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Hafez

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Poems & Fal

Birth:

Date:

Sometime between the years 1310-1325 a.d. or 712-727 A.H. The most probable date is either 1320, or 1325 a.d.

Place:

Shiraz, in South-central Iran
Name Shamseddin Mohammad
Family:

Pen-Name

Hafez or Hafez (a title given to those who memorize the Koran by heart. It is said that Hafez had done this in fourteen different ways).

Full Title

Khajeh Shamseddin Mohammad Hafez-s Shirazi
Other spelling variations are:
Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi,
or Khwaje Shams ud-Din Mohammed Hafez-e Shirazi

Father:

Baha-ud-Din
Brothers: He had two older brothers
Spouse: Hafez married in his twenties, even though he continued his love for Shakh-e Nabat, as the manifest symbol of her Creator's beauty.

Children:

Hafez had one child.
Important Events:
Teens He memorized the Koran by listening to his father's recitations of it. He also memorized many of the works of his hero, Saadi, as well as Attar, Rumi and Nizami.
Teens His father, a coal merchant died, leaving him and his mother with much debt. Hafez and his mother went to live with his uncle (also called Saadi). He left day school to work in a drapery shop and later in a bakery.
Age 21
(1341 ad)
While still working at the bakery, Hafez delivered bread to a wealthy quarter of town and saw Shakh-e Nabat, a young woman of incredible beauty. Many of his poems are addressed to Shakh-e Nabat.
Age 21 In pursuit of reaching his beloved, Hafez kept a forty day and night vigil at the tomb of Baba Kuhi. After successfully attaining this, he met Attar and became his disciple.
Early twenties to early thirties Became a poet of the court of Abu Ishak. Gained much fame and influence in Shiraz. This was the phase of "Spiritual Romanticism" in his poetry.
Age 33 Mubariz Muzaffar captured Shiraz, and ousted Hafez from his position as a teacher of Koranic studies at the college.At this time he wrote protest poems.
Age 38 Shah Shuja toppled Mubariz Muzaffar, his tyrant father and re-instated Hafez. He began his phase of subtle spirituality in his poetry.
Early forties Falling out of favor with Shah Shuja.
Age 48 Hafez fled Shiraz for his safety, and went into self-imposed exile in Isfahan. His poems mainly talk of his longing for Shiraz, for Shakh-e Nabat, and for his spiritual Master, Attar (not the famous Farid-uddin Attar of Neishabour - who predates Hafez by a couple of centuries - but the lesser known Attar of Shiraz).
Age 52 At the invitation of Shah Shuja, he ended his exile and returned to Shiraz. He was re-instated to his post at the College.
Age 60 Longing to be united with his Creator, he began a forty day and night vigil by sitting in a circle that he had drawn himself.
Age 60 On the morning of the 40th day of his vigil, which was also  the 40th anniversary of meeting his Master Attar, he went to his Master, and upon drinking a cup of wine that Attar gave him, he attained Cosmic Consciousness or God-Realization.
Sixties In this phase, up to the age of 69 when he died, Hafez composed more than half of his ghazals., and continued to teach his small circle of disciples. His poetry at this time, talk with the authority of a Master who is united with God.
Poetry:
Divan-e-Hafez It contains some 500 ghazals, 42 Rubaiyees, and a few Ghaseedehs, composed over a period of 50 years. Hafez would start versifying only when he was divinely inspired, and therefore he averaged only about 10 Ghazals per year. His focus was to write poetry worthy of the Beloved.
Compiler of Divan Hafez did not compile his poetry. Mohammad Golandaam, who also wrote a preface to his compilation, completed it in 813 A.H or 1410 A.D., some 21-22 years after Hafez's death.

Another compiler of Hafez's poetry was Sayyid Kasim-e Anvarone, of his young disciples , who collected 569 Ghazals attributed to Hafez. He died in 1431 A.D. some 42-43 years after Hafez's death.

Death:

Date:

Late 1388 or early 1389 A.D., or 791 A.H. at the age of 69.

Place:

Shiraz
Tomb: In Musalla Gardens, along the banks of Ruknabad river in Shiraz, which is referred to as Hafezieh.
Controversy: The orthodox clergy who always opposed Hafez, refused to allow him to have a Muslim burial. Yet his grass-roots support among the people of Shiraz created an atmosphere of conflict.
The Oracle: To resolve the controversy, they decided to use Hafez's poetry, by dividing his ghazals into couplets, and asking a young boy to draw a couplet. It was agreed that however the couplet directed them, they would all consent to follow.

The couplet that was chosen was verse 7 of Ghazal #79, which was a tongue-in-cheek response from Hafez to the orthodox clergy. It reads:

Neither Hafez’s corps, nor his life negate,
With all his misdeeds, heavens for him wait.

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To this day, Hafez's Divan (Poetry) is utilized as an Oracle to give guidance to our questions, and direction to realize our wishes.

After His Death:

What others say about Hafez: Goethe:  In his poetry Hafez has inscribed undeniable truth indelibly ... Hafez has no peer!

Emerson: Hafez defies you to show him or put him in a condition inopportune or ignoble ... He fears nothing. He sees too far; he sees throughout; such is the only man I wish to see or be.

Edward Fitzgerald:  The best musician of Words.

Gertrude Bell:  It is as if his mental eye; endowed with wonderful acuteness of vision, had penetrated into those provinces of thought which we of a later age were destined to inhabit.

A. J. Arberry:  ... Hafez is as highly esteemed by his countrymen as Shakespeare by us, and deserves as serious consideration.

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