‘You don’t seek guidance from those drunken men,
So why insist they mend their rags again?
God’s lovers stand beyond all faiths, as they
Are shown by God Himself a higher way.’
Book Two of Rumi’s Masnavi is concerned with the challenges facing the seeker of Sufi enlightenment. In particular it focuses on the struggle against the self, and how to choose the right companions in order to progress along the mystical path. By interweaving amusing stories and profound homilies, Rumi instructs his followers in a style that still speaks directly to us. In this volume, stories such as ‘Moses and the Shepherd’, ‘The Foolhardy Man who Trusted a Bear’s Good Intentions’
and ‘Mo’awiya and Satan’ are among the most popular in the entire Masnavi.
The most influential Sufi poem ever written, the six books of the Masnavi are often called ‘the Qur’an in Persian’. Self-contained, as well as continuing the journey along the spiritual path, Book Two is here translated into rhyming couplets in the style of Jawid Mojaddedi’s prize-winning translation of Book One.
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