This banner text can have markup. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Full text of " Gulshan i raz: the mystic rose garden of Sa'd ud din Mahmud Shabistari. The Persian text, with an English translation and notes, chiefly from the commentary of Muhammad bin Yahya Lahiji. Whinfield " See other formats T fyVb ' 3t. The author's name was Sa'd ud din Mahinud Shabistari, so called from his birth-place, Shabistar, 2 a village near Tabriz, in the province of Azarbaijan.

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This banner text can have markup. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Full text of " Gulshan i raz: the mystic rose garden of Sa'd ud din Mahmud Shabistari. The Persian text, with an English translation and notes, chiefly from the commentary of Muhammad bin Yahya Lahiji.

Whinfield " See other formats T fyVb ' 3t. The author's name was Sa'd ud din Mahinud Shabistari, so called from his birth-place, Shabistar, 2 a village near Tabriz, in the province of Azarbaijan.

From a brief notice of his life in the Mujalis ul 'Ushshak, repeated in substance in the Haft Iklim, the Sajina i Khushgu, and the Riaz ush Slniara, it would appear that he was bom about the middle of the seventh century of the Hejira A.

The only particulars of his life recorded in these Tazkiras are, that he was devotedly attached to one of his disciples named Shaikh Ibrahim, and that in addition to the Gulshan i Raz he wrote treatises entitled Hakk ul Yakin and Risala i Shahid. No further information as to the circum- stances of his life and times is to be found in the poem itself or in the commentary, but we know from the Habib us Siyar and other chronicles 3 that his birth was about contemporaneous with the incursion of the heathen Moghuls under Hulaku Khan, the conquest of Persia, Syria and Mesopotamia, and the downfall cf the Abbaside Khalifs, or " Vicars of God.

The Persian cliim is usually expressed by the Arabic shin. Ouseley, Ibn Haukal, G96, when the Emperor Ghazan Khan, with nearly one hundred thousand of his followers, adopted the Muhammadan faith. In the course of the eighteenth century several copies of the poem found their way to the great European libraries.

In Dr. Tholuck, of Berlin, published a few extracts from it, with Latin translations, in his " Ssufismus," and in a German translation of about one-third of the entire poem in his " Bliithensammlung aus der Morgenlan- dischen Mystik. On the authority of this MS. V various erroneous readings corrected. Hammer's readings are marked H ; those of the Midna- pore MS.

The translation has been made as close to the original as possible, Lahiji's renderings, as given in his paraphrase, being strictly followed throughout.

The translations of the Arabic quotations in the text are printed in italics. The notes contain a brief abstract of Lahiji's voluminous commentary, which is itself a great authority on Sufiism, and also a few of the more striking parallelisms to Sufi ideas to be found in the Neoplatonists, and in the mystical theolo- gians of Europe.

It is this correspondence with European Mysticism which gives Sufiism its chief interest for European students. Many of the Catholic definitions of ' mystical theology ' would do for descriptions of Sufiism. Thus, for instance, we find the Sufis talking of ' love to God,' of ' union with God,' of ' death to self, and life eternal in God,' of 'the indwelling in man of the Spirit,' of 'the nullity of works and ceremonies,' of ' grace and spiritual illumination,' and of the ' Logos.

Both exalt the ' inner light' 3 at the expense of the outward ordinance and voice of the Church. Both exhibit the same craving for visionary raptures and supernatural exaltations, and have been productive of similar excesses and extravagancies.

If Sufiism has its Mevlavis and Eafa'is and Be- shara' fakirs, its dancing and howling, and Antinomian durveshes, so 1 The poem is written in the metre called Hazaj i musaddas i maksur, viz. That of Corderius, " Sapientiaexperimentalis, divinitus infusa, quse mentem ab omni inordinatione puram cum Deo intime conjungit.

The Pantheism of the Gulshan i Eaz has its counterpart in that of Eckart, the "Doctor Ecstaticus," and much of its sensuous imagery might be matched by the erotic language of St. Bernard's sermons on the Canticles, the wonderful effusions of St. Theresa, and the mystical hymns of St. Alphonso Liguori and others.

The answer would seem to be that the Koran, and still more the Hadis, in one department of their language, contain the germs of this line of religious thought. They in fact use a double language. At one time they represent Allah as having created the world once for all, and as now removed to His seat in the 'arsh or highest heaven, having left His creatures to work out their own salvation or condemnation by 1 See an account of the curious phenomena which sometimes followed the preach- ing of Wesley, Whitfield, and Newton.

Leslie Stephen's English Thought, ii. And a missionary account of the " gracious visitations of the Holy Spirit at Vewa," one of the Fiji Islands. Spencer, Essays, i. Alphonso," translated by Coffin, pp. Imam Shafei and Hanbal, two of the great jurisconsults, speak in the highest terms of the Sufis' " knowledge of God. Vll their own free will, according to the lights given them by His prophets ; at another time they represent Him as the ' Subtile ' Being, immanent and ever working in His creatures, the sum of all existence, the ' fulness of life,' whereby all things move, act and exist, omnipresent, not only predestinating but actually originating all action, dwelling in and directly influencing and communing with each individual soul.

The Sufis, being men of an emotional mystical temperament, or, as they called themselves, 'men of heart,' 'men looking behind the veil,' ' interior men,' 1 naturally caught at all expressions of this kind which seemed to bring the divine mysterious object of their religious emotion nearer to them, and, as theologians are prone to do, dwelt on the texts that fell in with their own view, to the exclusion of passages of the opposite tendency.

This view they developed with the aid of the Greek and especially the Neoplatonic metaphysics, which had been popularised by the Arabian philosophers Farabi, Ghazzali, Ibn Eoshd and Ibn Sina.

Under these influences they identified the Allah of the Koran with the Neoplatonic Being, the One, the Necessary Being, the only Reality, "The Truth," 2 the Infinite, which includes all actual being, good and evil, the First Cause, source of all action, good and evil alike.

The world of phenomena and man every thing else in fact but Allah they identified with Not being, absolute nonentity, which like a mirror reflects Being, and by thus borrowing particles of Being rises to the rank of Contingent being, a kind of being which, as Plato says, is and is not, and partakes both of existence and non- existence. This Not being is a sort of Manicha3an Ahriman, which solves all practical difficulties attaching to their speculative system.

According to their theory the Infinite includes all being, evil included ; but as this is not consistent with the goodness of the Allah of the " While some men of externals believe that there is nothing iu existence hut what is visible to sight and reason, others interior men hold that much is veiled from sight which can only be seen through a nearer approach to the Divine Creator and a close spiritual communion with His omnipresent spirit. Miiller, Upanishads, I.

Koran, evil is said to proceed from Not being. Thus, by the aid of this convenient 'Not being,' which is something while it is wanted, and relapses into nothing directly it is no longer needed, the Sufis avoid all the immoral and irreligious consequences of their theory.

Hence it is clear that the Pantheism of the Sufis, at any rate as expounded in the Gulshan i Raz, must not be confounded with the European Pantheism of the present day that Pantheism which in the words of Bossuet, "makes every thing God except God him- self.

Mahmud's Pantheism is an amplification rather than a miniinification of the idea of the Divinity, infinite, omnipresent and omnipotent. Compared with this omnipresent, infinite, unseen Power underlying all the phenomena of the universe, 3 dominating man's will, striving in man's heart, Warming in the sun, refroshing in the breeze, Glowing in the stars, and blossoming in the trees, all outward existences and agencies, whether in man or in the world, 1 Similarly St.

Augustine said evil was a negation. The fact that he could find no better way of reconciling these " antinomies of religious thought," ought to make us lenient critics of the Sufis. Dante, Paradise, iii. Herbert Spencer, " First Principles," p. IX seemed to sink into utter nothingness.

In point of fact Mahmud's Pantheism is only the corollary of the Muhammadan doctrine of Jain; usually translated predestination, but, more exactly, the compulsion to carry out the Divine will, the universal action of Allah. The same sense and conviction of this irresistible divine impulse and compulsion which, according to their temperaments, drives some men into furious and fanatical action, 1 and makes others sit clown and cry ' Kismat,' impels men of a logical turn of mind to regard not only all the action but also all the existence in the universe as the direct outcome or manifestation of the Divine energy.

The whole Sufi system follows as a logical consequence from this fundamental assumption. Sense and reason cannot transcend phenomena, or see the real Being which underlies them all ; so sense and reason must be ignored and superseded in favour of the ' inner light,' the inspiration or divine illumination in the heart, which is the only faculty whereby men perceive the Infinite. Thus enlightened, men see that the whole external phenomenal world, including man's ' self,' is an illusion, non-existent in itself, and, in so far as it is non-existent, evil, because a departure from the one real Being.

Man's only duty is to shake off this illusion, this clog of Not being, to efface and die to self, and to be united' with and live eternally in the one real Being " The Truth. After an exordium laying down the fundamental principle of the sole existence of the one real Being, and of the illusive non-real nature of all phenomenal being, and a short account of the composition of the poem, Mahmud proceeds to inquire how men are to gain this essential knowledge of God.

The answer commonly given is, by thought. But thought is of two kinds, one logical reasoning, the other spiritual illumination. The first method is inapplicable, because sense and reason cannot transcend phenomena, and work up to the invisible and incomprehensible Being underlying them.

From this original defect of mental eyesight, whatever philosophers and theologians say of God only proves their own incapacity to apprehend Him. Reason, looking at the Light of lights, is blinded by excess of light, like a bat by the sun. This annihilation of the mental vision caused by its proximity to the Light of lights this consciousness of its own nothingness caused by its approach to Being is the highest degree of perception which contingent being can attain.

The phenomenal world is in itself Not being, wherein are reflected, as in a mirror, the various attributes of Being. By a species of radiation or effluxion of waves of light from Being, each atom of Not being becomes a reflection of some one divine attribute. These 1 Here is the germ of the modern doctrine of the Relativity of knowledge, and consequent limits of thought. Hamilton, Metaphysics, i. Augustine : " Deum potius ignorantia quam scientia attingi. XI effluent atoms of Being are ever striving to rejoin their source, but so long as their phenomenal extrusion lasts they are held back from reunion with their divine source.

Passing to precept, Mahmud says, " Eest not in the illusions of sense and reason, but abandon your ' natural realism,' as Abraham aban- doned the worship of the host of heaven. Press on till, like Moses at Mount Sinai, you see the mount of your illusive phenomenal existence annihilated at the approach of Divine glory. Ascend like Muhammad to heaven, and behold the mighty signs of the Lord. All the revolutions of the heavenly spheres, stars and planets, proceed not from themselves, as the undevout astronomer says, but from " The Truth.

The motions of the heavens, the coalescence of discordant elements into bodies, the obedience of plants and animals to the laws of their kinds, are all His never ceasing handiwork. With regard to man, he is the soul of the world the microcosm. While other creatures reflect only single divine attributes, man reflects them all. He is an epitome of the universe, and so by introspec- tion he may see in himself reflections of all the divine attributes of the " fulness of the Godhead. His object therefore should be to purge away this non-existent corrupt side of himself, which holds him back from union.

And, union once attained, thought is no longer possible, for thought implies duality. To "travel into self" means " introrsum ascendere," -to journey out of the phenomenal non-existent self into the real self, which is one with " The Truth. These journeys are called the "journey up to God" and the "journey down from God in God," and are a sort of circuit, and he who completes the circuit is the " perfect man. But if he attends to the promptings of Divine grace and light in his soul, he repents, and is converted, and journeys up to God, effacing self-will, self-knowledge, and his entire phenomenal corrupt self-existence ; and purifying his nobler part from the stain of externality, he ascends in spirit to heaven, and is united in spirit with " The Truth.

But the " perfect man " must not pause in this estatic union, which is above all laws. Notwithstanding this exaltation he must journey down again to the phenomenal world, in and along with God, and in this downward journey he must conform to outward laws and creeds.

His sanctification must bring forth the outward fruit of good works. The law is as a husk, and the holy state of identity with " The Truth " the kernel; and when the kernel is ripe it bursts the husk.

But the perfect man must not rest or abide in this ecstatic state of! The man who knows this secret that all things are One dies to self, and lives, with regenerate heart, in God. He sweeps away all that comes between God and the soul, and "breaks through to the 1 Another caution, insisted on as well by the Sufis as by European mystics, is that the vagaries of the " inner light " must be checked by recourse to the advice of the Pir, or " Spiritual Director. Xlll oneness," 1 as Eckart said.

Good works, it is true, raise men to a 'laudable station,' but so long as division and duality and 'self remain, true mystical union of knower and known is not attained.


Encyclopædia Iranica

It is therefore unlikely that he was in actual need of an answer, or that he should have breached Sufi etiquette with an attempt to test the credentials of his colleagues in Tabriz. His intention was most probably to initiate a scholarly interchange by eliciting the composition of precisely the type of work that did emerge in response to his questions. Closeness and distance, increase and decrease, all arise from the manifestation of being in the realm of non-being, i. He provides answers to nine of the original fifteen questions, in some cases expanding them with two or more verses of his own composition. The text, translations, and commentaries. Lahore, ; ed.


The Mystic Rose Garden (Gulshan-i Raz)


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