Shams Tabriz

Shams Tabrizi was also known as Shams Al-Din Mohammad and He was the spiritual instructor of Rumi. Shams has been referenced with great reverence in Rumi’s poetic collection, Diwan-I-Tabrizi (The Works of Shams of Tabriz).

On 15 November 1244, Shams visited a famous Inn of sugar merchants in Konya and told everyone he was a traveling merchant. Over there he came across Rumi reading next to a large stack of books. Shams Tabriz, passing by, asked him, “what are you doing”. Rumi scoffingly replied, “something you will not be able to understand” This is the knowledge that cannot be understood by the unlearned.

On hearing this Shams threw the stack of books into a nearby pool of water. Rumi hastily rescued the books and to his surprise, they were all dry.

Rumi asked Shams, “what is this?” To which Shams replied, “Mowlana, this is what you cannot understand – This is the knowledge that cannot be understood by the learned.

From then on Rumi became Shams’s student for a period of forty days before moving to Damascus.

Quotes That Will Change Your Perspectives

“Instead of resisting changes, surrender. Let life be with you, not against you. If you think ‘My life will be upside down’ don’t worry. How do you know down is not better than upside?”

“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, eastern or western…divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”

“The universe is a completely unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow on the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile.”

“Don’t search for heaven and hell in the future. Both are now present. Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven. Whenever we fight, hate, we are in hell.”

“A good man complains of no one; he does not look to faults.”

“This world is like a mountain.
Your echo depends on you.
If you scream good things,
the world will give it back.
If you scream bad things,
the world will give it back.
Even if someone says badly about you,
speak well about him.
Change your heart to change the world.”

“Most conflicts and tensions are due to language. Don’t pay so much attention to the words. In love’s country, language doesn’t have its place. Love’s mute.”

“Don’t judge the way other people connect to God; to each his own way and his own prayer.
God does not take us at our word. He looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.”

“The summary of the advice of all prophets is this;
Find yourself a mirror.”

“The whole universe is sum up in the Human Being.
Devil is not a monster waiting to trap us, He is a voice inside.
Look for Your Devil in Yourself, not in the Others.
Don’t forget that the one who knows his Devil, knows his God.”

“It is pointless trying to know where the way leads. Think only about your first step, the rest will come.”

“Every breath is a chance to reborn spiritually. But to be reborn into a new life, you have to die before dying.”

“The real dirt is not outside,
but inside, in our hearts.
We can wash all stains with water.
The only one we can’t remove is the grudge and the bad intentions sticking to our hearts.”

“Surrendering is not a weakness. On the contrary, it is strength. The surrender stops living in boiling water and starts living in a secure place.”

“When everyone is trying to be something, be nothing. Range with emptiness. Humans should be like a pot. As the pot is held by its emptiness inside, the human is held by the awareness of his nothingness.”