Shams Tabrizi


Shams Tabrizi

Shams-e-Tabrīzī (PerB|شمس تبریزی, d. 1248) was an Iranian Sufi mystic born in the city of Tabriz in Iranian Azerbaijan. He introduced Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi, usually known as Rumi in the West, to Islamic mysticism, for which he was immortalized in Rumi's poetry collection "Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i" ("The Works of Shams of Tabriz"). Shams lived together with Rumi in Konya, in present-day Turkey, for several years, and is also known to have traveled to Damascus in present-day Syria.

According to Sipah Salar, a devotee and intimate friend of Rumi who spent forty years with him, Shams was the son of Ala al-Din and was a descendent of Kaya Buzurg, an Imam of the Ismaili sect, who later left the Ismali sect. Shams received his education in Tabriz and was a disciple of Baba Kamal al-Din Jumdi. Before meeting Rumi, he used to travel from place to place weaving and selling girdles for a living. [A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II; M.M. Sharif. Page 824]

According to a verbal tradition, once while Rumi was reading next to a large stack of some books, Shams Tabriz, passing by , asked Rumi, "What are you doing?" Rumi scoffingly replied, "Something you cannot understand." On hearing this, Shams threw the the stack of books into a nearby pool of water. Rumi hastily took the books out of the water, but to his surprise they were all dry. Rumi then asked Shams, "What is this?" To which Shams replied, "Rumi, this is what you cannot understand."

A second version of the tale has Shams passing by Rumi who again is reading a book. Shams, who we are given to understand Rumi regards as an uneducated-looking stranger, asks Rumi what he is doing, to which Rumi replies, "Something that you do not understand!" At that moment, the books suddenly caught fire and Rumi asked Shams to explain what had happened. His reply was, "Something you do not understand." [ [http://www.amazon.com/Rumi-Past-Present-East-West/dp/1851682147] Franklin Lewis, "Rumi, Past and Present, East and West", pp. 154-161.]

After several years with Rumi, Shams left him quite suddenly and traveled to Khoy and settled there. Shams Tabrizi died in Khoy and is buried there. His tomb has been nominated as a World Cultural Heritage Center by UNESCO. [ [http://www.chnpress.com/news/?section=2&id=7344] 3 Timurid Skeletons Discovered near Minaret of Shams-e Tabrizi]

As the years passed, Rumi attributed more and more of his own poetry to Shams as a sign of love for his departed friend and master. Indeed, it quickly becomes clear in reading Rumi that Shams was elevated to a symbol of God's love for mankind, and that Shams was a sun ("Shams" means "Sun" in Arabic) shining the Light of God on Rumi.

Book (Maqalat)

The Maqalat-e Shams-e Tabrizi is a title for a Persian prose book written by Shams [Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000] [ Shams al-Din Tabrizi, Maqalat-e Shams-e Tabrizi, ed. Mohammad-Ali Movahhed (ehran: Sahami, Entesharat-e Khwarazmi, 1990). Note: This is a two volume edition] . The Maqalat seems to have been written during the later years of Shams, as he speaks of himself as an old Man. Overall, it is a sufic intrepretation of Islam and contains spiritual advice.

Some random excerpts from the Maqalat provides some insight into the thoughts of Shams:

1)"Blessing is excess, so to speak, an excess of everything. Don't be content with being a faqih (religious scholar), say I want more - more than being a Sufi (a mystic), more than being a mystic - more than each thing that comes before you."

2)"All the corruption in the world arises from this - someone believed in someone out of imitation or disbelieved in someone out of imitation."

3) "A good man complains of no one; he does not look to faults."

4)"Joy is like pure clear water; wherever it flows, wondrous blossoms grow...Sorrow is like a black flood; where ever it flows it wilts the blossoms."

ee also

*List of Persian poets and authors
*Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
*Persian literature

References

* E.G. Browne. "Literary History of Persia". (Four volumes, 2,256 pages, and twenty-five years in the writing). 1998. ISBN 0-7007-0406-X
* Jan Rypka, "History of Iranian Literature". Reidel Publishing Company. ASIN B-000-6BXVT-K

External links

* [http://www.fonsvitae.com/meandrumichittick.html The Autobiography of Shems-i Tabrizi]


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