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Life[ edit ] Bowl of Reflections, early 13th century. Brooklyn Museum. According to Sipah Salar , a devotee and intimate friend of Rumi who spent forty days with him, Shams was the son of the Imam Ala al-Din. Before meeting Rumi, he apparently traveled from place to place weaving baskets and selling girdles for a living. The specificities of how this transference occurred, however, are not yet known. His name was Shams Tabrizi.

He was claiming to be a travelling merchant. Eventually he found Rumi riding a horse. One day Rumi was reading next to a large stack of books. Shams Tabriz, passing by, asked him, "What are you doing? On hearing this, Shams threw the stack of books into a nearby pool of water.

Rumi hastily rescued the books and to his surprise they were all dry. Rumi then asked Shams, "What is this? A second version of the tale has Shams passing by Rumi who again is reading a book. Rumi regards him as an uneducated stranger. Shams asks Rumi what he is doing, to which Rumi replies, "Something that you do not understand! His reply was, "Something you do not understand.

Shams caught hold of the reins of his donkey and rudely challenged the master with two questions. Muhammad is greater than all the saints," Rumi replied. How exalted is my Glory! He lost himself completely and was filled with God. His desire was endless, and he was always thirsty.

With every moment he came closer to God, and then regretted his former distant state. He cried out, fell to the ground, and lost consciousness for one hour. Shams, upon hearing these answers, realized that he was face to face with the object of his longing, the one he had prayed God to send him. After several years with Rumi in Konya , Shams left and settled in Khoy. 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.

Overall, it bears a mystical interpretation of Islam and contains spiritual advice. Some excerpts from the Maqalat provide insight into the thoughts of Shams: Blessing is excess, so to speak, an excess of everything. A good man complains of no-one; he does not look to faults. Joy is like pure clear water; wherever it flows, wondrous blossoms grow…Sorrow is like a black flood; wherever it flows it wilts the blossoms. And the Persian language, how did it happen? With so much elegance and goodness such that the meanings and elegance that is found in the Persian language is not found in Arabic.

However later scholars have pointed out that it may instead be a question of whether the name Shams-i Tabriz has been used for more than one person.

Van den Berg suggests that this identification is the pen name of Rumi. However she acknowledges that, despite the large number of poems attributed to Shams, that comprise the devotional repertoire of the Ismailis of Badakhshan , an overwhelming majority of these cannot be located in any of the existing works of Rumi.


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