Commentary on Mathnavi (6 Vols.)
Author: Nahid Abqhari
Publisher: Bang-e Ney
Year of publishing: 2016/first edition
No. of Pages: 45000
Size: 17× 25
◙ Sample English text is available.
◙ Copy right is available in all languages.
◙ The book is available in Amazon Site for online sailing.
◙ The publishing of the book is considered as a great literary event in Iran.
About the book:
According to the modern society, increasing interest in moral and mystical issues, especially a tendency toward Molavi’s thoughts, which were able to tie up with various religions and cultures humanely, through an attractive language, and a perfect clear spirit, under the banner of love nation; these series of books are as a precious guidance for fans in understanding the facts contained in Mathnavi and discovering Rumi’s ideas.The proficient writer and researcher of the great series, has accomplished studies in order to prepare the readers’ minds for a better understanding of the context; and has gathered its results in the first volume including, story and allegory definitions, their formation state, their place in literature, Rumi’s life and etc. Every verse in Mathnavi is explained in this series of six books. Moreover, definitions of words, interpretations, the Quran allusions and anecdotes are written with cited references. Also descriptions and theoretical mysticism precise sensibility are mentioned in footnotes of given verses.
The book, is based on an approach to the theoretical mysticism tenets and more than thirty years of research and analysis of Molavi and Ibn Arabi‘s works.The author delves into the life of Rumi, the famous Iranian mystic and poet, to introduce him well to the world. For this purpose, she has explained all the verses, concepts, expressions and gestures used in Mathnavi. Because all of the Mathnavi also full of stories, anecdotes, and analogies, the author has dedicated a chapter of the book to the position of “Tales and Parables” in world literature, Persian literature and Mathnavi. As well as other chapters of this book were dedicated to topics such as “biography of Rumi”,” the tomb of Rumi “, the House of Rumi”, “Poetry from Rumi’s point of view”, ” the biography of the mystics in Rumi’s times and prophets named in Mathnavi .
About the Author:
Nahid Abqhari (1967-Iran)
Nahid Abqhari is a famous Iranian Rumi researcher who has conducted extensive research in human sciences. Due to deep devotion to Jalal ad-din Rumi the writer has spent most her time to introduce the great mystical scholar and his outstanding works to the Iranians and to the world at large. By carefully studying Rumi’s works and the books written about Rumi, the author has produced a series of valuable books about the great mystic scholar. Her book entitled ‘Description of Mathnavi’ containing 6 thousand lines is a comprehensive commentary on Rumi. In another book entitled ‘A Spiritual Study of Stories of Mathnavi’ Abqhari has collected a lovely summary of almost all the stories, parables, anecdotes and allegories in the Mathnavi. Beside ‘Stories of Rumi’s Mathnavi’ which has been described above, the author has written two other books entitled ‘Articles about Mathnavi’ and ‘The Story of the Reed’. Nahid Abqhari is living in Mashhad and is compiling other books of commentary about Rumi.
-Ancient Tales (4 Vols.)
-Spiritual travel with Mathnavi stories’
-Commentary on Mathnavi.(6 Vols.)
-The Stories in Rumi
-Untold Stories about Constitutional monarchy
Rumi in his great poem collection of Mathnavi and in its very first eighteen verses expresses a summary of his divine and spiritual experiences and the purpose of his teachings and He wrote the real and valuable consequences he had found out after his ego purification and a long journey he had in the Path of God and after achieving one of the highest and most inclusive ranks of mystics and Sufis of Islamic period pertaining to ‘truth of human’ and existence truths. He wrote them simply while symbolically and at the level of understanding of a man seeking the truths. Then he interpreted his findings in this six volume work of him inspired by God and to transfer the lofty meanings of his findings, unlike many previous or his contemporary mystics and Sufis that presented theoretical and practical teachings of mysticism in a form of sentences and expressions that were hard to understand, iconoclastically and to do so he used a flexible and delicate forms of story and anecdote. The pondering of this great man in different verses of Quran and narrations of Islam and common sciences of his time and enjoying a powerful memory and an active mind full of wonderful examples made him while stating an anecdote or a story very beautifully use Quranic theme with delicate referencing. He strengthened his words by referring to different narrations and in this way by expressing various subjects of Islamic jurisprudence philosophy and Kalam (speeches) he stated lofty ideas that are nuances and subtleties.
The very first verse of his poems is a parable while is in a form of announcement for the public that invites human over centuries and time, to sit on a extended table of truths and cognitions to listen with his ears of soul the complaints of ‘this reed’ that is in fact the complaints of Rumi himself about his egoism that he compared it to an empty reed that he, Rumi, himself is blowing in that and while the sounds arisen from the reed is the result of Rumi’s blows, they are the sounds of his complaints. So, you have to listen to his poems by the ears of your soul and this narration of him is the story of a separation in which ‘reed’ as a symbol of Rumi attempted to complain about his separation and disunity from the Principle to which human’s truth belongs and found its existence.
As reed is cut and is separated from its reed bed by human’s will and hand to make an artistic windy musical instrument and to blow in that to transfer the feeling and sense to the listener, human being that is separated from its original place by God’s will if enjoys capability and talent of ‘becoming a reed’, by the God’s power and with a particular guidance in annihilating himself will be assisted and he will be reached Godly Perfection. It means that human being is like the very void ‘reed’ that is made by the hand of God and ‘the player’ is nobody except God Himself that blows in that reed and He is the One that likes this romantic wailing and bewailing from the separation and He desires that very ‘reed’ returns to its reed bed so this bewailing of this reed is resulted from the attraction of that reed bed.
Here, Rumi explains that his complaints and bewailing are resulted from the Godly blowing. This is the complaint for him, himself, and for the humanity as its attraction causes the revealing of truths and discovery of the reasons. This ‘reed’ although enjoying Perfection and unity with the Friend, is paining from and is complaining about his superficial separation and people’s real separation and ignorance and while complaining about his separation, considers guidance and salvation necessary for himself.
‘Reed’ was Rumi’s favorite musical instrument that always was played in addition to other instruments in Sama’ (Mystics and Sufis’ dancing ceremonies) and gatherings of Rumi’s companions.
Now, after passing centuries, reed is played in gatherings and Molayiye assemblies (assemblies held in Rumi’s memory) where music is one of the main bases and it seems that Rumi’s extreme desire to reed sound, which is similar to sad and quite bewailing and mourning, and mentioned similarities are the reason for choosing reed as symbol for this beautiful analogy.
Those that had the prosperity of visiting purified tomb of Rumi in Ghoniye know that at times when the doors of Ka’batol Oshagh (an inner area of his tomb named ‘Lovers’ Kiblah’) are opened, the sad and attractive sound of reed is reflected in that spiritual atmosphere and by just a little bit of heart presence, it has a wonderful influence on human’s soul.
Despite the convention of the East literature in which the poets and mystics at the beginning of their poems praise God and Islam’s Prophet (Peace be upon Him), Rumi iconoclastically and regarded the praises had been mentioned in the Arabic introduction of Mathnavi adequate. Since as all interpreters and researchers about Rumi has mentioned and every researcher by pondering about Mathnavi found out all parts of this great book are about the interpretation and illustrations of Holy Quran and Explanation of Godly Love stages.
In his second verse of his book Rumi says that since the day I am separated from the ‘Unity Reed bed’, I complained in a way that everybody mourned for me.
In his third verse Rumi says that the degree of his enthusiasm for uniting with the sea of Godly Unity created a pain that its understanding for one that does not have such mystical experience is not possible so he seeks a bosom that is torn up from this pain and found the capability of understanding and congeniality with him.
In the forth verse he says that whoever that is away from his origin and essence of ‘existence truth’ and feels this separation is eager to return to his originality.
His fifth verse means that he entered any circle and talked with everybody about this separation by his own language and attempted to make the ignorant and aware people understand this separation better and helped them remember the times of Unity.
The meaning of his sixth verse is that whatever he said many addresses heard but everybody interpreted and accepted them according to his imagination and perception and what his internal state desired and they did not looked any further to any others’ opinions and they did not find out to the secrets of my words.
His seventh verse means that his ‘secret’ is not separated from his ‘complains’ and they are interwoven to each other and for perceiving of that one has to have a hearing ear and sharp eyes and not ears and eyes of the head but ‘the eye of insight’ and ‘the ear of truth listening’.
The meaning of the eighth verse is that there is no curtain and covering between human’s ‘body’ and ‘life’ that is ‘human’s soul’ confined in a body. But nobody is able to see the ‘soul’ with his eyes of the head as there is no homogeneity between the body that is quite materialistic and soul that is absolute light. Accordingly, the secret hidden in the words of God chosen people is ‘the speech’s soul’ that is put in a body named words or ‘speech’ that people fail to perceive that.
In his ninth verse, Rumi says that the sound arisen from the ‘reed’ is a cry resulted from the flames of the Godly love fire and separation pain. This is not a usual and an ordinary sound resulted from the air coming out of the larynx. A person that is not qualified for such love is cold, depressed and ‘nihilist’. May this coldness and depression begin to decline for all? In Romantic mystical ideology of Rumi, the formation of universe and creation is on the basis of love.
The tenth verse of Rumi means that in the idea of mystics and some group of philosophers, ‘love’ is current and stable in the entire universal creatures. Their argumentation for this idea is natural and essential tendency of all creatures for reaching to their existence perfection and they believe that the main motivation of entire activities in the universe is the love to perfection but each creature can act to the limit of its talent and capability. So the mourning and bewailing of the sound of the ‘reed’ is of the fire of love and motivating essence of ‘wine’ is also of the same reason.
Here, it is not bad to have a look at the concept of love and its meanings from the view point of some mystics and scholars and to survey what causes mystics search for God and their enthusiasm. It is a subtlety that is Godly and a divine gift. It is a fire that burns humanly features and opens the eye of the mystic’s heart to heavenly worlds.
Sohrevardi in his book of ‘Fil Haghighat Aleshgh’ (the Truth of Love): when the affection reaches its ultimate point, it changes to love. The word (love) Eshgh in Farsi is rooted in the word (bindweed) Ashaghe which is a plant that grows next to the roots of other trees and after fixing its roots in the ground, it grows up and coils around trees trunks in a way that covers the whole parts of that tree and dries that tree completely and the story of love is the same for human being that is the superior creature of the world. Up to the fifth century of hegira, the Sufis were just used affection mostly but since then the word ‘love’ was entered in mystic prose and poetry. In the sixth century of hegira by the advent of Sana’I Ghaznavi’s works, love found a particular position in mystic works and then Attar and other mystic and Sufi great figures based their works on love and its innumerable nuances.
Since the very advent of human until now, human was familiar with love and the deeper cognition he gained about the originality of the existence, this sense got deeper in him to that degree that he considered himself as a lover and God as a beloved. Any definition presented for love is incomplete as something can be defined that one has a complete knowledge and mastery over that. Love according to the interpretation of the mystics and scholars are the light of existence. The ultimate of love is the extreme stage of mind so when the achieved-love lover talks about love, he is embarrassed of his words as Rumi says: “Whatever we say to describe love, we are still embarrassed like a pen made of reed that has a cleft for writing on it head when was to write the word love, it divides itself into two parts.”
Rumi also by referring to the fact that the position of love is so higher than what can be described by mind says that mind in describing love is like a donkey that got stuck into a ditch of mud.
So the truth of love is findable and has to felt. Plato followers believe in two ascending and descending curves for finding love and they say that in the ascending curve one has to become clear from the worldly attachments. The subtle arisen from love is taken as soul and the true desired is reaching The Right that can be realized by losing one’s ego.
The theoreticians of existence of love in all creatures were even in ancient Greece and Plato on his dissertation, ‘the Guest’, says: “The real of the god of love is not just the soul and body of human and it is the entire world of existence.”
Avicenna regards love for the three forms of life of vegetation, animal and talking alive creatures and he believes that according to the Godly wisdom, love is placed in all forms of life not to stop moving toward perfection. Molasadra in chapter 15 of his Asfarol Arba’e says: “All creatures love God and they are keen for visiting and reaching Him but the degree of their love and enthusiasm depends on the degree of having the light of existence.”
Haj Molla Hadi Sabzevari believes: “Wherever there is ‘True Existence’, there is ‘beloved’ and any living thing such as animals or human loves its own existence and its existence depends on the surrounding and God so it loves God while it is not aware of that and just real mystics are aware of that and in one of his influential sonnets he also mentioned this point.”
In the eleventh verse of Rumi, it seems that by using the term ‘reed’ he meant its both meaning: reed as a musical instrument and as its metaphoric meaning. In the first meaning the reed cut from the reed bed conveys bewailing and mourning that is similar to the states of a lover separated from the beloved and it has notes that causes the changes of mood and motivation of the lover and makes his love clear. In the metaphoric meaning of reed, Rumi refers to Hesamadin. He is a perfect human that Rumi is interested in him and about him Rumi says: Hesamadin is the friend and companion of those that leave their worldly properties and friends. The love instrument he played for our hearts was in the scale of affection and love and its sound tore up all our internal barriers completely and united lovers and beloveds. In the next verse Rumi says: “the Perfect human that passed all stages and is aware of the difficulties of God’s path in the position of the perfect master teaches the followers to recognize the truth of ego and true lovers can be differentiated from Claimants. He examines them in different ways like suffering from pains and hardships that are compared here to poison as they are bitter and unpleasant for lovers. When the wayfarer in the God’s path recognized the role of ego and found out the necessity to fight it, this Godly perfect physician cures him and the divine assistance that is like an antidote will help him so he is a criterion for the recognition of truth from the false. The perfect master that has no interests in worldly properties desires talking and teaching those longing for improvement and learning more.”
In Rumi’s next verse he says: “Reed or the perfect human talks about the path that is extremely full of hardships. This is the endless path to Him where just those insane out of the degree of their love can pave their steps.”
In the next verse he states that for the recognition of these points one has to enjoy a wisdom and recognition capability above the wisdom and capability of human kinds that Rumi calls this capability unconsciousness that means independency to worldly properties. Those are confident of this path secret and can enter the sanctuary of its meaning that their hearts are released from the ego bonds. Such people do not care to the world and its credits so they are unconscious about the worldly issues and are aware about divine issues. In his next verse Rumi says that the tongue that expresses nuances and subtleties is the tongue of the perfect master that says whatever he finds necessary but the only person can get his true purposes that has a hearing ear. An ear above the ear of the head that is talented to receive high, lofty perceptions (the ear of heart or conscience).
The next verse means that many days became nights in the sorrowfulness of separation accompanied by pains and agonies.
In the next one Rumi says: “If days are passing tell them pass no problem as the important thing is the consequence of their passing that is spiritual perfection that is gained and its result is the presence of hesamadin, who reached the desired elevation.” And while addressing him Rumi says: “You stay as you are the result of all passed life and at the present time no person like you, pure and clean from the worldly properties, is not existed.”
In his next verse he states: “As a fish never will be quenched from the water and all its life is in water, men of God that are ‘the fish of God’s sea’ never feel satisfied of the favors that are showering on them and always repeat these word from Quran that ‘Are there any more?’ The person that does not enjoy such spiritual share or is not after achieving that will lose his time without enjoying that spiritual share and he wasted the valuable life that is lent to him.”
In the next verse we face this meaning that a person that does not have the capability of spiritual and divine perceiving can’t understand the state of the elevated and the perfect so the long story has to be make short for them.
In the next verse Rumi addresses us and says: “Oh, boy! Be free from the worldly properties and how long do you want to be bond to name and fame? He uses the term ‘boy’ as he addresses the inexperienced ‘truth seekers’ like a kind father that addresses his child while advising him the words ‘oh son!’ A person that desires to receive spiritual teachings even if he is middle aged or old as he is unfamiliar with the truths, he is inexperienced and is considered as the child of the divine master. In fact they are the children of the Path of God. Their spiritual improvement and growth depends of the meanings of truths that their spiritual masters present for them.” So maturity from mystics and Rumi’s view is the mind maturity and its releasing from mundane passions. So, freedom is the first message of this great book that for achieving it, the first advice is to leave worldly properties. It does not mean that the wealth is bad but it means that while wealth is necessary for survival and working and attempting are necessary in life, wealth can be bad and harmful for a God’s wayfarer.
In the next verse, he says: “If human want to put the water of a sea in a jar out of his greed, how much he can have. At most, He can have as much water as he consume a day. Accordingly, human’s share of substances is pre-determined by god and greed is of no use except a useless suffering.” This verse is a parable of ‘human greed’ that despite of his limited life span his greed and avarice is insatiable.
In the next verse he says: “Never a greedy person will be satisfied until he will be contented like a shell that it will have a pearl when it became contented.”
His next verse means: “the way of releasing from bad adjectives and features like greed, spite, stinginess and jealousy for Rumi’s cognition and anthropological view is enjoying ‘love’. One that tore his clothes up out of the enthusiasm of love will be pure from humanly faults as love burns and disappears the negative characteristics. A real lover does not deny his beloved from his life and possessions. Before falling in a true love, the love for life, the love for fame and name act as a barrier in receiving real love and no devotion of life and wealth and forgiveness, scarification, modesty and humiliation can be seen in such loves. So, true love is instructive and burning of lover in the rising flames of love makes him pure from the darkness of egoism and other blamed characteristics. Unreal loves (love for anything else except god) is like a bridge that can lead ultimately to a ‘real love’ as in humanly honest love enthusiasm for the fire of love prepares people’s existences and their backgrounds for receiving lights of true love.”
Then, in his next verse, Rumi states: “Rumi welcomes the love that occupied and commands over his existence, spirit and soul and asks for the stability and existence of this rising flame in his own existence and others’ happily. This is a love that its purpose is uniting with the beloved and having the thoughts of visiting God. This is a love that like an experienced and skillful physician recognizes our ego faults (all our faults) skillfully and it cures them.”
His next verse means: “Love is a medicine and remedy. It is a remedy for blamed characteristics like: arrogance, vanity, passions, physical and bodily desires. With the presence of love, human will be surrounded by elevated sensations and became passive. In other words, love controls furiousness and passions. ‘Reputation’ is a desire for social approval and piety in public.” Pertaining Rumi, his influential and moving love for Shams changed his states in a way that it changed Rumi from a pious dignified mufti to a lover and despite his special social position; refusal and acceptance of the common people of his new status had no difference for Rumi.
Love is a scholar (physician) and a philosopher as by a spiritual perception; it creates a new ideology and opens new windows to human. It changes the criteria and destroys the creditability of conventional values and establishes new credits on spiritual values bases. So, love founds a new and novel philosophy in existence that its logical argumentation and insight originates from romantic Mind or the Omniscient.
In the next verse we have: “A body which is of soil and ascended to the zenith of heavens due to Godly love and The Right manifestation. This manifestation is of a type that the mountains facing that crashed in a way as if they were dancing.”