He was born and lived in Shiraz. Shiraz is a kind of wine.
Hafiz means “memorizer.” It’s for people who know the Quran by heart.
He wrote a bunch of ghazals. Pronounced guzzle, as in wine.
His other name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad. Rumi had a friend named Shams. I like Rumi. Sue me.
Hafiz was a Sufi master. (I might be part Sufi.*)
*ecstatic desert moment
from “The Life and Work of Hafiz” by Henry S. Mindlin (the introduction to The Gift, poems by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky): “In the West, Sufism is usually regarded as a form of Islamic mysticism.”
Despite my ecstatic desert moment, I am no Islamic mystic. But wait:
“However, the Sufis themselves say their ‘way’ has always existed, under many names, in many lands, associated with the mystical dimension of every spiritual system. In ancient Greece, for example, they were identified with the wisdom (sophia) schools of Pythagoras and Plato. At the time of Jesus, they were called Essenes or Gnostics. After Muhammad, they adopted many of the principles and formulations of Islam and became known in the Muslim world as ‘Sufis,’ a word given various meanings, including ‘wisdom,’ ‘purity,’ and ‘wool’ (for the coarse woolen habits of wandering dervishes).”
Yes, dervishes! Rumi was a dervish! Alas, I cannot whirl. Neither can I spin.
I can wander!
I can wear wool. Unless it is itchy wool.
Thanks to diaz, flickr, and Wikipedia for the whirling dervishes! From Rumi Fest 2007. Yes, Rumi Fest!
Here is a poem by Hafiz:
Stop Being So Religious
Do sad people have in
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
What is the beginning of
It is to stop being