Shams and Rumi


Shams and Rumi
by Talha Jafri




"If you have lost heart in the Path of Love
Flee to me without delay
I am a fortress; invincible" - Rumi

The essence of all religions is to reach God or the Truth, or the Absolute Reality. The religions are like different rivers flowing into the same Sea. They may have different ways, but the destination is the same. Mevlana Rumi's message is still relevant after seven hundred years. Rumi was a great thinker/philosopher, poet, or Sufi in present day Turkey . I read this about Mevlana Rumi written by a journalist some years ago "If one were to ask Mevlana Rumi what exactly he was he might say "nothing but a lover of God".

His century was also a century of war and famine, where the Mongol hordes had wrecked havoc in Asia . Not much different from our own, where the majority of human race lives below the poverty line and is constantly at war. Mevlana Rumi had come from present day Afghanistan to Konya escaping the Mongol invasion. His family settled in present day Turkey . Mevlana Rumi soon became a very famous jurisprudent and preacher in Konya after his father's death. At this point in his life he was already an accomplished Sufi master but restricted his spiritual teachings to a small selection of disciples but never exposed this publicly.

Mevlana Rumi around the age of 37 came in contact with a very spiritual figure known as Shams Tabriz meaning The Sun of Tabriz ( Tabriz a place in Asia ). People say he was a wandering dervish in search of a companion who could share his gnosis and be a mirror to him, but in truth no one but Mavlana Rumi knew his secret. After meeting with Shams, Mevlana took a retreat from his daily life. He stopped teaching at the institute where he was in the modern sense the Chair of the college. He would spend days and night with Shams mediating upon the Eternal Truth not meeting his family and spiritual disciples for many days at length. After Mevlana Rumi's meeting with Shams, Mevlana said this about him "Today I have seen the God I have worshipped all my life in human form" and at another place he said that Shams was no ordinary vagabond he looked, he was an educated and well off Chemist who had left his profession in search of the divine truth.
Eventually, Shams disappeared. It is said that Mavlana Rumi's jealous disciples murdered him. No one really knows what happened to Shams but his effect on Mevlana Rumi had been that of a catalyst, Rumi was transformed. This separation appeared to be a separation of two humans but in reality it was the separation of men and God. Just like man has never been happy since he left his place of origin, he finds satisfaction only in the remembrance of God, likewise Mevlana Rumi longed for reunion with God. Professor William C. Chittick writes this of their separation "Separation from Shams was but the appearance; separation from the Divine Beloved was the reality."


Mevlana went into a state of ecstasy after this separation and would not meet anyone for many days', singing and dancing day and night, remembering the Divine Beloved. Poetry poured from his lips, which eventually was collected into collections such as the Mathnavi, Divan-e-Shams-i Tabrizi and Rubaiyaat. In Mevlana Rumi's own words "I was the country's sober ascetic, I used to teach from the pulpit - but destiny made me one of Thy hand clapping Lovers:" from the Divan.

Professor Nasr interprets the meeting and separation of Mevlana Rumi as " It seems that Shams was a divinely sent spiritual influence which in a sense "exteriorized" Rumi's inner contemplative states in the form of poetry and set the ocean of his being into a motion which resulted in vast waves that transformed the history of Persian literature."

Mevlana Rumi not only transformed the history of Persian literature but also fulfilled the prophecy of the great Sufi poet Fariduddin Attar (author of Conference of the Birds) who said to Mevlana Rumi's father "soon this son of thine will set the spiritual aspirants of this world afire.

Even after his disappearance Shams remained alive in Mevlana's heart. Mevlana Rumi probably never believed in Shams death and therefore went two times to Damascus in search of him. It is said that once a person came to Mevlana and told him that he had seen Shams. Mevlana gave away his cloak to him upon which his son said that this man is lying only to make you happy. At which Mevlana said, "I have given away my robe for a lie, I would give my life for the truth."


Finally Mevlana came to the conclusion that Shams was within himself and
said," Though in body I am far from him, without body and spirit we two are one light .
Since I am he and he is I, why do I seek? We are one, now I will sing of myself"

After Shams disappearance Mevlana Rumi left teaching at the university and only taught his spiritual disciples the path of Love/ Sufism. He continued his inspired poetry till his last breath. Mevlana Rumi's name has now become very famous in the West. His poetry is widely read and in 1997 the Christian Science Monitor named his collection of poetry by Coleman Bark the best selling in the USA . Both people in the East and the West can associate with his message of Love, because it is a universal feeling for which mankind is thirsty.

"I am neither of the East nor of the West; no boundaries exist in my breast" - Rumi

"When someone mentions the gracefulness of the night sky, climb up on the roof and dance and say, Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
About clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
Slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.

Say Like this.If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
Don't try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this."

"I asked for a kiss you gave me six. Whose pupil were you to become such a master? Full of kindness, generosity... You are not of this world."

"The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
not knowing how blind that I was

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere
They're in each other all along."

"Like the spear pierces the shield in a moment, I passed through nights and days. This is why all beliefs and religions are for me One and hundred thousand of years just a moment."

"Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are."

"A nation of Love has a different religion, For them God alone is their nation and religion"

"By love, dead are made to live
By love, the sovereign is made a slave.
For Lovers the faith and religion is God"

And Mevlana's final message would be

"Get united. I came here not to divide but to unify."

Inayat Khan an Indian Sufi master says " The original words (in Persian) of Rumi are so deep, so perfect, so touching, that when one man repeats them hundreds and thousands of people are moved to tears. They cannot help penetrating the heart. This shows how much Rumi himself was moved to have been able to pour out such living words".

Some of the themes in Mevlana Rumi's Mathnavi are tolerance, love of the Divine and the remembrance of the Divine. The Mathnavi is a collection of stories of personalities such as Moses, Jesus and Muhammad and many Sufi's. The East and West need to build bridges of understanding rather than talk about the "clash of civilizations". We need to reach out to other civilizations and cultures. Mevlana Rumi's life, works and teachings are a great source of inspiration for this purpose. On what basis can the dialog of civilizations take place? From Mavlana Rumi's point of view people of faith from various religions and cultures can work for this understanding. As he said, "While beliefs vary from place to place, faith is essentially the same."

God says to Moses in the Mathnavi of Rumi

"Ways of worship are not to be ranked as better or worse than on another
Its all Praise its all right
Its not me who is glorified in acts of worship
It's the worshippers! .

Forget phraseology
I want burning, burning."

And Rumi also says,

"There are many languages in the world,
in meaning all are the same.
If you break the cups, water will be unified and will flow together"

Truly the need of this age is to break the cups, remove the misunderstandings and flow together in harmony. It is said that Mevlana Rumi after the death of his wife married a woman of Christian origin. The remarkable thing about this marriage was that it took place at the time of the Crusades when the Christians saw Muslims as number one enemies and vice versa. Not only did Mevlana Rumi talk about love for humanity he himself proved many times in his life that he was a great lover of humanity.

"To love human beings is to love God" - Rumi.

On the 16th of December Mevlana Rumi passed away to his beloved. Men of five faiths followed his funeral bier. People that day mourning his loss said, "he was the David, the Moses and Jesus of our age". This day came to be known as the Night of Union and is celebrated by his followers and a ceremony is held in his honor.

"When you see my funeral, don't say, "Parting and separation!"
for me, that is the time for union and meeting (God)."


Seek Refuge in the Locks of Shamsi Tabriz!
By Rumi

Oh heart, place no honey in the mouth of the ill!
Speak not of entrancing eyes in the assembly of the blind!
Although God is nearer to His servant than his jugular vein (Koran L 16),
he is far from those who are far from Him.
Occupy yourself with your own inward self!
Then like moons the concealed maidens will
come out in theophany from behind their veils!
Although in this work you will be lost to yourself and the world,
outside of yourself and the world you will be famous.
If you are the moon of union, give a sign of your union!
Tell of the arms, the silver breasts, and the faces of the houris!
And if you are yellow gold from separation's heartache,
where is separation's burning brand?
Only the coins of the wretched are so dull and tarnished.
Since you have no love, at least perform the duties of servanthood,
for God will never neglect the wages of the wage earners.
Know that love for god is Solomon's seal
how should Solomon's income be related to the wages of ants?
Throw away the garments of thought and cogitation, for the sun only shines upon the naked!
Seek refuge in the locks of Shams-i Tabrizi, for they rain down musk and will protect you from tyrants.
- Ghazal, Divani Shamsi Tabriz, (Ode 2073)

Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983


I'm Light Within His Light

I circled awhile with each of the intelligences,
the nine fathers that control the levels of spirit-growth.
I revolved for years with the stars through each astrological sign.
I disappeared into the kingdom of nearness.
I saw what I have seen,
receiving nourishment as a child lives in the womb.
Personalities are born once,
a mystic many times.
Wearing the body-robe,
I've been busy in the market,
weighing and arguing prices.
Sometimes I have torn the robe off
with my own hands and thrown it away.
I've spent long nights in monasteries,
and I have slept with those who claim to believe nothing
on the porches of pagodas,
just traveling through.
When someone feels jealous,
I am inside the hurt and the need to possess.
When anyone is sick,
I feel feverish and dizzy.
I am cloud and rain being released,
and then the meadow as it soaks it in.
I wash the rains of mortality from the cloth around a dervish.
I am the rose of eternity,
not made of water or fire or the wandering wind,
or even earth.
I pay with those.
I am not Shams of Tabriz,
but a light within his light.
If you see me, be careful.
Tell no one what you've seen.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 331
Version by Coleman Barks
"Say I Am You" Maypop, 1994




شمس الدين محمد پسر علي پسر ملک داد تبريزي از عارفان مشهور قرن هفتم هجري است، که مولانا جلال الدين بلخي مجذوب او
شده و بيشتر غزليات خود را بنام وي سروده است. از جزئيات احوالش اطلاعي در دست نيست؛ همين قدر پيداست که از پيشوايان بزرگ تصوف در عصر خود در آذربايجان و آسياي صغير و از خلفاي رکن الدين سجاسي و پيرو طريقه ضياءالدين ابوالنجيب سهروردي بوده است. برخي ديگر وي را مريد شيخ ابوبکر سلمه باف تبريزي و بعضي مريد باباکمال خجندي دانسته اند. در هر حال سفر بسيار کرده و هميشه نمد سياه مي پوشيده و همه جا در کاروانسرا فرود مي آمد و در بغداد با اوحدالدين کرماني و نيز با فخر الدين عراقي ديدار کرده است. در سال 642 هجري وارد قونيه شده و در خانه شکرريزان فرود آمده و در آن زمان مولانا جلال الدين که فقيه و مفتي شهر بوده به ديدار وي رسيده و مجذوب او شد. در سال 645 هجري شبي که با مولانا خلوت کرده بود، کسي به او اشارت کرد و برخاست و به مولانا گفت مرا براي کشتن مي خواهند؛ و چون بيرون رفت، هفت تن که در کمين ايستاده بودند با کارد به او حمله بردند و وي چنان نعره زد که آن هفت تن بي هوش شدند و يکي از ايشان علاءالدين محمد پسر مولانا بود و چون آن کسان به هوش آمدند از شمس الدين جز چند قطره خون اثري نيافتند و از آن روز ديگر ناپديد شد. درباره ناپديد شدن وي توجيهات ديگر هم کرده اند. به گفته فريدون سپهسالار، شمس تبريزي جامه بازرگانان مي پوشيد و در هر شهري که وارد مي شد مانند بازرگانان در کاروانسراها منزل مي کرد و قفل بزرگي بر در حجره ميزد، چنانکه گويي کالاي گرانبهايي در اندرون آن است و حال آنکه آنجا حصير پاره اي بيش نبود. روزگار خود را به رياضت و جهانگردي مي گذاشت. گاهي در يکي از شهرها به مکتبداري مي پرداخت و زماني ديگر شلوار بند ميبافت و از درآمد آن زندگي ميکرد.
ورود شمس به قونيه و ملاقاتش با مولانا طوفاني را در محيط آرام اين شهر و به ويژه در حلقه ارادتمندان خاندان مولانا برانگيخت. مولانا فرزند سلطان العلماست، مفتي شهر است، سجاده نشين باوقاري است، شاگردان و مريدان دارد، جامه فقيهانه ميپوشد و به گفته سپهسالار (به طريقه و سيرت پدرش حضرت مولانا بهاءالدين الولد مثل درس گفتن و موعظه کردن) مشغول است، در محيط قونيه از اعتبار و احترام عام برخوردار است، با اينهمه چنان مفتون اين درويش بي نام و نشان ميگردد که سر از پاي نمي شناسد.

تأثير شمس بر مولانا چنان بود که در مدتي کوتاه از فقيهي با تمکين، عاشقي شوريده ساخت. اين پير مرموز گمنام دل فرزند سلطان العلما را بر درس و بحث و علم رسمي سرد گردانيد و او را از مسند تدريس و منبر وعظ فرو کشيد و در حلقه رقص و سماع کشانيد. چنانکه خود گويد:
در دست هميشه مصحفم بود در عشق گرفته ام چغانه
اندر دهني که بود تسبيح شعر است و دوبيتي و ترانه
حالا ديگر شيخ علامه چون طفلي نوآموز در محضر اين پير مرموز زانو مي زند (زن خود را که از جبرئيلش غيرت آيد که در او نگرد محرم کرده، و پيش من همچنين نشسته که پسر پيش پدر نشيند، تا پاره ايش نان بدهد) و چنين بود که مريدان سلطان العلما سخت برآشفته و عوام و خواص شهر سر برداشتند. کار بدگوئي و زخم زبان و مخالفت در اندک زماني به ناسزا راني و دشمني و کينه و عناد علني انجاميد و متعصبان ساده دل به مبارزه با شمس برخاستند.
شمس تبريزي چون عرصه را بر خود تنگ يافت، بناگاه قونيه را ترک گفت و مولانا را در آتش بيقراري نشاند. چند گاهي خبر از شمس نبود که کجاست و در چه حال است، تا نامه اي از او رسيد و معلوم شد که به نواحي شام رفته است.
با وصول نامه شمس، مولانا را دل رميده به جاي باز آمد و آن شور اندرون که فسرده بود از نو بجوشيد. نامه اي منظوم در قلم آورد و فرزند خود سلطان ولد را با مبلغي پول و استدعاي بازگشت شمس به دمشق فرستاد.
پس از سفر قهر آميز شمس افسردگي خاطر و ملال عميق و عزلت و سکوت پر عتاب مولانا ارادتمندان صادق او را سخت اندوهگين و پشيمان ساخت. مريدان ساده دل که تکيه گاه روحي خود را از دست داده بودند، زبان به عذر و توبه گشودند و قول دادند که اگر شمس ديگر بار به قونيه باز آيد از خدمت او کوتاهي ننمايند و زبان از تشنيع و تعرض بربندند. براستي هم پس از بازگشت شمس به قونيه منکران سابق سر در قدمش نهادند. شمس عذر آنان را پذيرفت. محفل مولانا شور و حالي تازه يافت و گرم شد.
مولانا در اين باره سروده است:
شـمـس و قـمـرم آمـد، سمـع و بـصـرم آمــد وآن سيـمـبـرم آمـد، آن کـان زرم آمـد
امــروز بــه از ديـنـه، اي مــونــس ديــــريـنـه دي مست بدان بودم، کز وي خبرم آمد
آن کس که همي جستم دي من بچراغ او را امـروز چـو تـنـگ گــل، در رهگـذرم آمـد
از مــرگ چــرا تـرسـم، کــاو آب حـيـات آمـد وز طعنه چرا ترسـم، چون او سپرم آمد
امـروز سـلـيـمـانــم، کــانـگـشـتـريـم دادي زان تـاج مـلـوکـانـه، بر فرق سرم آمـــد
پس از بازگشت شمس ندامت و سکوت مخالفان ديري نپائيد و موج مخالفت با او بار ديگر بالا گرفت. تشنيع و بدگوئي و زخم زبان چندان شد که شمس اين بار بي خبر از همه قونيه را ترک کرد و ناپديد شد و به قول ولد (ناگهان گم شد از ميان همه) چنانکه ديگر از او خبري خبري نيامد. اندوه و بيقراري مولانا از فراق شمس اين بار شديدتر بود. چنانکه سلطان ولد گويد:
بانگ و افغان او به عرش رسيد ناله اش را بزرگ و خرد شنيد
منتهي در سفر اول شمس غم دوري مولانا را به سکوت و عزلت فرا مي خواند، چنانکه سماع و رقص و شعر و غزل را ترک گفت و روي از همگان درهم کشيد. ليکن در سفر دوم مولانا درست معکوس آن حال را داشت؛ آن بار چون کوه به هنگام نزول شب، سرد و تنها و سنگين و دژم و خاموش بود، و اين بار چون سيلاب بهاري خروشان و دمان و پر غريو و فرياد گرديد. مولانا که خيال مي کرد شمس اين بار نيز به جانب دمشق رفته است، دوباره در طلب او به شام رفت؛ ليکن هر چه بيشتر جست، نشان او کمتر يافت و به هر جا که ميرفت و هر کس را که مي ديد سراغ شمس ميگرفت. غزليات اين دوره از زندگي مولانا از طوفان درد و شيدائي غريبي که در جان او بود حکايت مي کند.
ميخائيل اي. زند درباره هم جاني شمس تبريزي و مولانا جلال الدين محمد بلخي (مولوي) چنين اظهار نظر مي کند: « بطور کلي علت اينکه مولوي ديوان خود و تک تک اشعار آن را نه بنام خود، بل به نام شمس تبريزي کرد، نه استفاده از آن به عنوان ابزار شعري و نه احترام ياد رفيق گمگشته را ملحوظ کرده بود. شاعر که رفيق جانان را در عالم کبير دنياي مادري گم کرده بود، وي در عالم صغير روح خويشتن مي يابد. و مرشدي را که رومي بدين طريق در اندرون خويش مي يابد، بر وي سرود ميخواند و شاعر تنها نقش يک راوي را رعايت مي کند. لکن از آنجا که اين اشعار در روح او زاده شده اند، پس در عين حال اشعار خود او هستند. بدين طريق جلال الدين رومي در عين حال هم شمس تبريزي است که سخنانش از زبان وي بيرون مي آيد و هم شمس تبريزي نيست. و شمس ذهنيت شعر است، آفريننده شعر است، قهرمان تغزلي اين اشعار است، و در عين حال در سطح اول، سطح تغزلي عاشقانه که در اينجا به طور کنايي پيچيده شده است، عينيت آن نيز بشمار ميرود. تمايل جلال الدين به سوي وحدت مطلق است. لکن شمس تبريزي به درک حقيقت آسماني نايل آمده بود، در آن محو شده بود، و بخشي از آن گرديد بود. بدين ترتيب نخستين سطح ادراک که در شعر صوفيانه معمولا به وسيله يک تعبير ثنوي از سطح دوم جدا ميشود، در اينجا به طور ديالکتيکي به سطح دوم تعالي مي يابد.
در هر حال زندگاني شمس تبريزي بسيار تاريک است. برخي ناپديد شدن وي را در سال 643 هجري دانسته اند و برخي درگذشت او را در سال 672 هجري ثبت کرده اند و نوشته اند که در خوي مدفون شده است


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Thank you for visiting Maulana Rumi Online, a blog dedicated entirely to the life, works and teachings of Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi better known simply as Rumi here in our beloved America. Just as a memory refresher, all articles, e-books, images, links and reading materials listed in this Blog are solely for Educational purposes. This Blog is designed and maintained by yours truly, your comments, critiques or suggestions are quite welcome and greatly appreciated. As for my own Rumi Translations, you are welcome to copy and use them as long as it's not for commercial purposes. For best viewing, please try this Blog on Google Chrome Browser. This is a very long Blog though, so please make sure to use the Scroll To Top or Bottom Buttons at the left side, or Back To Top Button at the bottom right corner of your screen for smooth navigation. If you have any question, comment, critique or suggestion, please contact me by clicking the Contact Box embedded at the right middle corner. As Rumi would say, "Come, come, whoever you are, come back again.."!








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