Mysticism of the Eminent Sufi Poet, Sanai of Ghazna


Mysticism of the Eminent 11th century Sufi Poet, Sanai of Ghazna or Hakim Sanai Ghaznavi


عرفان شاعرانۀ حکیم سنایی غزنوی 







The deeply spiritual and mystical poems of the passionate and extraordinary 11th century Sufi poet, Sanai of Ghazna or Sanai Ghaznavi-حضرت حکیم سنایی غزنوی (he was born in Ghazni, a city in Eastern Afghanistan) had greatly influenced Rumi, Hafiz and virtually all successive Persian Sufi poets. In the following highly mystical poem, Sanai makes a reference to Zenar-belt or yellow girdle. Here is a quick explanation of Zenar-belt for those friends who're perhaps not familiar with its historical roots within the medieval and to some extent modern Islamic practices and concepts: Back in the old days, non-Muslims who lived within the boundaries of Islamdom or Islamic Societies were forced to wear a distinctive badge, belt or yellow girdle known as Zenar to identify and distinguish them from the Muslim population.

Virtually all classical and modern Persian Sufi poets have used Zenar-belt as a Sufi metaphor within their vast poetic works. In my opinion, the main reason behind the references to Zenar-belt by the Persian Sufi poets has to do with their complete rejection of that exclusionary and segregationist medieval practice. Firmly believing that Jews, Muslims, Christians, and people of all other faith are one, Sanai like other Sufi poets has also unequivocally manifested his strong opposition to the unfair treatments of his non-Muslim brothers and sisters being humiliated and treated as second class citizens within the segregationist Islamic Societies.

Sanai's following Sufi mystical poem serves as a solid proof and testament to his deep Sufi convictions, as he ridicules the false notions of 'Muslims versus Infidels', the never diminishing superiority complexes and quixotic world domination fantasies of some Muslims, and the still very much prevalant and tolerated segregationist practices in vast parts of the Islamic world. Sanai asks the non-Musim Zoroastrian priest in this poem to also place the Zenar-belt around his waist as a sign of Sufi solidarity with his non-Muslim brothers and sisters who were humiliated by the medieval Islamic mark of shame, the infamous Zenar-belt (similar to Christians' infamous mark of shame, the yellow Jewish Badge).

Sanai is simpy reaffirming his deep Sufi convictions in this poem. After all, any Sufi who doesn't wholeheartedly and sincerely believe that regardless of race, nationality or faith; as children of Adam we are all one, he/she is a fake Sufi.


How could my hastily completed task
be considered acceptable,
If the very foundations of my existence are built
upon intoxication and wandering around like a Sufi dervish?!

Don't start preaching to me,
I feel fortunate to live the life of a
rogue lover who is always in love!
What good would your preaching possibly do,
If I feel so blessed and lucky to be born this way?!

I prefer a jar full of red wine,
instead of circling around His House in Mecca,
begging for mercy!

O wine servers,
let my following outpourings
penetrate deep into your wine jars:
What my Beloved has personally told me,
I've never heard it from anyone else.
What my Teacher has taught me,
I've never learned it from anyone else.

I take refuge in a jar of wine
to forget my pain and sufferings
in this material world.
A single drop from this special wine
is good enough
to make me forget about it all in an instant.

O fire-worshipping Zoroastrian priest,
place that Zenar-belt of non-Muslims
around my waist too,
I've already thrown away
my Islamic rosary and Muslim prayer rug!
Sanai Ghaznavi or Sanai of Ghazna.


حضرت حکیم سنایی غزنوی

کجا اصلی بود کاری که من سازم به قرایی
که از رندی و قلاشی نهادستند بنیادم
مده پندم که در طالع مرا عشقست و قلاشی
کجا سودم کند پندت بدین طالع که من زادم
مرا یک جام باده به ز چرخ اندر جهان توبه
رسید ای ساقیان یک ره به جام باده فریادم
نیندوزم ز کس چیزی چنان فرمود جانانم
نیاموزم ز کس پندی چنین آموخت استادم
ز رنج و زحمت عالم به جام می در آویزم
که جام می تواند برد یک دم عالم از یادم
الا ای پیر زردشتی به من بربند زناری
که من تسبیح و سجاده ز دست و دوش بنهادم
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