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Not repeated tale of love in Nezami Ganjavi'S viewpoint.


Definition and the Nature of Love:

The first important source of discussion about love in the West culture is derived from the symposium of Plato and the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle.

Plato knows love as "the eagerness of owning goodness" and sometimes "the request of ownership of beauty" and he believes that love gets its power from passion. He quotes from Socrates in symposium that the love originated from the birthday of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, the daughter of Plenty who is the son of Metis, and Poverty. Therefore love is naturally eager of beauty [1].

Plato states one of the Socrates speeches: "love does not have beauty" because love is in quest of beauty, and certainly does not have it and is devoid of it and neither is beautiful nor is ugly. Love is a relationship among goddesses and humans.

He knows each enthusiasm for reaching the goodness and luck and also the passion of owning goodness forever as love [1].

Besides beauty and passion, love is also related to human soul. It is stated in the symposium of Plato, that: "the value of lover and his love is in that to whom and to what is interested in, and what they want from their beloved and what is the effect of love in them and in their beloved and to what extent leads them to the perfection."

Of course, the nature of love and its appearance in lover is a consequence of the position that love has emerged from it. Since lovers have different natures, appearance of love is different in them and special tempers are created for every lover.

Apparently the word "love" in Persian literature has been used for the first time in the poetries of Shahid Balkhi: His love is like a spider it weaves spider-web around my heart This word represents a mixture of Iranian ideas, and no one exposed any clear definition of love. The word "love" is a term that because of diversity of definitions has remained undefined, and is not describable.

But this word has been existed in Arab literature, before its emergence in Persian literature. Some books have been written about human and divine love and mystics in the third century AH in Arabic literature, and then in later centuries in Persian literature. Such as following: the Treatise "al-Eshgh and al-Nesa" by Jahiz (died in the year 250 AH), the book "al-Zahreh" by Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Dawud (died in the year 297 AH), the book "Eatedal al-gholoob" by Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Jafar al-sameri al-khareti (died in the year 327 AH), the book "Masre al-Oshagh" by Abu Mohammad Jafar Ibn Ahmad al-Seraj al-Ghari (died in the year 50 AH), the book "Rowzeh al-Ashegh va Nozhat al-Vamegh" by Ahmad Ibn Solyman Ibn Mohammad Alkasai Alshafi (died in the seven century AH) and so on.

And the other books such as: "Atf al-Alf al-Maluf Ala al-Lam al-Matoof' by Ab al-Hasan Dylami (died in the year 371 AH), "Masharegh al-Anvar al-Gholoob va Mafatih Asrar al-Ghoub" by Abu Zayd Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad al-Ansari al-Ghirvani who is famous as Ibn al-Dabagh (died in the year 696 AH), which have written in the area of mystical love and also can add to this samples the following books: "Bab-e Eshgh" in Rasael Akhavan al-Safa and "Resaleh al-Eshgh", written by Ibn Sina and "Savaneh al-Eshgh", written by Ahmad Ghazali and "Abhar al-Asheghin" Roozbehan Baghli.

Poets as well as writers have also a significant role in reconstruction of "theory of love". Nezami Ganjavi, the greatest poet of the love stories poetries, has a theory about love which is known as the theory of cosmic love. And in this article we will try to extract Nezami's "theory of love" from his poems.

Love relationship with the human soul:

Plotinus in his fifth treatise knows the soul as the mother of love and says that soul of every individual is connected with the soul of the world and is not quite disconnected from it, but it is placed in the soul of the world and as a result all souls are one. And individual love is connected to the whole love, and slight love is along with the slight soul and whole love is along with whole soul and also it believes in the cosmic love, the love that is flowing everywhere in the world.

In the monotheistic theory of Plotinus, the reality of the single God is the source of all light and all goodness which its radiance on nihility will reveal the visible world. For Neoplatonists, love is a driving motive which is necessary to convey the spirit for understanding the manifestation of the single God's beauty. Without love there is no spiritual blessedness; because in this case the spirit has no movement, undoubtedly, the love that is taken away to a misled path and just be erotic, then will divert the spirit from seeing the goodness [2].

Michael Barry, in his book "a Commentary on the Nezami's Haft Paykar", states the Neoplatonists viewpoint as follows: "the entire world rotates like concentric circles around its divine principle, the circles are more and less close to the first birthplace of light and they have come to motion by love. Sun and the other planets, which are motivated from the love that brought the spirit into circulate, are moving. Spirit is melted by becoming one with God in its origin and does not separate himself from him, anymore, and as a result, any dichotomy will be lost." [2].

Cosmic love:

Cosmic love is a general love, that human love to God is also part of it. The cosmic love in general is concerned a lot to metaphysical issues especially to the fact and to the nature of natural and alive existence. So the love issue is removed from pure religious and mystical forms and is converted into philosophical form.

This theory has been common in the fifth century among philosophers and is described by Ibn-e Sina. He knows two pillars for the cosmic love, first is that love, its levels and degrees are publics in different existences, and second is manifestation of God throughout the world and acceptance of this manifestation by different existences; the first subject is an inspector for lover and his/ her circumstances and the second issue is an inspector for the manifestation of goodness or virtue and beauty of beloved in the world and this is the manifestation that is causing the emergence of love in the existents.

In the general love, not only relation of human but also relation of all existences with God is considered; whether these existences are earthly beings or heavenly beings, whether they are mortal and/ or otherworldly and heaven beings.

Hakim Nezami is a first poet who stated the theory of the cosmic love in his poetries. This theory was first introduced in the 4th and 5th century, between philosophers. And among them the theory of Ibn-e Sina in "Resaleh al-Eshgh" is the best one.

Hakim Nezami, is tremendously influenced by theories of Islamic philosophers. Of course, Nezami is not a philosopher or Sufi, but wisdom has a special status in his poems. Nezami has been well familiar with thoughts of Neoplatonism and his stories have further philosophical aspects.

Neoplatonism idealism in medieval was trying to coordinate Greek insights with instances of holy books Asfar-e Khamseh, Gospel and/ or Quran-according to the considered location and opinion. This effort is constituted the base of all ideas in medieval, from Baghdad to Paris [2].

Nezami also follows the idea of Neoplatonism, and knows the world as a reflection of God's beauty and knows love as a motion that makes the entire world to move. The couplets that Nezami has written at the beginning of the Khosrow Parviz poetries collection, in facts are expression of the theory of cosmic love.

He wants to state love motives as a cosmic truth through his love stories, which are related to the love of human to human [4].

Among the poets of lyrical tales, no poet except Nezami has been succeeding in showing of abilities. Love is the base of Nezami's legends, such as, Leyli and Majnun Love, Khosrow and Shinn Love, Farhad Love, Farhad-e Gur Love, and so on. Speaking about love in the viewpoint of Nezami is speaking about his soul, as he says so in Makhzan al-Asrar: In the word Love, the speech is about our soul we are speech and this height is our balcony [13].

In the viewpoint of Hakim Nezami, love is a fact that flows throughout the world, ranging from spheres to the four elements including earth, water, wind and fire, and it is flows everywhere. Sphere motions and existence of the entire world are originated from love. Renowned poet of Ganjeh looked to the world through love's eyes. He considered love as a motive of the world and as a resource of the world and the nature; this meaning is observable at the beginning of Khosrow and Shirin poetries collection, where he speaks about love:

Sphere has no alter except love the world has no water without the soil of love If the soul of the world was loveless who was alive in the periods of world One's semen does not growth without the seed of love One is not safe except in the home of love What is better than the fervency of love in the universe? That without it, flower does not laugh, cloud does not cry

If love is placed on the surface of a stone by its love produce a jewel

If magnetic does not be a lover How it can attract iron things with its zealotry

If fire does not find a pore on the earth will split the earth and rise up

If some water remain late in the air it will also recurrent down by tendency of nature

Natures does not know any work except tension philosophers call this tension as love [12].

In viewpoint of Nezami, without love nothing is alive in the world. Even if he has one hundred spirits, he knows again the home of love as the lone secure place that except this place, one does not have any security; he believes that this love is running even in stones, pearls, flowers and clouds. No seed will grow without love and magnetic which attracts iron is its lover, even amber attracts straw because it is lover of straw: If there was no love in the pass amber was not seeking for the straw [12].

If fire tendency is toward up and if water does not remain in the air and comes down, are all due to the attraction of love. The entire world and all the existence are standing up by love.

Nezami believes that Khosrow and Shirin's love is one sight of the cosmic love and by stating these couplets at the beginning of Khosrow and Shirin poetries collection expresses this theory. In the mind of Nezami, love is a single truth and is like a common spiritual light and it is reasonable to be doubt. As light has degrees and levels, love is also has levels and degrees. These levels and degrees depend on lover; the love that exists in the elements and in the spheres is different from that love which exists in the animals and humans; and also the love that human has to his/ her congener, is also different from the love which relates to the love of holy people to God. But, anyway, all these are degrees and levels of one truth and so weather we talk about the Spheres' love and weather talk about a nightingale's love to a flower or a butterfly's love to a candle or mother's love to her child, or Leyli's love to Majnun or Khosrow's love to Shirin, in all above we talk about the same single truth [9].

Nezami himself is also alive by love:

Because I found that I did not have spirit without love I sold my heart and bought a spirit [13].

By speaking about love, Nezami makes sleepy the eyes of wisdom and prays that any miser do not benefit from the story of love, except good readers and good writers.

Christian or Muslim Neoplatonisms thoughts can be sought in the thoughts of Nezami. All concepts of the great literary masterpiece of the Neoplatonisms thoughts in civilization of the west, signifies the Comedy of Dante, exactly states Nezami's same thought:

Temperaments has no duty except attraction Sages call this attraction as love. Dante in the last four couplets of his poem reveals the theory of cosmic love, The overreaching imagination cannot go in this place.

But love which brings into circulation, the sun and the other stars, Like a wheel which itself is also on motion, Moves my desire and my decision [2].

Love is a motivation of everything and this is love that circulates the soul. If you think through your insight nature is standing due to the love.

Many of virtues and poets predicate a public gravitation which flows in all particles of the world, as "love and amour" and they believed that love is a general gravitation that exists in all the existence. Love for Molana is a therapist, a leader and also a guide: Well done to our good-profitable love the physician of all of our illnesses is love The remedy of our arrogance and our honor is love our Plato and Galen is love The body which is consisted of soil, received to heavens by love, mountain danced and became agile by it Hey lover! The power of motion of mountain is due to love the Tur Mountain by observing the beauty of the beloved became rapture and Moses (AS) by observing God, ignored himself and became senseless.

Molana also believes in the cosmic love and finds it available in entire of the world:

It is the fire of the love that burns straw the turbulence of wine is due to the love (Molana, 1997-1998, page: 3)

But Molana's intention of love is a divine love and if he mentions to the cosmic love, this implication has lateral aspect; in contrast Hakim Nezami pays attention to the cosmic love generally, and although he knows the highest stage of love as human to God love, but he also respects to human to human love and appreciates it.

Disinterested love:

Nezami believes in the eternal and pure love and love without lust, and he separates love from lust. Nezami also believes that disinterested love causes good name for person.

In the period that misogyny was ruling among poets and writers, and poets speak with proud about the love of Mahmoud to Ayaz, Nezami just speaks about love to women.

The main roles of his work are devoted to women. Women are always instructor and guide for men and teach them the ways of wisdom. Women reach their goal, at the end of the legend and men are more indecisive and have confused thought. Some of the instructors in Nezami's story are as following: Shinn, Leyli, Fetneh (Azadeh) and Haft Shahdokht.

Dr. Behrouz Sarvatian in his article by this title "The Secret of Leyli and Majnun Love", states very beautiful couplets from the poetry of Leyli and Majnun and he portrays the disinterested love of Majnun. Of course without mentioning to the page or the number of couplets, the following couplets are considered by Vahid Dastgerdi as additional couplets of the poetry of Leyli and Majnun:

From that event that causes captivity all people were amazed in Because that this love is not an ephemeral truth since this love not infected by lust and material purpose Love is a complete goal since wild animal becomes tamed beside to it Majnun who kills his animal soul, has reached to the bases that he cannot do anything except innocence and the poet sees this inner purity with his clairvoyant eyes:

Since he obviated his animal soul this animal soul became his slave for sometimes It is clear that the love among these two earthen body does not arise unless with purity At the end that Majnun sits to observe Leyli, and the virgin Leyli entrusts her mirror of insights and foresight to him, the duty of Majnun receives another ritual.

His duty has received another ritual and his mate gave him her mirror Given to this pure love, he knows praying on Leyli as an obligatory:

Due to the sanctity of your pure love as a command of my mind, praying became a duty for me The disinterested love, which is stated by Nezami, is the perfection of human love; maybe it is contrary of nature and human nature, but it is a moral and a cultural point for society and people's training. It is a love that whim and lust has no place in it. It is a love without any material purpose.

The love which its sanctity is separation this love is not for lust and whim Love is the mirror of light lust is separated from this love The disinterested love has no survival the disinterested love is not worthy for any one Love and material purposes cannot join together love without material purposes can arise.

All of the available lovers, except you away from you, the others have material purposes When love becomes complete it receives good name Criticism of nick name missed its boom and became repentance capital of Nezami [3] grudge.

Paying attention to the human love is the main context of Nezami's stories, he does not engage in the second pillar of the cosmic love that is about the manifestation of God in the entire world and acceptance of this manifestation behalf different existence; of course, like many other poets, he believes in the eternal love. Nezami by engaging in the natural love stories (man to woman love), expresses the purpose of love as a cosmic truth and to realization this subject he is gotten help from virtual love and this makes his poetries be more understandable for the public audiences. The natural love is a kind of Majnun to Leyli's love and is like to those love that have been expressed in Haft Paykar, and its relationship with the love of God is one of the complex and the main issues in Sufism. This kind of love, even though some are blaming it in Sofia, but with introduction of the theory of the cosmic love has found another value.

Hakim Nezami mentions to the eternal love, in Makhzan al-Asrar. He mentions to the love that is eternal and will continue forever, which according to Plato, the love that has been existed in the world before the time that souls accruing to bodies and before coming to the world.

At the first time that this territory was not for you and you did not have anything from these ten ruin places

You had magnitude of osprey you had eternal purpose culmination Though your love did not have extremity the everlasting way did not also have extreme You became tired and select the earth you put your shadow on this water and soil.

Of course in the Nezami's poetries, authenticity is with human love which has left a profound impact on the Persian love poems, especially mystical and Gnostic poetries. The Sufi poets and Nezami's imitators have paid attention to the cosmic love and have used it in their poems. Although in the stated love in the stories which are related to Nezami, lover does not reach to a truth love, but these stories are the most sublime kinds of human love. For example, the love of Majnun to Leyli, according to the Nezami's mind is a disinterested love and it is one of the purest loves that is also in our opinion, is sacred and mystical. Since love is itself as a degree of trust of general love.

The origin of love:

Arjang Madi in his book "Love in Persian Literature" knows three sources for love:

(A). a sensational source

(B). an astronomical source

(C). a divine or supernatural sources

Ibn David Isfahani, the writer of al-Zahreh book, believes that love arises from hearing [11]. Onsor alMa'ani believes in his book "Qaboos Nameh" that love is achieved from visit.

The following loves has been occurred after a visit: the love of Vis and Ramin, the love of Varagheh and Golshah Ayughi and the love of Leyli to Majnun. Zal and Roudabeh love and Khosrow to Shirin love are a sonic love and have occurred through hearing the description of his/ her beloved from another person. When Khosrow has been heard the praise of Shirin from Shapour, became her lover. But Shirin became Khosrow's lover when she had seen Khosrow's photo. By visiting each other, Leyli and Majnun, find love and become lover of each other:

This person who I award my spirit to her beauty has taken my heart but not accept my spirit To this person whom I loved through vision and her look I give my heart but she has not accept me While their friends were learning science they were learning kindness While their friends had written a word they were writing about another word.

Leyli and Majnun did not even speak with their tongues, their language was the language of look, they were just happy with a look and they did not write any word.

When Farhad heard the enchanting voice of Shirin, lost his heart and ruined himself in the glory of his beloved.

I heard the reason that why her nomination is Shirin since she is silver-tongued in speech In anywhere that she starts speaking there were no person who did not dying. When Farhad heard these expressions he felt love in his heart.

From talking about Shirin and her sweet speaking desperate Farhad missed his caution.

Nezami in his book, Haft Paykar, knows the source of Bahram's love to seven daughters of kings, an astronomical love which sky and stars have provided it for him:

A command of seven stars or his destination is so that when this explorer rises his head Seven princes from seven territories to be beside him like some valuable pearl When Shah Bahram read this legend became surprised from the charm of the heaven Then the love of those beautiful girls took place in the depths of his heart.

Where love overflows, sympathy, scandal and all kinds of disasters will grapple with lover. And probably drove him to madness and cut his/ her material interests.

From the beginning of the story of Leyli and Majnun, love is associated with deprivation and separation of lovers. Description of heart-rending moan and groan of the lover and the beloved has covered all the sphere of the story. These amorous groans and mysteries in Khosrow and Shirin poetries collection are beautifully expressed. The poetic themes are often devoted to the lovemaking of lover and beloved with their heaven and earth's God, and are stated for heavens and shiny stars.

The endless suffering and grief of lovers has been described with beautiful words and phrases. And Nezami is depicted the deepest human emotions and sentiments in the form of words with an indescribable power.

Bahram just not delivered himself to desires and complacent, since when has been required, he also went for war. Khosrow, like an unhappy lover, although has gone to the other loves, but cannot be ignored from Shirin's love.

Majnun that besides love making is also a poet, by his wandering in a desert and his fascination, has combined the grace of the poem with the penchant of the love.


Undoubtedly Nezami is one of the theorists of love in Persian literature. What can be enforced by investigation of the Nezami's work is that the love that is slogan of Nezami, is the love that the world is upright to it and is alive by it, is the love that flows in the heavens and the earth, in the sun and the stars, and is generally in the whole of the world. Hakim Nezami, by storytelling; lets out the voice of love in the world, and for stating the truth of the single love, he has selected human who is the only existent that over all the creatures has shown the appearance of manifestation of love.

A human who is the complete embodiment of love, and can directly recognize the love, with his/ her talent and through the heart.

Nezami by speaking from human to human love, such as: Khosrow's love, Shirin's love, Farhad's Love, Love of Leyli and Majnun and the other lovers, in facts, speaks from the source of love. He knows love as a single truth which is the spirit of the soul and the base of living in the entire world. The result of this study shows that Nezami believes in the cosmic love and he has special attention to the eternal love and also to the pure and disinterested love. Holy loves which are discussed in Nezami's stories, never does not taint by sin, lust and whim, and he knows love separate from lust. Even Khosrow, although he is a prince, but like an unhappy lover, is awarded from secrets of love.

Nezami's thoughts and his theories in love, after him, have had a huge impact on poets and writers. And this kind of thinking can be found in the works of the others, and these works has corresponded with the Nezami's thinking.

Nezami's favorite love can be observed in works of grandees such as Molana, Sadi and Hafiz.


[1] Plato, 2002-2003. Symposium, Translated by Mahmood Sanai, The first edition. Tehran: Nil publication.

[2] Barry, Micheal, 2006-2007. Michel Berry's Commentary on Nezami's Haft Paykar, Translated by Jalal Alavi Panah, the first edition.

[3] Sarvatian, Behrouz, 2000-2001. "Layli and Majnun's secret of love in Masnavi of Layli and Majnun, by Nezami Ganjavi". Honar publication, Winter, 46.

[4] Pour Javadi, Nasr Allah, 1985-1986. A prolegomena on the philosophy of Plotinus, Tehran, University Publishing Center.

[5] Pour Javadi, Nasr Allah, 1991-1992. "Khosrow's love and Nezami's love". Danesh publication, 65: 2-5.

[6] Pour Javadi, Nasr Allah, 1991-1992 A. "The wine of love 1, on the historical process of mystical meaning of the wine in the Persian poetry", Danesh publication, 66: 3-13.

[7] Pour Javadi, Nasr Allah, 1991-1992 B. "The wine of love 2, the emergence of virtual meaning for the wine in the Persian poetry", Danesh publication, 67: 4-18.

[8] Pour Javadi, Nasr Allah, 1991-1992 C. "The wine of love 3, the evolution of meaning of love, real and virtual love". Danesh publication, 68: 6-15.

[9] Pour Javadi, Nasr Allah, 1992-1993 B. "The wine of love 5. The cosmic love". Danesh publication June and July, 70: 22-30.

[10] Madi, Arjang, 1992-1993. Love in the Persian literature. The first edition. Tehran, the institute of the cultural researches and studies.

[11] Mashayekh Faridani, Mohammad Hossein, 1987-1988. "Ibn David Zaheri and the al-Zahreh book". Culture, IV. 1: 79-80.

[12] Nezami Ganjavi, Elyas Ben Yusef, 1999-2000. The collected works of Hakim Nezami Ganjavi. By introduction of Fatehi, Sa'id. The first edition. Tehran: Behzad.

[13] Nezami Ganjavi, Elyas Ben Yusef, 2002-2003. Haft Paykar, Correction and margins by Vahid Dastgerdi, Hassan. The first edition. Tehran. Barg-e Nehgar.

[14] Nezami Ganjavi, Elyas Ben Yusef, 2002-2003 B. Makhzan al-Asrar, Correction by Vahid Dastgerdi, Hassan. The first edition. Tehran. Barg-e Nehgar.

Masoomeh Dastranj

Department of literature, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozabad, Fars, Iran.


Article history:

Received 12 October 2014

Received in revised form 26 December 2014

Accepted 1 January 2015

Available online 10 February 2015

Corresponding Author: Masoomeh Dastranj, Department of literature, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozabad, Fars, Iran.

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