Mushtaque B Barq

A brief introduction of Nur-ud-din Abdur Rahman Jami (R.A)

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My heart! Learn this good saying

Which I heard from those who know wise saws:-

Who draws the unrighteous sword

Will be slain by the sword of the unrighteous…(Jami, Beharistan)

Nur-ud-din Abdur Rahman Jami (R.A) son of MulanaNizam-ud-din Ahmed of Desht, was born on 23rd of Sha’ban in Jam, a small town not far from Heart, the capital of Khorasan, A.H. 817, from whence he took the title of Jami, which means drinking cup as well as a native of Jam. He lived in the reign of Sultan Husain Baikara, a descendant of the great Timur who held his court at Heart and where from he learned Muselman Law. His family was one of the highest respectability, being descended, as stated, from Mohammad –al- Shaibaul, the friend of Abu Hanifah. They originally dwelt in Dasht, a twonneighbouring Isfahan, but due to some reasons he migrated to Khorasan and settled in a little town Jam. As he grew old, he was sent to the Nizamiah Madrasah and placed under the tuition of MollaJonidOcooli, a man known for profound knowledge of the Arabic language. From the class of MollaJonidOcooli, Jami joined Khwajah‘ Alyl-al Samarqandi and subsequently received few lessons from Molla ‘Shabad -al-din Mohammad Jajormi, a pupil of S’ad-al- Din al- Taftazami. Jami admits that he learned two things _  the satisfactory elucidation of a passage to which objects had been taken in the Talwiah and the solution of a question in rhetoric.

Beauty of face and voice

Each alone ravishes the heart.

Both however combined in one

Perplex the affairs of pious men. …(Jami, Beharistan)

Daulat Shah in his “Memoirs of the Poets” reveals that Jami commenced his career by studying the liberal sciences in which he attained a distinguished superiority over all his contemporaries. His ardent desire compelled him to be instructed in the mysteries and Philosophy of the Sufis which he attained by becoming a disciple of the Sheikh-al-Islam Saad-ud-din of Kashgar, a descendent of the holy Burha-ud-din Naqashband. On the death of his master, he succeeded to his situation. Jami chiefly devoted his leisure hours to the study of metaphysics and writing commentaries on Sufi mysticism, totally abandoning all poetic compositions and works of imagination. He admits:

“For the future, O Jami, seal the lips of speech, and no longer charm your heart with the pleasure of imaginations. Waste not a valuable life in poetical compositions, for of what importance is it, even supposing you had filled more pages with them?”

The memoir of Abū ‘AbdAllāhJa’far ibn Muḥammad al-Rūdhakī better known as Rudaki ), and also known as “Adam of Poets” was a Persian poet regarded as the first great literary genius of the Modern Persian language unfolds that Jami’s mental faculties were such that at the age of eight years he learned the entire Quran by heart and acquired the Ciraat, or the manner of reading it.

A sage has on a retained and divulged secret,

Uttered the following excellent simile:-

The one is like an arrow yet in the hand

The other like an arrow which has left the bow.…(Jami, Beharistan)

MollaAbooYousuf, a pupil of Qadhi Room, informs us that Jami corrected numerous errors in some astronomical calculations marginally noted by his master on a discourse on the subject that he gave to passages in the ShashMolakklac-i- Cahghmini. Jami lived a retired life and contrary to the habit of poets, shunned the society of great people.

All benefits are in one house, and there is

No other key ton it except humility

Thus also, all evils are connected in one house

Which has no other key but wealth and wishes…(Jami, Beharistan)

His Obedience to master

Jami saw a vision in which S’ad al- Din appeared to him and said “Go, O child! And wait on one who is indispensable to you”. He immediately placed himself under the spiritual guidance of Sad-al- Din, by whom he was subjected to many penances and austerities. His master compelled him to renounce society, to observe silence and to court solitude and to all these impositions, Jami submitted with willing obedience. It was found that he lost the elegance of speech and those powers of eloquence for which he was so justly celebrated.

Blame not my ugly countenance,

O thou who art void of virtue and justice,

The body is like the scabbard and the soul the sword,

The scimitar does the work; not the sheath…(Jami, Beharistan)

Literary Contribution

Jami’s compositions are numerous. The author of the Mirat-ul- Khaial states that Jami left behind him 90 works. The most celebrated are the seven Masnawi’s styled the Sab’at al- Haqq, which the author of the AtishKadah-i- A’dzar in merit ranks second to the Khamshah of Nizami. Other works include: Shawahid al- Nabowwat, Nafahat –al- Ous, Ash’at-ul- Lam’aat, Lawayah- a commentary on the Qacidah of Ibn Farid, SharhAbyat-i- Mir Khosroo, Sokhanan-i- KhwajahParsa, Tarjamal-i- Chahal Hadith, ManaqifMawlawiKhwajahAncar, Baharistan, ShashHisalah-i- Manasik-i- Haj and RisalahOroodhwaQafiah etc.

His Death

Jami died on the 8th of Moharram A.H. 898 after an illness of a few days.

The rose has left the garden, of what use are the thorn?

The Shah is not in the town, of what use id his retinue?

Belles are the cage, beauty and attraction the parrot

When the parrot has fled, of what use is the cage? …(Jami, Beharistan)

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