Monday, February 29, 2016

Misunderstandings about Rumi and Shams by Ibrahim Gamard

"You asked about the relationship between Hazrat-e Mevlana and Hz. Shamsu 'd-din of Tabriz.
First of all, it is necessary to understand that in Persian sufi poetry, the word "lover" [`âshiq] means being a lover of God. And in the paths of sufism that view the mystic seeker as the lover and God as the Beloved, it means a true dervish. Therefore, "the lovers" are the lovers of God. So in this sense Mevlana and Shams certainly were (spiritual) lovers.
In terms of traditional themes and imagery in Persian sufi poetry, it is very common for the beloved to be praised as having beautiful tresses of hair, eyes, cheeks, moles, eyebrows, etc. And when Mevlana used such images in his poems expressing his spiritual love for Shams, this can be mistakenly interpreted as some kind of "evidence" of homosexual love. However, this was a centuries-old convention in Persian poetry that was long adopted by sufis who understood the various imagery in praise of the beloved as symbols of mystical love." 

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