The Eye Must Search For That One

Ghazal 6171

6460 The eye must search for that one2 so that it may see an
amazing thing. (And) the soul must search for that one so it may
experience delight and joy.

The head must search for that one so it may be drunk for an idol.3
Or it must search for that one so it may experience hardship for the
beloved's sake.4

Love must search for that one so it may fly toward the sky.
(And) the intellect must search for that one so it may find
(spiritual) knowledge and learning.

The secrets and marvels are beyond causes. Any (physical) eye is
veiled, for it may see (only) all the causes.

The lover [on] this Way who becomes disreputable with a hundred
suspicions (upon him)-- when the turn for union5 comes, he will
find a hundred [beautiful] names and nicknames.6

6465 It is worthwhile (to travel) through sands and deserts for the
sake of the Pilgrimage (to Mecca). He adapts to [living on] the
milk of camels (and) he suffers the vandalism of the Arab

[At last] the pilgrim gives a kiss from (his) heart upon the Black
Stone,8 so that he may experience the pleasure of (his) lips from
the lips of a Beloved.9

On account of the present coin of the speech (of) the beloved's
speech, take care (and) don't mint10 (any) other. For (only) the one
who searches may find the gold mine.

--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,
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (, 5/17/00

Notes on the text, with line number:

1. Ghazal 617: Compare to: the translation from Turkish (from
Golpinarli's translation from Persian) by Nevit Ergin, "Divan-i
Kebir, Meter 3," 1996, p. 95; the version by Coleman Barks (based
on a literal translation from Persian by John Moyne), "Open
Secret, 1984, p. 28, re-printed in "The Essential Rumi," 1995, pp.
107 (entitled, by Barks, "Someone Digging In The Ground").

2. (6460) that one: means Shams-i Tabriz, Rumi's beloved spiritual

3. (6461) drunk for an idol: means spiritual ecstasy caused by being
in the presence of the beloved spiritual master. This is a common
"provocative" metaphor in Persian sufi poetry, since idolatry and
consumption of alcohol are contrary to Islam.

4. (6461) hardship for the beloved's sake: the lover must suffer
rejection and separation from the beloved in order to become
worthy of union.

5. (6464) union: Although the belief in "unification with God" is
heretical in Islam, Muslim sufis on the path of mystical love have
often spoken of "union with the beloved" to symbolize a kind of
spiritual union with a sufi master (mystical "annihilation" in the
master) and to mean a spiritual state of nearness to God, which is
likened to union.

6. (6464) names and nicknames: a word-play, since "disreputable"
[bad-nâm] literally means "of bad-name." The meaning is that the
lover will be given disgraceful names by the externalists who don't
understand mystical love, but in the end the beloved (meaning the
spiritual master) will bestow names of praise and affectionate
nick-names upon the true spiritual lover.

7. (6465) the vandalism of the Arab (Beduins): Arab desert tribesmen
often attacked and robbed caravans of pilgrims on their way to

8. (6466) the Black Stone: a black stone (perhaps a meteorite) which
is attached to an outside corner of the Ka'ba in Mecca, Arabia. The
Ka'ba is a cube-shaped temple which was emptied of all idols
when the Prophet Muhammad returned victoriously to Mecca (in
the year 630). The ancient sacred Black Stone (which was not an
idol) was kept on the southeast corner, and is believed by Muslims
to represent the "Hand of God" which is to be kissed reverently. To
this day, while most pilgrims are performing the sacred circling of
the Ka'ba (continuously, day and night, every day of the year),
there is a constant "mash" of pilgrims at the southeast corner
striving with intense yearning to reach and kiss the Black Stone--
which is only possible one at a time.

9. (6466)a Beloved: means God.

10. (6467) don't mint: a word-play. "Present coin," is an idiom
meaning, "current," "present." Minting another coin means here,
"adding any words of your own." Rumi's odes often end with a call
to silence and a reminder that Truth and Love are beyond words.
The meaning of this line is that only the one who sincerely and
persistently searches for Love beyond words and concepts has any
hope of finding the source of "gold."


6460 chashm az pay-é ân bây-ad tâ chêz-é `ajab bîn-ad
jân az pay-é ân bây-ad tâ `aysh-o Tarab bîn-ad

sar az pay-é ân bây-ad tâ mast-é botê bâsh-ad
yâ az pay-é ân bây-ad k-az yâr ta`ab bîn-ad

`ishq az pay-é ân bây-ad tâ sôy-é falak par-ad
`aql az pay-é ân bây-ad tâ `ilm-o adab bîn-ad

bêrûn-é sabab bâsh-ad asrâr-o `ajâyib-hâ
maHjûb bow-ad chashmê k-ô jumla sabab bîn-ad

`âshiq ke ba-Sad tuhmat bad-nâm shaw-ad în sô
chûn nawbat-é aSl ây-ad Sad nâm-o liqab bîn-ad

6465 arzad ke barây-é Haj dar rêg-o beyâbân-hâ
bâ shîr-é shotor sâz-ad yaghmây-é `arab bin-ad

bar sang-é seyah Hâjî z-ân bôsa zan-ad az del
k-az la`l-é lab-é yârê ô laZat-é lab bîn-ad

bar naqd-é sokhon jânâ hîn sikka ma-zan dêgar
k-ân-kas ke Talab dâr-ad ô kân-é Zahab bîn-ad


Meter: XXo oXXX XXo oXXX

(Hazaj akhrab sâlim)