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Shams Tabrizi (East Azerbaijan)


Sheikh Shams al-Din Mohammad ibn Ali ibn Malek Dad-e Tabrizi was one of the prominent Sufi masters in the 7th century. He was born in 582 AH in Tabriz. Being different from the others, Shams spent his life in praying and traveling anonymously, so his life story is not very known to us. Just, it could be said that he was one of the great leaders of Sufism in his era in Azerbaijan and Asia Minor, and he was a follower of the Suhrawardi. He always traveled and wore a long black cloak of felt and he stayed in any possible places in caravansaries. Shams was one of those great personalities who search for an intellectual and knowledgeable man in all places and throughout society. After years of wandering around the world, eventually, Shams found this man by the age of sixty. He arrived in Konya in 642 AH, where Molana, one of the masters in jurisprudence, hadith, and religious education, was teaching. Meeting Shams, he was so amazed, impressed and stunned that he gave up teaching. Shams, this anonymous master, made Molana leave behind the sciences and teaching and took him to dancing and Sama. Now, the wise man kneeled down before Shams. Consequently, the followers of Molana and common men began to maledict and disgrace him and showed him their disapproval. Shams left Konya when he understood he could not solve the problem, and Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī rhymed about his sadness: “your love made me drunk and mad \ I am too drunk to know what to do \ I was sour grapes but grape now\ I cannot make myself sour\ people said it should not be this way\ I am drunk and I cannot think\ I was not like that, it is him who did this to me”

Due to Molana’s great sorrow and with the support of his followers, Shams returned to Konya. Molana wrote: “my sun and my moon came back\ my ears and my eyes came back\ that silver corps returned\ that golden stone returned”.

After coming back, shams started to write the poems and Sama until the malicious started to maledict again, so Shams went away for the second time. The biographers did not write anything special about his death and there is no reliable evidence in books and resources. There are some essays that Molana’s tutors collected so they are attributed to Shams. These essays are a collection of pleasant and nice words. He said: “I began to tell the truth so they made me leave; hence I can’t tell the truth”. Some researchers believe that he is buried in Khoy and they said that he died in 645 AH.

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