You will breathe in the climate of mysticism as you read the life story of Shams al-Tabrizi who exerted great efforts to train the great Sufi, Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumî. It was Rumî who presented the universal message of love and affectation by an endless tolerance and great tenderness centuries ago saying “Come, come again, whoever you are, come!” He also wrote the following lines in a world in which violence and hatred became gradually popular:
“Come, Come hither!
Leave you and your self;
Leave us and our selves!
Come as quickly as possible!
Come, come nearer!
Put you and us aside;
Come until you and we would become extinct!
Come so that
Neither you nor we would exist!”
You will find the peace, love and especially yourself within the pages of this book that attracted many people in various countries.
Shams: I address the writers who have not written the truth so far! The writers today cannot write without borrowing from the real writers who lived before them. However, they think that what they wrote would be readable only then. They are like the moon and they do not possess their own light… and their own Shams (sun)!
I do not know why they fear to interact with the main source. They think what if they were stricken by that light; what if their eyes were dazzled by that very light; what if all they thought they knew were not true… What if all they wrote was mere illusion….
How can one attain the truth while living in false lives? How can a sound, a world come to your pen?… You would then appeal to those real writings written and lived before you… and you attempt to write concerning those who fulfilled that troublesome journey instead of establishing a direct relation with the truth; you attempt to write as you reduced the truth by your every false word. How can one who attempts to write on my life convey my ocean to his deserts without knowing me?
To what extent can those who did not experience Sufism and who did not pay a visit to Konya understand me? How dare those who conveyed their false dreams which do not belong to me use my name? The writings hurt my soul more than the strokes of swords. I am Shams who came to destroy the established rules and who rejected the worldly things; then how can they explain me in a wrongly? Why do they place me at the center of their intrigues?
It was necessary to experience love platonically. I did not know that to love someone, to submit yourself to a love madly to experience the beauty, corresponded to grief. I realized that I missed many important things in life… Either I came early or you are late for attainment.
Jamshid abandoned his throne for his beloved whom he saw in his dream but did not know whether that beloved existed or not; and he travelled every inch of Anatolia. I also abandoned my future for Mawlana. Which words can unveil the secrets of Kimya that they dare to write on my Kimya? Whose voice of conscience Is It to establish my name and my admirers in their scenario of love? How can these poor people; who fear the deeply rooted plane tree of love and who carry pens that are weak as candle lights, explain me who carries the fire in his hands and the love that becomes a plane tree?
Fire (love), tree, water are only words for you… you immediately begin to make a story and try to place these words in it… you never wonder their inner realities…the inner sounds of words… their wing beats, and their participation into the harmonious invocation of the universe. You cannot see how they transformed you while living… you are only interested in stories… you try to force words to penetrate into those awkward stories as you do not have any life story… this is a kind of fait accompli writing! You do not know how to console the words! How would you feel whom you are without feeling the spirit given to them? Can a man touch a word without knowing love? How can he put it into writing?.. How can you plant that tree without preparing the garden?… Soil is required for the fertile garden of writing…
Love is required to hail light above your garden of writing … is it possible for a garden, soil or water to exist; or a single word without knowing it? Can one attempt to write without knowing love?
A Unique Introduction for Shams
Shams is the one who made Mawlana as he is. Mawlana used to be only a scholar until he met Shams. He was admired by people of Konya and was a ripen and reasonable teacher at madrasa. It was Shams who made an ecstatic out of a reasonable Muslim scholar who was confined within intellect and science that emerged from intellect.
Shams came all of a sudden, at a time, which Mawlana did not expect or hope at the age of forty. However, this age is a prophetic one. Moreover, it is the eleventh hour.
The door was knocked and it was wide open. The traveler entered silently. He was a passerby… he only called upon … but stayed there..
Shams was a stranger. This proud man who came unexpectedly is proud with a completely different pride. He regards false humbleness as arrogance and thus hates it. If capability is innate, then he is proud thinking that to hide is also falsification. That’s why his tongue is sharp as such. He is beyond common rules but marvelous as well. Furthermore, there is an invitation to “trouble” in each of his words.
A stranger of darkness and black; a traveller that misleads; the beloved that keeps the traveler away from his destination.
His identity is obscure but this is not of great importance: the hair of Shams is the night of Tabriz. And his face is the sun of Isfahan, mahr and mah emerge from his words. For, Shams admonishes people. A great meeting takes place in eternity.
He was Shams. Shams means “the sun” in Persian. He caused such an overflowing that the tides of Mawlana, which are like vast seas but formed by the Moon on small seas and in tranquil and safe soul that has not seen any winds, is almost nothing compared with this overflowing of Shams. For, Mawlana is an ocean. He has followed moons and seas but now is taken by the attraction of the sun.
They meet just as the meeting of two seas rather than the meeting of water with soil in a manner different from the turmoil of daily life. Shams becomes both the lover and the beloved of Mawlana; the seeker and the spiritual Guide. In fact, the overflow of abundance lies in this multiplicity. It is not certain who the lover Is and who the beloved Is in this meeting. What a grief) This is love; one that has already transcended the confines of space, time and gender reached the very source of love via this transcendence and one, which is impossible to be conceived by this insolent sight. The ones who do not understand are excused due to their lack of understanding. How is that they may conceive it?..
Perhaps due to his entirely blooded future. Shams divided Mawlana’s life into two equal parts like a knife. Mawlana was not the same as he used to be. He gave up self-possession if he was as such and he went beyond the limits of intellect unlike his past.
Shams was not silence. Then how did Mawlana bear such turmoil? How is it that he remained unburnt despite burning?
For sure, the apparent character of Shams was his darkness. However, his darkness is luminous because of being secret rather than darkness. Although his identity, family, lineage and nature are uncertain, Shams is still the best name that corresponds with this marvelous darkness. Shams… As we stated before, means the sun. Maybe that’s why the color of Mawlawi rite is black at the beginning and the white tannure (a white and large garment worn by Mawlawis during the sama -t.n) opens afterwards.
Father’s name: Ali
That’s all. Nothing more. I hope this will go on as such. For, there is no need for any extra information. What a sentimental speech it is. And it suits Shams very well.
There are two well-known domes in Islamic world: both of them are green: qubba al-hadra. One belongs to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and the other one belongs to Mawlana. Mawlana Is under his own green Dome among his father and son, his Chalabi and scribe, Salah al-Din and Husam al- Din, and those gentle ones who cared for him much. He was a rose so noble not to be touched; he was delicate in his delicateness. He was dignified in his dignity. He was a townsman, so refined in his elegance and graciousness. Shams was far away… in his darkness… in a comer… in his solitude. He lies there alone.
Loneliness is the representation of love. Death is compensation of love
Each love is compensated by a head.
It was Shams who sacrificed his head as compensation this time.
(Nazan Bekiroglu/Cumle Kapisi)
Though everything Is submitted to man
Man became a burden for himself
I am Mohammad, son of Ali; or as they called me throughout history, Shams-i Tabrizi. My grandfather is an Azeri Turk. My father is Ali the Melekdadoglu.
My granddad was from Khorasan. He grew up in Alamut and became a disciple of Hasan Sabbah. Due to an economical enmity, my family migrated to Khorasan and settled thereof. I was born there in 1183. They named me Mohammad. My ancestors accepted Ismailiyya a branch of Shia and accepted the Jafariyya School of Jurisprudence. My grandfather is said to be an ill-tempered and sharp-tongued man. Because of my quarrelsome and outspoken nature during my childhood, my mother used to liken me to my grandfather whom I never saw. I could not endure the hypocrite nature of people. I would criticize people when I saw those committing wrong deeds. As a result of such a characteristic, my dad would say:
– Your grandfather put us in trouble by means of his sharp tongue. We had to move here, because he could not get along with anyone there. You should at least know how to control your words.
My father sent me to a madrasa in order to become well behaved and to be educated through studying Holy Quran. At the age of seven, I started memorizing the verses of our Holy Book although my peers could not utter even a simple sentence. The hodja there named me “Skylark” since I was skinny and frail. However, at first I would become a falcon and then a turtledove, but they had no idea about this process.
My classmates could not complete even their initial phase (in classical Arabic classes in madrasas, students begin having a preparatory education before reading the Quran. This process includes learning the alphabet and some simple phrases. And these exercises are combined in a small booklet called “juz” -t.n.) within a whole month. I began reading the Quran the very day I arrived there. My teacher was surprised and said: “you are not normal, oh Skylark”. That night, my father woke up for the night prayer (tahajjud). I made ablution (wudu) and began praying behind him. After the salam (the last part concludes the canonical prayer -t.n.) He said:
– Son! The night prayer is not one that is performed in congregation. It is preferred after waking up at night. Moreover, you are not at an age to be responsible for it. Yet, I am pleased to see you praying. He kissed my cheeks and went into his bedroom.
I took the Quran from its lectern (rahla) and began reciting it. I managed to finish reciting the entire Quran by the rise of the morning sun. I was drowsy. I almost fell asleep as I was lying on the sofa. The Angels were reciting verses in my dream. I woke up… I closed the Holy Book with an ineffable joy after waking up. I realized that I memorized some verses I recited so as not to forget them. When I opened a page randomly, I saw that It was the sura (one of the 114 sections in Quran) of al-Shams (the Sun). As I went on reciting, I came to the 10th verse and felt as if my chest swelled out like a balloon. I fainted there. When I regained consciousness, my fingers still were on the 10th verse, “truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he feels that corrupts it (one’s self)”. I was taken by this verse. I could not move; I was raptured so deeply that I fell in love with this sura. Everyone understands the “purification” in this verse as cultivation of the self. However, ripening the self means also the stumbling of Satan. Just as the seed is sown in the soil, the self is purified from unknown materials; thus it is purified via divinely hopes and submits itself to divine Grace and Bliss. The following morning I told my parents:
– Call me Shams from now on. Your son fell in love with the sura al-Shams.
From that day on my name began to be known as Shams. I came to be known as Shams-i Tabrizi (Shams of Tabriz) after my birthplace. My teacher of religious sciences, Ruqn al-Din Sajasi, began calling me as paranda, which means one who flies; as, I used to rush into the garden during boring lessons. He was right in calling me as such. It is possible that he felt I would be a Shams-i Paranda (the flying Shams) who would fly from one place to another without being dependent on anything through my entire life.
My teachers were Abu Bakr Salabaf, Shaykh Kermani and Ruqn al-Din Sajasi. Nevertheless, the style of my lessons was question and answer rather than being merely teaching. Our circle of learning generally consisted of debates. The only master who would satisfy my soul was Mawlana Jalal al-Din. A Hodja should not only be a teacher but also a student. He should not say, “I will speak and you will listen”. You should understand without speaking. You should share the things in your heart; you should not speak as if giving sermon on a pulpit and pose an encumbrance on your heart. He should sometimes mold the meaning and utter a single word so as to flow meaning included in many volumes of books. A teacher as such should present an ocean within a single drop. He should be the seeker and one who is sought. He should be one who devote himself and go out of the routine. He should not be reticent….