Mahmud Shabistari (1288 – 1340) is one of the most celebrated Sufi poets of the 14th century. He lived in Persia during the region’s Mongol invasions, a divisive and brutal period.
Shabistari’s most well-known work is a mystic text called “The Secret Rose Garden”, written in rhyming couplet. The work describes self-realization (mystical consciousness) and was written in response to seventeen queries concerning Sufi metaphysics posed to “the Sufi literati of Tabriz”” by Rukh Al Din Amir Husayn Harawi, a great figure of the time. Among Shabistari’s other works are The Book of Felicity and The Truth of Certainty about the Knowledge of the Lord of the Worlds.
Mahmud Shabistari advised that one should “Listen with faith to the call: ‘In all truth, I am God.’” He described his mystical awareness as follows:
“He who knows Reality, to whom Unicity [(oneness)] is revealed
Sees at first gaze the Light of Being;
He perceives by illumination that pure light;
He sees God first in everything he sees.
Abstraction is the condition of authentic thought
For then the lighting of divine succor [(relief)] illumines us.”
Quoted by Andrew Harvey from The Essential Mystics: The Soul’s Journey into Truth.
Image Credit: Mahmud Shabistari from www.poetry-chaikhana.com.
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