Thursday, June 5, 2014

Shams-i-Tabrīzī: Arzoo Daram Ke Mehmanat Kunam

Shams-i-Tabrīzī (Persian: شمس تبریزی‎) or Shams al-Din Mohammad (1185–1248) is credited as the guru of Mewlānā (Maulana) Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi, known the world over as Rumi.  Shams of Tabriz is accorded great reverence in Rumi’s poetic collection, in particular Diwan-i Shams-i-Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz). Tradition holds that Shams taught Rumi in seclusion in Konya for a period of forty days, before fleeing for Damascus.

It is said Rumi attributed a fair part of his own divan to Shams, so a school of scholars attribute the ghazal below to Jalauddin Rumi himself.

Arzoo daram ke mehmanat kunam
Jan o dil, aye dost, qurbanat kunam

Friend, I beseech you to be my guest
I would sacrifice my life and heart on you

Inqilab kam kunam khamosh ba ashq kunam
Ay me khoranat kunam ba arzoo kunam

I would still your rebellion into silent love
To me I would turn your prayers and seeking

Gar yaqeen danam ke bar man aasheqi
Az jamal e khwesh hairanat khonam

If I could be sure you loved me
I would try by my beauty to amaze you

Gar tu Aflatoon o Luqmani ba ilm
Man ba yek deedar e nadanat kunam

[Luqman - wise - sometimes refers to Salman the Wise, the first Persian convert to Muhammad.]

Though you are wiser than a Plato or a man of science
With one glance I would turn you into a fool.

Gar sar-e-ganj-e-tu maare khuftayi
Ham cho maare khufta, bejaanat kunam

[Refers to ancient custom of guarding buried treasure with a snake.]

If a sleeping snake lies atop your treasure
Like that sleeping snake, I would take your life.

Gar qamar bandi ba khidmat ham cho moh
Mulk ha ba Shams Sulemanat kunam

If you don the sash of service, like us
I would put you in the same spot as Shams Suleman.

Khosh begufti dilbarii mah-ro sokhan
Namayea asraar e diwanat kunam

You spoke sweetly, "Lovable, fair as the moon," nice words
I would take you into trance of mystical secrets.

Shams-i-Tabrīzī ba Maulana be go
Daftar e asrar diwanat kunam

Shams of Tabriz, tell Maulana
I would turn you into a book of entranced secrets.

Another version rendered by Ghous Mohd. Nasir is below.

If on a winter's night in 1244 a traveler dressed in black from head to toe had come to the famous inn of the Sugar Merchants of Konya, he would have passed into legend. This one claimed to be a traveling salesman, and said he had been instructed by someone important to look in Konya for something he was determined to find.

One day Rumi sat reading a large stack of books. Shams of Tabriz, passing by, asked him, "What are you doing?" Rumi sized up the 'caravans-and-dates' type of stranger and scoffingly replied, "Something you cannot understand." On hearing this, Shams threw the stack into a nearby pool. Rumi hastily rescued his books and to his surprise they were all dry. Rumi asked Shams, "What is this?", to which Shams replied, "Maulana, this is what you cannot understand."

Gar tu Aflatoon o Luqmani ba ilm
Man ba yek deedar e nadanat kunam.