Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another Disciple of Shams

"[Alaa' ad-Dawla as-Simnaani] also corresponded with Salah ad-din Hasan al-Bulghari, born in Nakhjiwan in 603/1206-7, who was captured in a raid at the age of seven and taken to Bulghar. After approximately thirty years he returned to Iran and settled in Kirman, and over time came to be known as a mystical shaykh who had received his khirqa from Shams ad-din at-Tabrizi (d. 645/1247). He apparently maintained contacts with the Ilkhanid court and journeyed to Tabriz in Jumada I 698/February 1299, immediately preceding a raid on Kirman by a group of bandits. He died in Tabriz later that year [44]. Simnani appears to have considered Bulghari a teacher and referred to him in their correspondences as "my father" (pidaram); Bulghari in turn called Simnani his son (farzand). [45]

44. Khwafi, Fasih Ahmad b. Jalal ad-din Muhammad. Mujmal-i fasihi. 4 vols. Edited by Muhammad Farrukh. Mashhad: Kitabfurushi-yi bastan, 1960. 2:282, 287, 343, 379-80.

55. Ibn al-Karbala'i-yi Tabrizi, Husayn. Rawdaat al-janaan wa jannaat al-janaan. Edited by Ja'far Sultan al-Qurra'i. Majmu'a-yi matun-i farsi, no. 20. Edited by E. Yarshater. Tehran: Bungah-i tarjuma wa nashr-i kitab, 1965. 1:151, 146.

[Source: Elias, Jamal J. The Throne Carrier of God: The Life and Thought of Ala' ad-dawla as-Simnani. Pg 45]

It's amazing how great the students of Shams are. We know about the greatness of Rumi, but al-Bulghari was also a teacher of the great Alauddawla as-Simnani!

Shams seems to have come only for perfecting those who are already great Sufi masters, not the normal travellers on the path:

"I haven't come to do with the common people in this world - I haven't come for them. I've put my finger on the pulse of those who guide the world to the Real." (Me & Rumi)

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