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Panel XIII-26, 2023 Annual Meeting

On Sunday, November 5 at 1:30 pm

Panel Description
  • Dr. Nargis Ali Virani -- Chair
  • Sajedeh Hosseini -- Presenter
  • Azim Fazlipour -- Presenter
  • Dr. Riham Debian -- Presenter
  • Muhammad K. Ridwan -- Presenter
  • Azim Fazlipour
    The story of Qalʻeh Dhāt al-Ṣowar is the last story of Rūmī's Masnavi, which seems to be unfinished, and book six has ended with it. Some have considered this story to include the main secrets of Rūmī's mystical school and believed that most of Rūmī's secrets in Masnavi are summarized in this story. By reading it carefully, most of the secrets of Rūmī's mystical school and thoughts are revealed. The story is about a kingdom with three cherished sons. The king emphasized to the princes that they should not walk around the castle which is called “Qalʻeh Dhāt al-Ṣowar” or “DEJ HUSHROBA” and do not set foot there because it would bring them nothing but eternal misery and cruelty. Shaykh Najīb al-Dīn Muḥammad Riḍā Jowharī (d. 1108/1696) was the 30th Qutb of Dhahabiyyah. He tried to complete the unfinished story of Rumi in book six and he called his work “Masnavi book seven”. Masnavi Sabʻ al-mathānī is a guide to the journey toward God that leads disciple (Sālik) step by step. Najīb al-Dīn Riḍā has written the story of reputable citizens, which is the narration of the soul of the disciple, in continuation of the story of castle of the essence of images, the sixth book of the Rūmī’s Masnavi, and considered it as a complement to the unfinished story of Rūmī. This Masnavi was composed 410 years after the death of Mawlānā Rūmī and is considered as the seventh volume of the Rūmī Masnavi by Sabʻal-mathānī. Masnavi Sabʻ al-mathānī (Masnavi book seven) was written in twenty thousand verses based on the weight of Rūmī's Masnavi. Najīb al-Dīn Riḍā has acknowledged that this Masnavi was inspired by him in dreams in 1075/1664 and appeared twenty years later in 1094/1683 - 1095/1684. In this paper, I will try to analyze the subject of unfinished story of mathnavi book 6 of Rumi, the root of story " castle of the essence of images". Also I will talk about Masnavi Sabʻ al-mathānī which I worked on 6 versions of this manuscript and will share the details of this work. I will talk about the subject of Masnavi Sabʻ al-mathānī which is a guideline for fascinated disciple (Sālik-i Majdhūb) and fourteen conditions in Ṭarīqa as well. Keywords: Masnavi book seven, Rumi, Masnavi Sabʻ al-mathānī, Sufism shi’ite
  • Sajedeh Hosseini
    In his poetry, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, claims that he has reached the stage of knowing God. To define his frame of mind, as well as the spiritual stages went through in order to reach annihilation, in one of his poems, he states that he was constantly burnt until he discovered the way to love God. To Rūmī, this burning is the direct result of knowing God and becoming one with him. Within the same poem, he claims that he was raw at first, then he was cooked, and finally was burnt (into ashes). The three stages of being raw, then cooked, and finally being burnt are clearly referring to the spiritual stages that Rūmī went through, to reach certainty about the one and only truth, God. As said by Sufi scholars, all the seekers experience the same stages, however, every Sufi or truth seeker has a different interpretation of what they experience until they reach their final destination. This paper seeks to explore whether or not the spiritual changes stated by Rūmī in his poetry correspond directly with his life experiences. This research will show that the evidence from Rūmī’s poetry and biography demonstrates that his distinguished spiritual stages are simultaneous with three outstanding events within his life cycle. It will also show that his intellectual maturity is synchronized with the teachings and the influence of three profoundly formative characters within his life. His father Baha al-Din Valad, his shaikh Borhan al-Din Mohaqqeq, and the mysterious Sham al-Din Tabrizi played a key role in shaping his intellectual maturity. It will then show that each one of these characters contributed to the previous knowledge of Rūmī empowering him to rapidly ascend the steps towards perfection.
  • Muhammad K. Ridwan
    Numerous studies have been conducted to analyze Rumi's thoughts from spiritual and mystical perspectives. However, the interconnection of Rumi’s thoughts and the sociopolitical context has hardly been studied. This study aims to examine Rumi's thought and its parallelity to the socio-historical and political context of 13th-century Anatolia. This study focuses on re-reading the Mathnawi with a contextual approach to construe how the context of the time influenced Rumi’s thoughts. By re-reading the Mathnawi through this lens, this study can capture an intellectual genealogy of Rumi's life and his thoughts as a whole. The interrelation of the sociopolitical context with Rumi’s thoughts can be viewed when he conveyed the deep meaning of love, humanity, tolerance, and inclusivity in religious understanding. For example, when Rumi expressed his thoughts on love as the highest goal of the relationship between a man and God, love also can serve as a foundation for building relationships between humans, nations, cultures, and different living systems. In Rumi’s horizon, love helps to foster a sense of acceptance and appreciation for the differences that exist between humankind. Love can provide a bridge that allows individuals to build relationships with each other. The strong connection can create a space of understanding and respect that can be used to work through issues and find common ground. In this sense, it personifies the broader context that Anatolia in the latter half of the thirteenth century was a time and place in transition and flux where Rumi lived in the midst of a turbulent sociopolitical situation. The indiscriminate attacks of the Mongols and various internal religious conflicts within the Muslim community along with the Crusades added to the dark history of human antagonism. By this context, Rumi formulated a contextual conception of love that can serve unity in diversity. Therefore, Rumi incorporates the sociopolitical context into his mind and transforms it into a reflective spiritual poem. This means that Mathnawi is a mirror that resonates with Rumi's reality, a medium that connects Rumi to the real world. This contributes that Mathnawi is not only a spiritual couplet but also a unique product thought of its time that reflects Rumi’s worldview.
  • Dr. Riham Debian
    This paper engages with the question of salving mystic in Arabic Aesthetics and their linguistic expression and narrative revelation and mediation across textual spaces. The paper particularly deals with thesufi’scouplet malady (aala:sickness) and madad (provision) in their interface with the space and place of selves’ habitation and habituationand intersection with questions of identity—the historical spaces and geographical places one inhabits and embodies. Opening a repertoire between contextualized stylistics and poetics semiology (Boise-Bier2011; Jackobson 1960), the paper examines the space and place of malady and madadin al-Ghitany’s Kitab al-Tagiliat (The Book of Revelation1983), Ashour’s ThulathiatGhirnata (Granada Trilogy 1995)Bassiouny’s Sabil Al-Ghareq (Fountain of the Drowning 2018; 2022).The paper examines the stylistic and poetical encoding and recoding of the selves’ maladies and slaving madads from Ghitany to Bassiouny and their entanglement in the questions of Egyptian identity-politics. The latter are enacted through the enchanted embodiment of special historicity and temporal geographicity that traverses the boundaries of time and place to the salving atemporality of the perpetual madad providing for the selves’ continual pursuit to incarnation and habituation. The paper ultimately argues for the intergenerational intertextuality of Arabic aesthetics that stylistically and poetically enacts theslaving mysticism of Sufi Madad through historical and geographical semioticization of the Egyptian character continuity across space, time and places of habituation—redeeming the malaise of unhomeliness in the body through belonging and homliness. The three writers engage with the historical novel as a form of delivery of their Egyptian mystical relation with space and place across the fleeting and floatation of time and the maladies of the bodied selves. The three novelist-historians are involved with the question of place and the life-worlds that spaces generate providing for healing incantations to effect social and psychological wellbeing across time and gender.