Come drink your fill of liquid rubies,
For God has made my heart
An Eternal Fountain

Shams ud-Din Mohammad was born in Shiraz in south-central Iran around 1320. He memorized the Qu’ran in his teens. Hafiz is a title of great respect given to one who has memorized the Qu’ran by heart. His father died leaving the family in debt. At twenty-one he met his spiritual master, Muhammed Attar, and became his disciple. His twenties and early thirties were his phase of Spiritual Romanticism when he was the poet of the court of Abu Ishak.  His poetry was considered a corrupting influence by the ruling Muslim orthodoxy and he had to leave Shiraz on two occasions in order to avoid their displeasure.  He was a teacher of Qu'ranic studies at the college in Shiraz and wrote some 500 ghazals and 42 Rubaiyees over a period of 50 years. He died around 1388.

the Poetry of Hafiz

translated by Daniel Ladinsky What happens when your soul Begins to awaken Your eyes and your heart And the cells of your body To the great Journey of Love? First there is wonderful laughter And probably precious tears And a hundred sweet promises And those heroic vows no one can ever keep. But still God is delighted and amused You once tried to be a saint. What happens when your soul Begins to awaken To our deep need to love And serve the Friend? O the Beloved will send you One of His wonderful, wild companions - Like Hafiz. Only that Illumined One Who keeps Seducing the formless into form Had the charm to win my heart. Only a Perfect One Who is always Laughing at the word Two Can make you know of love. The Truth has opened so many mysteries that I can no longer call myself a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or Jew. I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, angel, or even a pure soul. Love has befriended Hafiz so completely It has freed me from every concept and image my mind has ever known. Translated by Gertrude Lowthian Bell A flower-tinted cheek, the flowery close Of the fair earth, these are enough for me Enough that in the meadow wanes and grows The shadow of a graceful cypress-tree. I am no lover of hypocrisy; Of all the treasures that the earth can boast, A brimming cup of wine I prize the most-- This is enough for me! To them that here renowned for virtue live, A heavenly palace is the meet reward; To me, the drunkard and the beggar, give The temple of the grape with red wine stored! Beside a river seat thee on the sward; It floweth past-so flows thy life away, So sweetly, swiftly, fleets our little day-- Swift, but enough for me! Look upon all the gold in the world's mart, On all the tears the world hath shed in vain Shall they not satisfy thy craving heart? I have enough of loss, enough of gain; I have my Love, what more can I obtain? Mine is the joy of her companionship Whose healing lip is laid upon my lip-- This is enough for me! I pray thee send not forth my naked soul From its poor house to seek for Paradise Though heaven and earth before me God unroll, Back to thy village still my spirit flies. And, Hafiz, at the door of Kismet lies No just complaint-a mind like water clear, A song that swells and dies upon the ear, These are enough for thee! Translated by Abbas Aryanpur Kashani The angels knocked at the tavern-door last night, With man's clay, they kneaded the cup outright. The dwellers of God's heavenly abode, Drank wine with me-a beggar of the road. Heaven could not bear this wonderful trust, That to a madman this honor was thrust. Disputes of religions is but a false pretense, Having not seen the Truth, they speak nonsense. Thank God! There is peace between Him and me. So dancing mystics took their cups with glee. What makes the candle laughing isn't a flame. The fire that burned the butterfly is my aim. No one can display thoughts as Hafiz can, No such words are written by the pen of man.

[Gray, E. (1995). The Green Sea of Heaven. Ashland: White Cloud Press]
Hafiz, the sufi poet
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