- Sunday, Aug 21 2011
By: Seyed G Safavi
London Academy of Iranian Studies, UK
The present paper aims to provide textual evidence in support of Rumi’s spiritual shiism. The evidence will be taken from Rumi’s Mathnawi. Shiism, in its true form, believes in the welayat (authority) of Imam Ali and his eleven descendents following the demise of Prophet Muhammad.
Allah has chosen Ali and his descendents, as the true spiritual and religious successors of Prophet Muhammad, after whom there will always be a representative from Ali’s family to guide and lead human kind. This paper deals with three types of welayat: solar, lunar and stellar welayats.
Interpretation of the Mathnawi text by ‘conceptual’, ‘synoptic’ and ‘hermeneutic circle’ research techniques – makes clear that Maulana Jalal-Din Rumi honoured the office of the Imamate that is the authority – Wilayah of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad and his 12 Divinely appointed successors.
In this context, Maulana focuses on the Wilayah of Imam ‘Ali –the first Divine successor of the Prophet Mohammad. According to Dr Shahram Pazouki “Maulawi is a Shiite, not in the current sense of the jurists or dialectical theologians, but in its true meaning, that is, Allah only appoints the wali, belief in the continuing spirituality and walayah of the Prophet Mohammad in the person of Imam ‘Ali and his sons which appointed by Allah. Allah appointed Ali to be the spiritual successor and wali after the prophet Mohammad and belief that after the prophet there is always a living spiritual guide, wali, from Imam ‘Ali family on the way of love. Then here there is different between spiritual Shiism and jurisprudence Shiism.
The Sufis believe that in every period of time there is a divine spiritual guide or wali,and that it is only through him that one cam find the way to Allah. Walayah is the reality of Sufism and inner aspect of islam.the wali is the shadow of Allah on earh.the wali is the perfect of the age and the intermediary of grace from Allah to man. Walayah differs from caliphate .it is possible to engage in choosing the caliph by giving him their vote, but only Allah appoints the wali. Allah appointed ‘Ali to be the spiritual successor and wali after the prophet ohammad”. (Pazouki, Shahram. (2003). Spiritual Walayah. In: SG. Safavi(ed), RUMI’S THOUGHTS. Tehran: Salman Azadeh Publication) ‘Ali appointed as wali by Allah is based on some Qur’an verses and prophet Mohammad narrations such as balegh ma onzel ilaik (Chapter 5:67), alum akmalt lakom dinakom(Chapter 5:3), Hadith Ghadir Khoma and Ttheqlain. What is important is believing that after the prophet, walayah continued in ‘Ali and after ‘Ali ,walayah continued through the other Shiite Imams which are appointed as wali by Allah.
Shi’ism is based upon the principle of Imamah or Wilayah (referred to in gnostic – Irfanic literature as ‘The Perfect Man’ – Insan al-Kamil). Qur’anic and ahadith references, narrated by all Muslim sources, confirm that love for the Prophet’s progeny is a basic precept of Islam. The Mathnawi evidences that Maulana believed in the Wilayah of Imam ‘Ali, one of the main principles of Shi’ah Islam.
The different levels between Imamah and Wilayah:
The Ultimate Guardian – Wali is Allah, followed, in order, by:
The Prophet Muhammad and the 12 Imams. As the Prophet and the 12 Imams are all manifestations of ‘The Perfect Man’ who represent Divine Guardianship in their times – Imamah in Shi’ah literature, and ‘The Perfect Man’ in Sufi literature, correspond to the same identity. That the essence of ‘The Perfect Man’ in Sufism is denoted by Imamah – the distinguishing principle of Shi’ism, indicates that Sufis, regardless of the religious practices they follow – taqlid, are, in this respect, Shi’ah Muslims.
In the ‘Irfanic view there are two distinct types of Wilayah, “General Wilayah” – “Wilayah ‘Ammah” and “Specific Wilayah” –“Wilayah Khassah”.
General Wilayah – Wilayah ‘Ammah (Lit. Stellar), comprises two levels:
1) The first starts with “withdrawal” – “takhliyyah”, and ends with the station of the “nearness of supererogatory works” –“Qorb Nawafil.” When Allah becomes the eyes, ears, and tongue of His servant, the seeker of truth – salik achieves the state –maqam of “the reality of certainty” – “Haq al-Yaqin”.
2) The second level relates to those – annihilated in “the Real” –Haqq – who remain in the Existence of the King of Existence The final stage of this state is referred to as “Maqam Qab Quysayn”.
“Specific Wilayah”, Wilayah Khassah, is only held by the Prophet Muhammad and his Divinely appointed successors from his Ahl al-Bayt,Prophet’s Houshold(The family of the Prophet,specificly his daughter Fatima, her husband ‘Ali, and their children Hassan and Hussein). Such Specific Wilayah proceeds from Maqam Qab-e Quysayn, to the achievement of “The Station of Manifestation on Intrinsic Discourser” – “Maqam-e Mazhariyyat-eTajaliya-e Zati” and “Maqam-e Aw Adna”.
At that stage, those who hold this Wilayah comprehend the seventh inner level, Battn Haftom of Kalam Allah, i.e. the word of Allah, namely the Qur’an. It is recorded in one narration – hadith, regarding the Qur’an that, ‘The Qur’an has a superficial level and an inner level of understanding that encompasses seven inner depths.’ ( ‘Alama Tabataeai, Tafsir Al-Mizan, Vol. 3, p. 72). Holders of Wilayah Khassah – Wali’s, are like a great tree of which Abdal, Noqaba and Awtad are mere shadows. For every age there is a single Perfect Man – Qutub, with all other spiritual beings of the age under his shadow. (See verses 1924 – 2305 Book 3 of Rumi’s Mathnawi and Mulla Hadi Sabsavari’s commentary on verse 2003 of Book Three of the Mathnaw‡). Maulana said Wilayah Khassah has two aspects, Wilayah Shamsiyyah (Lit.Solar) and Wilayah Qamariyyah (Lit. Lunar). (Book Three verses 3104 – 3106).
The manifestation of Wilayah Shamsiyyah is Wilayah Muhammadiyyah – held by Prophet Muhammad Mustafa, while Wilayah Qamariyyah, refers specifically to those of his progeny – Ahl Al-Bayt, who Allah appointed to inherit his authority and succeed him. According to Mathnawi Book One, verses 2959 – 2980, Wilayah Allawiyyah – that is the Wilayah of Imam‘Ali and the inheritors of his authority – falls within Wilayah Muhammadiyyah. According to Book One, verses 3761 – 3766, the Wilayah Qamariyyah of Imam ‘Ali falls within the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of the Prophet Muhammad. Rumi based his repeated comments of Imam ‘Ali’s Wilayah Khassah, on the Prophet Muhammad’s saying, ‘Whomever I hold authority over, ‘Ali holds authority over’ – ‘Man kuntum Mawla fa ‘Aliyun Mawla’.
In the first story at the beginning of Book One of the Mathnawi, ‘The King and the Handmaiden’, the Perfect Man – Pir or Hakim Haziq is raised in reference to one of Imam ‘Ali’s titles ‘The Approved One’ – Murtadha, whom he then proceeds to describe as, ‘The One who holds authority over the people – Mula al-Qum’. (Mathnawi Book One verses 99- 100). In the last story of Book One – A Story about Imam ‘Ali, Rumi discusses nafs mutma’nah (verses 3721-3991) and introduces Imam ‘Ali as a holder of Wilayah Khassah. In the last book, Book Six, he again raises the Wilayah of Imam ‘Ali based upon the Prophet’s saying ‘Whomever I hold authority over, ‘Ali holds authority over’, ‘Man kuntum Mawla fa ‘Aliyun Mawla’. Book Six, verse 4538. Thus, the Mathnawi of Rumi both begins and ends with the Wilayah of Imam ‘Ali.
Sequential textual evidence in the Mathnawi that supports Rumi’s acceptance of Imam ‘Ali’s Wilayah and spiritual superiority over other companions of the Prophet.
1) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘AMIR AL-MUMININ – COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL – TRANSLATED BY NICHOLSON AS PRINCE OF THE FAITHFUL’ – in the story titled Imam ‘Ali.
See Book One, heading after verse 3720.
2) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE WHO ACTS SINCERELY’ –‘Learn how to act sincerely from ‘Ali’.
Book One, verse 3721 (first part).
3) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘THE LION OF ALLAH’ – ‘Know that the lion of Allah (‘Ali ) was purged of all deceit’.
Book One, verse 3721 (second part).
4) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘THE PRIDE OF EVERY PROPHET’ –‘Ali, the pride of every Prophet’.
Book One, verse 3723.
5) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE PRIDE OF EVERY SAINT’ – ‘Ali the pride of every Prophet and every saint.’
Book One, verse 3723.
6) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE FACE BEFORE WHICH THE MOON BOWS LOW’ – ‘He spat on the countenance before which the face of the moon bows low in the place of worship.’
Book One, verse 3724.
7) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE LION OF THE LORD’ – ‘In bravery you are the lion of the Lord: in generosity who indeed knows who you are?’
Book One, verse 3732.
8.) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ALL MIND AND EYE’ – ‘O ‘Ali you who are all mind and eye, relate a little of that which you have seen.’
Book One, verse 3745.
9) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘FALCON OF THE EMPYREAN’ – ‘Tell, O falcon of the empyrean that finds goodly prey, what you have seen at this time from the Maker.’
Book One, verse 3750.
10) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE LEARNED WHO PERCEIVES THE UNSEEN’ – ‘Your eyes have learned to perceive the unseen while the eyes of the bystanders are sealed.’
Book One verse 3751.
11) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘THE ONE WHO IS APPROVED BY ALLAH’ – ‘Reveal the mystery O ‘Ali you who is approved by Allah.’
Book One, verse 3751 (part 1).
12 Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as being, ‘GOODLY EASE’ – ‘O you who are a goodly ease after evil fate.’
Book One, verse 3752.
13) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ORB OF THE MOON (WILAYAH QAMARIYYAH)’ – ‘From you it shone forth on me, how could you conceal it? Without tongue you are darting rays of light, like the moon. But if the moonsorb come to speech, it more quickly leads the night-travellers the (right) way. They become safe from error and heedlessness: the voice of the moon prevails over the voice of the ghoul.’
Book One, verse 3759-3761.
14) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘LIGHT UPON LIGHT’ – ‘In as much as the moon (even) without speech shows the way, when it speaks it becomes light upon light,’
Book One, verse 3762.
15) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GATE OF THE CITY OF KNOWLEDGE (‘Ali GATE OF WILAYAH MUHAMMADIYYAH)’ – ‘Since you are the Gate of the City of Knowledge, since you are the beams of the sun of clemency (Prophet Muhammad ).’
Book One verse 3763.
This verse refers to the Prophet Muhammad saying, ‘I am the City of Knowledge and ‘Ali is its gate, so anyone who seeks knowledge should enter through its gate.’
16) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GATE OF MERCY’ – ‘Remain open forever.’
Book One, verse 3765 (part one).
17) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ENTRANCE-HALL TO ‘NONE IS LIKE UNTO HIM.’
Book One, verse 3765.
This is a reference to Surah Ikhlas – Qur’an 112.
18) Rumi refers to Imam ¡Ali u as, ‘THE SUN OF WILAYAH’ – ‘Speak, O Prince of the faithful, that my soul may stir within my body like an embryo. How has the embryo the means (to stir) during the period when it is ruled (by
the stars)? It comes (turns) from the stars towards the sun. When the time comes for the embryo to receive the (vital) spirit, at that time the sun becomes its helper.
Book One, verses 3773-5.
These verses refer to the Ahl al-Bayt’s Wilayah Qamariyyah being within the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of the Prophet Muhammad . Here Rumi clari fies that those who hold general or stellar Wilayah – Wilayah ‘Ammah / Wilayah Najmiyyah are merely stars in comparison to ‘Ali who, being like the sun, represents the Perfect Man or perfect shaykh. Thus, while those who hold Wilayah ‘Ammah may aid a ‘Searcher for Truth’ – Salik, complete guidance is only obtainable via those who hold Wilayah Shamsiyyah – a reference to Imam ‘Ali and his successors. Here Rumi presents the three types of Wilayah described in the introduction – Wilayah Shamsiyyah and Wilayah Qamariyyah –aspects of Specific Wilayah – Wilayah Khassah, and Wilayah ‘Ammah, that is also referred to as Stellar Wilayah – Wilayah Najmiyyah. These may be considered Advanced and Element ary levels of Wilayah.
19) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as ‘HOLDER OF SOLAR WILAYAH – WILAYAH SHAMSIYYAH’ – ‘When the time comes for the embryo to receive the (vital) spirit, at that time the sun becomes its helper. This embryo is brought into movement by the sun, for the sun quickly endows it with ‘spirit’. ‘
Book One, verses 3775-3776.
On the spiritual journey towards Allah, the embryo – Spiritual Seeker – Salik, obedient to Wilayah Allawiyyah, arrives at her/his destination.
20) Rumi refers to all Spiritual Seekers having, if they are aware of it not, an inherent connection with Wilayah Allawiyyah, that is, the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of Imam ‘Ali – ‘By the hidden way that is remote from our senses-perception, the sun in the heavens has many ways,’
Book One, verse 3779.
It is via that inherent connection, with the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of ‘Ali, that exists beyond the physical senses, that the Spiritual Seeker is able to develop.
21) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as ‘THE ROUTE OF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE – WILAYAH’, – ‘And the way whereby it makes the Ruby red and the way whereby it gives the lightening-flash to the (iron) horse shoe. And the way whereby it ripens the fruit, and the way whereby it gives heart to one who is distraught.’
Book One verse 3781-82.
These verses refer to Qur’an 100 – Surah Al-‘adiyat that was revealed to illuminate the status of Imam ‘Ali.
22) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘A FALCON WITH SHINING WINGS’ –‘Say it O falcon with shining wings,’
Book One verse, 3783 (part one).
23) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE WHO LEARNED FROM AND BECAME FAMILIAR WITH THE TRUE KING OF THE UNIVERSE’ – ‘Who has learned from the King and His fore arm.’
Book One, verse 3783 (part two).
24) Rumi refers to Imam Ali as, ‘ROYAL FALCON OF ALLAH WHO CATCHES THE ANGA.’ – ‘Say it, O Royal falcon who catches the Anga, O you who vanquished an army all by yourself.’
Book One, verse 3784.
25) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE NATION OF HUMANITY’ –‘You alone are the (entire community) you are one and a hundred thousand. Say it O you to whose falcon your slave has fallen prey’.
Book One, verse 3785.
This verse refers to an ayah of the Qur’an in which Allah tells us that all people are ‘a single nation’ Qur’an 2:213. While all have the potential, only some actually follow the Wilayah of ‘Ali , the one who is obedient to Allah.
26) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE SERVANT OF ALLAH’ – ‘He said I am wielding my sword for Allah’s sake. I am the servant of Allah; I am not under the command ofthe body.’
Book One verse 3787.
27) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE LION OF ALLAH’ – ‘I am the lion of Allah, not the lion of my passions.’
Book One, verse 3788 (part one).
28) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘HE WHOSE DEED WITNESSES HIS RELIGION’ – ‘My deed bears witness to my religion.’
Book One verse 3787 (part two).
29) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE MANIFESTATION OF THE WILL OF ALLAH’ – ‘In war I am the manifestation of the truth of “ It was not you who threw when you threw”: but the sword and the wielder is the (Divine) Sun.’
Book One, verse 3789.
This is a reference to Qur’an 8:17.
30) Rumi refers to Imam ¡Ali u as, ‘ANNIHILATED IN ALLAH’ – ‘I have removed the baggage of “ self” out of the way.’
Book One, verse 3790 (part one).
31) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE WHOSE TAWHID IS “ESSENTIAL” TAWHID’ – ‘I have deemed (what is) other than Allah to be non-existent.’
Book One, verse 3790 (part two).
32) Rumi refers to Imam ¡Ali u as, ‘SHADOW OF THE DIVINE’ – ‘I am a shadow, the Sun is my Lord.’
Book One, verse 3791 (part one).
Ali’s Wilayah is from Allah.
33) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE CHAMBERLAIN OF ALLAH’ – ‘I am the chamberlain, not the curtain (that prevents approach) to Him.’
Book One verse 3791 (part two).
‘Ali’s function is to guide people to Allah.
34) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘FILLED WITH THE PEARLS OF UNION WITH ALLAH’ – ‘I am filled with the pearls of union like a (jewelled) sword.’
Book One verse 3792 (part one).
35) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE REVIVER OF SPIRITUAL LIFE’ –‘In battle I revive but do not kill people.’
Book One, verse 3792 (part two).
36) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ADVANCER OF LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL ESSENCE AND DIVINE MORALITY’ – ‘Blood does not cover the sheen of my sword: how should the wind sweep away my clouds?
Book One verse 3793.
The great commentator of Rumi’s Mathnawi, Akbar Abadi said that ‘Sword and clouds here refer to the advanced level of the Spiritual Essence of ¡Ali u – wind refers to negative morality (Akhlaq Nafsani) and the sheen of the sword to Divine Morality. Clear reference that negative attributes do not impinge upon the perfected attributes of ‘Ali u.’ See Akbar Abadi, Sharh Mathnawi, Book 1. P. 307.
37) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘MOUNTAIN OF FORBEARANCE, PATIENCE AND JUSTICE’ – ‘I am not a straw, I am a mountain of forbearance, patience and justice: how should the fierce wind carry off the mountain?’
Book One, verse 3794.
38) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ALLAH’S BUILDING BEING THE BEING OF ‘ALI ’ – ‘I am a mountain and my being is His building. If I become like a straw, my wind (that which moves me) is the recollection of Him.’
Book One, verse 3797.
39) In reference to Imam ‘Ali , Rumi writes, ¡HIS COMMANDER IS ‘LOVE OF ALLAH’ – ‘My longing is not stirred save by His wind; my captain is naught but Love of the One.’
Book One, verse 3798.
40) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘REPRESSOR OF ANGER’ – ‘Anger, king over kings is to me but a slave: even anger I have bound under the bridle.’
Book One, verse 3799.
41) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘IMMERSED IN THE LIGHT OF ALLAH’ – ‘I am immersed in the light although my roof is ruined.’
Book One, verse 3801 (part one).
42) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘A DIVINE GARDEN’ – ‘I have become a gardenalthough I am (styled) Father of Dust – Bu Turab.’
Book One, verse 3801 (part two).
This verse refers to the hadith in which the Prophet titled ‘Ali; Abu Turab.
43) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘LOVER OF ALLAH’ – ‘That my name may be ‘He Loves for the sake of Allah.’ That my desire may be ‘He hates for the sake of Allah’
Book One,verse 3803.
44) Rumi refers to the manifestation of ‘Ali’s ‘generosity’ as, ‘GIVING FOR ALLAH’ – ‘Thatmy generosity may be ‘He gives for the sake of Allah’
Book One verse 3804 (part one).
45) Rumi refers to the mani festation of ‘Ali’s ‘withholding’ as, ‘WITHHOLDING FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH’ – ‘That my being may be “He withholds for Allah’s sake” ’.
Book One, verse 3804 (part two).
Verses 3803 and 4 refer to a hadith, ‘The faith of any who give for the sake of Allah or withhold for the sake of Allah or love for Allah or hate or marry for Allah, will attain perfection.’ Foruzanfar, Ahadith Mathnawi, P.37, Tehran 1361.
46) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘BELONGING ENTIRELY TO ALLAH’ – ‘I belong entirely to Allah, I do not belong to any other.’
Book One, verse 3805 (part two).
The will and being of Imam ‘Ali is circumscribed by the Will and Existence of Allah.
47) In reference to Imam Ali Rumi writes, ‘ALI’S ACTIONS ARE FOR ALLAH ALONE DRAWN FROM HIS u ILLUMINATED KNOWLEDGE OF ALLAH’ – ‘And that which I do for Allah’s sake is (not done in) conformity, it is not fancy or opinion, it is naught but intuition.’
Book One, verse 3806.
‘Ali’s knowledge is intuitive rather than theoretical.
48) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ATTACHED TO ALLAH ALONE’ – ‘I have been freed from effort and search, I have tied my sleeve to the skirt of Allah.’
Book One verse 3807.
49) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘SEEING ALLAH EVERYWHERE’ – ‘If I am flying, I behold the place to which I soar; and if I am circling, I behold the axis on which I revolve.’
Book One verse 3808.
50) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE HOLDER OF LUNAR AND SOLAR WILAYAH, WILAYAH QAMARIYYAH AND WILAYAH SHAMSIYYAH’ – ‘I am the moon and the sun is before me as my guide.’
Book One, verse 3809 (part two).
51) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GATE OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE’ –‘Come in! I will open the door for you.’
Book One verse 3841.
52) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GRANTING ETERNAL TREASURE TO HIS FOLLOWERS’ – ‘What then do I bestow on the doer of righteousness? Know you, I bestow treasures and kingdoms everlasting.’
Book One verse 3843.
53) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘MASTER OF THE SPIRIT’ – ‘But do not grieve: I am intercessor for you: I am the spirit’s master, I am not the body’s slave.’
Book One, verse 3942.
54) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘Sun of The Noble’ – ‘This body has no value in my sight: without my body I am the noble (in spirit) the sun of the spirit.’
Book One verse 3943.
55) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE GUIDANCE OF KINGS’ –‘Outwardly he strives aft er power and authority, but (only) that he may show princes the right way and judgement. That he may another spirit to the Princedom; that he may give fruit to the palm tree of the Caliphate.’
Book One, verse 3946-47.
56) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE DIVINE BALANCE’ – ‘You have really been the balance with the just nature of the One (Allah).
Book One, verse 3981 (part one).
57) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘The Balance By Which To Weigh Other Saints’ – ‘Nay, you have been the pivot of every balance.’
Book One, verse 3981 (part two).
58) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ILLUMINATION OF ¡HIS WILAYAH IS THE LIGHT OF ALLAH’S WILAYAH’ – ‘I am the slave of that eye-seeking lamp from which the lamp receives its splendour.’
Book One, verse 3984.
59) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE PEARL OF ALLAH’S OCEAN OF LIGHT’ – ‘I am the slave of the billow of that Sea of Light that brings a pearl like this into view.’
Book One verse 3985.
60) Rumi refers to Imam Hussein as, ‘KING OF RELIGION, ROYAL AND PURE SPIRIT’ – ‘A royal spirit escaped from a prison; why should we rend our garments and how should we gnaw our hands. Since they (Hussein and his family) were Kings of the (true) religion, it was the hour of joy for them when they broke their bounds.’
Book Six verse 797-8.
In Book Six of the Mathnawi, Rumi refers, with deep respect, to Imam Hussein son of Imam ‘Ali as Royal Spirit and King of Religion. Although greatly upset by it, he introduces the Day of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom – ‘Ashura, as a day of mourning for his spirit. Rumi regards love for Imam Hussein as the continuation of love for the Prophet Muhammad , in the same way that an ear loves a pearl.
He describes Prophet Muhammad as being the ear and Imam Hussein u the pearl, ‘Don’t you know that the Day of ‘Ashura is a day of mourning for a single soul that is more excellent than an entire century. How this tragedy should be lightly estimated by a true believer? Love for the earring (Hussein) is in proportion to love for the ear (Prophet Muhammad). In the view of a true believer, the mourning for that pure spirit is more celebrated than a hundred floods of Noah.’
Book Six verses 790-92. (Verses 776-805 refer specifically to the Shi’ah community in the city of Halab, whom Maulana criticises for having spirits that are asleep. He tells them to mourn for their spirits that are as good as dead. He then refers to the Royal Spirit of Imam Hussein that escaped from prison and is still alive. Some commentators have misunderstood this to imply that Rumi was against Shi’ah which from the above references he clearly was not.
From a synoptical understanding of the Mathnawi, each of the six books of the Mathnawi contains 12 discourses – a total of 72. The repetition of 12 discourses was not accidental but rather a tribute to each of the 12 Imams l of Ahl al-Bayt – spiritual inheritors and successors of Prophet Muhammad. The 72 discourses equate to Imam Hussein’s 72 companions who were martyred with him at Karbala. Since their inception, the sama¡ of the Mevlevi order pays respects to the martyrs of Karbala. In Maulana’s shrine in Konya, the names of the fourteen Masumin, the Prophet to the twelfth Imam (Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatima, Hassan, Hussein, ‘Ali ibn Hassan, Mohammad ibn ‘Ali, J’afar ibn Muhammad, Musa ibn Ja’far, ‘Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, Hassan ibn ‘Ali, Muhammad ibn Hassan (Mahdi)) are inscribed on the walls of his burial chamber.
This textual evidence illustrates that Maulana was a real Shi’ah of ‘Truth Shi’ism’, Tashaya Haqqiqi, and follower of Imam ‘Ali (A.S). As Dr Shahram Pazouki said “the conclusion we would like to draw from this is that the most important principle shared by both Shi’ism and Sufism is the question of Imamate or Wayalaah, and the wali is the divine mediator and guide through whom God saves humanity. The point that should be taken into consideration here is that, contrary to what is commonly asserted, Shi’ism originally is not a political movement against the caliphs or a jurisprudential school, alongside the Sunnite school of jurisprudence, or a school of kalam with affinity to the Mu’tazilites. Shi’ism is a heartfelt way based on the concept of wayalah, and the differences in jurisprudence, politics and theology are secondary issues aside from this main core. Thus, in true Shi’ism, one believes that God is known not by one’s own reasoning and speculations, nor by narrations handed down through others, but by submission to the wali and wayfaring on the path of love. Thus we see that in his Mathnawi, Mawlawi speaks favourably about all the first four caliphs, but his tone of speaking differs completely when he comes to Ali, because he recognises him as being the wali after the Prophet”.(Pazouki, Shahram. (2003). Spiritual Walayah. In: S.G. Safavi(ed), RUMI’S THOUGHTS. Tehran: Salman Azadeh Publication)
1- See on Rumi’s Life :
Aflaki, Ahmad, Manaqeb al – ‘arefin, Tehran, 1983.
Alavi, Mahvash, Maulana, Khodawandegar-e Tariqat-e Ishq, Tehran, 1998.
Chittick, William, Me & Rumi, Kentucky, 2004.
Foruzanfar, Badi’a al- Zaman, Mawlavi, Tehran, 1971/1354.
Golpinarli, Abdulbaki, translated ito Farsi by Sobhani, Tofiq, Mowlana, Tehran, 1996.
Iqbal, Afzal, Rumi, Lahore, 1991.
Lewis, Franklin, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oxford, 2,000.
Sepahsalar, Faridun, Mowlavi, Tehran, 1983.
Shams al-Din Shirazi, Maqalat-e Shams Tabrizi, ed. Mohamad ‘Ali Movahed, Tehran, 1990.
Zarrinkub, Abdul Hosayn, Pele-pele molaqat ta Khoda, Tehran, 1994.
2- For a full account of Maul ana’s theological and spiritual thought see:
Chittick, W, The Sufi Path of Love, SUNY, New York, 1983.
Este’lami,Muhammad, edited with commentary,”Masnavi-ye Jalal al-Din Mohammad-e Balkhi”, 7 volumes, (6th edition), Tehran, 2000/1379.
Schimmel, A, The Triumphal Sun, Fine Books, London, 1978.
Homaei, Jalal al-Din, Mowlawi nameh, Tehran, 1996/1374.
Ja’fari, Mohammad Taqi, Mowlawi wa Jahanbinih dar maktabhay-e sharq wa gharb, Tehran, 1992/1370.
Safavi, Seyed G., Rumi’s Thoughts, Tehran, 2003.
Safavi, Seyed Ghahreman, The Structure of Rumi’s Mathnawi, London, 2006
Turkmen, Erkan, The Essence of Rumi’s Mathnavi Including his Life and Works, Konya, 2004.
3-See on Classical Persian Literature:
Arberry, A J, Classical Persian Literature, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1958.
Baldick, J, “Persian Sufi Poetry up to the FifteenthCentury” in Morrison, G. (ed) History of Persian Literature, Brill, Leiden, 1981.
De Bruijn, J T P, Persian Sufi Poetry, Curzon, Richmond, 1997.
4- See on Rumi’s spiritual shiism:
Ashtiani, Seyed, Jalal al-Din, Sharh-e Moqadameh Qaysari, Mashhad, Homaei, Jalal al-Din, Mowlawi nameh, Tehran, 1995/1374 Khowrazmi, Kamal al- Din Hossein b. Hassan, Jawaher al-asrar wa Zawaher al-anwar, Sharh-e Mathnawi, ed. Shariat,M.J., Isfahan, Khowrazmi, Taj al-Din Hossein, Sharh-e Fosos al-hekam, ed. Najib Mail
Harawi, Tehran, 1985/1364.
Safavi, Seyed, G., Rumi’s Thoughts, Tehran, 2003
Safavi, Seyed, G, The Structure of The Rumi’s Mathnawi, London, 2006.
Wali divine spiritual guide
Awlia the spiritual successors
Wali Perfect Man, Shadow of Allah, Divine mediator, Divine guide
Qorb-e Nawafil the nearness of supererogatory works
Ibadat-e wajib obligatory work/worship
Haqq the Real
Haqq al yaqin the reality of certainty
Qotb poles, absolute pole
Zahir manifest, outward, outer
Batin non-mani fest, inward, inner
Mazhar locus of mani festation
Maqam-e Mazhariyat-e Tajalli-e Zati The Station of Manifestation on Intrinsic Discloser
Dicomot dari: www.aimislam.com
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