Where is my Beloved?
O! Breeze this dawn the
sanctuary of the Beloved
The hearth of that skilled
Whoever entered this world
forsooth withers and decays
In the ruins of this tavern
please tell me the soberness
The harbinger points with
metaphors and paradigms
Wisdom is abound but the
treasurer of the secrets
Each follicle of my hair midst
a thousand dramas with You
Lost we are and that vain
perpetual blamer and scolder
Again asked the love’s waved
locks of tresses
This broken sorrowful heart
wandering in trouble
Mind is maddened, the lover’s
musky braids where?
Hearts forsaken us the eyebrow
of the heartthrob
The cupbearer, musicians and
wine all here but
Partying without the lover no
pleasure, so my love
Suffer not from the Fall’s
gales upon the life’s savanna
Think straight! And tell me
again the thorn-less flowers
and moon-faced are the Farsi expressions for extreme of beauty for a
loved one perhaps a very close and intimate loved one.
Hafiz calls the perpetual hazy process of annihilation of this world as
a form of drunkenness for humanity. So he considers this world as a
tavern, which the Sufis call the Kharaabaat (Ruins) where the person is
intoxicated to death by the throes of destructions or by the love of
the Beloved. Hafiz used the Koranic perspectives of drunken destruction
as the theme here:
[15:72], “Verily, by thy life (O Prophet), in their wild intoxication,
they wander in distraction, to and fro” the story of Prophet Lut Peace
Be Upon Him and intoxication here is his people’s wallowing in sexual
[50:19], “And the stupor (drunkenness) of death will bring Truth
(before his eyes): "This was the thing which thou wast trying to
escape!"” Referring to the drunken state prior to death as a force to
remove the veils so the human being can see the truth.
[22:2], “The Day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget
her suckling- babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load
(unformed): thou shalt see mankind as in a drunken riot, yet not drunk:
but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah.” Intoxication in droves
moments prior to seeing the Creator.
Hafiz is not referring to the
wine and drunkenness due to alcohol consumption. Many Iranians in order
to justify drinking and partying they intentionally misinterpret these
verses. The religious clerics did the same in order to discredit Hafiz
as a spiritual leader. Western Sufis should take heed and stay away
from such blatant fraud and slender.
Anyone can come up with a bunch of wise points and smart observations,
but the harbingers always point to somewhere else i.e. the direction of
the Beloved and point not at wisdom or some knowledge within this
world. Harbinger points away… At the other world.
 I am
not sure about the exact meaning here. He is in the midst of dramas
with the Divine Tester i.e. his hardship and struggles of the Path
(Tariqat) and people are blaming him for his trouble while his heart is
indeed very close to the Beloved whilst in turmoil.
does not know where he is in the universe? He has no clue about his
position in the cosmos or how he even got here or when. So Hafiz asks
these questions from the tresses i.e. Zolf which is a Koranic word for
accosting towards the Beloved. ‘waved’ means beautiful because anything
that brings you closer to the Beloved is indeed beautiful. Another
interpretation is that of being tangled within these tresses to be
firmly bound & saved from being lost and wandering.
of the lover is the code word for several Sufi concepts:
1. Eye is
under the cover of the eyebrow therefore the eyebrow is covering the
vision. Kamaal Khojandi said that usage of eyebrow is to indicate the
uncovering the secrets of Zhaat (Essence).
2. The oval
place of the worship for devout Muslims who often fixed special room
called Mihrab for prayers and it had an oval or semi-circle area where
the person places the head during the prostration. You find this
structure in most mosques as the picture shows. While the believer
performs the prayers Allah’s eye is upon him/her therefore the bow of
this structure us used as the metaphor of an eyebrow.
So Hafiz is wondering where is
this bow or eyebrow to pray in to get his prayers heard?
is trying to think straight: There is no flower without thorn i.e. all
pleasure in this life shall end with some sorrow and loss. One must not
be in sorrow, instead comprehend that this is the norm in human life.
Dara O. Shayda