The Masnavi, Book Three

The Masnavi, Book Three

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Overview

Rumi is the greatest mystic poet to have written in Persian, and the Masnavi is his masterpiece. Divided into six books and consisting of some 26,000 verses, the poem was designed to convey a message of divine love and unity to the disciples of Rumi's Sufi order, known today as the Whirling Dervishes. Like the earlier books, Book Three interweaves amusing stories with homilies to instruct pupils in the understanding of God's meaning. It has a special focus on epistemology, illustrated with narratives that involve the consumption of food.

The first ever verse translation of Book Three of the Masnavi, It follows the original by presenting Rumi's most mature mystical teachings in simple and attractive rhyming couplets.

'Our soul each moment struggles hard with death -
Think of your faith as though it's your last breath.
Your life is like a purse, and night and day
Are counters of gold coins you've put away'

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199652037
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,212,708
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jalal al-Din Rumi

Jawid Mojaddedi is a native of Afghanistan, and read Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Manchester. He has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Universities of Manchester and Exeter, and served as an editor of Encyclopaedia Iranica at the Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University. His most recent publication is Beyond Dogma: Rumi's Teachings on Friendship with God and Early Sufi Theories (OUP, 2012). Mr. Mojaddedi was also made a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellow for 2014-2015.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Note on the Translation xxiii

Select Bibliography xxv

A Chronology of Rumi xxviii

The Masnavi Book 3

Prose Introduction 3

Exordium 4

Don't eat baby elephants! 8

A lover's mistake is better than the stranger's correct act 14

Prayer and the pure mouth 15

The answer to prayers 15

The townsman and the villager 18

The People of Sheba and the Prophets 21

Jesus' healing of the sick 22

The falcon and the ducks 29

The Zarwan nation 31

Majnun and Layli's dog 37

The jackal who pretended to be a peacock 45

The man who greased his moustache to show off 46

Bal'am ben Ba'ur 47

Exegesis of 'You will know them through the corruption of their speech' 49

Harut and Marut 50

Pharaoh's attempts to prevent Moses' birth 52

The frozen snake that came back to life 61

Moses and Pharaoh's magicians 72

The elephant in the dark 78

Infidelity and God's decree 84

The barber and the man with grizzled hair 85

The companions of the Prophet and the Qur'an 85

The error of reading a love letter when you are next to the beloved 87

The man who prayed for a livelihood without having to work 89

The teacher who was tricked by his pupils into believing he was sick 94

Shaikh Amputee 100

The far-sighted goldsmith 101

Pharaoh's threats to his magicians 107

The mule's complaint to the camel 108

Ozayr's ass 109

The shaikh who did not grieve the death of his sons 110

The man who regained sight whenever reading the Qur'an 113

The patience of Loqman 114

Friends of God who choose not to pray 116

Bohlul and the dervish 116

The visions of Daquqi 119

Moses and Khezr 121

Jesus' escape from the fool 157

The People of Sheba and the Prophets 159

The tale about the blind, far-sighted man, the deaf, sharp-eared man, and the naked man wearing a long skirt 160

The hares and the elephant 167

Noah and the building of his ark 170

The burglar who said he was just beating a drum 170

A parable about prudence 173

The vow of the dogs every winter 175

The wisdom in the creation of hell 181

Kings and the small gate in the city wall of Jerusalem 182

The Sufi who was made ecstatic by an empty mealcloth 183

Jacob and Joseph's shirt 184

The prince and the slave who stayed in the mosque to pray 186

When Prophets lose hope 187

Ordinary people have faith based on fear and hope 188

Hidden friends of God 189

Anas and the Prophet Mohammad's napkin 189

The Prophet saves a caravan in the desert 191

Need draws God's bounty 195

The baby that bore witness to the Prophet Mohammad 196

The eagle that lifted away the Prophet's boot 197

The man who asked Moses to teach him the languages of animals 199

The woman whose children all died in infancy 207

Hamza's refusal to wear body armour 208

The advantages of deliberation 213

Belal's embrace of death 214

The world and the body 217

Reason and revelation 218

The reverence disciples should have for their masters 219

The enemy of the sun 220

Levels of knowledge 221

The relativity of knowledge 223

Self-annihilation and subsistence in God 223

The love of the vakil of Bukhara for his ruler, the sadr 224

The appearance of the Holy Spirit to Mary 225

The haunted mosque 238

The worldliness of Galen 241

How Satan tricked the Qoraysh 245

A drum of inappropriate size 248

Chick peas boiling in a pot compared with true believers 252

The Masnavi and its critics 256

The outer and inner meanings of the Qur'an 257

Why friends of God retreat to the mountains 258

The mountains joined David in repeating the Psalms 259

The foal that would not drink near commotion 260

The cry of the Devil to dissuade you from the path 262

The attraction of elements to their source 268

The soul's attraction to the spiritual world 269

The Prophet Mohammad and his foes 275

The flea complains about the wind to Solomon 280

The union of the lover who was not true 287

Explanatory Notes 293

Glossary 313

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