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    The Secret of Birds, Flowers, Nature, Animals & Insects: A Sufi Allegory in Prose & Poetry (English Edition) Door: Azz-eddin al-Muqaddasi,

    The Secret of Birds, Flowers, Nature, Animals & InsectsA Sufi Allegory in Prose & Poetry by Azz-eddin al-MuqaddasiTranslation & Introduction Paul SmithFrom the Introduction on the Life of the Author, form of the Qit’a and on Sufi Poetry: There is little to say about the author of these allegories as very little is known about him. His real name is unknown because Azz-eddin is a nickname and al-Muqaddasi means of Jerusalem, in that Azz-eddin was native of that town or territory, or sometime lived there. It is said that Azz-eddin was an Imam (religious leader) and he was erudite and eloquent in Arabic and he imitated the style of Ibn al-Giouzi (historian) and listened to him with much pleasure. It is said that he perished one day near the Kaaba, in the presence of a crowd of the great and learned and he fulfilled his obligation of pilgrimage perfectly and many took an exact copy of his speech, and his death was on Wednesday February the 12th, 1280, caused by a fall from a high place in Mecca. In addition to the allegories here published, Azz-eddin al-Mucaddasi is known for other highly respected works which are all mystical (Sufi) but have not come down to us. It is obvious he was influenced by ‘The Conference of the Birds’ (see appendix) by ‘Attar who died about 60 years before he did. These short poems (qita’s) translated in the correct form for the first time, coming after the speech in prose of the flower, bird, natural occurance, herb, animal or insect appear as a continuation or the essence of the prose. The judgment of the work of Azz-eddin has been mostly favorable; but if one leaves oneself to the Middle-Eastern taste, what seems to be defects will soon become real beauties and that what seems odd, are games of the mind. However, in judging this work according to Western taste, it can’t be denied the allegories are easy, yet deep and elegant, with no lack of real Sufi knowledge and experience of the Path through various seekers: the expressions are poetic and pleasant. “It has been said, perhaps with truth, that there is no document of such age to touch this one for a combination of mystical insight and understanding of human psychology.” K. Winstone-Hamilton. COMMENTS ON PAUL SMITH’S TRANSLATION OF HAFIZ’S ‘DIVAN’.“It is not a joke... the English version of ALL the ghazals of Hafiz is a great feat and of paramount importance. ” Dr. Mir Mohammad Taghavi (Dr. of Literature) Tehran.“Superb translations. 99% Hafiz 1% Paul Smith.” Ali Akbar Shapurzman, translator of English to Persian and knower of Hafiz’s Divan off by heart. Paul Smith (b.1945) is a poet, author and translator of many books of great Sufi poets of Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, and other languages… including Hafiz, Sadi, Nizami, Rumi, ‘Attar, Sana’i, Jahan Khatun, Obeyd Zakani, Mu’in, Amir Khusrau, Nesimi, Kabir, Anvari, Ansari, Jami, Khayyam, Mansur Hallaj, Rudaki, Yunus Emre, Mahsati, and many others, as well as his own poetry, fiction, plays, biographies, children’s books and a dozen screenplays.