DISCOURSES OF RUMI (Fihi ma Fib by jaw al-Din Runril)

DISCOURSES OF RUMI (Fihi ma Fib by jaw al-Din Runril)

A. J. Arberry Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) has long been recognized as the greatest mystical poet of Islam and it can well be argued that he is the supreme mystical poet of all mankind. Fihi ma Fih, his prose utterances, hitherto laid neglected, rescued from the obscurity of forgotten manuscripts, are translated here for the first time out of the original Persian. These discourses must be allowed to rank amongst the most remarkable documents of religious literature. Their value as a primary source of history, though considerable, is merely incidental to their importance as firsthand documents illustrating the mystical doctrine of Rumi, and throwing light upon his thought processes. This is not an easy book to read, but its study will prove richly rewarding, both for its own sake and for the light which it frequently throws upon Iturni’s poetry. It is in fact not too much to say, that the Discourses are a necessary introduction to the understanding of the poems. They provide a unique key to the wisdom of Islam. *** “In my version I have sought to be as faithful to the original as could be contrived, endeavoring to reproduce the actual style of Rumi as he uttered these impromptu conversations.” -A. J. Arberry *55 “Rich in meaning and repays deep, unhurried reflection. It is time well spent- for this concentration of parable, anecdote and aphorism has a message as modern and as necessary today as it was 700 years ago.” — Birmingham Post


A. J. Arberry

A J. Arberry (1905-1969) was born at Buckland, Portsmouth and educated at the Pembroke College, Cambridge. He took a first in both parts of the Oriental Language Tripos in 1929 and was elected as the Junior Research Fellow by his College. During the period of 1932-1944 he worked, first as the head of the Classics Department of the Cairo University and then as the Assistant Librarian of the India Office, London. In 1944, he was appointed to the chair of Persian at the London University. In 1946, he became Professor of Arabic and Head of the Near and Middle East Department and in the following year he returned to Pembroke as Sir Thomas Adam’s Professor of Arabic, a post which he held for the remainder of his life.

A profound and inspiring teacher, he was also an immensely prolific and versatile writer, publishing over sixty works on a wide range of topics in Arabic and Persian studies as well on the facets of Islamic languages and civilization. His translation of the Qur’ān is regarded among the best to be produced in the English language.


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