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GLOSSARY

abdals: great 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.
Afridun: ancient king of Persia.
Ahmed: another 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.
'Am'ak: court poet of Bukhara, died A.D. 1148.
amir: prince or commander.
'Arafa: mountain near Mecca, visited by the faithful during the pilgrimage.
'Asaf: King Solomon's chief minister.
'Ashura: the anniversary of the death of Hussain, son of Ali, the 9th or 10th day of the month of Muharram.
Badakhshan: a region in Central Asia famous for its rubies.
Bahram: ancient king of Persia (Bahram Gur), famous for his addctioin to hunding the wild ass.
Balkis: the Queen of Sheba.
Baraqa: God's blessing, benevolence.
Bey: (Turk., Engl.: Gentleman) A general title of raunk, orginating from the old Turkish word beg. It became synonymous with Arab title emir.
bulbul: the Persian nightingale.
Dervish: (Pers., 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.
dirham: silver coin.
Djem: ancient king of persia.
'Eed, Iyd: Religious festival
Ferhad: lover fo the Princess Shirin, who dug through a huge moutain to attain his beloved.
ferrash: chamberlain, executioner.
firman: royal edict.
First Chapter: the Fatiha, the opening Sura of the Koran.
gau: the bull, Taurs, legendary creature on whose horns the earth is supposed to rest.
Hadith: (Ar., 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 isnad).
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 Arabia.

Isfandiyár, Isfendiyár: 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 pray.
Káf: moutian range supposed to encircle the earth.
Kaffir: unbeliever.
Kai: royal title, great king.
Kaikhosrú, Kia Khosrau: cyrus, a great king.
Kaikobád: ancient persian king.
Kais: old Arab poet, lover of Lailá, called Majnún (Madman).
Kaiyumers, Kiumers: first of the Pishdadi kings of Persia.
kamand: noose, halter.
Káús, Kawou: ancient king of Persia.
Khamush:  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. 
Khata: Cathay.
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.
Khosrau: royal title, ancient Persian king.
Khudá: a name of God.
King's arrow: arrow granting immunity.
Kusra: Chosroes, royal title.
Kúza-Náma: 'Book of the Pitcher,' title given by FitzGerald to a sequence of quatrains from Omar Khayyám.
Laila: beloved of Kais.
máh: the moon.
máhi: the legendary fish on which the earth is said to rest.
Mahmúd: famous king of Ghazna, conqueror of India.
Majnún: nickname given to Kais, the poet-lover of Laila.
Manuchehr: ancient Persian King.
Mi'raj: according to Islamic tradition is the ascend of Muhammad to heavens from the Al Aksa mosque in Jerusalem.
Mosalla, Mosellay: celebrated gardens of Shiráz.
muezzin: the functionary who call the faithful to prayer.
Museilima: false prophet defeated by the early Moslem champion Khalid.
Mushtari: the planet Jupiter.
nergiss: the narcissus.
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.
Nijid: Nejd, moutainous region of Arabia.
Nirum: Nariman, father of Sám.
Parwin: the Pleiades.
Pehlevi: the pre-Islamic language of Persia.
Peri: fairy.
Rakush: name of Rustam's famous horse.
Ramazán: month of the Moslem fast.
Rocnabad, Ruknabad: famous stream of Shiráz.
Room, Rum: Byzantium, Turkey.
Rumi: refers 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.
sáki, saaqi: wine-bearer, sometimes symbolizing the creative spirit of God.
Saláman: hero of Jami's Salámán and Absál, symbolizing the human soul questing reunion with God.
Salsabil: river of Paradise.
Sám, Saum: grandfather of Rustam.
Sanjar: celebrated Seljuk monarch.
Seamuck: Siyamak, son of King Kaiyumers.
Sham: Syria.
Shirin: beautiful Persian princess, beloved by Ferhad.
Shoráb: son of Rustam.
Sufi: Muslim mystic.
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.
Tahmineh: the mother of Sohráb.
Tajidar: the phoenix.
Turán: Turkestan.
Water of Life: fabulous fountain conferring immortality.
Yusuf: Joseph.
Zál: father of Rustam.
Zuhrah: the planet Venus.
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.
.



 
Last updated: May 9, 2004
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