In the Sufi Poetry of Hafiz
A systemic representation of key concepts in the
Mystical poetry of Hafiz
1) The man and his work
Shams-ud-din Mohammad Hafiz Shirazi is a well known mystic-poet philosopher of the 14th century Iran (approximately 1320-1389). He is known as Khajeh Hafiz (The Master Memorizer of Quran), Losan-ul-ghyb (The Tongue of The Hidden), Tarjomanul-Asrar (The Interpreter of Secrets).
Hafiz entitled also as "The Poet of The
Poets". He is the supreme master of lyric-love-poetry. His
collected works -Divan- (collected by Mohammad Golandam after Hafiz's death)
mainly consists of lyric-love-songs of utmost subtly of poetic expressions,
unprecedented richness of inner contents, inexhaustible depth of meanings,
as well as, a very novel and revolutionary existential perspectives.
2) Allusion, Equivocation and indirect communication
Hafiz is a "magical poet" (shaer-e sahir) who can capture and actually did capture- the heart and mind of numerous people of different ranks and from widely separated walks of life.
Such magical uniqueness of Hafiz lyrics
mainly is due to his mastery of the art and the science of the language
of allusion (Zaban-e isharat). The language of indirect communications
by using metaphors and equivocations to induce multiplicity of meanings
3) Gist and distillation of traditional wisdom of Iran
In terms of rich content, Hafiz poems represents
a synthesization of numerous aspects of traditional wisdom of Iranian culture;
religious and theological, philosophical, mystical and spiritual, and last
but not least, Hafiz own contribution designated by himself as ishq-o-rendi
(love and slyness). For such reasons Divan-e Hafiz destined to become
the book of Oracle (fal-e-Hafiz) for those sincere friends of him who seek
guidance and direction.
4) "Love", "slyness", and "purity of heart"
Three focal key concepts of Hafiz's existence
and the spiritual dimension of his world view. He teaches that hypocrisy
does not provide the "purity of heart" and for this reason he is going
to select the "Path of slyness and love."
5) "Love and slyness"
Love and slyness are virtues the acquisition
of which may seem easy at first but actually are very hard and burning
6) "Sly" and "slyness"(rend-wa-rendi)
Both terms have negative connotations in
English and Persian. Hafiz's innovation was to change the semantic
content of a term with negative charge and transform it into a positive
meaning. Furthermore, he was able to create a myth of human perfection
under the rubric of the term "rend". The term represents even the
highest climax of human actuality in Sufi terminology, namely, the concept
of "Vali", The Saint: in a verse Hafiz identifies rend and vali as one
and the same.
7) "Rend" or "sly"
"Rend" or "sly" has at least three levels
and gradations of meanings:
A "sly person" according to Hafiz has the
Historically, the concept blame (Malamat) developed in Khurasan around 3d -9th century due to the fact that sincere Sufis tried to exercise "purification of intentions"(ikhlas). These Sufis tried their best to have a "pure heart", and, consequently lost their interest in the opinion of others let me list some major dimensions of blame as one can delineate in verses of Hafiz:
This article has been provided to Iran Online by Iranian Cultural Center of Orange County (ICCOC), California, USA.