Hafez 1317 - 1392 (75)

Love is creation's greatest joy.


All the


Khwaja Shamsud-din Mohammad Hafez (1317-1390) was one of the most important Persian poets. He was born in Shiraz, where the cultural level of the city was high at that time, and although his father had died and they faced great financial difficulties, Hafez received a good education. He showed great ability in memorizing the Qur'an and was called Hafez, which means "one who knows the Qur'an by heart."

As was customary in those days for men of letters, he worked in the court of Shah Shuja, who was himself a poet. It was his job to sing hymns and praises for his rulers. With his poetry, he glorified the joys of love and wine, but he also wrote theological texts and succeeded in exposing religious hypocrisy in some of them. He made enemies with such sentences as: “Preachers who display their piety in prayer and in the pulpit, behave differently when they are alone. Why do those who demand repentance repent so little themselves?"

Things changed for him at the palace in 1368 when a group of clerics persuaded the Shah to remove him from his court. Hafez, who had become accustomed to the good times and ease, found himself living in poverty. He recorded his sufferings in poems of this time. For two years, he was forced to leave his city and try to find his fortune in Isfahan and Yazd (1372-1374). Returning to Shiraz, he managed to convince the ruler of his good intentions, possibly softening his criticism of the bad texts. In the last years of his life, he lived quietly and happily, writing poems and having regained the favor of the palace. He died in 1390 and was buried in Shiraz, where a magnificent monument was built for him.