Vol. 1, v. 7-14
My secret and my moans are not that far apart
However the eye and ear have no such light
سِرِّ من از نالۀ من دور نیست لیکْ چشمُ وُ گوش را آنْ
Every person can be cognized according to their speech since all the
external deeds and motions of a person are the results of the varying
internal states of Nafs (Self).
Rumi believes that a person’s speech
and deeds are indeed eyewitness to the nature of his soul and that we
can uncover what is hidden within
the speaker though
listening to his speech. This is one of the key psychological aspects
Rumi’s Masnavi which has been mentioned in more than one
There has to be a ‘relationship’ between a Mudrik (Understander) and
what he understands.
The above statement in the language of Whitehead’s is phrased as
follows: "There has to be a vectorial link between a subject prehending
(Mudrik or Prehender) and an entity (data)". This vectorial link is
The five senses also do prehend
e.g. teh ear prehends sound and the eye
prehends shapes and colors and the tongue prehends tastes.
Similarly the spiritual affairs are prehended by the spiritual Mudrik
(Prehender, subject of a prehension) e.g. the mind’s prehension of
imaginary immaterial entities.
That is how the inner secrets of a person can (indirectly) be prehended
via his speech and actions, since the five senses have no prehension
what is within a person.
Body from the soul and soul from the body is not veiled
However no one has a vision to view the soul whatsoever
تْن زِ جانُ وُ جانْ زِ تنْ مستور نیست لیکْ کس را
ديدِ جانْ دستورْ نيست
Soul here means the human soul which is a Jauhar (Intrinsic
Essence) denudated from all
else (specially the body), yet the body is under the Soul’s complete
control wherein the soul is the Mudrik (Prehender)
for all pleasures.
body is a machine whose operator/driver are the soul's wishes; whatever
is done by the body is in reality the effect of
the soul upon it therefore we might say: The Soul prehends (Idrak) the
body and the body has some understanding of the soul and neither is
veiled from the other.
Returning to the first verse of this write-up which speaks of the moan
of sorrowful songs, we see that Rumi is saying that on the surface of
these are moans but in reality these moans are sounded by the influence
of no other than his soul. Therefore the ‘secret’ of the verse is his
soul while the moans are his body. He observes that not every
eye is capable of linking his moans to his soul i.e. the soul is the
mover of the body and body is the Muzhir (Place for the manifestation
something) for his soul.
This tune of the Nay (Reed-flute)
is by no wind, just by fire
And whoever has no such fire, then cease and be gone!
آتش است این بانگِ نایُ وُ نیست باد هر که این
آتش ندارد نیست باد
Bād: The breath that is blown
into the flute, the wind.
Nist: Negation in the first
verse and non-being (ceasing) in the second wind.
The tune of the Nay (Reed-flute)
is the fire for it flares off the
Love) and sets the listener afire. This could also
refer to the Sama’ (The Sufi Dance) which was used to cleanse the
souls from all pollutants and opacities. Just like the fire which
and cleans what it comes close to, this Sufi fire burns the desires and
whims within the Sufi dancer, a charring which prepares the heart for
reception of the unseen Warid (Divine inspiration entering the heart)
and the rays of the Haqiqat (Absolute Truth and Reality). This is
because from the point of view of the Sufi the heart without Ishq
Love) and the soul without Mahab-bat (Divine
nothing but an inanimate object, and the person who has no Dhauq (Taste
of spiritual experiences) is no different from the beasts and
livestock. Such a person might
as well be dead and gone, as was versed in the second verse .
Within the Nay (Reed-flute)
it is the fire of love
Within the wine it is the hubble-bubble of love
that has fallen
آتشِ عشقست کاندر نَی فُتاد جوشِشِ عشقست کاندر
Some of the ancient sages, as well as some Sufis, believed that
Love) is what is running like a current within all
creatures and that since there is no creature that does not seek its
perfection and completeness, the unary mover of all such motions
towards Kamal (Perfection) is love
Ibn Sina has explicated this in great details as an answer to Abu
Addullah Faqih Ma’soumi (Murdered by the command of Mahmoud Ghaznawi in
the city of Ray (close the Tehran) at 420 HQ) in the treatise title
Ishq (Risala Fi Al-Ishq). Sadred-Din Shirazi has also summarized Ibn
Sina’s explanation in his book Al-Asfar Al-Arba’a under the title
(Dara: Hayula is the
universal substance which all other entities are built from)
in Sufi literature means Divine
Knowledge (gnosis) or deep
of something absorbed within the heart. This code-word was not
first coined by the Sufis, it is found in the verse of the Qur’an: "And
their hearts drank
of the calf " [Qur'an: 2:93], referring to the
the calf in the absence of Moses. In the language of the Arabs,
"wine" is used to refer to knowledge and understanding which deeply
ooze into the human being like a cloth dipped into a
dye, absorbing the colorants. In this case, it has nothing to do with
alcoholic beverages and is not an invention of alcoholic sufi-likes.
This Rahi (Author) suggests to the Western Murids (Seekers of the
Divine) not to accept the substance abuse suggestion of the alcoholic
few that roam around and claim to be Sufi Sheikhs.
The Nay (Reed-flute)
is the companion of whomever suffered a loss,
Its melodic notes have our veils torn up
نَی حریفِ هر که از یاری بُرید پردها اَش پردهایِ ما درید
Harif: Coworker; metaphorically
used for a companion or a friend.
Pardeh: Like the seven notes of
Western music; however it also could mean a limited
set of standard rhymes/notes.
Pardeh Daridan: To tear up the
veils metaphorically means: the secrets of someone, hijab in
A Nay (Reed-flute)
that was chopped off the marsh-reed and carried far
away from the other reeds is the metaphor for a lover that is without
his beloved who is very far and out of reach; the tunes of this Nay
soothe the heart of such a lover who is suffering from
loss. When these tunes excite such an audience of lovers, a myriad of
different states appear within the hearts of the lovers, plain and
manifest, as though the veils were tore off their hearts which are thus
The Nay (Reed-flute)
exposes the private/concealed sorrows of those
Like unto this Nay’s
venom and antidote, who has seen anything similar!
Like unto this Nay’s
solace and yearning, who has seen anything
همچو نَی زهریُ وُ تِریاقی کِیْ دید همچو نَی دمسازُ وُ
مشتاقی کِیْ دید
Note: The Rahi (Author) read the Kay as Keh in
order to fit the rhyme of the verses.
Teryāq: A composite antidote to
treat venomous bites. From the original Greek,
it has entered Farsi as Tariāk referring to an organic extract or to a
Damsāz: The soulmate who offers
companionship and solace to a friend.
Mushtāq: In Arabic it is an
Ism-Fa’il (A doer-name) i.e. yearner in tumultuous excitement within
yearning to see the lost beloved.
As was explained earlier, the tunes of the Nay (Reed-flute)
the flames of sorrow within the hearts of the lovers or offer soothing
relief. Sufis believe that if Sama’ (The Sufi Dance) is
performed as a part of desires and lusts ( like a regular dance in
a night club), it causes much harm and is nothing but a poison. When
properly performed, it is like an antidote for the ailing hearts
from the venomous bites of loss of a dear beloved.
The home of the Nay are
the lips, where the moans are made…
The tales of the bloodied path, the Nay (Reed-flute)
The tales of the crazy love of Majnun, the
نَی حدیثِ راهِ پر خونْ می کند قصهایِ عشقِ مجنونْ می کند
Rāh-eh Por Khoun: The bloodied
path refers to the path of Ishq (Unrestrained
Love) where unnumbered
lovers are slaughtered and left to bleed:
Do not ask me about the secrets within that house;
Other than blood upon the door and doorway see and question not!
Sindbad Nameh, Istanbul p. 190
Mahram for this consciousness is unconsciousness and none else
The border guard has no customer other than the ear and none else
مَحْرَمِ این هوشْ جز بیهوشْ نیست مرزبانْ را
مشتری جز گوشْ نیست
Mahram: The person allowed to
see or accompany a family member according to Shar' e.g. the father or
brother of a
Muslim woman, while all other men are forbidden from her direct
Housh: Rapid Idrak
the power that makes something Mudrik (Subject of a
prehension). This Rahi (Author) translated this word into consciousness
Bi-Housh: Someone whose
consciousness is ailing or suffering from the drunkenness, unable to
act consciously with intelligence and deliberation. This refers to
someone who has given up the benefits of the life of this world
and who is considered gullible or stupid by common people:
“The majority of the people of the Paradise are Al-Bulh” said the
Prophet, peace be upon him. Al-Bulh is the plural of Ablah and this is
the person who is completely neglectful of evil (i.e. does no evil) and
his/her nature is inclined towards goodness. Or someone who is
conquered by a salubrious bosom i.e. always suspects the good in
people, totally neglecting this world.
الإصدار 3,22 - لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> باب: حرف الدال
4187 - دخلت الجنة فإذا أكثر أهلها البله
["البله": جمع أبله، وهو الغافل عن الشر، المطبوع على الخير. أو من غلبت
عليه سلامة الصدر، فحسن ظنه بالناس، فأغفل أمر دنياه، فجهل حذق التصرف
فيها. فلذلك كانوا أكثر أهلها.
(وانظر شرح الحديث 1379)]ـ
التخريج (مفصلا): ابن شاهين في الأفراد، وابن عساكر عن جابر
تصحيح السيوطي: ضعيف
This word refers to the situation wherein unless a lover has given up
own Self and its interests, in no way can he comprehend the moans of
the Nay (Reed-flute).
In the second verse the border-guard is of the Pir (Wise Sage) of the
Persian Sufis or the Sufi Sheikh, to whom the people go to listen to
wise advice and admonishment.
2007-2002, Dara O. Shayda, Dr. Hind Rifai