Hafez-e-Shirazi

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hafez e Shirazi, a great poet of his time.

Submitted: July 18, 2019

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Submitted: July 18, 2019

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Khawaja Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Hafez-e-Shirazi, who lived six years hundred years back in Iran, is a renowned and universal poet. He is considered as the most read and cited figure of Persian culture, where people learn and memorize his verses of his poem and many of his poems are used as proverbs or sayings. The work of the 14 century poet, Hafez, is regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature for centuries. His manner of expression has improved and produced valuable charges in Persian dictionary more than Shakespeare in English language.
 
Hafez primarily wrote in the literary genre of lyric poetry, that is the perfect style for communicating and expressing the ecstasy of divine artistry and mystical form of love poems and ghazels is predominantly inspired by the work of Rumi (Jalal ud din Muhammad Balkhi), Saadi, Farid-ud-Din,and Nizami. Hafiz’s ghazals are self-contained line, which are generally consists of a single meter, a single rhyme and sometimes a ‘Radif’. One of the prominent features of his poetry is his ironic tone, which is applied to spotlight hypocrisy of his time, Love, spirituality, protest and wine are the leading themes expressed in his poems and ghazals.
 
There is no established version of his collected work accepted Divan-e-Hafez, 
which includes 500 ghazals,42 Rubayees and a few Ghaseedehs, composed over a period of 50 years. Muhammad Golamdaan,Sayyid Kasim e Anwar compiled 569 of his poems.
 
It is believed that he was deeply inspired by the beauty and majesty of a young lady named Shak-e-Nabat, to whom he used to deliver bread. He wrote poetry worthy of beloved’s beauty. 
In his poem ‘The Gift’ translated by Daniel Ladinsky, Hafez says;
Love has
Befriended Hafez so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Me
Of every concept and image
My mind has ever Known.
 From: ‘I Have Learned So Much from God’
 
In quest of attaining his beloved, he kept vigil for 40 days. Upon accomplishing his task, he met Attar and happily embraced him as his disciple after attaining God realization.
 
In poetry, Hafez gone to certain phases. ‘Spiritual Romanticism’, came in his 
writing when he became poet at the court of Abu Ishak. In this phase, Hafez got much fame and respect in Shiraz. When Mobarez Mozaffar expelled him from his position of Quranic teacher at the college, Hafez wrote ‘Protest Poems’, against the decision made. When Hafez position was restored as a teacher at the college by Shah Shuja, he started his phase of ‘Subtle Spirituality’ in his poetry. His later poetry talks of his longing for Shiraz to meet Shakh-e-Nabat, his spiritual master and to be united with God.
 
In his poetic work, Hafez uncovered hypocrisy of every individual who has set 
himself up as guardians, judges, and members of good integrity. To Hafez, they present as good and otherworldly pioneer while they secretly practice those sins that urge others not to submit. Hafez mentioned them with his pen name ‘Hafez’ and criticized for their hypocrisy.
 
In one of his poems he says;
“Oh Hafez, how long will you hide under your cloak goblets of wine/ one day at the patron’s banquet i shall put the curtain off your deeds”
 
He criticized hypocrites by saying that those who pretend themselves as Wallis and Qalanders are similar to singsong whining speeches of baggers as he says;
“A drinker who is devoid of cant/is superior to apiety-seller who practices pretense.”
(25.4; ‘honest rends’)
 
Later on, he gave solution to hypocrisy in his poem by saying;
Connect the heart to
the wine, so that it has body,
Then cut off the neck
of hypocrisy and piety of this new man.
From: ‘Wine of Unity’
 
Although being considered as skeptic, Hafez was a Muslim, raised and nourished in Islamic community, his devotion to Sufism cannot be ignored.
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.
But when we hear
He is in such a "playful drunken mood"
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.
From: ' Tired of Speaking Sweetly’
 
It should also be noted that his time, Shiraz was engaged with mystical thought that it was nearly impossible for anyone to avoid them.
My dear,
Let prayer become your beautiful Lover
And become free,
Become free of this whole world
Like Hafez.
From: 'The Gift'
Hafez died at the age of 70(1389CE) in Shiraz. Hafez’s body was buried in Musalla Gardens, which is now called Hafezieh.


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