Advice is Never Useful to Lovers

Ghazal 5321

5657 For lovers, advice (from) anyone is never useful, (because) this
[love of theirs] is not like a flood which someone can block up.

An intellectual can never know the savor2 (in) the mind of the
(mystic) "drunkard,"3 (and) a sensible person can never know the
"senseless" state4 of (such a) heart.

If kings were to catch a scent of those "wines" which lovers drink
during the meetings of hearts, they would become fed-up with

5660 For the sake of (the beautiful) Sheereen, (King) Khosraw said
farewell to his kingdom, (and) Farhad5 pounded a mountain with a
pick-ax for her sake as well.

From love of (his beloved) Layla, (the crazed lover) Majnoon6
fled the circle of intellectuals, (and the lover) Wamiq laughed at
the foolish pride7 of every arrogant one.

That life (is) frozen which has passed without that sweet spirit [of
warm love]. (And) that brain (is) rotten which is ignorant of these
compliments8 (of love).

If the sky were not bewildered and a lover like us, it would
become weary of revolving, (and) it would say, "It's enough for
me! How (much) longer?"

The world (is) like a reed-pipe, and He blows into its every hole;
every wail it has (is) certainly from those two lips like sugar.

5665 See how He blows into every (piece of) clay9 (and) into
every heart; He gives a need and He gives a love which raises up a
lament about misfortune.10

If you uproot the heart from God, tell (me) with whom will you
place it? Anyone who is able to tear (his) heart from Him for a
moment is without a soul!11

I'm stopping (now). Be nimble, and go up on top of the roof at
night. Make a happy uproar in the city with a loud voice, O soul!

--From The Dîwân-é Kabîr (also known as "Kulliyat-é Shams" and
"Dîwân-é Shams-é Tabrîz") of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, (with
gratitude for A. J. Arberry's 1968 British translation)
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (, 11/15/98
(revised 1/3/00; re-published on "Sunlight," 5/22/01)

Notes on the text, with line number:

1. Ghazal 532: Compare to: the translation from Persian by A. J.
Arberry, "Mystical Poems of Rumi," 1968, no. 64, pp. 57-58;
Nevit Ergin (from the Turkish translation from Persian by
Golpinarli), "Divan-i Kebir, Meter I," 1995, no. 22, pp. 54-57; the
version by Coleman Barks (based on a translation from Persian by
John Moyne), "Open Secret," 1984, pp. 25-26 (entitled, by Barks,
"Now That I Know How It Is")

2. (5658) savor [Zawq]: a technical term in sufism meaning the
"taste" of mystical experience, often of a quality which cannot be
described in words. Therefore it includes subtle spiritual
perception, mystical feeling, and spiritual enjoyment. Related to
the meaning in this line is the Arabic saying, "He who does not
taste, does not know" (man lam yaZuq lam yadrî-- quoted in
Nicholson's Commentary to Mathnawi V:2145).

3. (5658) in the mind of the (mystic) "drunkard": literally, "in the
head of the head-drunk one." The words "drunkards,"
"drunkenness," and "wine" in Persian sufi poetry refer to ecstatic
mystics, ecstatic mystical states, and spiritual energy (alcoholic
beverages are strictly forbidden in Islam).

4. (5658) the "senseless" state: may also be translated as "un-sensible
ecstasy" and is a play on "sensible" (which means "wary,"
"prudent," "cautious," as well as "understanding" ). The word
translated as "state" [Hâl] is a technical term in sufism referring to
spiritual-mystical states, and often means spiritual ecstasy and
rapture. This line is similar to one of the famous opening verses of
Rumi's Mathnawi, I:14: "There is no confidant (of) this
understanding [hôsh] except the senseless [bê-hôsh]! There is no
purchaser of that tongue except the ear [of the mystic]."

5. (5660) In Persian legend, the hero Farhad dug through a mountain
to reach the beautiful woman he loved, Sheereen-- who was also
loved by King Khosraw.

6. (5661) Manjoon: literally, "jinn-possessed," "insane." A famous
lover whose love for the beautiful Layla (also pronounced in
Persian as "Laylee") drove him crazy and to act in extreme ways.

7. (5661) laughed at the foolish pride: literally, "beard-ridiculed the
moustache." An idiom meaning making fun of someone's proud

8. (5662 these compliments: literally, the whey of cheese, churned
into a certain consistency. An idiom meaning amorous flattery and
praise (Faruzanfar, "Glossary," p. 425), and here meaning the
flirtatious and adoring compliments enjoyed by lovers. The word
translated as "brain," also means the kernel of a nut.

9. (5665) into every (piece of) clay: refers to the creation of Adam
from clay, and how God breathed into him of His spirit (Qur'ân

10. (5665) a lament about misfortune: similar to the famous opening
lines of Rumi's Mathnawi: "Listen to this reed-flute, how it
complains; it is telling a story about separations,/ Saying: "Ever
since I was torn from the reed field, man and woman have
lamented in (hearing) my shrill cry." (I:1-2)

11. (5666) without a soul: also means, "without life"-- because he has
no heart.


mar `âshiq-ân-râ pand-é kas hargez na-bâsh-ad sûd-mand
nay ân-chon-ân sayl-ast în ke-sh kas tawân-ad kard band

Zawq-é sar-é sar-mast-râ hargez na-dân-ad `âqilê
Hâl-é del-é bê-hôsh-râ hargez na-dân-ad hôsh-mand

bêzâr gard-and az shahî shâh-ân-râ agar bôyê bor-and
z-ân bâd-hâ ke `âshiq-ân dar majlis-é del mê-khwor-and

5660 khosraw Wadâ`-é mulk-é khwad az bahr-é shîrîn mê-kon-ad
farhâd ham az bahr-é ô bar kôh mê-kôb-ad kaland

majnûn ze-Halqa-yé `âqil-ân az `ishq-é laylà mê-ram-ad
bar sablat-é har sar-kashê kard-ast wâmiq rêsh-khand

afsorda ân `umrê! ke ân be-g'Zasht bê-ân jân-é khwash
ay ganda ân maghzê! ke ân ghâfil bow-ad z-în lôr-é kand

în âsmân gar nîst-y sar-gashta-wo `âshiq-é chô mâ
z-în gardesh ô sêr âmad-y goft-y: bas-ast-am chand chand

`âlam chô sornâyê-wo ô dar har shekâf-ash mê-deh-ad
har nâla-yê dâr-ad yaqîn z-ân dô lab-é chûn qand, qand

5665 mê-bîn ke-chûn dar mê-dam-ad dar har gelê, dar har delê
Hâjat deh-ad `ishqê deh-ad k-afghân bar âr-ad az gozand

del-râ ze-Haq gar bar kan-î bar key neh-î âkhir be-gô
bê-jân kasê! ke del az-ô yak laHZa bar tânest kand

man bas kon-am, tô chost shaw, shab bar sar-é în bâm raw
khwash gholgholê dar shahr zan ay jân ba-âwâz-é boland


Meter: XXoX XXoX XXoX XXoX)

(Rajaz sâlim musamman)