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Beloved Mystic Sufi Poet Hafez, Part 1 of 2

2022-02-25
Language:English,Persian (Farsi)(ففارسی)

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An influential figure in the world of Persian poetry, the beloved mystic and Sufi poet Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, more commonly referred to as Hafez, has uplifted the hearts of readers in both the East and the West. From the 14th century to the present day, whether with monarchs or the average civilian, Hafez’s words are like a cool springtime breeze that refreshes and replenishes our spirit.

Hafez was born in 1315 AD in the city of Shiraz in Persia, or present-day Iran. Shiraz is known as the city of gardens, a place of culture and trade in the southwest of the country.

Ultimately, Hafez’s poetry intimates that Allah is to be considered as the only reality and all expressions of love as instances of Allah’s Love and Divine beauty. This is an underlying theme in Sufism and “spiritual romanticism,” a term often used to describe Hafez’s works. The ecstasy or joy in realizing the Divine is often described in Hafez’s poetry, which speaks to us with great wit and wisdom from the heart. Hafez’s poetry also espoused a spirituality of sincerity, which often presented itself in opposition to puritanical and hypocritical religious behavior.

The freedom and play of words in Hafez’s poetry shows that he had a joyful sense of humor and was indeed an initiate of a mystic order, yet he maintained the outer life of a cosmopolitan citizen. Having been married in his twenties, he was a husband and a father, one who was familiar with the knowledge of worldly things such as music, chess, and backgammon.

Hafez also often speaks of the need for a spiritual Master on the path of God in his work, and suggests that he had one himself. Later, Hafez was successful in meeting his spiritual Master, Haji Zayn al-Attar, who taught private discipline and intense study with sincere communion at dawn, in the evening, and at midnight, rather than regular prayer sessions spoken by rote.

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