Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi

Large collection of poems by Rumi

Divan-i Kabir (Persian: دیوان کبیر), also known as Divan-i Shams is a collection of poems written by the Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi. It is the collection of lyric poems written in the Persian language, it contains more than 40,000 verses[1] and over 3,000 ghazals.[2]

A page of a copy circa 1503 of the Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi. For details, see: Rumi ghazal 163.



In 1244, Rumi met a Sufi dervish named Shams-i Tabrizi in Konya,[3] who became his spiritual teacher and introduced him to music and poetry. Shams left and returned a few times before disappearing, possibly being killed in 1248.[4] Rumi wrote poetry about his love and loss for Shams after his disappearance. The poems were collected after Rumi's death by his students as the Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi. Most of the poems were written around 1247, after Shams' second disappearance. Some poems were written after Rumi confirmed Shams' death. Different editions of the Divan organize the poems differently, either by alphabet or by meter. The first printed copy of the Divan was made in Europe in 1838, but more accurate editions have been published since then based on original manuscripts.[source?]



The poems in Rumi's Divan are not just about teaching things like his Masnavi book is known for; instead, they express Rumi's deep philosophical ideas about love and longing. Some scholars believe that Rumi rejects longing in favor of unity with God because longing creates a separation between people and things outside themselves. This goes against Rumi’s belief in divine unity or tawhid found in Islam’s declaration that there is no other god but God (Shahada). According to this viewpoint by Rokus de Groot, Rumi thinks that those who are drunk with love have a duality between themselves and the object of their love, whereas those who are drunk with God are united as one. Rumi signed about a third of the Divan under Shams-i Tabrizi’s name to repudiate his longing for Shams after his disappearance and embrace the unity of all beings found in divine love.[source?]

Mostafa Vaziri argues that Rumi's references to love in the Divan represent a separate religion or Mazhab-e ‘Ishq, which is universalist and not uniquely Islamic. Vaziri suggests that Rumi's notion of love is a designation for the incorporeal reality of existence that lies outside of physical conception. According to Vaziri, Rumi's references to Shams in the Divan are not about the person of Shams but about the all encompassing universality of the love reality itself that goes beyond any religious or cultural boundaries or distinctions between people and things outside themselves which goes against Rumi’s belief in divine unity or tawhid found in Islam’s declaration that there is no other god but God (Shahada).[source?]


  1. Foruzanfar, 1957.
  2. Foruzanfar (tran. Sorkhabi), 2012, p. 183.
  3. Gooch, 2017, p. 84.
  4. Gooch, 2017, p. 149.