September 28 named the Shams Day in the Iranian calendar commemorates the celebrated thinker Shams Tabrizi. He is known as the spiritual instructor and mentor of the Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273).
Shams-i-Tabrīzī, Shams al-Din Mohammad, or Shams Tabrizi was born in Tabriz in 1186 and died in 1248 AD. His tomb is in the city of Khoy in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran.
His shrine will be reconstructed to change into a global cultural tourism attraction. Shams Tabrizi shrine as a historical and cultural place with unique architecture has an animal’s horns in its structure that was built about 400 years ago.
He is known for initiating Mawlana Jala ad-din Mohammad Rumi, usually known as Rumi in the West, into Islamic mysticism, and is immortalized by Rumi’s poetry collection) “The Works of Shams of Tabriz” (Persian, Divane Shams-e Tabrizi).
As the old saying goes love happens to us while we are living. But, the truth is life happens to us while we are loving. But, we are just so preoccupied with the nitty-gritty of everyday life that we forget to choose love, every single day. We forget that love is the truest and purest essence of life and the time we spend in this world. We leave nothing behind, except the love we left behind as memory.
And that is exactly what Shams of Tabriz taught Rumi before he came to be known as the poet of love. In his bid to live a religion of love, Tabrizi swore by the forty rules of love and we should as well.
Shams lived together with Rumi in Konya, in present-day Turkey, for several years, and is also known to have traveled to Damascus in present-day Syria. After several years with Rumi, Shams vanished from the pages of history quite suddenly.
Rumi’s love for Shams, and his bereavement at his death, found expression in an outpouring of music, dance, and lyric poems.
Rumi himself left Konya and went out searching for Shams, journeying as far as Damascus before realizing that Shams and himself were, in fact, “one and the same”. As the years passed, Rumi attributed more and more of his poetry to Shams as a sign of love for his departed friend and master.
Indeed, it quickly becomes clear in reading Rumi that Shams was elevated to a symbol of God’s love for mankind, and Shams was a sun (“Shams” is Arabic for “sun”) shining the Light of God on Rumi.
To commemorate Shams and Rumi in Iran, numerous events, including festivals, conferences, seminars, as well as webinars are held annually.
“Shams was a dervish who always traveled in disguise. He settled down in Khoy, found disciples, and died in reputation. His death was not one of an ordinary kind. He was famous as a mystic who had lived long years in that city and when he died, the people built a shrine around his grave worthy of his personality which still exists today,” informs former Iranian professor and researcher at Tehran University in an article that studies the documents and proofs regarding the grave of Shams in a famous place entitled “Shams Shrine” (Manare Shams) in the city of Khoy.
The tomb of Shams-e Tabrizi has been in Khoy and was recently nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Every year, the Iranian Institute of Wisdom and Philosophy invites faculty members, students of Persian language and literature, and other fields of the humanities to submit papers for the International Conference on Shams and Mawlana.
University faculty members, students of Persian language and literature, and other humanities majors who specialize in essay or writing conferences can participate in this international conference.
In Iran, September 29 has been designated as Shams Tabrizi Day and September 30 as Rumi’s Day to honor these two great figures of Iran and the world.