Sometime between the years 1310-1325 a.d. or 712-727
A.H. The most probable date is either 1320, or 1325 a.d.
Shiraz, in South-central Iran
Name Shamseddin Mohammad
Hafiz or Hafez (a title given to those who had
memorized the Koran by heart. It is claimed that Hafiz had done
this in fourteen different ways).
Khajeh Shamseddin Mohammad Hafiz-s Shirazi
Other variations of spelling are:
Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi,
or Khwaje Shams ud-Din Mohammed Hafiz-e Shirazi
Brothers: He had two older
Wife: Hafiz married in his
twenties, even though he continued his love for Shakh-e Nabat, as
the manifest symbol of her Creator's beauty.
Hafiz had one child.
Divan-e-Hafiz Some 500 ghazals, 42 Rubaiyees, and a few
Ghaseedeh's, composed over a period of 50 years. Hafiz only
composed when he was divinely inspired, and therefore he averaged
only about 10 Ghazals per year. His focus was to write poetry
worthy of the Beloved.
Compiler of Divan Hafiz did not compile his poetry. Mohammad
Golandaam, who also wrote a preface to his compilation, completed
it in 813 A.H or 1410 a.d, some 21-22 years after Hafiz's death.
Also another person who compiled Hafiz's poetry was one of his
young disciples Sayyid Kasim-e Anvar, who collected 569 Ghazals
attributed to Hafiz. He died in 1431 a.d. some 42-43 years after
Late 1388 or early 1389 a.d. or 791 A.H. at the age of
Tomb: in Musalla Gardens,
along the banks of Ruknabad river in Shiraz, which is referred to
After His Death
What others say about Hafiz:
Goethe: In his poetry Hafiz has inscribed undeniable truth
indelibly ... Hafiz has no peer!
Emerson: Hafiz defies you to
show him or put him in a condition inopportune or ignoble ... He
fears nothing. He sees too far; he sees throughout; such is the
only man I wish to see or be.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: ...You
may remember the old Persian saying, 'There is danger for him who
taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whosoever snatches a
delusion from a woman.' There is as much sense in Hafiz as in
Horace, and as much knowledge of the world.
Edward Fitzgerald: The best
musician of Words.
Gertrude Bell: It is as if his
mental eye; endowed with wonderful acuteness of vision, had
penetrated into those provinces of thought which we of a later age
were destined to inhabit.
A. J. Arberry: ... Hafiz is as
highly esteemed by his countrymen as Shakespeare by us, and
deserves as serious consideration.
Teens He had
memorized the Koran by listening to his father's recitations of
it. He also had memorized many of the works of his hero, Saadi, as
wells as Attar, Rumi and Nizami.
Teens His father who was a coal merchant died, leaving him and his
mother with much debt. Hafiz and his mother went to live with his
uncle (also called Saadi). He left day school to work in a drapery
shop and later in a bakery.
(1341 ad) While still working at the bakery, Hafiz
delivered bread to a wealthy quarter of town and saw Shakh-e Nabat,
a young woman of incredible beauty. Many of his poems are
addressed to Shakh-e Nabat.
Age 21 In pursuit of reaching his beloved, Hafiz kept a forty day
and night vigil at the tomb of Baba Kuhi. After successfully
attaining this, he met Attar and became his disciple.
Early twenties to early thirties Became a poet of the court of Abu
Ishak. Gained much fame and influence in Shiraz. This was the
phase of "Spiritual Romanticism" in his poetry.
Age 33 Mubariz Muzaffar
captured Shiraz, and among his various deeds, he ousted Hafiz from
his position of teacher of Koranic studies at the college. At this
time he wrote protest poems.
Age 38 Shah Shuja took his
tyrant father as prisoner, and re-instated Hafiz as a teacher at
the college. He began his phase of subtle spirituality in his
Early forties Falling out of favor with Shah Shuja.
Age 48 Hafiz fled Shiraz for
his safety, and went into self-imposed exile in Isfahan. His poems
mainly talk of his longing for Shiraz, for Shakh-e Nabat, and for
his spiritual Master, Attar (not the famous Farid-uddin Attar of
Neishabour - who predates Hafiz by a couple of centuries - but the
lesser known Attar of Shiraz).
Age 52 By invitation of Shah
Shuja, he ended his exile and returned to Shiraz. He was
re-instated to his post at the College.
Age 60 Longing to be united
with his Creator, he began a forty day and night vigil by sitting
in a circle that he had drawn himself.
Age 60 On the morn of the fortieth day of his vigil, which was
also on the fortieth anniversary of meeting his Master Attar, he
went to his Master, and upon drinking a cup of wine that Attar
gave him, he attained Cosmic Consciousness or God-Realization.
Sixties In this phase, up to the age of 69 when he died, he
composed more than half of his ghazals., and continued to teach
his small circle of disciples. His poetry at this time, talk with
the authority of a Master who is united with God.
The orthodox clergy who always opposed Hafiz, refused to
allow him to have a Muslim burial. Yet his grass-roots support
among the people of Shiraz created an atmosphere of conflict.
The Oracle: To
resolve the controversy, they decided to use Hafiz's poetry, by
dividing his ghazals into couplets, and asking a young boy to draw
a couplet. It was agreed that however the couplet directed them,
they would all consent to follow.
The couplet that was chosen was verse 7 of Ghazal #79, which was a
tongue-in-cheek response from Hafiz to the orthodox clergy. It
Neither Hafiz’s corps, nor his life negate,
With all his misdeeds, heavens for him wait.
To this day, Hafiz's Divan (Poetry) is utilized as an Oracle to
give guidance to our questions, and direction to realize our