Hafez, detail of an illumination in a Persian manuscript of the Divan of Hafez, 18th century
|Birth||c. 1310/1337 CE|
|School/tradition||Persian poetry, Persian Mysticism, Irfan|
|Main interests||Poetry, Mysticism, Sufism, Metaphysics, ethics|
|Notable ideas||Hafez's work has been translated by a number of major Western poets|
Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, or simply Hāfez (Persian: خواجه شمسالدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), was a Persian mystic and poet. Persian literature ( spans two and a half millennia though much of the pre- Islamic material has been lost Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity Irfan also spelt eerfan ( Arabic / Persian / Urdu: عرفان) literally means knowing. Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life layout and formatting it should ensure no clashes with the top of the infobox Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity A poet is a person who writes Poetry. Etymology From the Ancient greek: ποιέω, poieō: "I make or compose" He was born sometime between the years 1310 and 1337 in Shiraz, Medieval Persia. Shiraz ( شیراز Shīrāz) is the fifth most populated city in Iran and the capital of Fars Province. The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia John Payne, who has translated the Diwan Hafez, regards Hafez as the greatest poet of the world. John Payne (1842 - 1916 was an English Poet and translator, from Devon. 
His lyrical poems, known as ghazals, are noted for their beauty and bring to fruition the love, mysticism, and early Sufi themes that had long pervaded Persian poetry. In Poetry, the ghazal ( Arabic / Persian / Urdu: غزل; Hindi: ग़ज़ल Turkish gazel) is a Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف Persian literature ( spans two and a half millennia though much of the pre- Islamic material has been lost Moreover, his poetry possessed elements of modern surrealism. Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early-1920s and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members 
Very little credible information is known about Hafez's life, particularly its early part; there is a great deal of more or less mythical anecdote. Judging from his poetry, he must have had a good education, or else found the means to educate himself. Scholars generally agree on the following:
His father Baha-ud-Din is said to have been a coal merchant who died when Hafez was a child, leaving him and his mother in debt. Merchants function as professionals who deal with Trade, dealing in commodities that they do not produce themselves in order to produce Profit. It seems probable that he met with Attar of Shiraz (Zayn al-Attar), a somewhat disreputable scholar, and became his disciple. Ali ibn Husayn Ansari Shirazi, known as Hajji Zayn al-‘Attar, was a 14th century Persian physician DISCiPLE, Miles Gordon Technology 's first product was a Floppy disk interface for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer He is said to have later become a poet in the court of Abu Ishak, and so gained fame and influence in his hometown. It is possible that Hafez gained a position as teacher in a Qur'anic school at this time.
In his early thirties Mubariz Muzaffar captured Shiraz and seems to have ousted Hafez from his position. Hafez apparently regained his position for a brief span of time after Shah Shuja took his father, Mubariz Muzaffar, prisoner. Shah Shuja was a 14th-century Muzaffarid ruler of Southern Iran. But shortly afterwards Hafez was forced into self-imposed exile when rivals and religious characters he had criticized began slandering him. Another possible cause of his disgrace can be seen in a love affair he had with a beautiful woman, Shakh-e Nabat. Hafez fled from Shiraz to Isfahan and Yazd for his own safety. Esfahān or Isfahan (historically also rendered as Ispahan or Hispahan, Old Persian: Aspadana, Middle Persian: Spahān Yazd (pronounced /jæzd/ (In Persian: یزد is the capital of Yazd province, "the second most ancient and historic city in the world" and a centre
At the age of fifty-two, Hafez once again regained his position at court, and possibly received a personal invitation from Shah Shuja, who pleaded with him to return. He obtained a more solid position after Shah Shuja's death, when Shah Shuja ascended the throne for a brief period, before being defeated and killed by Tamerlane. Shah Shuja was a 14th-century Muzaffarid ruler of Southern Iran. Timur also written Emir Timur or Amir Temur ( Chagatai: تیمور - Tēmōr " Iron " (1336 – 19 February 1405 among
When an old man, he apparently met Tamerlane to defend his poetry against charges of blasphemy.
It is generally believed that Hafez died at the age of 69. His tomb is located in the Musalla Gardens of Shiraz (referred to as Hafezieh). Shiraz ( شیراز Shīrāz) is the fifth most populated city in Iran and the capital of Fars Province.
Hafez took ear to his immense popularity during his lifetime, and agreed with many others (then and now) when he wrote:
Translation by Edward Granville Browne
Many semi-miraculous mythical tales were woven around Hafez after his death. Edward Granville Browne (1862&ndash1926 born in Stouts Hill, Uley, Gloucestershire, England was a British Orientalist who published Four of them are:
With Samarkand being Timur's capital and Bokhara his kingdom's finest city. Samarkand (Samarqand Самарқанд سمرقند UniPers: "Samarqand" is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Timur also written Emir Timur or Amir Temur ( Chagatai: تیمور - Tēmōr " Iron " (1336 – 19 February 1405 among Bukhara (Buxoro Бухоро بُخارا Бухара also spelled as Bukhoro and Bokhara, from the Soghdian βuxārak ("lucky "With the blows of my lustrous sword," Timur complained, "I have subjugated most of the habitable globe. . . to embellish Samarkand and Bokhara, the seats of my government; and you, would sell them for the black mole of belle of Shiraz!". Hafez, so the tale goes, bowed deeply and replied "Alas, O Prince, it is this prodigality which is the cause of the misery in which you find me".
So surprised and pleased was Timur with this response that he dismissed Hafez with handsome gifts.
Translated by Clarence Streit
Not much acclaimed in his own day and often exposed to the reproaches of orthodoxy, he greatly influenced subsequent Persian poets and has become the most beloved poet of Persian culture. Clarence Kirschmann Streit (name rhymes with "fight" ( January 21, 1896 California Missouri - July 6, 1986 Washington It is said that if there is one book in a house where Persian is spoken, it will be the Qur'an; if two, the Qur'an and the Divan of Hafez. Much later, the work of Hafez would leave a mark on such important Western writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Goethe. Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25 1803 &ndash April 27 1882 was an American essayist philosopher poet and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfgaŋ fɔn ˈgøːtə (in English generally ˈgɝːtə 28 August 1749 22 March 1832 was a German writer His work was first translated into English in 1771 by William Jones. Year 1771 ( MDCCLXXI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a William Jones is the name of Academics and authors William Jones (mathematician (1675&ndash1749 Welsh mathematician who proposed the use of
There is no definitive version of his collected works (or diwan); editions vary from 573 to 994 poems. Diwan ( Persian دیوان also transliterated as Deewan or Divan, is a Persian word used also into Arabic (الدیوان and Turkish In Iran, his collected works have come to be used as an aid to popular divination. Divination (from Latin divinare "to be inspired by a god" related to Divine, Diva and Deus) is the attempt of ascertaining Only since the 1940s has a sustained scholarly attempt - by Mas'ud Farzad, Qasim Ghani and others in Iran - been made to authenticate his work, and remove errors introduced by later copyists and censors. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. However, the reliability of such work has been questioned (Michael Hillmann in 'Rahnema-ye Ketab' No. 13 (1971), "Kusheshha-ye Jadid dar Shenakht-e Divan-e Sahih-e Hafez"), and in the words of Hafez scholar Iraj Bashiri. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Iraj Bashiri (born July 31, 1940) is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota USA and one of the leading scholars in the fields of Central Asian . . . "there remains little hope from there (i. e. : Iran) for an authenticated diwan".
The history of the translation of Hafez has been a complicated one, and few English translations have been truly successful, in large part due to the fact that the figurative gesture for which he is most famous is ambiguity, and therefore interpreting of him correctly requires intuitive perception. Most recently, The Gift: Poems by Hafez the Great Sufi Master, a collection of poems by Daniel Ladinsky published in 1999 by Penguin Books, has been both commercially successful and a source of controversy. Daniel Ladinsky is an American poet best known for his interest in spiritual traditions around the world particularly Hinduism, Islam and Sufism. Ladinsy does not speak or read Persian, and critics such as Murat Nemet-Nejat, a poet, essayist and translator of modern Turkish poetry, have asserted that his translations are Ladinsky's own inventions. 
Though Hafez’s poetry is influenced by his Islamic faith, he is widely respected by Hindus, Christians and others. For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. The Indian sage of Iranian descent Meher Baba, who syncretized elements of Sufism, Hinduism and Christian mysticism, would recite Hafez's poetry until his dying day. Meher Baba ( Devanāgarī: मेहेर बाबा) (February 25 1894 Merwan Sheriar Irani – January 31 1969 was an Indian mystic and spiritual Christian Mysticism is traditionally practised through the disciplines of Prayer (including oratio meditation and Contemplation 
The (instructive) poetry of Sufi schools (for reasons shared with other hermetic schools), liberally employ metaphorical language to mask the real meaning intended for a select audience, under a strict pedagogical spiritual regime in which the seeker is (sometimes literally) subject to the Pir or Master.
Hafez's poetry is no exception in this regard and is heavily laced with coded phrases (wine, wind, hand), objects and instruments (cups, reeds, harps), places and occupants (tavern, winekeeper, cup-bearer), and of course a variety of flowers and birds (rose, narcissus, nightingale),etc.
Various content matter directly fix the semantic context of his work in both the Abrahamic traditions and Scripture, and, related metaphysical schools (specially references to Maghaan, or the Magi). The Magi (singular Magus, from Latin via Greek μάγος; Old English: Mage; from Persian maguš and Kurdish It is, simply, the Grail Quest, with special shifts in symbolism based on the (overtly) Muslim point of view of the author. The cup, cup-bearer, wine, and the tavern are frequent features of his poetry. Hafez also clearly subscribes to a notion of apparent and hidden (occult) 'Teaching', and in one part, even claims "he was crucified for disclosing secrets". One aspect of the genius of his work then was his ability to weave such understanding in verses that afforded a variety of meaning, from the base (debauchery) to the sublime (drinking the holy wine and entering into holy intoxication. )
An interesting and meaningful aspect of his work is that each poem contains his name. Sometimes 'Hafez' expresses an opinion, and sometimes, the learned voice of the meter instructs the author: "Oh Hafez, when you learn that your concern is the Wine and not the Cup, then will you become a King in both Realms".
Hafez expresses a strong statement regarding the illusory nature of our earthly existence. This existence is generally coded as 'veeraaneh' or 'the ruins', symbolizing the ultimate end of materiality. He then paints a picture of the seeker, himself, having 'homes' in both 'the ruins' and in the other realm. As a mystic, Hafez is a very interesting figure, displaying a restlessness in conjunction with his innate (spiritual) repose, which was literally manifested in his life in both his obsession (with the Houri of the ruins, Shakeh Nabat) and his steadfast resolve on the path. That he expects discipline from himself (and in his station of mystic tutorage of his readers) is clear: "Do not complain to us! The Kingdom for he who will work for it".
In sum, the work in toto represents a sort of spiritual autobiography, and a diary of the Sufi Path, written, in part, as an instructive manual to other 'winged' readers. And perhaps, this acceptance of his work as a veritable expression of a holistic event -- self realization -- is no doubt a basis for the (long standing) insistence by some of the uncanny oracular properties of the Diwan-e Hafez-e Shirazi, a cherished poet and inspired light of the Iranians. It is said in the legend that Hafez was promised immortality, in stead of Shakeh Nabaat. And as of now, it looks like the angel kept his word!
The reader may be interested to learn that Hafez himself announced to "Hafez" in many of his works, that regardless of his crimes, he will find a happy home in the Life beyond the ruins.
The following ghazal (# 360 per Mr. Shahriari) is a fitting summation of the 'works' of Hafez by Hafez himself, indicating a clear goal and function to his poetic output -- the office of the said activity being in the MeyKhaaneh (the tavern) -- and the happy news of the achievement of his primary purpose -- "returning" to his "home" and "birthplace" -- with help from the "minister" of the "king" of his Vataan (or nation):
گر از این مـنزل ویران بـه سوی خانـه روم
دگر آن جا کـه روم عاقـل و فرزانـه روم
زین سـفر گر به سلامت به وطـن بازرسـم
نذر کردم کـه هـم از راه بـه میخانـه روم
تا بگویم که چه کشفم شد از این سیر و سلوک
بـه در صومـعـه با بربـط و پیمانـه روم
آشـنایان ره عـشـق گرم خون بـخورند
ناکـسـم گر بـه شکایت سوی بیگانه روم
بـعد از این دست من و زلف چو زنـجیر نـگار
چـند و چـند از پی کام دل دیوانـه روم
گر بـبینـم خـم ابروی چو مـحرابـش باز
سـجده شـکر کـنـم و از پی شکرانه روم
خرم آن دم کـه چو حافـظ بـه تولای وزیر
سرخوش از میکده با دوست به کاشانـه روم
The meaning behind the poetry of Hafez must, as with all art, be decided by the patron and observer of the work. Though credited as being "The Interpreter of Mysteries," there remain many mysteries regarding Hafez that have yet to be solved. As the poet himself had said:
One of Hafez's greatest fondnesses was for wine, so when the Muzaffarids captured Shiraz in 1353 and declared prohibition it is no surprise that Hafez wrote a mournful elegy for the loss:
Translation by Edward Browne
Four years afterward, finding prohibition unfeasible for the wine-loving people of Shiraz, the ruler Shah Shuja repealed that act and for that reason Hafez immortalized his name in verse. Edward Granville Browne (1862&ndash1926 born in Stouts Hill, Uley, Gloucestershire, England was a British Orientalist who published Shah Shuja was a 14th-century Muzaffarid ruler of Southern Iran.
Of course, Hafez's fondness for wine was overshadowed by that of love:
Translation by Shahriar Shahriari.
The meaning of the poetry of Hafez must, as with all art, must be decided by the patron and observer of the work. Though credited as being "The Interpreter of Mysteries," there remain many mysteries regarding Hafez that have yet to be solved. As the poet himself had said:
As with many poets, there are also allusions to love for a beautiful boy, though it is not always clear whether these are based on life or on literary convention (ultimately derived from Theocritus):
Translation by Henry Wilberforce-Clarke
Twenty years after his death, an elaborate tomb (the Hafezieh) was erected to honor Hafez in the Musalla Gardens in Shiraz. Henry Wilberforce Clarke was the author of a critical translation of The Dīvān of Hafez, printed at his expense at the Central Press of the Government of India Calcutta Inside, Hafez's alabaster tombstone bore one of his poems inscribed upon it - "profoundly religious at last" (Durant):
Translation by Gertrude Bell
Nowadays, the Hafezieh is visited by millions each year and regarded by countless people to be a veritable shrine. Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell CBE ( July 14, 1868 – July 12, 1926) was a British writer traveller political analyst