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A photo of iron transenna, once in place  around Hafez's tomb

Khájeh Shams Uddin Muhammd Háfez was born about the year 1324 in Shiráz.
His father died before he could train and bring him up, and Háfez was obliged to look after himself and plan his own studies. His elementary and advanced education was in the hands of the great scholars of Shiráz, and he became expert in a number of intellectual pursuits and literary arts. And it can be gathered from his poems that he had studies and acquired a competent knowledge of Arabic literature also. He committed the entire Qur`án to memory, and for this reason his pen name was Háfez (Memoriser). With the great delight which literary activity produced in him, he included many verse of the Qut`án and their teaching in his attractive verse.
Háfez lived in the time of Shah Sheikh Abul Haqq Inju: Amír Mubarrez Uddin the founder of the Muzaffarid dynasty in Fars: Shah Shujá` his son, and Shah Mansứr.
In his poems he speaks well of them, and although during his lifetime Shiráz changed hands three times, and dynasties fell, and in addition several times acute dispute and conflict arose between princes of the same dynasty, and as a result Shiráz was besieged and plundered, nevertheless Háfez by a natural attachment and love of his birthplace, put up with all distresses and restrictions, and preferred the fresh breeze of Shiráz, the green sward of the Musallá, and the banks of the great world. He did not accept the invitation sent him by kings of neighbouring or even by other princes in Iran. Háfez`s fame and renown in his lifetime Norway confined to Fars and Iran, but extended to `Iráq and India also, and Sultan Ahmad Jaláir, the erudite King of Baghdád, and patron of learning, invited him several times to visit `Iráq and Arabia, and also two of the Indian Kings, Muhammad Shah of the Deccan, and Sultan Ghiyáthuddin of Benegal sent him his travelling expenses, that he might set out for India, but the exhilarating air of Shiráz and love of country caused him to decline these invitations.
The poems of Háfez, of which there are more than 6000, are moral and ethical, and attest his prefect knowledge and insight, and while he described the outward beauties of nature, and spoke of wine and lover, of flower and nightingale, his purpose was to seek the eternal beauty, for all lovely and attractive things are but a reflection of God`s immortal beauty.
Háfez was born under unfavourable conditions in a disturbed area and a tumultuous age, and his days on earth were also full of calamities and invasions and changes of the dynasty in Fars. Four kings ruled in Shiráz and Fars during his lifetime, one after another, and three distinct dynasties were successively in power. The assault of the Moghuls and the bloodshed of Changiz took place before he was born, but the effects remained until his time. And the flood-like inrush of Tímurlang, undermining so many foundations, with which he was contemporary many, disturbed the peace and normal conditions of life in Iran, Fars and Shiráz, and vice replaced virtue.

Tomb of Hafez (Shiraz)

But Háfez, despite the exigencies of the time, and the decline of culture and idealism, sought to acquire the jewel of knowledge, and he attained the highest degrees of mystical knowledge, which may be even inaccessible to many of the initiated. His manner of life and external condition was accompanied by a loftiness of aim, a magnanimity, and a moderation. He preferred a quiet nook of contentment to a hoard of gold, a stone pillow to a royal crown, and leisure of mind to the clamour that surrounds a king. He had so free a hand and heart, that he would give even Samarqand and Bukhárá in Turkistán for the mole of the lip of the one he loved.
Háfez by the influence of his words, and through his intrepidity rebuked and taunted hypocritical clerics, deceitful ascetics, and those who offered precept without practice, and he disputed violently with them.
And although in his time four kings in Fars were displaced, in spite of this he avoided inappropriate eulogy of any of them, and improper panegyric, but if they rendered a service to the country and its people, so that for a short while ease and tranquility were enjoyed, then he praised them briefly in a couplet or two, but without exaggeration or flattery, and the praise he gave accorded with the facts.


Háfez`s Tomb was built in 1733 by Karím Khán Zand in this sense that king had a railing placed round the spot where the poet`s body lay. He also divided the ground into two areas which still exist. And he arranged that they should be connected by an open porch resting on four monolithic columns. He also obtained and placed on the grave a great slab of marble on which he caused some of Háfez`s verse to be inscribed in beautiful Nast`alíq script, and this still remains. But the essential repairs and the present structure were undertaken by the Ministry of Education and the Archaeological Service in 1935. The alternatives were briefly as follows:
A garden was laid out at the entrance to the tomb in area 6258 square meters, and two organgeries were planted on either side. With the construction of two great oblong pools, each 30 meters long, flanked by flower planted on either side towards the west and east to form a magnificent colonnade of twenty columns 70 meters in length. The center of this colonnade was approached by flights of stone steps on the north and south sides, thus connecting the two areas.


 Hafez Tomb

As stated, the four columns in the center of the colonnade were placed there in the days of Karím Khán Zand, and sixteen other columns, together with the eight supporting the canopy over the grave were cut in 1936, and placed in position. The grave of Háfez is situated in the center of the Mausoleum garden, which has an area of 2620 square meters, and over it is a groined and domed ceiling of coloured mosaic resting on eight slender columns. Set in the stone lintel above the column is one of Háfez`s best couplets in mosaic faience in the Suls character, which may be translated as follows.
« To the soul `s of my body is a screen.
Blest be the day that face unscreened is seen! »
On the marble slab of the gravestone this verse is engraved:
« Who serve the king of all are themselves kings.
O heart! His grace ever protection brings. »
On the front of the great colonnade facing the entrance garden are these lines:
«No longer flower-faced maidens entice me;
Nor can their slender grace still suffice me. »
On the other front of the colonnade facing the tomb are these lines:
«Deem it no fault to hearken to the wise;
You misinterpret: that `s were the fault lies. »
At the both ends of the colonnade these words are inscribed on a tablet of marble:
« God `s Heavenly Garden`s where the mystic dwells;
Honour to those who frequent mystic`s cells! »
The following beautiful verses of Háfez have been deeply cut on the face of the great marble stone, beneath which his body rests:

مژدة وصل تو کو کز سر جان برخیزم        طایر قدسم و از دام جهان برخیزم
بوفای تو که گر بندة خویشم خوانی            از سر خواجگی کون و مکان برخیزم
یا رب از ابر هدایت برسان بارانی            پیشتر زانکه چو گردی ز میان برخیزم
بر سر تربت ما بی می و مطرب منشین       تا ز شوقت ز لحد رقص کنان برخیزم
خیز و بالا بنما ای بت شیرین حرکات         کز سر جان و جهان دست فشان برخیزم
گرچه پیرم تو شبی تنگ در آغوشم گیر        تا سحرگه ز کنار تو جوان برخیزم
روز مرگم نفسی مهلت دیدار بده               که چو حافظ ز سر جان و جهان برخیزم

The above verse have been finely rendered into English by Gertrude Bell, Háfez` most felicitous translator, as follows:
Where are the tidings of union? That I may arise

Hafez Tomb

Forth from the dust I will rise up to welcome thee
My soul, like a homing bird, yearning for paradise
Shall arise and soar, from the snares of the world set free
When the voice of thy love shall call me to be thy slave
I shall rise to a greater far than the mastery.
Of life and the living, time and the mortal span.
Pour down, O Lord! From the clouds of thy guiding grace
The rain of a mercy that quickeneth on my grave.
Before, like dust that the wind bears from place to place
I arise and flee beyond the knowledge of man
When to my grave thon turnest thy blessed feet.
Wine and the lute thou shalt bring in thine hand to me.
Thy voice shall ring through the folds of my winding-sheet,
And I will arise and dance to thy minstrelsy.
Though I be old, clasp me one night to thy breast
And I when the dawn shall come to awaken me.
With the flush of youth on my cheek from thy bosom will rise
Rise up! Let mine eyes delight in thy stately grace!
Thou art the goal to which all men`s endeavour has pressed,
And thou idol of Háfez` worship; thy face
From the world and life shall bid him come forth and arise!»
The following couplets, which are a meditation on a vision of the crescent moon, are to be seen on the eastern wall of the compound in which tomb is situated.

مزرع سبز فلک دیدم و داس مه نو                یادم از کشته خویش آمد و هنگام درو
گفتم ای بخت بخسبیدی و خورشید دمید            گفت با اینهمه از سابقه نومید مشو
تکیه بر اختر شبگرد مکن کاین عیار              تاج کاووس ربود و کمر کیخسرو
گر روی باک و مجرد چو مسیحا بفلک            از فروغ تو بخورشید رسد صد پرتو
آسمان گو مفروش این عظمت کاندرعشق           خرمن مه بجوی خوشه پروین به دو جو

Below is a metrical rendering of three of them into English:
In the green sky I saw the new moon reaping.
And minded was I of my own life`s field:
What harvest wilt thon to the sickle yield,
When through thy fields, the moon-shaped knife goes sweeping?
In other fields the sunlit blade is growing.
But still thon sleep on, and take no beed:
The sun is up, yet idle is thy seed:
Thon souest no! Though all the world is sowing.
If bon like Christ, be pure and single-hearted
Who to the heavens ascended up on bigb
Thy brilliance shall the solar rays belie
The sun be brightened by thy light imparted.

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