"Let us drink, friends, from this masterful poet, this incomparable intoxicated mystic who committed the Qur'an to heart and has become himself an intoxication. Let us drink this love, for the Divine forgives . . . "
— Omid Safi
The Illuminated Hafiz is a companion volume to The Illuminated Rumi (1997), and together they present a creative, meditative and transformative picture of Sufism. These two spiritual teachers are internationally revered mystics who walked their talk.
There are several things about The Illuminated Hafiz: Love Poems for the Journey to Light that set it apart from other tomes about the mystical path. First are the stunning visuals by Michael and Salina Green which amplify the devotional poems. Second, it uses work from the best commentators and translators of Hafiz's work, with citations as to where the poetry originally appeared. Included are translations and commentaries by Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Meher Baba, Peter Booth, and Jonathan Granoff. The stage is set in the foreword by Islamic scholar Omid Safi, and a biography of Hafiz and a glossary are offered by Peter Booth.
Here is a brief sampler of the Sufi mysticism presented on these pages in verse and illustration:
"Thanks be to God,
the darling whom I love and I
live in peace. Each time the playful angels
in paradise catch sight of us,
they reach for their wine glasses
about livelihood or property.
Be a subsistence for your friends.
A sitar string drawn tight. A drum."
"I have the treasure
in my sleeve
but my purse
the world-revealing cup
and I am
of the road."
If you want to start with one book of Hafiz, this is the one!