Love – in the poems of Hafiz


Ḵᵛāja Šams-al-Din Moḥammad Širāzi (b. Shiraz ca. 715/1315; d. Shiraz ca. 792/1390) is one of the greatest poets of Persia with perhaps a more profound effect on Persian life and culture in general than any other, not excepting such great figures as Ferdowsi, Saʿdi, and Rumi. Hafiz had memorized the whole Qur’an, which can be seen in his poetry. investigation

In this article, we briefly pay attention to some aspects of love in Hafiz’s ‘Divan’, from the perspective of truth and permissibility, and their relationship with human and divine love.

Hafiz’s poetry is still relevant centuries after it was written; perhaps this is because of his focus on the concept of love.  we can say with courage that this Muslim poet’s worldview was love, though undoubtedly, he is not the first person to deal with the concept of love. Indeed, it is narrated in a hadith from the Prophet of Islam that: ‘One who falls in love and stays chaste and hides his love and then dies. He is a martyr.’ (Rūzbehān,1987, p142)

In Hafiz’s poetry however, love oscillates between virtual (human) love and divine love.

For example, here, the Sufi poet mentions an earthly concept of love: “If that Turkish One of Shiraz would take this heart in hand, for that One’s Hinduish mole l’d barter Bokhara, Samarkand.”(Smith, 2016, Gazals No: 8) In this poem, he talks about his love for a woman, and that for this love he is willing to donate two of the most important cities of his time.

Elsewhere he looks at love from a divine perspective: ‘From that one manifestation in the mirror of your face’s beauty, all this various imagination that is a mirror of mind’s design, fails’. (Smith, 2016, Gazals No: 179)

In this poem, Hafiz says that as soon as ‘God’s beauty was reflected in the mirror of the human heart, everyone creates an image of it in his mind’. From these images, various thoughts about religions emerge. It is as if Hafiz accepts that differences in religions are natural and should be tolerated by human beings.

Regarding Hafiz, it can be said that although he has dealt with human love, in fact, his attention to human love is for him to show us the love of God. An ascetic may consider human love as a trap from the devil; unable to imagine how avoiding human love actually distances them from the loving God. In one of his poems, Hafiz speaks of a kind of pure mysticism, but he narrates it using love, beauty and manifestation.

He says: ‘In Eternity beyond time, Your radiant beauty, glorification struck; then love revealed itself and with its fire all of the creation struck’ (Smith, 2016, Gazals No: 186).

He shows that love is an advantage that distinguishes humanity from the rest of the universe. From this perspective, the beauty of God comes from His manifestation. It is from this beauty that love is found in the world. The relationship between love and beauty in this poem by Hafiz connects the human aspect of beauty with the divine aspect of love.

In one of his most famous poems, Hafiz says that love can seem easy in the beginning, but it can create some problems later: ‘Hey Winebringer, circulate, offer the cup this way; for love at first seemed easy, now problems come to stay’.(Smith, 2016, Gazals No: 1)

In this poem, it is as if the poet wants to forget the hardships caused by love with the help of wine. But if the same butler represents a person who connects him with the world of mysticism, does not asking for wine from him mean that he seeks help from a butler or liaison with the world of mysticism to ward off the hardships of love? So, if his love is also mystical, it seems that the poet seeks treatment from someone who has been involved in his falling into love problems. The gazal really represents a romantic world that has its own complexities.

In this article, we have briefly showed how the concept of love in Hafiz’s poetry moves between human and divine love, and we also showed that this movement is more towards divine love in his poetry.

F Yasini

List of References

 Zarrinkoob, Abdolhossein. )1985). “Az Kuche-ye Rendan”. Tehran. p179 -189.

Khorramshahi, B. (2000).”Discourses on the culture-inspiring aspects of the Holy Qur’an”. Tehran. p101.

Smith, Paul. (2016). “Divan of Hafiz”, Gazals No: 85 (Love will hear your heart cry out and will come to you, if like Hafiz your heart knows the Koran completely, fourteen versions as well).

Baqlī Šīrāzī, Rūzbehān. (1987) “Le Jasmin des Fidèles d’amour (Ketāb ʿabhar al-ʿāšeqīn)”, published with two introductions and a translation of the first chapter by Henry Corbin and Moḥammad Moʿīn . Tehran and Paris. p142.