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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Who was Shams?
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Shams of Tabriz as portrayed in a 1500 painting in a page of a copy of Rumi's poem dedicated to Shams. BNF Paris. (Photo credit: Wiki...
Shams of Tabriz as portrayed in a 1500 paintin...
Shams of Tabriz as portrayed in a 1500 painting in a page of a copy of Rumi's poem dedicated to Shams. BNF Paris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shams, born in Tabriz about eight hundred years ago, is reported to be the mystical teacher of the Persian Poet Rumi. Many feel the reported stories and events about the relationship of Shams and Rumi are real where as other feel the stores are only a myth. Whether the descriptions of their relationship are real or not is really not the issue. Shams is immortalized in Rumi’s poetry and there is something profound in the understanding carried by Shams about what lies in each heartto become the catalyst for Rumi, a highly educated cleric and scholar, to become a profound mystical Poet.

The story reported to the author about Shams was that Shams had come to have some particularmystical understanding such that he had a passionate desire to share the understanding he had obtained. In asking God to be able to share the understanding, God is reported to have asked, "What price are you willing to pay to share it?" Shams is reported to have said, "My life."
The story goes on to say that Shams was dismissed by many and appeared more of an unkept, uneducated beggar than a man of wisdom. One day the paths of Rumi and Shams crossed. There are many versions as to what transpired in their meeting. But, as a result of their meeting, Rumi the cleric ceased to be the cleric and became one of the most profound and loved mystical poets of the heart.
Shams and Rumi are reported to have spent time together. Again the stories vary as to how and why the two separated. But, in any case, two things stand out in this story. One, whether true or not, is "What is it that the can be known such that an individual would be willing to give their life to share that knowledge with one individual?" The second is that what is it that can be known about what lies within an individual that the cleric almost over night was transformed into a profound poet. What is it that Shams passed to Rumi that forever change Rumi and, for that matter, the world?
Some would say there was nothing special about the Shams - Rumi relationship and Shams did nothing for Rum any different than what any teacher does for their disciple. But, then why was Rumi immortalized in the Rumi poetry and why is this story discussed eight hundred years later if there wasn’t something special about Shams?
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