Articles and Translations

Jami on Divine Love and the Image of Wine

William C. Chittick

William C. Chittick is a philosoper, writer, translator and interpreter of classical Islamic philosophical and mystical texts. He is best known for his work on Rumi and Ibn Arabi, and he has written extensively on the school of Ibn Arabi, Islamic philosophy and Islamic cosmology.

Born in Milford, Connecticut, Chittick finished his BA at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and then went on to complete a PhD in Persian literature at University of Tehran under the supervision of Seyyed Hossein Nasr in 1974. He taught comparative religion at Tehran’s Aryamehr Technical University and left Iran before the revolution. Chittick is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for his academic contributions in 2014.

To pick out a few books from the 22 listed on his website, the following have been hugely important contributions to modern studies of Ibn 'Arabi: Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-‛Arabī and the Problem of Religious Diversity (1994, translated into German, Indonesian, Persian, Spanish, Turkish); The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‛Arabī’s Metaphysics of Imagination (1989, translated into Persian, Turkish, and partially into Indonesian); The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-‛Arabī’s Cosmology (1998); Ibn ‛Arabi: Heir to the Prophets (2005, translated into Albanian, Arabic, German, Persian, Turkish). The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms (2009, with Sachiko Murata and Tu Weiming); [/]


Articles by William C. Chittick

Ibn Arabi’s own Summary of the Fusus (PDF)

The Chapter Headings of the Fusus (PDF)

Two Chapters from the Futuhat (PDF)

The Last Will and Testament of Sadr al-Din Qunawi – Translation

The Central Point – Qunawi’s Role in the School of Ibn Arabi

Jami on Divine Love and the Image of Wine

The Divine Roots of Human Love

Presence with God

The Wisdom of Animals

Death and the Afterlife (PDF, Arabic)

The Anthropology of Compassion

The Religion of Love Revisited

Ibn Arabi: The Doorway to an Intellectual Tradition

Qunawi on the One wujud

Commentary on a Hadith by Sadr al-Din Qunawi


Podcasts by William C. Chittick

Ibn Arabi: The Doorway into an Intellectual Tradition

The Religion of Love Revisited

The Anthropology of Compassion in Ibn Arabi’s Futuhat

Interview of 2009 on the Radio Show “Science, Health and Healing”

The Wisdom of Animals


Whenever classical Persian poetry is discussed, the subject of the symbolism and meaning of its images is bound to arise. As Annemarie Schimmel has pointed out, two points of view exist concerning the images of wine and sensory love employed by the Persian mystical poets such as Hafiz: first, that the images are purely mystical; and second, that they are purely sensual and profane. Schimmel herself believes that neither point of view is correct and opts for a position in between. She holds that the ambiguity of the images is “intended, the oscillation between the two levels of being is consciously maintained… One cannot derive a mystical system out of Persian or Turkish poetry or see in it an expression of experiences to be taken at face value.”[1]

Professor Schimmel’s judgment may be correct as far as it goes, but it ignores the question of the primacy of one level of being and meaning over the other. I wish to offer some observations based upon what I believe to be the views of some of the famous Sufi poets, such as Hafiz and ‘Iraqi who use these images, and to add a short passage from Jami on the subject of wine in support of my arguments.

No doubt when Hafiz speaks of wine, he means wine. The question is, “What is wine? ” All Sufi thought goes back to a cosmology and metaphysics. In order to understand the nature of wine, we must refer to the philosophical and metaphysical beliefs of the Sufi poets who employ the image. For example, Sufi thought of the school of Ibn al-‘Arabi – of which both ‘Iraqi and Jami are representatives[2] – holds that the things of this world are not just things, rather they are created by God, derived from God, and ultimately Self-Manifestations of God, loci of His Theophany, places in which He reveals the “Hidden Treasure”, mirrors in which the Beauty of the Beloved can be contemplated. God, or if one prefers, “Absolute and Nondelimited Being” (wujûd-i mutlaq), is the Origin of all creatures, of all relative and delimited existents.

So when ‘Iraqi or Jami speak in their poetry about the creatures of the world, one of which is wine, we must remember the underpinnings of their thought. ‘Iraqi was a student of Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi, the greatest metaphysician of Ibn al-‘Arabi’s school after the Magister Maximus himself[3]; and Jami is the author of numerous prose works on Sufi metaphysics and cosmology.[4] If we do not take these facts into account, we cannot do justice to their poetry

Moreover, it is not as if these figures only dabbled in metaphysics, or only wrote poetry to amuse themselves and others, without expressing their philosophical and mystical beliefs. Anyone who takes the trouble to read the prose works and study the lives of such authors will never doubt that for them the metaphysics they speak of is the pivot of all their thought and experience and has nothing to do with mental acrobatics and philosophical wordplay. For them it is not a question of semantics to say, “The world is the locus of manifestation (mazhar, majla) for God’s Reality”, it is a matter of direct contemplation (shuhûd, ru’yat) and Unveiling (kashf).

When Jami writes that “All are He” (hamah ust),[5] he does not mean this in some abstract, speculative way. He means that this is a matter of direct vision and mystical intuition for the Sufi. In Jami’s view when a gnostic (‘ârif) experiences the reality of things as it is in itself, when all the veils are lifted from before his eyes, he sees that nothing truly exists but God, that nothing is separate from Him, and that all things are the Self-Manifestation of His Holy Essence. Jami holds that this is the nature of the world, and that everything a person thinks, says and does must be based upon this reality.

Innumerable passages from Jami’s works could be quoted to illustrate his beliefs concerning the nature of things. In order to maintain brevity, I will only quote one poem from his Diwan:

All that exists in the created universe is illusion, fantasy, reflections in mirrors, or shadows.

But the Sun of Guidance has dawned in the shadow of “Other than God”, so be not perplexed in the desert of error!

Who is man? The reflection of the Eternal Light. What is the world? A wave on the Everlasting Sea.

How could the reflection be cut off from the Light? How could the wave be separate from the Sea?

Know that this reflection and this wave are that very Light and Sea, for here duality is impossible, impossible.

Look at the travelers on the Path of Love, how each has a different spiritual state.

The one sees in each atom of the world a Sun radiant and imperishable,

Another directly witnesses in the mirror of existence the beauty of the hidden archetypes,

And a third sees each one in the other, without veiling or defect.[6]

Of all the Sufi poets, perhaps Jami reveals his true persuasion most explicitly in his directly metaphysical poems such as the above and in his numerous prose works. But other poets who made use of the images of love and wine, such as ‘Iraqi and Shabistari, state clearly what is meant by the images they employ.[7]


When we ask about the nature of wine, we must remember that for the Sufi poets, the world and everything within it are loci of theophany for the Divine Reality. But by the very nature of things,. certain loci display that Reality more clearly than others. Among its more direct manifestations are “wine, women and song”. Each is an image and symbol of higher realities, and eventually of the Highest Reality. Each can be a bridge from the visible world to the Unseen.

But even if things are “symbols”, this does not mean that they are no longer things. Each image symbolizes the Divine Reality, but at the same time a woman is a woman and wine is wine. Each thing maintains its individual identity because ultimately it derives from certain Names and Attributes of God, which in turn determine its archetype or “immutable entity” (‘ayn-i thabitah). The archetype is then an object of God’s Knowledge from Eternity-without-beginning to Eternity-without-end. Thus the thing’s reality exists eternally within God’s Knowledge, to be manifested when God chooses to effuse being upon it. The individual thing possesses its own reality (= its immutable entity), which manifests certain Attributes of God. The being and attributes of each thing derive from God’s Being and Attributes, but at the same time they pertain to the thing in a real sense, for its reality is immutable and eternal. So each thing is itself, and a symbol at the same time. A woman is a woman, and the manifestation of the Attributes of Divine Beauty at the same time. Wine is wine, and also a theophany of the fire and water (= intoxication and knowledge) of Love.

If Sufis speak of their beloved, they may not be referring only to God, but they also are not referring to “so-and-so” as such, but only insomuch as she is a reflection of the true Beloved. Wine likewise may be wine, and music, music. But if so, they are only dim reflections of true Wine and true Music.

But here another point must be considered: although all things within the world can be considered as symbols of the Highest Reality in some respect, and although some of them reflect It more directly than others, certain of them are legitimate and certain illegitimate from the point of view of the Shari’ah or Divine Law.

On this question ‘Iraqi has an instructive passage: “Even if the lover has attained the state of Unveiling within which he directly witnesses the Face of the Beloved in every form, he must not be satisfied with something not approved of, for ‘God approves not unbelief in His servants’ (Qur’an 39, 7). A lover who sees God through God and sees the whole world as God must reject reprehensible acts (munkarât) through God, in God and for God, with his argument upheld by God, for he will not see the Beauty of God in anything forbidden by the Shari’ah. Necessarily he will avoid it. Rather, by its very nature he will not have the slightest desire for it.”[8]

Thus ‘Iraqi states, still in the language of the ecstatic lover, the reason that the Shari’ah must be followed. His master al-Qunawi often discusses in his works the fact that true Equilibrium (i’tidal) in the world, necessary for Equilibrium in the higher states of being and as a preparation for Nondelimited Equilibrium or Union with God, can only be attained by following the Shari’ ah. He writes that “The most correct specific Path among all the Paths laid down by the Religions is that which our Prophet followed in word, act and state… His is the Central State, dwelling in Equilibrium.”[9] Sa’id al-Din Sa’id Farghani, like ‘Iraqi a student of al-Qunawi, goes into great detail explaining the relationship of his master’s teachings on these points to the Shari’ah’s injunctions.[10]

Since the vast majority of the Sufis firmly upheld the necessity of following the Shari’ah as the basis for the Path (tariqah), when we want to know whether a particular Sufi poet actually experienced a particular thing on the physical level, first we should ask what the Shari’ah says about that thing. If the thing is forbidden, as is the case with drinking wine, we can be sure that the great masters did not indulge in it, for they did not want to perform acts not approved of by the Beloved. From this point of view it is difficult to imagine that Hafiz, that staid teacher in a seminary who knew the Qur’an by heart and believed in its message, and who constantly criticises those who profess in their religion what they do not practice, could have been himself the greatest of hypocrites, reading and teaching the Qur’an by day and drinking Shiraz’s famous wines by night. Nor can one claim that to praise wine-drinking but not to indulge in it is itself hypocrisy. For again, “What exactly does he mean by wine? ” Jami for one claims to know very well what he means, and he explains it clearly in the passage quoted below. On this subject Rumi writes:

Oh Cupbearer! Fill the soul from that pre-existent Cup, that thief of the heart, that ambusher of formal religion.

Fill it with the wine that springs from the Heart and mixes with the Spirit, the wine whose bubbling intoxicates the God-seeing eye.

That grape wine – it belongs to the followers of Jesus; but this Hallajian wine, it belongs to the followers of the Qur’an.

Vats of this wine, vats of that: until you break that vat, you will never taste this wine.

That wine frees the heart from sorrow for an instant: never can it snuff out sorrow, never can it uproot malice.

One drop from this cup will turn your work into gold – may my soul be sacrificed to this golden cup!

When this state (of wine-drinking) comes, mostly it comes in the pre-dawn hours, to him who scatters his bed-roll and pillow (and spends his time in prayer).

Beware lest the bad companion (your own lower self) deceive you through whisperings – never break the covenant with kings (the Shari’ah) through weakness.[11]

So when we ask ourselves whether a particular Sufi might not have actually broken the Divine Law by drinking physical wine -since it is after all a reflection of true Wine – we must remember ‘Iraqi’s warning, the innumerable statements by other Sufis on the subject, the primary importance of the Shari’ah in the mainstream Sufism which the great poets invariably represent, and the absurdity of wanting to be intoxicated physically when the intoxication of mystical unveiling is infinitely more real and desirable (if we are to believe mystics of all ages and faiths). All of this points to the fact that the Sufis avoided wine, just as they avoided pork, stealing, lying and other things forbidden by the Law.

The question of women is slightly different, since marriage is not only lawful but also recommended by the Law. Certainly there is no reason that one’s physical beloved could not be the mirror in which one contemplates the Divine Beloved. But there can be no question of illicit sexual relations outside of the Shari’ah, even though love for someone not one’s wife is a possibility, as the famous example of Ibn al-‘Arabi’s model in Tarjumân al-ashwâq proves. Finally, music holds a somewhat intermediate position. The Sufis usually take the stand that as long as it acts as a reminder of its Source and not as a veil, it is permissible.[12]

In conclusion, we can say that Professor Schimmel’s position, that the Sufi images are neither purely mystical nor purely profane, is correct, but in the context of Sufi metaphysics, the mystical dimension must take the primary position. We can even go so far as to say that there can be nothing “profane” in the world at all, since all is God’s Self-Manifestation and Theophany. However, there are things which are “illicit” from the point of view of the Shari’ah, and these must be avoided in keeping with the desires of the Beloved.

The following passage is taken from Jami’s introduction to his Lawâmi’ (“Sparks of Inspiration”), a Persian commentary on the Wine Song (al-Khamriyyah) of the famous Egyptian Sufi poet Ibn al-Farid.[13]

Jami’s discussion of Divine Love in the Lawâmi’ is based upon the metaphysical exposition and elaboration of the experiences of mystical love by the School of Ibn al-‘Arabi. Such early Sufis as Ahmad Ghazzali in his Sawânih, Sana’i and ‘Attar in their poetry and later Ibn al-Farid in Arabic verse had kept to a language dominated by imagery and relatively free of technical philosophical terminology and discussion. But with Ibn al-‘Arabi and his school the images employed to describe the experiences of Love and Union came to be explained in the language of philosophical and metaphysical discourse. Two extremely important figures in this transition are the above-mentioned Sa’id al-Din Farghani, author of a lengthy commentary in both Persian and Arabic on Ibn al-Farid’s Poem of the Way, and ‘Iraqi, author of the Lama’ât, which, as he states in the introduction, is written in the “style of the Sawânih”. But the Sawânih-like images employed by ‘Iraqi are explained and elaborated upon by making use of Ibn al-‘Arabi’s doctrines, and as the commentators point out, the work was undertaken as a result of inspirations received when ‘Iraqi attended lectures on the Fusûs al-hikam of Ibn al-‘Arabi by al-Qunawi. Moreover, Farghani was also a student of al-Qunawi and his grand commentary on Ibn al-Farid is based on notes taken during al-Qunawi’s classes.[14]

The passage below follows a fifteen page discussion of the different kinds of love and lovers, based at least partly on Farghani’s introduction to his own commentary on the Poem of the Way. In considerable detail Jami divides love into love of the Divine Essence (mahabbat-i dhâtî), love of the Divine Names (mahabbat-i asmâ’î), love of the Divine Attributes (mahabbat-i sifâtî) and love of the Divine Traces (mahabbat-i âthârî). The last is impassioned attachment to the beauty of God’s “traces” (vestigio Dei) in the world, and stems from the manifestation of the Mystery of Unity in the form and shape of the multiplicity of the universe. Lovers of God’s traces are then in turn divided into four classes, ranging from those who contemplate only the Face of God in the things of the world, to those who are still in the clutches of their lower soul (nafs-i ammarah) and dominated by bodily passions. These last have completely forgotten the true Beloved and “have taken into their arms false beloveds [or “metaphorical beloveds”, mahbûbân-i majâzî]. They are at ease with the passions of their natural constitution and call the capricious desires of their lower soul ‘love’. How far from the mark!”

The reality of love which Jami is discussing is the absolute and unconditioned reality of the Divine Essence Itself. As Jami points out, Love is God’s very nature, for, according to the hadith, “God is beautiful and He loves beauty.” If Love appears in many different forms, it is precisely because, not being conditioned by any form in particular, It can assume all forms. If Love – the Divine Essence – were delimited by any attribute whatsoever to the exclusion of others,’ It could never appear in another form. If God were transcendent only, and not immanent, He would not be the “coincidence of opposites” (jam’-i addâd). Thus Love appears in numerous forms because in Itself, It is formless. Sometimes It appears in the form of love for the Essence or for the Attributes, and at other times It displays Itself as love for women or for wealth. The reality is one reality, for there is no other reality. To posit two loves different in essence would amount to introducing a duality into the very nature of existence. But the One Reality assumes all forms and shapes. These in turn follow the receptivities (qâbiliyyât) and preparednesses (isti’dâdât) of the lovers. Certain lovers have the capacity to love God in His Essence, others only to love the Paradise of His Proximity, others only to love the dark-eyed beauties of the Garden, and still others only to love the dark-eyed beauties here below. As the Sufi saying goes, “The colour of the water depends on the colour of its container.”

It will be noticed that this discussion of Love corresponds closely to the more philosophical and metaphysical discussions of how the Absolute Being of God (wujûd-i haqq-i mutlaq), undetermined by any delimitation whatsoever, manifests Itself in the levels of existence or the “Five Divine Presences” (hadarât-i khams). At each level of manifestation and theophany the One Reality assumes attributes and characteristics determined by the ability of that level to receive and display the infinite possibilities of Sheer Being.[15] The further we descend in the Great Chain of Being, the less the attributes of God can be manifested in their purity. The more limited the existential preparedness of the lover, the less of the Absolute Reality of Love he can encompass.

To return to Jami’s own discussion: after finishing his comments on Love itself, he finds it necessary to explain – and also to defend against the criticisms of the exoteric ‘ulamâ’ – Ibn al-Farid’s constant use of the image of wine in his verses on Divine Love. One should note that Jami wants to avoid as clearly as possible the idea that we can make use of this particular symbol by actually drinking physical wine to participate in the Divine Love, for besides pointing out the similarities between Love and wine, he also points out the differences. Thus he shows the wisdom in the Qur’anic prohibition and reminds the reader that the symbol is not the symbolized in every respect.

The Translation

Love displays a complete similarity with the wine of the material world.[16] Therefore the words and expressions which are employed for matters of wine-drinking in Arabic and Persian have been borrowed for use in matters of Love. The respects in which Love and wine are similar are numerous:

First, the original station and initial home of wine is the belly of the vat and the bottom of the cask. By means of the power of its fermentation and the strength of its bubbling the wine tends towards the manifestation and divulgence of its presence without any outside stimulation. In the same way the secret of Love, which is hidden within the confines of lovers’ breasts and concealed in the inward hearts of the desirous, demands uncovering and manifestation because of its overpowering strength.

Thy Love was the sovereign of the inward kingdom.

When the pomp of its royalty increased,

It came, companion of tears and intimate of sighs, and pitched its tent outside the breast’s pavilion.

Again, wine in itself has no determined shape or particular form. On the contrary, its shapes and forms depend on those of its containers. In the vat it follows the vat’s round shape, in the pitcher it keeps to the form of the pitcher’s inside, and in the cup it takes the shape of the cup. In the same way, the essence of Love is a reality without any delimitations, and it appears within lovers in keeping with its containers and vessels, i.e., their receptivities and preparednesses. In some lovers it appears in the form of love toward the Divine Essence itself, and in others in the form of love toward the traces of the Essence in keeping with their different degrees. The cause of this disparity in Love is the disparity of the lovers’ receptivities and preparednesses.

Even though Love sets out in everyone’s direction, it declares war on and makes peace with no one.

In each lover the wine of Love is utterly without colour: the colour derives from the multi-hued glasses.

Again, there is the quality of all-pervasiveness. Just as physical wine affects all the organs and members of him who drinks it, so the wine of Love pervades all the senses and faculties of the lover. Not a single hair on his body is free from the trials of Love, and not one of his veins pulses but with the demand of Love. Like blood, Love has found its way into his flesh and skin, and like the soul, it has made its home in his inward and outward parts.

In order to draw blood from Majnun the surgeon sharpened his lancet.

Majnun wept and said, “I fear that in place of blood, out will flow longing for Layla.”

Again, wine makes him who drinks it and Love makes him who possesses it generous and open-handed, even if he had been avaricious and miserly. But the fruit of the one is that the drunkard spends dirhams and dinars freely, while the result of the other is that the lover abandons everything in existence. He who is intoxicated with wine gives away dirhams and dinars, while he who is intoxicated with Love gives away the two worlds all at once.

If generosity moves the hand of the drunkard, he can give away no more than gold and silver coin.

But when the steed of the Quest carries him drunk with longing for Thee, he empties his sleeve of the two worlds.

Again, both the wine-drunk and the Love-drunk are brave and reckless, void of the quality of fear and cowardice. In places of danger they are bold, and in times of peril they have had enough of life. But the bravery of the one is because his foresighted reason has been overwhelmed, while the courage of the other is based on the domination of mystical unveiling and certitude. The first results in perdition in this world and the next, the second in eternal life.

We are drunk, boisterous, debauched and shrewd, through Love we have entered the battleground of destruction.

If we are killed a hundred times with love’s arrow, that will bring eternal life – so what is our fear?

Again, there is humility and need. The intoxication of Love throws down pampered ones from the elevated seat of glory to the skirt of humility and supplication. It casts the world’s great ones from the zenith of power and fortune to the abyss of degradation and meekness.

How many masters of thrones have become drunk with madness for Thee and sat in the dirt among the throng of Thy beggars!

His head at Thy door, in his need he keeps on kissing the watchdog’s foot and its keeper’s hand!

Then again there is the divulging of secrets. All these secrets of the profession of Divine Unity and all these realities of spiritual intuition and mystical ecstacy left behind upon the pages of time and the scroll of day and night are the fruit of the speech of those who drank from the celestial cup of gnosis, and the offspring of the words of those who thirsted after the heavenly wine of Love.

Thy Love brought me to this contemptible country to renew an Ancient Covenant.

It poured into my mouth a cup from the vat of Proximity; I became tipsy and opened my mouth to speak

Again there is the custom of rendering unconscious and intoxicated and releasing from the tie of existence and self-centeredness. But the intoxication of Love is perfect awareness and consciousness of the Beloved, while the intoxication of wine is complete ignorance and forgetfulness of all that is necessary. The latter shows the way of the descending degrees of remoteness and punishment to those who are far from God, and the former increases elevation in the ascending degrees of proximity and union for those who are near to Him.

Do not criticise me, sir, when I drink and strive to be a lover and slave of wine.

As long as I am sober I am sitting with others. When I am unconscious I am in the arms of my Beloved.

Again there is the fact that the more winedrinkers drink wine, the more they strive to acquire it. The more they consume it, the more trouble they take to find it. He who is drunk with it does not become wise, and he who covets it does not become satisfied. A certain saint wrote to another,[17]

“God forbid that after this I go after the cup or search for red wine,

“I have become a goblet so full that if one more drop is added I will overflow.”

The second saint answered,

“I drank Love cup after cup, but neither the wine nor my thirst was exhausted.”

In other words,

“I am an ocean of water, thirsty and endless. O cup-bearer, come to the aid of my parched lips!

“For a lifetime I have been drinking pure wine as if it were water, but the wine has not come to an end and I am still thirsty!”

Finally, there is the lifting of the veil of modesty and shame, and the disappearance of self-esteem and apprehension. When the intoxication of Love becomes overpowering, the lover turns away from all of these, sits upon the rug of joy and pulls his skirt away from everything opposed to it.

Would that I become drunk and advance toward Thee, go forward bold and gaze at Thy face,

Sometimes drink from the jewel-box of Thy radiant ruby lips, sometimes count the rings of Thy musky curls.[18]

“Jami on Divine Love and the image of wine” was originally published in Studies in Mystical Literature, 1/3 (1981), pp. 193-209


[1] Mystical Dimensions of Islam, Chapel Hill (N. C.), 1975, p.288.

[2] See the English introduction to Jami, Naqd al-nusûs, ed. by W. C. Chittick, Tehran, 1977; also, Chittick and P. L. Wilson, Divine Flashes: The Lama’at of Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi, New York, forthcoming.

[3] See Chittick, “The Last Will and Testament of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Foremost Disciple and Some Notes on its Author“, Sophia Perennis, vol. IV, no.1, Spring 1978, pp.23-42.

[4] See the English introduction to Jami, Naqd al-nusûs.

[5] For example:

The neighbor, the fellow, the companion: all are He; in the rags of the beggar and the silks of the king, all are He.
In the meeting-place of dispersion (i.e., in the world, where all things are manifested under the aspect of multiplicity) and in the secret resort of all-comprehensiveness (i.e., the Divine Essence), by God, all are He! Yes by God, all are He!

(Naqd al-nasas, p. 200; Lawâ’ih, ed. by M. H. Tasbihi, Tehran, 1342/1963, p.43; Dîwân, ed. by H. Radi, Tehran, 1341/1962, p.811).

[6] Pp. 497-8. The last three lines are references to the three states of direct mystical vision referred to by Ibn al-‘Arabi. and his followers as the state of the “Possessor of Reason”, that of the “Possessor of the Eye” and that of the “Possessor of Reason and the Eye”. See the passage Jami quotes from ‘Abd al-Razzaq Kashani, Naqd al-nusûs, pp.142-3.

[7] See E. H. Whinfield, Gulshan-i Raz, The Mystic Rose Garden, London, 1880, pp. 70-94; F. Lederer, The Secret Rose Garden of Sa’d-ul-Din Mahmud Shabistari, Lahore, 1969, pp. 17-22, 41-45 and 61-64; and Johnson Pasha, The Secret Garden, London, 1969, pp.79-81. Lahiji’s Persian commentary on this work, Mâfatîh al-I’jâz fi sharh Gulshan râz, greatly elaborates on the technical meaning of these terms. See the edition of K. Sami’i, Tehran, 1337/1958, pp.549-706. ‘Iraqi explains the meaning of numerous terms referring to sensual images – such as desire, love, beauty, wink, deception, coquetry, veil, tree, eyebrow, languid eyes, wine, tavern, cupbearer, hangover, minstrel, tambourine and dance (a total of some 320 words) – in his Istilahât, ed. by J. Nurbakhsh along with ‘Iraqi’s Lama’at, Tehran, 1353/1974; also by S. Naficy in Kulliyyat-i ‘Iraqi, Tehran, 1338/1959.

[8] Lama’ât, p.40; Kulliyyat-i ‘Iraqi pp. 401-2.

[9] I’jâz al-bayân fi tafsîr umm al-Qur’ân, revised edition, Hyderabad-Deccan, 1949, p. 422. Al-Qunawi explains the absolute necessity for the Shari’ah in less technical and more straightforward language in his Persian works. See for example “Matali’i iman”, ed. by W. C. Chittick, Sophia Perennis, vol. IV, no.1, Spring 1978, pp. 57-80 (Persian section).

[10] See Farghani, Mashâriq al-darârî, ed. by S. J. Ashtiyani, Tehran, forthcoming, index of technical terms (i’tidâl and sharî’at).

[11] Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrizi, Furuzanfar edition, Tehran, 1344/1965, no.81.

[12] See S. H. Nasr, “The Influence of Sufism on Traditional Persian Music”, in J. Needleman (ed.), The Sword of Gnosis, Baltimore, 1974, pp. 330-42; also Nasr, “Islam and Music”, Studies in Comparative Religion, 1976, pp. 37-45.

[13] Ibn al-Fa rid’s poem was translated into English by A. J. Arberry in The Mystical Poems of Ibn al-Fârid, Dublin, 1956, pp.81-4.

[14] See al-Qunawi’s introduction to the original Persian version of his student’s work: Mashâriq al-darârî; pp.5-6.

[15] The Five Divine Presences have been delineated in various ways by Ibn al-‘Arabi’s followers. Al-Qunawi usually refers to the First Presence as God’s First Theophany, and therefore in his view the Divine Essence is outside the scheme, whereas some of his followers speak of the Divine Essence as the First Presence. See Chittick, “The Five Divine Presences: from al-Qunawi to al-Qaysari”, forthcoming.

[16] “Wine… is the most perfect image of liberating gnosis.” F. Schuon, “Understanding and Believing”, in Logic and Transcendance, New York, 1975, p.205. Schuon discusses the symbolism of wine extensively in this chapter.

[17] ‘Iraqi relates this story in the Lama’ât and identifies the correspondents as Yahya ibn Mu’adh Razi and Bayazid Bastami, Sufis of the third/ninth century.

[18] Jami, Lawâmi’, ed. by H. Ali Aqa, Tehran, 1341/1962, pp. 19-23.