Shams Tabraiz was one of the many influences on Rumi. I do not think it is possible to describe how difficult it was to write that sentence since the relationship between Rumi and Tabraiz is one of the most complicated ones with regard to theology, mysticism and even poetry. I am actually afraid to write anything about the two (other than using the poetic license of verse) since I would not presume to put anything down which seeks to explain one of the most beautiful connections that ever existed. Rumi of course, is one of the great masters of mysticism and esoteric knowledge. Quite literally a source of inspiration for generations of poets and writers from the East as well as the West. Tabraiz being his master/teacher/guide/friend/supporter (the number of slashes only show the jumble in my own thoughts concerning the two!) also holds his own place in the hearts of Eastern writers.
I recently reread some words by Rumi concerning death and rebirth into a higher from which in the original persian sound tremendously beautiful. I also found a related verse by Shams which was as follows; “Ma ba falak budaym yar e malaik budayum”, which in English means, I was living in the heavens, I was friends with the angels. The essential idea being that before we were born we were in the heavens as spirits therefore death will only take us back to the place which is our essential home. Of course, neither Rumi nor Shams had a death wish but I do feel that their poetry and words have an understanding of death as moving to a higher plane of existence.
I have been told that some of my poetry can be quite morbid as it deals with subjects such as death or growing old but I would like to explain that it is simply a move from one plane of existence to another. As Iqbal put it, “Maut kia shay hay? Faqat alam-e-maani ka safar” (what is death but a journey to a different plane of meanings). That, I believe has to be remembered as the essence of what poetic death means and quite a few orders of sufi as well as esoteric schools of thought agree with that idea. With the notion of remembering and forgetting, I present this poor effort for your amusement below.
باخدا ہمیں اب وہ رات یاد نہیں
اس رات میں کہی کوئی بات یاد نہیں
I do not recall that night
I do not recall anything
That was said
سادہ دل لوگ ہیں، جشنِ آزاد مناتے ہیں
جیت انہیں یاد ہے، کوئی مات یاد نہیں
They are a simple people
They are celebrating their freedom
They remember a victory that took place ages ago
They do not remember recent defeats
موارخ سے یہی پوچھا کرتا ہوں میں
کمالِ مغرب یاد ہیں، خرافات یاد نہیں؟
Is ask my historian friend
You easily recall the wonders of civilisation
کس جوش سے مانگتے ہیں اسلامی ریاست
خلافت تو یاد ان کو، مساوات یاد نہیں
With fervor he asks for
The power to govern
He remembers ruling others
Not being equal to the ruled
پھر عشق کی رہ چلے؟ آفریں حافظے پے
رنگِ عشق یاد ہے، آفات یاد نہیں؟
You are walking the path of love again?
What a wondrous memory my friend!
You recall the beauty of love
Not its miseries
ما با فلک بودیم، یارِ ملائک بودیم
استاد تجھے تبریز کی یہ بات یاد نہیں؟
I was living in the heavens,
I was friends with the angels.
Do you not remember
These words of Tabraiz?