Fihe Ma Fih     

The Cleansed Cup

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Humanity—likeness of being a human being—is that of a receptacle or a drinking cup, washing its exterior necessary while washing its interior a must, washing its exterior an ordinance while washing its interior a Divine Ordinance. Indeed Allah’s Sharāb (Drink) [1] pours forth not except within a cleansed cup, and therefore IT issued a command to wash the cups thoroughly since the place for the drink is the container’s interior space not its exterior surface.

Whomsoever his Nafs (Psyche) died and cleansed his Self from blameworthy behavior Wasl (Reaches) to Allah, God forbid! [2] Wasl (Reaching) the Tariq (Path) of Allah. If truly he understands, he reaches not Allah but indeed can only reach the path towards Allah. Otherwise he is lost not finding the path of Allah—The Praiseworthy One.

Allah holds responsible those who become adventurous around IT. “And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction[3] by listening to the words of those other than your Imam (Front Guide). Because it is not permissible for you to listen to the instructions of anyone other than your Morshid (Spiritual Guide), even if it was clear discussion, nothing but useless whispers—humiliation and disgrace and vanity.

Ma’refat (Divine Gnosis) is directly proportional to Spartan-ship of the person, the more the person is hardy & undaunted the more he is an ‘Āref (Divine Cognoscente). [4]

Words are the scent of the soul! If the words are the truth, but within the soul there is crookedness (dishonesty), then the words have the stench of crookedness. If the words are crooked, whilst within the soul there is truth, then the words have the fragrance of the truth. And if within there are no words, then the scent of wordlessness is smelled.



Your words are not the words of yours, they are the effervescence of what is within—Fragrance or stench. When they aerially leave your mouth, no longer something of yours indeed an acoustic arrow thrown at your Soul.

A Morshid (Spiritual Guide) listens not to your words, instead listens to your Soul. Know Dervish that your words are what is keeping you from the Path! Your words are not the same as your heart, though the Morshid (Guide) can smell their sounds to sense what is immured inside.

You may be lying but your words redolent of the truth blooming within.
You may be saying the truth, but your words reek of the lies rotting within.
You may be silent, but so many may hear your silence aloud. 

[1] The first half of this speech is given in full Arabic!? In this book and in general in most of Rumi’s work this is rare. Perhaps there was a problem, perhaps someone Arab was addressed specifically or perhaps this was to speak with absolute precision about the Sufi verbiage of terms like Sharāb (Drink) or Wasl (Reaching, Connecting).

Sharāb (Drink)     (Lesānol ‘Arab, The Language of The Arab)

In Arabic the term “he drank the love of so and so” means to immix the love of that person in his heart or “his heart drank the love of so and so” and this drinking conveys the concept of dissolving love within someone’s heart as though a container. As was revealed, “And they (followers of Moses) had to drink into their hearts the calf" (Koran [2:93]) namely the love of the calf. There is no way the calf can be drunk, in other words the love of the calf was a drink to immix in their hearts so to say and the word love is omitted.

“His heart was given the drink of enmity” means repeatedly he hated (exposed to what he hated) in his heart like repeatedly irrigating a field or giving water to someone.

When someone says, “I drank water and consequently satiated by this drinking” is similar to the drinking of the heart as such i.e. the place for the drink (to satiate, to dip in to wet) or to immix same as mixing the dye with the fabric, as was conveyed in the Hadith (Prophet Narration) by Abu Bakr, “His heart (Prophet?) drank the compassion” i.e. his heart was dyed with compassion like a fabric immersed within a dye solution.

Drinking also means understanding as was said by Abu ‘Amr. He finished drinking a drink means he understood. (I am pretty sure about this translation but needs more attention to make sure it is correct, Translation?)

As one reads through these description almost verbatim Rumi was describing the human heart in the context of the Arabic word Sharāb (Drink) and perhaps that is why that part of the text was in full Arabic.


[2] There is a history of misguided and lost Sufis who talked about ‘reaching IT’. Rumi talks like them and then yells the phrase “God Forbid”, apparently this was as speech he was giving and this was his way to attract the attention of the audience. Therefore the Morid (Seeker) can only reach the beginning of the Path and s/he can never reach IT by no means possible. And as Rumi contributes the Morid (Seeker) needs the instructions of a Morshid (Guide) to find the beginning of the path. On the path there is no enough space for two people, so Morid (Seeker) walks alone without his/her Morshid (Guide) even without his/her own Nafs (Psyche).

[3]  “And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction” is verbatim from Koran [2:195]. This is a Sufi technique to juxtapose Koran in the Sufi text, this style is both used in poems as well as in prose. 

[4] Present understanding of an ‘Āref (Divine Cognoscente) is someone recluse with deep mysterious knowledge. Indeed as we read from Rumi as well as many other source, the ‘Āref (Divine Cognoscente) is a brave JawanMard (Spartan) ready to give up his life at any moment for any cause as long as his life would serve the needs or few friends of That Beloved. Sufi JawanMard (Spartan) does not fight with weapons, he does not fight along side anyone, he is invisible to his enemies until when his moment arrives—suddenly he can be seen—the enemy would rain him with bullets and like a bird he flies away from the broken cage of his body to his Beloved.

© 2004-2002,  Dara O. Shayda