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Description Preface We are pleased to present passages from the recorded discourses of Shams-e Tabrizi in the context of a dynamic relationship between teacher and student. It is believed that Shams came for one disciple, one student, to whom he directed his energy and his teachings: Jalal al-Din Rumi, fondly known as Rumi.

His mission was to transform Rumi into a God-intoxicated, God-realized human being. They will sometimes surprise with their generosity and sometimes frustrate in their opacity, but they will always offer more.

Rather, it is a chest filled with treasures-treasures that will continue to reveal their value the more you reflect upon them. As you will soon discover, Shams was uncompromising in his communication of Truth.

He often drew no distinction between himself and the One-a fact that many may see as heretical. How, one may ask, can a human being put himself at the level of God? It would seem that for Shams, for whom Truth was all, it would have been hypocrisy to represent his reality any other way.

Yet though Shams rails frequently at hypocrisy, giving us insight into this important aspect of his teaching, he also acknowledges that Truth undiluted is rarely understood, and indeed, often drives people away. For this publication, they have been organized thematically with brief comments added below some passages, to suggest at least one of several possible interpretations.

It may be that you will gain little from particular passages, yet other passages will strike a strong and immediate chord.

Shams speaks of his words as "arrows" shot with the bow of truth. If an arrow strikes its target, it has done its work! Foreword Sufism, or Islamic mysticism, is the most accessible, liberal and pluralistic aspect of Islam, and a uniquely valuable bridge between East and West. All existence and all religions were one, maintained the great Sufi saints, merely different manifestations of the same divine reality. What was important was not the empty external ritual of the mosque or temple, but simply to understand that divinity can best be reached through the gateway of the human heart -that we all have paradise within us, if we know where to look.

Sufis believe that this search for God within and the quest for fana-total immersion in the absolute-liberates the seeker from the restrictions of narrow orthodoxy, allowing the devotee to look beyond the letter of the law to its mystical essence.

This allows the Sufis to bring together Muslim and non-Muslim in a popular religious movement which spans the perceived gulf separating Islam from its neighbouring religions, whether Christians in Africa and the Middle East, or Hindus in India.

The teachings of the Sufis conveyed in poetry and song also provide a link between the devotions of the ordinary villagers and the high philosophical subtleties of the great mystics, utilising the power of music and poetry to move devotees towards greater love of God.

As al-Ghazzali wrote in the eleventh century: "The heart of man has been so made by God that, like a flint, it contains a hidden fire which is evoked by music and harmony, and renders man beside himself with ecstasy. These harmonies are echoes of that higher world of reality which we call the world of the spirits In the process, the Sufis have produced some of the most beautiful art, poetry and music to come out of the Islamic world.

Like the troubadours of the Mediaeval West, they spread their word through the music of wandering bards and singers and, although often opposed by the orthodox, they still are hugely popular across the Islamic world. The lyrics and poetry of Sufi music have always been sung not in the literary or court languages of the Islamic world, but instead in the local vernacular used by the ordinary people, and they draw on symbols taken from dusty roads and running water, the dried-up thorn bush and the blessings of rain, images that speak directly and forcefully to simple folk of any religion.

Few would dispute the claim of Jalal ud-Din Rumi as the greatest, as well as the most prolific of all Sufi poets and writers.

Rumi was born in Balkh, capital of Khorasan, in what is now Afghanistan, on September 30th, , and migrated with his family to Anatolia shortly before his home city was destroyed by the Mongols in Shams brought about a major spiritual epiphany in the respectable jurist, and the two quickly became inseparable.

From Shams Rumi discovered that beyond the safe forms of Muslim devotion-the life of prayer and preaching and studying the Sharia-and beyond the call of renunciation-of fasting, self-control and self-discipline-that there lay above all a spirituality of love.

Rumi saw his writing as an extension of that of Shams- indeed Rumi explicitly states that Shams is the voice speaking through his poems: Speak, Sun of Truth and Faith, pride of Tabriz!

But it is your voice that mouths all my words. Yet, remarkably, the writings of this crucial figure were effectively lost until the S, received their first critical edition in Persian only in , and have only recently begun to be translated into English. Thankfully, this book and two other recent translations are beginning to change that and make the work of Shams accessible to an English-speaking audience.

They promised their followers that if they loosened their ties with the world, they could purge their souls and move towards direct experience of God. For it is the love, rather than fear, of God that lies at the heart of the message of both men, as it attempts to merge the spirit of the human being with the ideal of a God of Love, whom they locate within the human heart.

Instead, remarkably, it was Rumi-a classically trained Muslim cleric who taught Sharia law in a madras a in what is now Turkey. The way that Rumi came to outsell any other poet in America in the late S, at least according to the calculations of the LA Times, is certainly an unlikely story-but not quite as unlikely as the way Rumi has been mysteriously morphed from a mediaeval Muslim preacher and scholar of Islamic law, or fiqh, into not only a modern American fashionista, but also a New Age guru.

Rumi himself always remained an orthodox and practicing Sunni Muslim. His biographer, Franklin Lewis, rightly notes, "Rumi did not come to his theology of tolerance and inclusive spirituality by turning away from traditional Islam or organised religion, but through immersion in it. His writings can be as cryptic and thought-provoking as those of Rumi, and there is much in their spirituality that links them.

It is however a subtly different voice from that of Rumi: more witty and blunt, direct and iconoclastic. This remarkable work of translation brings many of these mystical treasures to an English speaking audience for the first time and is therefore a publication of the greatest importance. According to Talat Halman, the leading Turkish scholar of Rurni and Shams, the Sufism of these two great mystic poets represents "the free spirit of Islam The Sufi spirit softens the message of the Koran by emphasising the sense of love, and the passionate relationship between the believer and the beloved, God of course being the ultimate Beloved.

Until recently, all that most people knew about Shams came from the writings of Rumi, who gave Shams a voice in his extraordinary Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. This haphazard and fragmentary written material, the Maghalat-e Shams literally, the spoken words of Shams , then disappeared from the view of almost everyone for more than 5oo years.

They were carefully selected from the Maghalat-e Shams-e Tabrizi, as compiled and edited by Mohammad Ali Movahed from the original manuscripts discovered in Turkey.

These manuscripts recorded the words of Shams spoken on both private and public occasions and were transcribed in the language of the times. Shams did not write anything himself. Mohammad Ali Movahed was born in Tehran, Iran in He received a degree in law from the University of Tehran and another in international law from the University of Cambridge.

On his return to Iran, he began to work as an author, translator, editor, and compiler. He has received several literary awards and is now one of the most highly acclaimed contemporary scholars in Iran. It is a book of more than pages, much of which is commentary, elaborate notes, and a complete glossary that clarifies Koranic verses, hadiths, and names, as well as words and idioms unfamiliar in modern Farsi. The original manuscripts found in Turkey were written in a chaotic style, making them especially challenging to decipher.

Some material [in the same manuscript] is repetitive, but can appear either better or worse than the first attempt, suggesting two or more scribes. Thus, one must read this book more than once to enjoy its benefit. In addition to the lack of order, perhaps when the book was bound, some pages were misplaced as well!

It must also be mentioned that those who were taking notes have caused further confusion by using just Single letters like "M," "S," or "K" to replace some names. To complete this work, Movahed studied and compared all the available resources-the six primary manuscripts discovered in Turkey, along with seven later versions.

The other sources he considered were written in the margins of different books, within the text itself, or on separate pages. This name derives from the Sufi tradition of presenting a khergheh [cloak] to the seeker upon initiation. Movahed writes, " Movahed quotes Shams answering a question about the lineage to which his khergheh belongs: The prophet gave it to me in my dream.

Rather, the khergheh is that of talk, a talk that cannot be contained in comprehension, a talk that has no yesterday, today, or tomorrow. What has love to do with yesterday, today, or tomorrow? Thus, we can see why the Maghalat is called Khergheh-ye Shams-e Tabrizi.


Divan-e Shams - Divan Kabir

Julkis I know what verses will come from my mouth? Zayd is a key figure in the Zaidiyyah Fiver Muslim denomination. The Mystics of Dovan. Be silent, be silent. Who is hiding inside my mouth putting words into it? Your boundaries are your quest. Why would God want a second God?



Makazahn This rendering brings out more clearly the double contrast, of aj. In the Arms of the Beloved. Satisfaction comes from God, but to get there you need to eat bread. A vagrant wanders empty ruins. Thou didst strongly shake thy wings and feathers, and having broken thy cage Didst take to the air and journey towards the world of 80 ul. The language of all mystics is the same.


It is often said that Rumi had attained the level of a "Perfect Master" and as such, he often dwelled in the spiritual realms that were rarely visited by others of this world. Rumi had attained spiritual heights that were attained by only a few before him or since In profundity of thought, inventiveness of image, and triumphant mastery of language, Rumi stands out as the supreme genius of Islamic Mysticism. Rumi is one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam. Rumi was born in Balkh [a historic city in northern modern Afghanistan near Mazar-e Sharif, back then the eastern frontiers of the great Persian Empire], in 30 September to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire. When his father Bahauddin Walad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in as professor in religious sciences.



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