TEHRAN – The Divan of Hafez composed by Shams ad-Din Mohammad, the famous Persian lyric poet better known as Hafez, is the only book that Iranians use for divination on various occasions, including the celebration of the night of Yalda.
“Why Hafez’s couch? A lot of people may ask. The great Persian literator Mohammad-Ali Eslami Nadushan gave two reasons for this in a speech.
One of the reasons, as Eslami Nadushan puts it, is the equivocal and metaphorical language of Hafez’s poetry.
âNone of the Persian poets used ambiguous and metaphorical language to the extent that Hafez did. Many lines of his poetry have equivocal meanings, and this characteristic makes a poem suitable for use in divination. Double-edged metaphors and verses give you the opportunity to have your own perception of the poem and not what the poem necessarily says, âhe explained.
The other reason is that Hafez’s poetry deeply impresses both ordinary people and notables.
âThis characteristic is exclusive to Hafez’s poetry: people of notable classes can appreciate his poems as well as those with a lower level of education, who can recite the couch aloud, which helps alleviate their suffering. It was then that he became known as one of the most difficult poets to understand in Persian literature, âhe said.
In his book “We Cannot Tell, We Cannot Not Tell”, Eslami Nadushan explained the reasons for Hafez’s popularity among Iranians.
“The reason why Hafez is so popular among the Iranian people is that Hafez symbolizes the clear Iranian consciousness and subconscious, and has said metaphorically what other poets have not said or said incompletely,” he writes. .
“People hear their inner voice through Hafez’s tongue and are amazed at how he was able to work his way through their minds, which is why he received the nickname ‘Lesan al-Ghayb’ (the tongue invisible realms) result, people use his couch for divination, âhe added.
Eslami Nadushan said that no one knows when the advent of divination with the Divan of Hafez occurred. However, he assumes that it could start with the development of the printing industry, which provided easy access to books.
Divination with the Divan of Hafez is part of the celebration of the night of Yalda, which takes place on December 21 of this year, the last day of autumn.
For divination, each family member makes a wish, then opens the book at random and asks the eldest member of the family to read it aloud. It is believed that what is expressed in this poem is the interpretation of the wish and whether or not it will come true.
Yalda Night is considered the longest night of the year when ancient Iranians celebrated the birth of Mithras, the goddess of light. It is also known as Chelleh Night, which alludes to the first 40 days of winter, considered the harshest of the season.
That evening, people are usually seen served fresh fruit and a mixture of dried fruits, seeds and nuts in flowery bowls.
After a hot dinner, many people often recite poetry, tell stories, sing, play musical instruments, or just chat until around midnight.
Photo: This undated photo shows lovers of the Persian poet Hafez visiting his tomb in Shiraz.
MMS / YAW