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A Review of the Works of Shams Tabrizi

Misbah loves to write on different topics. She loves to read and share quotes, sayings, and poetry

All of us are beautiful souls here in this world, finding our way. Every day, we try to better understand the meaning of our lives. We want to discover our gifts and release them fully into this world, and we are in search of happiness and peace along the way.

This article is dedicated to Manatita for his consistent, invaluable, and meaningful support to me here on Hubpages

The Sun of Truth

In 642 AD / 1244 AD, a wandering Dervish named Shams al-Din Tabrizi came to Konya. This seemingly innocent visit, was to create an event that revolutionized the life of the Seer, Jalal al-Din Rumi, affecting the lives of millions of people across the globe.

In the first meeting between the two men, Shams, whose name means Sun, showed Jalal al-Din that there were spheres of knowledge and experiences that could be untapped, if only he knew how. Both discovered that a door to spiritual fulfillment was left open when they enjoyed each other's company and advice, initiating the purest form of love that two humans could ever know–the Love of God.

Intoxicated with this Love, Jalal al-Din no longer cared what other people thought. The glow of Shams' presence was the glow of God Himself. Hadn't Prophet Jacob suffered the indescribable pain of the loss of his son Joseph, an incomparable reflection of Divine Beauty?

For well over a year, Jalal al-Din and Shams were almost always together, with Shams taking Jalal Al Uddin into the deeper realms of mystical Love, before Shams suddenly disappeared, fleeing the jealousy of Jalal’s companion disciples.

Sultan Valad, the loyal son of Jalal al-Din, was sent to find Shams, eventually bringing him back from Damascus to Konya. Not long after, however, Shams disappeared again, this time forever.

Who Was Shams Al-Din Tabrizi?

Sham al-Din Muhammad Ibn Ali Malikdad Tabrizi was born in the late 6th century Lunar Hegira (almost 582 Lunar Hegira) and died in 645 Lunar Hegira.

There is not much information about Shams' life and personal circumstances prior to the publication of the book Maqalat. The oldest work which mentions Shams, is called Ibtidaname, written by Sultan Valad, son of Jalal ad-Din Rumi.

Contrary to popular beliefs, quite a bit is known about him. In addition to the testimony of Rumi's biographers, his collection of various sentences (maqalat) in Persian has survived. Shams was a very cultured man, a Shafi'i who had studied numerous works of Fiqh.

One aspect of his being Sufi, was hiding his true self from others and rejecting respectability and diplomatic behavior. We know through the "Maqalat" that the main aim of Shams' journeys was to treasure a true saint or a Friend of God (Known as Wali Allah).

The "Maqalat" reveals how much Shams admired Jalal al-Din Rumi as a scholar and spiritual figure who possessed qualities he did not have, and who served as his teacher. Therefore, the relationship was not the usual one between teacher and disciple.

Although Maulana Rumi suffered grief over the loss of his Master, we must remember that as a spiritual Master, he knew - through practice and not just in theory - that everything worth loving, could ultimately come, only from the Divine Beloved.

Shams Tabrizi was a Persian poet and spiritual teacher of Rumi and is mentioned with great respect in the poetic collection of Rumi.

Following are some rules of love by Shams Tabrizi with explanations

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blames welled inside us. If we see God as full of Love and compassion, so are we.

— Shams Tabrizi

Think about this Rule and ask yourself these questions, how do I see God? How do I see the World? How do I see the other Beings? How do I see myself? Do I feel that I am higher than others?

This world is a mirror. Whatever we see externally, reflects what we are internally. If we see Love, then our Hearts are pure; if we see ugliness, then it is we who need to change. What we see externally, is always a reflection of our inner state. To the Saint or Seer, you are a shining Spirit as he sees with a pure Love for all.

Try not to resist the changes, which come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

— Shams Tabrizi

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If we learn to live a natural life, we can not only enjoy our journey but also recognize the beauty of the lessons of life that the Universe offers to us individually. Who you are after a change is all up to you. You can either be in control of your responses or surrender to the Universe, being open to its possibilities.

One can live a life of positivity and soul-searching, or try to control everything, from the outside to the inside. This will invariably make it much tougher for oneself. We are always the answer to the question… the solution to the problems of mundane living.

The path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your 'Nafs' with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the Knowledge of God.

— Shams Tabrizi

What is Nafs? Nafs means misleading ego. Conquer the false ego to hear your Heart. The false ego is your real cause of pain and bondage to worldly desires. You are the soul.

An interior view of Shams Tabrizi Mosque at an evening Salah time. Konya - Turkey.

An interior view of Shams Tabrizi Mosque at an evening Salah time. Konya - Turkey.

Intellect and Love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. The intellect has been always cautious and advises, ‘Beware too much ecstasy,’ whereas Love says, ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!’ Intelligence does not easily break down, whereas Love can effortlessly reduce it to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.

— Shams Tabrizi

Suffering or adversity (A broken heart), are rather merits in disguise. Grief and sadness happen, so as to enhance the soul’s inner growth; to make us stronger. Sometimes we see only darkness, only an abyss, but when the radiant moon glows, it brings light to the darkness.

It's too deep a broken heart hides treasures. Yes, it does. When we Love someone we love unconditionally, without asking anything in return. Love is never greedy, it never harms. It never looks for benefits and loss. Love takes all the risks and listens to the heart. So, only the heart knows how to love.

Most of the problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstandings. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of Love, language, as we know it, becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

— Shams Tabrizi

When Shams Tabrizi and Rumi met, they locked themselves into a room for forty Days to discuss each Rule with frequent moments of silence. They shared those simple and deep moments of being right, of existing, of dancing with the energy of the other, the sweet silence of pure Love. Many of the things we quarrel over are not important when seen at a Higher Level. Only Happiness is real; all else are transitory shadows.

The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened, and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.

— Shams Tabrizi

This is one of my favorites. Well, nowadays it's a little extreme to say that when you suffer, you can see the light. I tend to think, in joy, that I can, for example, feel this quality that can remind me of something similar to God. So, when I read this rule, I thought, "Wait a minute, I pause to read this here. I hate the pain. I never want to have it.

Well, I am sure you don’t either. I'm not able to handle the pain. I don't like syringes in hospitals. I always make sure that I am never pricked by a doctor unless there is an absolute need. No pain, none of it!

The labor of giving birth does incredible things to a woman's body, spirit, mind, and Heart! Pain can lead to love. This is just the first lesson. Acceptance!! And then comes wisdom, so we need the pain to grow and to love.

In pain, when we remember God, ask for His help, ask for wisdom, ask for communion, then our true path begins. Pain is needed for a genuine spiritual journey. We need the pain to grow. We evolve when we suffer pain. It helps us to build our character and most of all it molds our Hearts, just as the heat does to clay to transform it into a beautiful vase.

There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself. He will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration for you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the light of God pass through them.

— Shams Tabrizi

The rule explains that in the world you can find many who will misguide you or will try to detract you from seeing the reality. Don't confuse egocentric, power-motivated individuals with real mentors. A bona fide spiritual teacher will not direct your attention towards himself. He will not expect absolute obedience or total admiration of you, but rather he will point you to your inner Self.

He will help you and inspire your inner spiritual growth, but will not seek anything in return as he knows that you are of God … are the temple of Spirit. He will never be proud of himself, but simply show you the path towards the Light. A spiritual Mentor is a guide, a private tutor, never a preacher or priest. True mentoring is as transparent as glass. They will try to bring you closer to God with love and care.

We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created differently and uniquely. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is an amount of disrespecting God’s Holy scheme.

— Shams Tabrizi

Spirituality is like a scale with numerous levels. Goodness is what makes you strong and happy. Evil/Bad is what moves you away from the Light, and makes you weak. We all are God's creations yet different from each other. We all look different; we all feel the same situation differently. Aren't your siblings different from you? God gives us all different packages to work. All is His Will!

Trust His Will, respect, and love each other. Cultivate the sense of Oneness. All are His creatures and know that He Loves us all. Like an artist love all his paintings, like a mother love all her children. Do love each other and Trust His Plans for He Knows what we don't.

Shams Tabrizi Biography

Life of Shams Tabrīzī

Rumi's Untold Story

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh


Misbah Sheikh (author) on August 25, 2021:

Beautiful sayings of Shams Tabrizi with explanation

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 27, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your lovely comments, Denise. I really appreciate it. I am so glad you liked it. Stay safe and healthy


Denise McGill from Fresno CA on May 27, 2021:

This was new to me and I enjoyed reading the many quotes. There was true wisdom in his words. It is a great thing that they were recorded for posterity.



Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 27, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind comments and visit, Rosina. Truly appreciated, dear friend. I am glad you liked it. God Bless You and keeps you safe.

Blessings and Love

Rosina S Khan on May 26, 2021:

I enjoyed reading the works of Shams Tabrizi. I loved his quotes, "...A broken heart hides treasures" and "...Love can only be perfected in pain". Altogether it was a lovely and knowlegeable read. Thanks for the splendid share, Misbah.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Devika. Much appreciated

I am glad you found it interesting. Stay safe and healthy

Love and Blessings

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 25, 2021:

Informative and I have not heard of this individual. Thank you for an interesting and well-written review about Shams Tabrizi.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

Amara, thanks for your concerns. They unpublished it because of the quotes. They were getting flagged as duplicate.

I hope this one will stay. I have not written the quotes in italics this time instead I used callouts. And has sent an email to HubPages as well.

Hope it will help me.

Would love to read your work about Rumi. Take care and Lots of Love

Blessings to you dear sister

Amara from Pakistan on May 25, 2021:

But Misbah why they unpublished it? its a fantastic hub..

This is my favorite topic.. I love Rumi, Shams tabrizi, Younus Emre and Iqbal sir.. I am also going to write on Rumi, in coming days.. These are eternal souls..

You are doing great work..

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

Thanks a lot, Mr.Bill. Highly appreciate your kind comments. You make me feel better. I hope this time HP will not unpublish it. Take care. Stay safe and healthy.

Highest Blessings

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 25, 2021:

A fascinating read! It was educational, inspirational, and interesting all at the same time, which is not easy to do. Thank you for sharing this with us, and blessings to you always.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

Thank you so much, John. I am so glad to see your beautiful comment here. Yes, these rules are worth following and full of wisdom. Much appreciated. You are so kind. Gratitude.

God Bless you! Take care. Stay safe and healthy.

Blessings and Peace

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your beautiful response, Peggy. Manatita shared these 40 rules with me and with others as well in comments of one of his articles before going on vacations. After reading, I thought to write an article on few of the rules. I dedicated this article to him because of his so kind and helpful nature. I believe, Spreading good words is a good deed.

Stay happy and healthy

God Bless you

Peace and lots of Love

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 25, 2021:

Well done with this article, Misbah. It was a thought-provoking read and the rules set out by Shams Tabrizi are very worthy of following. I am glad I could comment.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

@Amara: Thanks a lot for your beautiful response. Much appreciated, dear sister. I am glad you liked it. Stay Happy and healthy

God Bless you

Peace and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

@Moon: Thanks a lot for your kind response. Much appreciated, dear friend. I agree with what you said is true. A ray of hope should always stay Alive. Stay safe and healthy

God Bless you

Peace and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

@Pamela: Thanks a lot for your Kind and generous comments. I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, they stayed together for 40 consecutive days and Rumi learned a lot from Shams Tabrizi. Tabrizi was a Persian poet, and the spiritual instructor of Maulan Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi.

I am glad you liked it

Stay happy and healthy

Blessings and love

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

@Mr. Bill: Thanks a lot for your sweet comment. I enjoyed reading it. Without love, no, no, life would be Horrible. Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Peace

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Srushti. Much appreciated, dear friend. Stay safe and healthy

God Bless you

Peace and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

By Peggy Woods

You are sharing the wisdom of others and leading us towards love and light, similar to Manatita. Thanks, Misbah, for writing this. May God bless you always.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

By Amara

Beautiful article about Shams Tabrizi.. I love his poetry.. I am recently reading a book about Rumi and learned how much he loved Shams Tabrizi..

He was a great sufi saint, and you are writing about great and my favorite personalities.. Thanks for your efforts sis..

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

By EK Jadoon

What a beautiful and thought-provoking article, Misbah. And this is true that Allah always choose best for His man. Hardships are part of life; it doesn't mean that only sadness is part of life. And a ray of hope can be seen at any time.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful and detailed article.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

By Pamela Oglesby

I can't imagine 40 consecutive days in a room. Shams Tabrizi and Rumi are simply amazing. There is a wealth of knowledge in this article and so many truths.

We should follow their simple advice. The heart is surely the answer to a happier life. This is such an excellent article, Misbah

Love and blessings!

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

By Mr. Bill Holland

Well-written article about my favorite topic. Where would I be without love? I often think of that. The answer is frightening and I'm very happy I don't have to find out.

Be well, my friend, and may your life be filled with blessings.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

By Srushti Gamit

What a soulful explanation about love and you’ve written it beautifully. I really like the line “Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of god.”

Thanks for sharing

God bless you

Misbah Sheikh (author) on May 25, 2021:

I am mentioning back the comments that were already on this article before it was stated as a duplicate content

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