How did Shams Tabrizi become Mawlana's master and gave him a new life?
Shams, or if we want to know his full name, “Shams ol-Din Mohammad ibn Ali ibn Malekdad Tabrizi” is a mystic who shook Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi) very much. Shams shook him while no one even thought of touching Mawlana. He is an Islamic jurist who prevented another jurist (Mawlana) from practicing jurisprudence. He is a bird that does not want that Mawlana walk on the ground, because he sees Mawlana’s place in the sky. Mawlana, who himself indeed is famous for his eloquence and wisdom, and has many disciples and listeners from far and near lands. But for him, all this is not only nothing but a lot! It is a lot, because it is a veil for the eyes of his heart. How many jurists and speakers whose words are heard only during their lifetime; and how many ears are looking for a new sound every day, not a new word. Not a word that creates a new world for them, that only puts an absurd dream in front of them.
Shams Tabrizi was not only like a bird, but also a mighty questioner. Why a bird? He was traveling from city to city to acquire knowledge and wisdom; so he was nicknamed Volant: Shams Volant! He was asking Meta-Questions from sages, poets and mystics that he met. Those were questions that were making another question: how could this issue is emerged in your mind? It should be noticed that in most cases, Shams both asked and answered! It was as if he had asked to teach, not to learn! Shams with this kind of questions stimulated inquisitive and pure nature of Mawlana and made him give up everything and be follower of him.
The most famous question that is mentioned about the meeting between Shams and Mawlana is that “why a mystic like Abayazid Bastami says “Praise to me, who my glory is great”, while the Prophet of Islam did not make such a claim? He also asks about the genesis and the origin of human (we may talk more about these questions and answers later). But in the case of Abayazid, Shams’s answer was just one word: capacity!
Why is human capacity so important and influential?
Abayazid has been a great man with limited capacity rather to the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Of course, Abayazid is admirable as a great man. However, he has revealed some mystical secrets, so that expressing it to others may be his fault; a mistake that Mansour Hallaj also committed it. So, his speech was not wrong. It was just misplaced, which was due to the finite capacity.
If I want not to be involved with mystical pathology and return to the subject of my article, I would like to say that Shams gave new life to Mawlana. I am not alone about this inference. Professor Mohammad Hasan Naser-eddin Sahebzamani has expressed this point delicately in his unique book entitled “The Third Line”. Shams changed Mawlana from “lover” to “be loved”. Mawlana loves God, but as I mentioned in the thirty-second episode of the first season of the Shams Academy Podcast, Shams made God fall in love with Mawlana.