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  Hakim Jami of Herat

By Afghanland.com: Jami, the last of the great classic poets of Persia, was born at Jam, near Herat, the western province of Afghanistan in 1414 and died in Herat in 1492. He essayed every form of literature and achieved success in each. From childhood he was welcomed everywhere as a marvel of brilliancy. He himself wrote that he never found a master who knew more than he. Jami was a disciple of Sadedin Kashgari, the chief of the Naqshbandis, whome he succeeded in the direction of the Herat area of AFGHANISTAN. His higher allegiance was to Khja Obaidullah Ahrar, General of the order. Jami was a genius and knew it, which made ecclesiastics and literary men of his time acutely uncomfortable, since the convention was that no man was great unless he appeared intensely humble. In his Alexandrian Book Of Wisdom, Jami shows that the Sufi esteric transmission link of the Asian Khajagan ('Masters') was the same as that used by Western mystical writers. He cites as teachers in the Sufi transmission such names as Plato, Hippocrates, Pythagoras and Hermes Trismegistos. When we seek for the work which best represents this universal genius, we find it perhaps in his chief love-tale, which follows below. This mingles Nizami's romantic touch with Jalal's Sufism and the fire of Hafiz. It is Jami at his highest note.

According to Afghanland.com sources, Zuleika, the daughter of Taimus, King of Mauretania, beheld in a dream a figure of such extraordinary beauty that she became immediately enamored of the glorious vision, and sank into a deep melancholy, fruitlessly longing for the unknown object. This dream was three times repeated, and the last time the beautiful apparition named Egypt as the land of his abode. He is indeed Joseph, or Yusuf, of the Old Testament, and Zuleika is to play the part of Potiphar's wife.

Certain religious scholars in Baghdad, trying to discredit him, misquoted a passage from his Chain Of Gold, and created a  disturbance, which was only died down after a ridiculous and trivial debate in public. Most of all Jami said that such things could happen at all in the community called human.

Jami's writtings and teachings in the end made him so celebrated that contemporary monarchs, from the Sultan of Turkey downwards, were constantly irritating him with offers of enormous amounts of gold and other presents, and appeals to adorn their courts. His acclaim by the public annoyed him, too, to the mystification of populace, who could not understand that he wanted them to adopt him as a hero but to do something about themselves. He never tired of pointing out that many people who tried to overcome pride were doing so because in this way they would be able to inflate themselves with such a victory.

His full name was Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami. His poetic influence was widespread. Nearly 100 works are attributed to him, of which some 40 are considered authentic. He was also known as a saint for his devotion to dervish teaching and to Sufi philosophy. Among his works is the collection of poems Haft Aurang [the seven thrones], including the allegory “Salaman and Absal” (translated by Edward FitzGerald in the 19th cent.), and a version of the tale of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. His Baharistan [abode of spring] is a collection of short stories.


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