, emptiness and tumbled rocks of the deserts beyond the garden walls.

Recognition of arabesque thematic patterns in poetry is of course germane to the problems facing those who would endeavour to reconstruct the texts of Persian poetry of former times, correcting the inadvertences of omission or inclusion of false verses, and other errors attributable to the scribes who have copied the poems through the centuries. The order and genuineness of verses might be more easily established if attention is paid to the thematic recurrence of associated images such as John Heath-Stubbs noticed and other colleagues have subsequently studied in detail.

But I must venture no further into the intricacies of textual criticism. Instead, I would just like to conclude with a plea that it should be remembered that Sir William Jones was at least right in calling his version of a famous Hafiz poem A Persian Song. We must not, in dissecting and analysing the poetry of Hafiz, forget that, whatever else he was, he was a singer.

In his role as a poet he belonged to the class of minstrels: to use that word which is so difficult to translate, rind, in his guise as a poet, Hafiz was of the type of rogues or scallywags. We are grateful to him, and to the troubadours, for it is through the power of song, of music, that great libera- tor of the soul from the body, that they preserved grace in an ever darkening world; grace, and a sense of humour, with fifes and drums.

Khanlari, II, p. Ker ed. See particularly pp. Shafaq, Tarikh-i adabiyat-i Iran, p. Khanlarl, cf. Khanlarl, ghazal 4. Browne, Chahar Maqala, pp. Hafiz has street-touch. Two external factors - literary and socio-linguistic - par- tially account for this. On the one hand, Persianate societies today remain bardic civilizations in which bricklayers sing the ghazals of Sa'di and Rum! On the other, Iranians and Afghans and the natives of the other Persianate lands of Central Asia, such as Tajikistan, by and large speak exactly the same Persian tongue spoken in fourteenth-century Shiraz by Hafiz.

Even many modern educated Persians, afflicted by the anti-imaginative climate of the West, today find much of his symbolism incomprehensible. They delight in the great beauty of his poems but often view them as utterly meaningless. The Pakistani philosopher Muhammad Iqbal d. Again, a strange similarity of bias between contemporary Hafizology and aca- demic Shakespeare studies exists. Hafiz studies today suffer from a similar conspiracy of silence. In modern literary studies and critical theory, especially in the contempo- rary West, the vertical purport and spiritual import of his symbolic imagery by and large are deliberately neglected, and the esoteric doctrines and metaphysical teach- ings inspiring his verse are treated as irrelevancies.

Most interpretations of his poetry treat him simply as a brilliant court poet of an entirely secular and worldly bent. Here, I underline the fact that Hafiz was not a court poet, or at least not a professional pane- gyrist in the traditional sense of the word. An assessment of some of the causes of his supreme position in classical Persian lyrical poetry is also offered. Sufism is the dominant tradition of Islamic spirituality that influenced Hafiz and the most significant source of the imagery and symbolism in his Divan.

As a way composed of rules, the Sufi Path should lead to where no rule exists save the Rule of Fove The Sufi ethical and metaphysical doctrines sustaining his opposition to religious hypocrisy and sanctimony are analysed in detail. His theology of sin counterbalancing the vice of pride, sin functions as an adjunct of humility , with its roots in the Sufi doctrine of Najm al-DTn RazI and Rashid al-DTn MaybudI, is subjected to detailed analysis.

DavanI d. The chapter opens with a survey of this topos in the medieval Provencal lyric in southern France and northern Italy, show- ing how the theme of the parting of two lovers at dawn was ingrained into European literary traditions and suffused medieval European and renaissance liter- ature. Lewis then reveals how a certain kind of Alba topos in early Arabic Andalusian poetry existed, which was similar but not identical to its Provencal prototype. She summarizes the highlights, while underlining the drawbacks, in the versions done by nineteenth-century English and American translators, and some of the later renditions into English free-verse by the twentieth-century trans- lators.

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I am also grateful to the excellent support staff at Exeter - Laura Scrivens, Catherine Bell and Jane Clark - for their organizational assistance during the convening of the confer- ence. Khanlarl, ghazal 8. Also, cf. As the second leading cultural capital after Tabriz of medieval Persia, the artistic, intellectual and literary brilliance of fourteenth-century Shiraz under Muzaffarid rule is perhaps best comparable to fifteenth-century Florence under Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici.

The poets and philosophers who thrived in this intellectual centre of south-western Fars easily rival the likes of Marsilio Ficino, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Pico de Mirandelo, who were to fill the capital city of Italian Tuscany a century later. Many of the natives of the city still figure as the central pillars of classical Islamic civilization. Shaykh Ruzbihan Baqll d. The presence of these institutions, even if their administrators were often than not corrupt, 4 lent the town a peculiar sacred ambi- ence in the popular imagination.

The city also prided itself on vast cemeteries with mausoleums of its saints. The Khatun visits the mosque every Thursday night; there is an oratory and a madrasa, where the judges and scholars gather as they do at the shrine of Ahmad ibn Musa. Hafiz sang: What delight Shiraz is! How peerless Her site and circumstance.

Do not let her, 0 God, decline and fall from grace. Come to Shiraz, entreat for grace Of the Spiritus Dei from her men Of letters there, versed in the sciences. Bankrupt jeweller that I am, it all makes me uneasy. The literary and philosophical thought of Hafiz cannot be understood without comprehending something of the high culture of Persia, its monumental intellectual achievements, literary, theological and philosophical, as well as the local society of Shiraz and contemporary politics of the province of Fars. The poetic cosmos of fourteenth-century Persia blazed with some of the brightest luminaries in Persian poetic history, whose ideas Hafiz absorbed and emulated, and whose verse he followed and imitated.

As a poet, Hafiz was a genius of transforma- tive appropriation, supreme connoisseur of verse-aphorisms and epigrams, who specialized in selecting the choicest verses from the past masters of Persian and Arabic poetry, transcreating their imagery, improvising and improving on their ideas in his own original manner. In the erotic mathnawT verse of Khwaju, one finds explicit imagery of sexual union, intimate descriptions of carnal intercourse of the female beloved with her male lover. The lover and his mistress are likened to a single heart dil , one of them composed of the first letter of the word Dal and the other its second letter Lam , the two letters which make up the word for heart in Persian.

In their palms were dates and in their mouths sugar. Night and day they were trans- ported beyond this realm of dust, unaware of the whirling spheres of heaven. Eros is the main concern of their verse, as Salman boldly declares: I have no job but love. Each man follows some sect and faith Which is his own. Piety on the Path of Love is realized by being tainted with reproach and affliction with the stigma of public rebuke.

The glorifica- tion of ill-fame and the vaunting of notoriety was in fact one of the central topoi of the anti-clerical repertoire and literary counter-culture that both poets shared in common: Neither of shame am I worried, nor of name take heed: For in my creed, repute and good name are not allowed. Their penchant for Sufi symbolism, sharing of the same poetic rhymes, metres, images and ideas especially their use of the same bacchanalian imagery , not to 10 Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry mention theoerotic sensibility, poetic vision, mystical persuasion and metaphysical thought, exhibit an overall concordance.

Sufi poet Shah Qasim Anvar d. These include the likes of Princess Jahan-Malik Khatun d. Of course, this never happened to Hafiz. Quite the opposite in fact, as he boasts: Once Love became my tutor in the art Of fine speech, all my words became Key postulates of debate in every coterie. In fact, not only is Hafiz today considered to be the fairest of stars, last in the train of night in that heavenly company, he inhabits a sphere of his own before whom all other poets - those who wrote in the ghazal genre at least - sit mantled like chan- deliers drowned in floodlighting. Husayn Bayqara d.

It took but a brief instant for the convoys of his enchant- ing speech to reach the outskirts of the lands of Iraq and Azerbayjan. The musical seances of the Sufis [ sama-i sufiyan] without his passionate poems soon came to lack warmth; likewise, unless graced by his tasteful speech the convivial banquets of kings were devoid of all relish, savour and enjoyment. The best known of these are the mystical commentaries in Turkish by Sururl d.

There was also the sober literary and grammatical commentary by SudI of Bosnia d. Over the course of the nineteenth century several more editions were published in India. Seven or eight quite reputable scholarly editions today can be bought. His grace of speech That people love comes entirely from God. Even though today we have come along and totally changed the style and form of poetry, our mod- ernist Persian poetry still remains all deeply affected by and in debt to Hafiz.

I sometimes think that the world of the poetry of modernist poets such as Suhrab Sihpihrl [d. The reason for this is that Hafiz is concerned with supraliterary issues of enduring relevance, which are neither exotic, hackneyed cliches, nor expressed in a language alien to the contemporary mind. Hafiz-pazuhishi , was launched. For the Shiraz! And the reason for this lies in the Hafizocentric nature of classical Persianate civilization. In both the esoteric and exoteric sciences he was a treasury of spiritual truths and mysteries.

For Persian-speakers, his poems remain a sort of trans-sectarian, atemporal sacred text, a hallowed scripture venerated by Muslims, Christians and Jews in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and all throughout Central Asia, and by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in India, not to mention admired by atheists and secular nationalists everywhere.

His Divan is one of the important pillars of Persian language, which till Doomsday will remain everlastingly immune from ruin and decline. Modern biographies of modern poets, based on myriads of external sources and first-hand accounts, or even their own diaries and letters, may deepen our understanding of their poems. But to reverse the process and attempt to conjure up biographical details by over-literal interpretation of highly polished and traditional medieval poems is to pursue a chimera.

The theological texts that he studied in the beginning of the fourteenth century, some of which are mentioned by Gulandam, were the supreme classics of the period. No historical records contemporary to him survive that would furnish any details about the women and loves of his life.

With this request, however, he was unable to comply, alleging lack of appreci- ation on the part of his contemporaries as an excuse, until he bade farewell to this life Abu Ishaq Tnju reg. Shah Shuja Muzaffarl reg. Shah Mansur b. When did comradeship And fellowship conclude? Where has gone friendship?

Novelty is only in request, and it is dangerous to be aged in any kind of course as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure, but 22 Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry security enough to make fellowships accursed. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. Out of its 40 verses, only 12 w. This seems to be the gist of his boast at the end of the poem w. With all this praise of mine bestowed on you I pray that life stretch out a thousand years for you, Though for the likes of you such rare wares do seem cheap.

After conquering Fars, as GhanI informs us: Mubariz al-DTn began to show great respect and deference to the puritan asce- tics [zuhad], jurisconsults and severe Sharia-oriented clerics. In fact, it was partly as a foil to this religious dictatorship that Hafiz elaborated his most famous symbol - the inspired libertine rind - as a representative of the spiritual and intellectual counter-culture of the city. Having been cursed and threatened with death several times by his father, Shah Shuja 1 had foresight enough to blind and then depose him, snuffing out the nasty puritanical autocrat to the delight of the ShlrazI intelligentsia.

How great the news! Both had memorized the Qur'an. Take heed of one who stumbled, yet God lent him A hand - and know from this that fallen men Must stir in you your pity and distress. And when you cross the threshold with the wine Cup-bearer! Bear good news, so your entrance cause These worldly griefs but once to leave my heart. The royal road of pomp and circumstance Has many perils. It is best you march atop That knoll with not much baggage on your back.

The Sultan and his fighting men, in love With jewels and crowns - the dervish with his peace Of mind and nook fit for a vagabond. Those stains are better than the art of alchemy. Less than two decades later, all members of the Muzaffarid royal family were extirpated by that scourge of the late medieval Islamic world, Tamerlane. In many of the ghazals that he sent to kings and national ministers those verses where a said prince or vizier is the object of praise are set off from the rest of the ghazal. Compared to the rest of the lines in these ghazals whose themes are largely erotic or mystical , those verses reveal an entirely different ambience.

Nonetheless, some later authors who wrote historical works or memoirs of the poets - and following them modern scholars - have taken those few verses to imply that Hafiz was a panegyric poet pure and simple. They have even taken great pains to establish that all the verses of a said ghazal consti- tute nothing but veiled praise for a certain king or vizier.

The panegyric verses that he wrote in praise of kings and viziers in his Divan are quite few and far in between. The main reason for our fascination is that the whole notion of inspired libertinism rindi presents a major moral problem: as an ethical category disengaged from conventional piety taqwa and asceticism zuhd , it leaves Hafiz open to the accusation of simply being an advocate of hedonism and sybaritic debauchery. The virtually indefinable and paradoxical ethic of the inspired liber- tine was summarized by the Iranian philosopher Dayyush Shayegan as follows: In this concept we find a sense of immoderacy, a behaviour out of the ordi- nary, shocking, scandalous, able to disorient the most composed spirits, a non- conformity which derives not so much from ostentation as from the explosive exhuberance of a vision so rich, so full, that it cannot manifest itself without doing violence to everyday banality and without breaking the limits defined by the normality of things.

This term expresses, further, a predilection for the uncertain, for language that is veiled and masked, for hints and insinuations, which in the authentic rend are expressed in inspired paradoxes [ shathiyat ] Finally, there is in this concept a boundless love of the divine such as we see in the great thinkers and mystics of Iranian spirituality; but detached from its mystical content, it is transformed into fanaticism and, steered by hominess magni, to the psychology of the mob.

While he believes in and reflects upon the Life Hereafter, he does not fear it since he finds that divine Love and Grace are his real saviours. Nor does he rely on his own piety, knowledge, learning, or understanding. Contrary to the ascetic [zahid] - even the true ascetic - the rind is not someone who goes to an extreme in giving priority to the Life Hereafter, neither does he consider the life of the world to be entirely insubstantial or without basis. Each of these facets is examined individually below.

As far as the government was concerned, the dissipations of the rendan were preferable to the fasts of the zahedan or ascetics. For while the latter worked at the simplest jobs and paid few taxes, the former were steady customers of the kharabat vice-dens - the brothels beit al-lotf , wine-shops sharabkhaneh , opium-dens bangkhaneh , and gambling houses qomarkhaneh - all of which paid tamgha to the treasury. He went to the Master of the Path pir-i tariqat to complain of their conduct.

Whoever wears the mantle yet cannot bear to have his desires thwarted is an impostor.

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  5. Such are forbidden to wear dervish robes. The figure of the rind celebrated in his lyrics is not like these coarse and dissolute characters at all, but rather a nonconformist type of refined aesthetic and spiritual values. In this context, as Shayegan underlines, the word rind evokes: a lively lucidity, a savoir faire, a refinement of action, a tact that goes all the way to compliance, a discretion in speech, which are neither craft nor hypocrisy, nor an affectation of mystery; but can, outside their context, become those very things, being reduced to insidous shifts, not to say dissem- bling and imposture.

    Again, the term denotes an interior liberty, an authentic detachment from the things of this world, suggesting the deliverance, in however small a measure, of the man who, shaking off his tawdry finery, lays 34 Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry himself open without sham, and naked to the mirror of the world; however, degenerated from its primitive context, this attitude can turn into one of exhibitionism, of posing and of mere libertinage.

    Transforming their badge of infamy and dishonour and shame into acclaim and fame, the inspired libertine thus cut a dash through his poems as a kind of revolutionary religious intellectual in society, an iconoclastic rebel who adhered to the religion of Eros as a counter-faith to the prevailing hardline fundamentalist version of orthodoxy and the moribund Islamic puritanism of his day.

    In the conventional religiously oriented society of fourteenth-century Persia, the libertine of course had largely a negative social value. In the realm of spiritual truth, however - in respect to which many of the seminary-trained clerics, ascetics and Sufis of the period were in practice quite often impostors and fraudsters pretending piety - the rebellious social image of the libertine rake in all his dissolute and impious notoriety quite appropriately comple- mented, and in fact expressed in mirror image, the real nature of the ascetic Sufi or formalist Muslim cleric.

    It was they who real- ized that this sort of sanctimony and hypocritical display of piety was in fact the greatest threat to honest religion and morality. Hafiz, then, in elaborating the ethics and erotics of the inspired libertine, in declaring: I followed the path of the mad libertines for years - Long enough, until I was able with the consent Of intelligence to put my greediness into prison.

    No, that is vulgarism, A heresy and schism, Foisted into the canon-law of love;- No, - wine is only sweet to happy men. They are called rindan because they repudiate all norms of society and reject the restraints of religious piety. For the worst slur I think that ever I could incur Is commendation by the crowd.

    The Sufi theoreticians of medieval Persia inform us that the difference between the maldmatl and qalandar mystics was that the former sought to conceal his acts of devotion and piety, whereas the latter endeavoured to overturn and destroy established customs. The qalandar is the supreme mystical monarch before whom even the prince must bend his knee to receive his crown: Around the tavern door The reprobates of God - qalandars - swarm They withdraw and they bestow The diadems of Empire.

    Thus, for the Romans a porta fenestella was an opening through which Fortune could enter. A thousand enigmas subtler, finer spun than A strand of hair lie here. However, maldmati ethics are in this respect far more akin to the moral phi- losophy of Roman Stoicism. And what the people but a herd confused, A miscellaneous rabble, who extol Things vulgar and well weighed, scarce worth the praise, They praise and they admire they know not what; And know not whom, but as one leads the other; And what delight to be by such extolled, To live upon their tongues and be their talk, Of whom to be dispraised were no small praise?

    It is a kingly title! In the same spirit the Sufi poets celebrated infidelity and heresy, and extolled Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity as symbols for higher, esoteric modes of faith. Rather than mere colourful metaphors limned with delightful erotic images, there are precise spiritual significances in verses such as these: People have aimed the arrow of guilt a hundred times In our direction. Through my enthusiasm for wine, I have thrown the book Of my good name into the water; but doing that insures that The handwriting in my book of grandiosity will be blurred.

    Simultaneously, He preserves their consciousness from being preoccupied by that blame. This is a result of divine jealousy - for thus God protects His friends from paying attention to anyone save Him lest the non-initiates catch a glimpse of the beauty of their spiritual state. It also protects those devotees from self-regard and the hubris of self-consciousness.

    Therefore, God has set the com- mon herd over them to tongue-lash and blame them With so many judges That are set over me, 0 Lord, who should I take to be my judge? As the place and form of the theophany, he bears witness to this beauty of the divine Subject Himself; because he is present to the divine Subject as His witness, it 44 Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry means that God is contemplating Himself in him, is contemplating the evidence of Himself.

    Certains soufis semblent avoir fait un usage regulier de supports humains de contem- plation, et cette attitude est connue sous le nom de shahid-bazi, contemplation de la Beaute divine sous un forme humaine. You imagine this to be incarnationism [hulul], yet it is not. It is the quintessence of mystical oneness [ittihad], and according to the religion of the Hafiz in the Socio-historical, Literary and Mystical Milieu of Medieval Persia 45 Verifiers [ madhhab-i muhaqqiqan], no other religion exists.

    Have you ever heard these verses? Anyone whose life does not rest upon that Idol, that Witness-of-Beauty, is no devotee, nor man of true austerity in the faith of infidelity.

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    Infidelity is that you yourself become that Witness-of-Beauty. If infidelity is such as this No one else exists in unicity. The shahid is that thing found to be acceptable to the eyes of the heart. As for one who makes his shahid out to be a beautiful face or a child, there is no warrant for this on the Sufi Path [ni hukm-i tariqati-ast ]; rather, this belongs to the after-effects of the powers of concupiscence [quwwa-yi shawat].

    The lover must have enough discernment and a sufficient understanding of physiognomy to recognize the physical appearances of the beloved in this world. This is because love manifests certain signs beneath and behind the many veils that becurtain it, each of the spiritual realities [maani] is a sign of love that is displayed through the [semi- diaphanous] curtain of imagination [parda-yi khiyal].

    49 Best Sufi images in | Arabic calligraphy, Arabic words, Islamic quotes

    Exactly like the trobar clus poetry of the troubadours of Italy during this epoch, in classical Persian prose and poetry devoted to the art of erotic Hafiz in the Socio-historical, Literary and Mystical Milieu of Medieval Persia 47 contemplation shahid-bazi , it became virtually impossible to distinguish between the metaphysics of the spirit and the erotics of the flesh. The art historian A. To sport And play with the Witness always is What gives the soul its sustenance. These fair forms that you contemplate Are not themselves that lovely Witness: They are just shadows cast from it.

    In the following verse, Hafiz addresses the angry Sufi shaykh who reproached him for pursuit of romantic love, giving this formalist foe of his a robust riposte: I am not about to abandon love, nor the secret Witness, Nor the cup of wine. It is a grave error to kiss the hand of and pledge oneself to those who sell their ascetic abstinence for the sake of riches, worldly rank and status.

    Hafiz refers to this key-concept in various constructions altogether ten times in the Divan. Such myriad arts and skills are my ornament: I say it plain - in fact, I show it off. I was an angel and the supreme paradise my sanctuary; It is man who brought me to this deserted cloister. Being detached from everything, he is free, and from that standpoint he realizes that all the appearances in the world are but diverse manifesta- tions of that Beauty, and thus he is also with everything Since the inspired libertine is not subject to anything, how should he be fettered by learning and books?

    What a subtle matter! It is in this spirit that Hafiz preaches: Why should the inspired rogue who sets the world on fire Bother himself with wise counsel and advice? The libertine-lover soon realizes that the dross of his being can only become refined in the alembic of blame malamat.

    All his assets lie in enduring the reproach of the vulgar [malamat]. What sort of lover is he who cannot take blame? Hafiz in the Socio-historical, Literary and Mystical Milieu of Medieval Persia 53 At this juncture, having suffered reproach and abuse, the lover now becomes bereft of all avarice and desire for the world. Since he has already given his heart up to the beloved, to all others he must be indifferent. In the Persian Sufi tradition the stock symbol of such successful endurance of blame in love is the legendary Shaykh San'an, who converted to Christianity on falling in love with a Christian girl, his theophanic witness.

    It is from this level that the selfless discourse of the inspired libertines issue forth. But the rake by way of humble entreaty And beggary at last went down to the House of Peace. He is free from the concrete proper- ties ahkam of being, having become emancipated from all ties of the world in all its confusing multiplicity.

    In this manner he has freed himself of everything. Thus he becomes the crown of the world and mankind. No other creature attains the summit of his exalted degree. Notes 1 Zarrlnkub, Az kucha-i rindan, p. Zarrlnkub, Az kucha-i rindan, p. Junayd ShlrazI, Tadhkira-yi Hazar-mazar. Khanlarl, ghazal 1, 4. Khanlarl, ghazal 5. It happens exactly the same way that, for example, a history of real events becomes attenuated during the time of romance when one falls in love. Love is always present there and visible, flowing through his vocabulary. Even when a certain historical event appears to have been clearly the occasion of a certain poem, the [romantic] inspira- tion animating it immediately dissipates and dissolves that history.

    For Hafiz, love is the underlying cause of the world. DawlatabadI, introduction, p. For parallels between these poets and Hafiz, see Khurramshahl, Hafiz-nama, I, pp. See also my essay in this volume, pp. Mushfiq, pp. For further parallelisms, see Khurramshahl, Hafiz-nama, I, pp. Khanlarl, ghazal Mushfiq, p. This verse is cited in the famous s Iranian music programme: Barg-i Sabz, no.

    Shidfar, vol. GhanI Bahth, p. Shidfar, no. Mu'In, Hafiz-i shirin-sukhan, I, pp. For discussions about the ghazal in question, see MuTn, Hafiz-i shirin-sukhan, I, pp. Khanlarl, ghazal 7. Parallel adduced by MuTn, Hafiz-i shirin-sukhan, I, p. Mahjub, p. Khanlarl 5 composed in the same metre and rhyme. See also GhanI, Bahth, I, pp.

    For further parallels between other poets and Hafiz, see idem. Bahth, II, p. Khanlarl, II, pp. This man- uscript is currently in the British Library: Or. Khanlarl, 11, p.

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    NaflsI, p. Qazwini and by Dr. Hafiz-i shmn-sukhan, II, p. Several decades earlier the modernizing Pakistani philosopher Muhammad Iqbal had also penned a devastating tirade against Hafiz in his Persian poem Asrdr al-khuda, but in later editions of the poem, due to the vociferous protests by Indian literati, he immediately recanted his invective and excised the offend- ing passage.

    Bly and Lewisohn, The Angels, p. Hafiz-pazuhishl is a journal published in Shiraz inaugurated in , edited by Jalll Sazigar-nizhad, currently in its thirteenth volume. Margaret L. Clark, pp. Monteil and Tajvidi trans. See also the essay by James Morris below, pp. AnjawI-ShlrazI, p. Also cf. Further discus- sion of the meaning s of this verse is given in Khurramshahl, Chardah ravayat, pp. Khanlarl, ghazal 9.

    Khanlarl, ghazal 6. Khanlarl, II, p. Khanlarl, ghazal 3. Elsewhere, Khurramshahl Dhihn va zaban-i Hafiz [; 3rd edn], p. Khanlarl, ghazal 1. The theory that ghazal by Hafiz was written in praise of his wife is also accepted by Zarrlnkub, Ba karavan-i hullih, p. See also Zarrlnkub Az kucha-i rindan, pp. I, and MuTn, Hafiz-i shlrm-sukhan, vol. I, a ground revisited by Zarrlnkub, Az kucha-i rindan, pp.

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    In English, a good overview of political context of his poetry, his patrons and panegyrics, and the courtly circles and princes which favoured him, can be found in Browne, A Literary History of Persia, III, pp. Jackson et al. Mahjub, Index, s. DTvan-i Hafiz, ed. Tadhkirat al-awliya, ed. Isti'lamI, p. Zaryab, II, p. Khanlarl, vol.

    II, pp. II, p. Great God! Let them not leave open the House of Deceit and Hypocrisy! The Muhtasib was a special vice-squad police officer concerned with control- ling matters of public morality, particularly the prevention of wine-drinking. This verse is cited by MIrkhwand in his history of the period Rawdat al-safa, ed. Part 1, pp. Qazwlnl and GhanI, ghazal 1. KhanlarT, II, pp. This is one of two ghazal-panegyrics addressed to this vizier, the other being no. KhanlarT, ghazal 4. But since Shah Shuja' had actually gone to school and wrote excellent prose and poetry both in Persian and Arabic, it is improbable that the ghazal could have been a panegyric for the prince as Haravl, Sharh-i ghazalha-yi Hafiz, II, p.

    Many commentators e. KhanlarT, ghazal 8. See also GhanI, Bahth, I, p. Qazvlnl and GhanI, pp. KhanlarT s ghazals 4; 1. Haravl Sharh-i ghazalha-yi Hafiz, I, p. In order to avenge her murder, the Iranians waged many years of war against the Turanians. Khanlari, ghazal , The political background of this ghazal in general and some of its moral teachings in various lines in particular is discussed by Niyaz-KirmanI, Dawlat-i pir-i rnughdn, pp.

    Khanlari, ghazal 10 repeating faqr va qanaat. Khanlari, ghazal See Zarrlnkub, Az kucha-i rindan, p. GhanI, Bahth, I, pp. Khanlari, ghazal 8 was penned in sympathy for the victims of Tamerlane's brutality; see Zarrlnkub, Az kucha-i rindan, p. Khanlari, ghazal 3: 1; the dubious his- toricity of the quaint tale about this verse, which, though unconfirmed by any contemporary histori- ans, is discussed in detail by Browne, A Literary History of Persia, III, pp.

    Khanlari, ghazal ; see GhanI, Bahth, I, p. Khanlari, ghazal ; cf. GhanTs dis- cussion, Bahth, I, pp. Qazvlnl and GhanI, no. Metaphor is the realm in which the poet develops his thought. On this genre dhamm al-dunya in Sufism, see Ritter, Ocean, chap. Sells and R. Woods in Barnard and Kripal eds , Crossing Boundaries. A similar observation is made by N. Khatlb Rahbar, II: 40, p. On various interpretations of this verse, see Khurramshahl, Hafiz-nama, I, pp. Khurramshahl, Hafiz-nama, I, p.

    Although these grammatical and literary significations of ma'am and bayan in this verse are important contrary to what Isti'lamI, Dars-i Hafiz, 1, pp, , argues , conveying the idea that when ideas are rightly assem- bled one can speak finely, the meaning of the verse has little to do with such literary and rhetorical connotations. The ma'am, which the poet states need to be assembled in order to speak properly, are the archetypal meanings, or ideal realities or spiritual meanings underlying the phenomena of which they are mere shadows, as is elaborated by Shabistarl in the Gukhan-i raz in Muwahhid, ed.

    Just look! RumI, Mathnaw I, ed. Cumberbatch, pp. Zhukovskii, p. Tafaddull, p. He is one of the first Sufi authorities to be well versed in both the traditional sciences of the soul and modern psychiatry. Nurbakhsh currently residing in England, is the Master of the Nimatullahi sufi Order, a position he has held since he was Notice:The articles, pictures, news, opinions, videos, or information posted on this webpage excluding all intellectual properties owned by Alibaba Group in this webpage are uploaded by registered members of Alibaba.

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