saints, seventy in number, who are thougth to preside over the destinies
of the world.
Absál: the nurse of Salámán
in Jami's idyll Salámán and Absál,
typifying pofane love.
king of Persia.
name fo rthe Prophet Muhammed.
Akwan Dev: a
powerful demon, destroyed by Rustam.
alif: the first
letter of the Arabic alphabet, symblizing (on account of its shape)
a tall and erect stature.
poet of Bukhara, died A.D. 1148.
near Mecca, visited by the faithful during the pilgrimage.
'Asaf: King Solomon's
anniversary of the death of Hussain, son of Ali, the 9th or 10th
day of the month of Muharram.
region in Central Asia famous for its rubies.
king of Persia (Bahram Gur), famous for his addctioin to hunding
the wild ass.
Balkis: the Queen
Engl.: Gentleman) A general title of raunk, orginating from the
old Turkish word beg. It became synonymous with Arab title emir.
bulbul: the Persian
Engl.: poor) Dervish is the name used to denote a member of Islamic
order (tariqa) who lives a life of poverty under the leadership
of a sheikh (leader) and endeavors to minimize their bodily functions
through religious exercises, in order to release their souls of
all physical compusions. This includes 40-day periods of meditation
with fasting and little sleep and, in some orders, listening to
music and the dhikr, a combination of prayers and invocations of
Gog with physical movements.
dinar: gold coin.
king of persia.
'Eed, Iyd: Religious
fo the Princess Shirin, who dug through a huge moutain to attain
First Chapter: the
Fatiha, the opening Sura of the Koran.
gau: the bull,
Taurs, legendary creature on whose horns the earth is supposed to
Eng.: Story) The record of the Prophet's words and deeds, i.e. the
sunna. A hadith consists of two parts - the subject matter
(matn) and the chain of those passing on the trandition (isnad)
which returns entire content through eye witnesses and recounters
right back to the Prophet himself. Canonical credence has been accorded
to the hadith collections of al-Bukhari (d. 870) and Muslim (d.
875), which are called sahih or "sound" (term for perfect
Houri, huri: Houris
are paradisiacal virgins mentioned in Koran as a heavenly reward
to the pious, clothed-like all spirtual beings- in green garments.
Iram: fable gardens of ancient
son of Gushtasp, ancient Persina king.
Jamshyd, Jemshid: ancient
Persian king, possessor of a magic up in which he could see the
whole world mirrored.
Ka'ba: the sanctuary
of Mecca containing the famous Black Stone, where Muslim turn to
range supposed to encircle the earth.
Kai: royal title,
Kaikhosrú, Kia Khosrau:
cyrus, a great king.
Kais: old Arab
poet, lover of Lailá, called Majnún (Madman).
Kaiyumers, Kiumers: first
of the Pishdadi kings of Persia.
Káús, Kawou: ancient
king of Persia.
the Silent, is a sobriquet that Rumi often used in his poems. More
than a thousand poems end with reference to Shams and about five
hundres odes end with 'khamush'. 'Khamush' has many meanings in
Farsi: silent, mute, quiet, etc. Rumi makes reference to silence
because only silent contemplation can lead one to the Way of Sufis,
to self knowledge.
Khizar, Khizer, Hizir: mysterious
saint or prophet, chief minister to Alexander the Great, who discovered
the Water of Life. Khazir was a mysterious guide who first appears
in Koran XVIII 64 (not named, but identified by the commentators
as 'one of Our servants unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and
We had taught him knowledge proceeding from Us') as accompanying
Moses and doing strange things. The Sufis took him as the exempler
of the Shaikh who requires absolute and unquestioning obedience
of the disciple.
title, ancient Persian king.
name of God.
King's arrow: arrow
of the Pitcher,' title given by FitzGerald to a sequence of quatrains
from Omar Khayyám.
legendary fish on which the earth is said to rest.
famous king of Ghazna, conqueror of India.
given to Kais, the poet-lover of Laila.
Manuchehr: ancient Persian King.
to Islamic tradition is the ascend of Muhammad to heavens from the
Al Aksa mosque in Jerusalem.
Mosalla, Mosellay: celebrated
gardens of Shiráz.
functionary who call the faithful to prayer.
prophet defeated by the early Moslem champion Khalid.
Ney: reed flute
Night of Merit: the
27the of Ramadan, when the Koran is sadi to ahve descended from
heaaven and poweful spirits walk abroad.
moutainous region of Arabia.
father of Sám.
Parwin: the Pleiades.
pre-Islamic language of Persia.
of Rustam's famous horse.
of the Moslem fast.
Rocnabad, Ruknabad: famous
stream of Shiráz.
Room, Rum: Byzantium,
to his place of origin or birth, meaning from Rum (from Roman).
Ottomans named the Eastern Roman Empire as Rum. Since Rumi was born
in Balkh (Afganistan) he is often called Balkhi, over the years
Rumi has become more widely used than Balkhi. Rumi's original
name was Muhammad, he was given the title Jalal ( glory, splendour)
al-Din (of the religion) meaning the great of religion, later
he was also named Molana meaning lord, master.
Rustam, Rustem, Rustum:
son of Zál, celebrated persian hero.
wine-bearer, sometimes symbolizing the creative spirit
of Jami's Salámán and Absál, symbolizing
the human soul questing reunion with God.
Sám, Saum: grandfather
son of King Kaiyumers.
Persian princess, beloved by Ferhad.
Sulayman, Suliman: Solomon.
Symurgh, Semurgh: the
fabulous griffin in Attar's Bird-Parliament symbolizing the
Spirit of God; in Firdausi's Shahnama the foster-father and
teacher of Zál.
Tabriz's Sun: Shams-i
Tabriz, the teacher of Rumi.
mother of Sohráb.
Water of Life: fabulous
fountain conferring immortality.
Zuhrah: the planet
Zikr, dhikr: means
remembrance. In a practical sense it refers to the internal or external
repetition of the phrase, La'illaha il' Allahu (There is
nothing other than You, O God. You alone are God). The zikr
is said to have at least three parts. The first part, La'illaha,
is the denial, the abandonment of everything, the depths. The second
part, il'Allah, is the actual intrusion, the explosion into
the individual, of divine presence. Hu, the third part, is
the out-breathing of that divine presence.
One sufi teacher, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen,
advised his students to repeat and reflect upon the zikr
with every breath. A student asked the teacher, "But how is
that possible-I mean, how could anyone do that?" The teacher
said, "It is like driving a car. At fist you think it is difficult,
but you get used to it. It becomes natural. After awhile, you can
even drive and talk at the same time."
from "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyamand other Persian Poems",
edited by A.J.Arberry and
'The Essential Rumi' by Coleman Barks..