جلالالدین محمد بلخی معروف به مولوی، مولانا و رومی در ششم ربیع الاول سال 604 هجری قمری در بلخ به دنیا آمد. او در حدود سال 628 هجری قمری درگذشت و در قونیه (ترکیه فعلی) به خاک سپرده شد. رومی از مشهورترین شاعران ایرانی فارسی زبان است. نام کامل او «محمد ابن محمد ابن حسین حسینی خطیبی بکری بلخی» می باشد. او در دوران زندگی خود لقب¬های مانند «جلالالدین»، «خداوندگار» و «مولانا خداوندگار» داشته است. در قرنهای بعد لقب¬های «مولوی»، «مولانا»، «مولوی رومی» و «ملای رومی» به او داده اند.
رومی در زمان نوشتن آثارش (مانند مثنوی) در قونیه زندگی می¬کرد. آثار مولوی به عموم جهانیان تعلق دارد، اما فارسیزبانان بهره خود را از او بیشتر میدانند، به این علت که حدود شصت تا هفتاد هزار بیت از اشعار او به زبان فارسی است. خطبهها، نامهها و تعالیم رومی به شاگردانش که آنها را ثبت کردند به زبان فارسی میباشد.
پارسی گو گرچه تازی خوشتر است
عشق را خود صد زبان دیگر است
آثار رومی علاوه بر مناطق فارسی زبان، تأثیر زیادی در هند و پاکستان و ترکیه و آسیای میانه گذاشته است. همچنین ادبیات و فرهنگ ترکی نیز تحت تاثیر آثار او بوده است.
آثار رومی عبارتند از: مثنوی معنوی، دیوان شمس تبریزی، رباعیات، فیه ما فیه، مجالس سبعه و مکاتیب.
کتاب مثنوی معنوی رومی شامل ۲۶٬۰۰۰ بیت است که در شش دفتر نگاشته شده است. این کتاب یکی از برترین کتابهای ادبیات کهن فارسی است. در این کتاب ۴۲۴ داستان سختیهای انسان در راه رسیدن به خدا را توصیف می¬کند. هجده بیت ابتدای دفتر اول مثنوی معنوی به نینامه معروف است که خلاصه ای از مفهوم ۶ دفتر است. این کتاب به درخواست شاگرد مولوی، حسامالدین حسن چلبی، در سالهای ۶۶۲ تا ۶۷۲ هجری (۱۲۶۰ میلادی) تألیف شده است. عنوان این کتاب، مثنوی، نوعی ساختار ادبی است که در این کتاب استفاده شده است.
آخرین داستان مثنوی (شاهزادگان و دژ هوش ربا) در دفتر ششم، با مرگ رومی ناتمام مانده است. فرزند رومی مثنوی زیبایی دارد که در آن از مرگ پدر و ناتمام ماندن مثنوی صحبت کرده است. اصل آخرین داستان مثنوی را می توانید در مقالات شمس تبریزی بیابید و از بخش پایانی داستان اطلاع پیدا کنید.
رومی در سن ۴۰ سالگی با شمسالدین محمد بن علی بن ملک داد تبریزی مشهور به شمس تبریزی آشنا شد. این آشنایی در حدود چهار سال بود و این آشنایی چنان اثری عمیق در رومی گذاشت که هرجا در مثنوی کلمات آفتاب، خورشید و یا شمس آمده است، به شمس تبریزی اشاره شده است.
واجب آمد چونکه آمد نام او
شرح رمزی کردن از انعام او
این موضوع محدود به این کلمات نیز نمیشود. هرجا در مثنوی داستانی از عشق و یا محبتی عمیق می¬شود، به شمس تبریزی اشاره می¬شود. داستان عشق سلطان محمود و ایاز و داستان عشق پادشاه و کنیز از این نمونه هستند.
بشنوید ای دوستان این داستان
خود حقیقت نقد حال ماست آن
این کتاب شامل دفتر اول مثنوی معنوی جلال الدین رومی به همراه ترجمه انگلیسی آن است، که در سه جلد تدوین شده است. ترجمه انگلیسی استفاده شده در این کتاب از رینولد نیکلسون (Reynold A. Nicholson) است.
There are complete translations of the Mathnawí in Turkish, Arabic, and Hindustani, but only the first two of the six Books of the poem have hitherto been made accessible in their entirety to European readers, though a number of extracts from Books III–VI are translated in E. H. Whinfield’s useful abridgment. While it may seem surprising that a work so celebrated, and one which reflects (however darkly at times) so much of the highest as well as the lowest in the life and thought of the Mohammedan world in the later Middle Ages, should still remain imperfectly known to Western students, I think that this gap in our knowledge can at least be excused. Judged by modern standards, the Mathnawí is a very long poem: it contains almost as many verses as the Iliad and Odyssey together and about twice as many as the Divina Commedia; and these comparisons make it appear shorter than it actually is, since every verse of the Mathnawí has twenty-two syllables, whereas the hexameter may vary from thirteen to seventeen, and the terza rima, like the Spenserian stanza, admits only ten or eleven in each verse, so that the Mathnawí with 25,700 verses is in reality a far more extensive work than the Faerie Queene with 33,500. On the other hand, it is easily surpassed in length by several Persian poems; and the fact that the Sháhnáma has been translated from beginning to end into English, French, and Italian answers the question asked by Georg Rosen “Who would care to devote a considerable part of his lifetime to translating thirty or forty thousand Persian distichs of unequal poetical worth?” The size of the Mathnawí is not the chief or the worst obstacle by which its translator is confronted. He at once finds himself involved in the fundamental difficulty, from which there is no escape, that if his translation is faithful, it must be to a large extent unintelligible, and that if he tries to make it intelligible throughout he must often substitute for the exact rendering a free and copious paraphrase embodying matter which properly belongs to a commentary, though such a method cannot satisfy any one who wants to understand the text and know what sense or senses it is capable of bearing. Therefore a complete version of the Mathnawí means, for scientific purposes, a faithful translation supplemented by a full commentary; and considering the scarcity of competent Persian scholars in Europe, no one need wonder that the double task has not yet been accomplished. The most important European translations are enumerated in the following list, which shows incidentally that the greater part of the work already done stands to the credit of this country.
- Mesnewi oder Doppelverse des Scheich Mewlânâ Dschelâl-ed-dîn Rûmî, aus dem Persischen übertragen von Georg Rosen. (Leipzig, 1849.)
Being written in rhymed verse, this excellent version of about a third of Book 1 (vv. 1– 1371 in my edition) does not preserve the literal form of the original, but as a rule the meaning is given correctly even where misunderstanding would have been pardonable, while the explanatory notes keep the reader in touch with the mystical background of the poem. The translator has left out a good deal—and in verse-translations of Oriental poetry this is a merit rather than a fault. His book, which was reprinted in 1913 with an introduction by his son, Dr F. Rosen, should help to quicken the growing interest of Germany in Persian literature.
- The Mesnevi of Mevlānā Jelālu”d-dīn Muhammed er-Rūmī. Book the First, together with some account of the life and acts of the Author, of his ancestors, and of his descendants, illustrated by a selection of characteristic anecdotes, as collected by their historian, Mevlānā Shemsu”d dīn Ahmed el-Eflākī el-“Ārifī. Translated and the poetry versified by James W. Redhouse. (London, 1881.)
Sir James Redhouse’s translation of Book I is much less accurate than Rosen’s. Its peculiarities cause us to speculate why this eminent Turkish scholar, who was not quite at home in Persian mysticism, should have embarked upon a task so formidable; or how, with the sagacity to perceive and the candour to confess his lack of skill in versifying, he allowed himself to be misled by the idea that any kind of verse is superior to prose as a medium for the translation of poetry. The excerpts from Aflákí’s Manáqibu “l-“Árifín, though legendary in character, supply valuable information concerning the poet and the circle of Súfís in which he lived.
- Masnaví-i Ma”naví, the Spiritual Couplets of Mauláná Jalálu”d-dín Muhammad Rúmí, translated and abridged by E. H. Whinfield. (London, 1887; 2nd ed., 1898.)
All students of the Mathnawí owe gratitude to Whinfield, who was the first to analyse its contents and illustrate their rich quality by his prose translation of selected passages from the six Books, amounting to something like 3500 verses altogether. His wide and sympathetic knowledge of Oriental mysticism, already exhibited in the notes to his edition and translation of the Gulshan-i Ráz (1880), makes him an admirable guide through the mazes of the Mathnawí, and in general his work deserves the high esteem which it enjoys. I do not wish to criticise it in detail and will only remark that the apparent simplicity of the Persian language is a snare for translators:
- The Masnavī by Jalālu”d-dīn Rūmī, Book II translated for the first time from the Persian into prose, with a Commentary, by C. E. Wilson. (London, 1910.)
This is “a plain literal prose translation,” based on sound principles and carefully executed. Comparing it with my own version of the Second Book, I found that as similar methods produce similar results the two versions often agreed almost word for word, and that where they differed, the point at issue was usually one for discussion rather than correction. My obligations to Professor Wilson are not confined to the turns of phrase which I have borrowed from him now and then: every translator, and particularly the translator of such a poem as the Mathnawí, must feel the advantage of being able to consult the work of a trustworthy predecessor who has gone step by step over the same ground.
The present translation, in which the numeration of the verses corresponds with that of the text of my edition, is intended primarily as an aid to students of Persian; it is therefore as exact and faithful as I can make it, but it does not attempt to convey the inner as distinguished from the outer meaning: that is to say, it gives the literal sense of the words translated without explaining either their metaphorical or their mystical sense. While these latter senses have sometimes been indicated by words in brackets, I have on the whole adhered to the principle that translation is one thing, interpretation another, and that correct interpretation depends on correct translation, just as the most fertile source of misinterpretation is inability or neglect to translate correctly. It follows that a translation thus limited in scope will contain a great number of passages which do not explain themselves and cannot be fully understood without a commentary. I should have preferred, as a matter of practical convenience, to include the commentary in the same volume as the translation, but on the other hand I saw grave objections to annotating part of the poem before the whole had been studied and translated. “The Mathnawí,” it has been said, “is easier than easy to the ignorant, but harder than hard to the wise”; and I confess that for me there are still many difficulties, which may perhaps be removed by further study of the poem itself, of works historically connected with it, and of relevant Persian and Arabic literature. The Oriental commentaries, with all their shortcomings, give much help. Amongst those used in preparing this translation I have profited most by the Fátihu “l-abyát (Turkish) of Ismá”íl Anqiraví and the Sharh-i Mathnawí-yi Mawlánáyi Rúmí (Persian) of Walí Muhammad Akbarábádí; I have also consulted the Mukáshafáti Radawí (Persian) of Muhammad Ridá, the Sharh-i Mathnawí (Persian) of Muhammad “Abdu “l-“Alí, who is better known by his title of Bahru “l-“Ulúm, al-Manhaj al-qawí (Arabic) of Yúsuf b. Ahmad al-Mawlawí, and for Book I the Sharh-i Mathnawí-yi Sharíf (Turkish) of “Ábidín Páshá.
As stated in the Introduction to the first volume, no finality is claimed for this edition. Where the text is uncertain, the translation can only be provisional; but even where we feel confidence in the text, cases occur in which every translator of the Mathnawí can but offer the rendering that seems to him possible or probable, and take comfort in the reflection that est quadam prodire tenus si non datur ultra. Some passages, I believe, will always remain mysterious, since the key to them has been lost: one knows that words uttered by a great spiritual teacher may be almost meaningless outside the group of his intimate friends and disciples, or may become so by lapse of time. The loose and rambling structure of the poem leads to other perplexities. When our author gives no sign whether he is speaking in his own person or by the voice of one of his innumerable puppets—celestial, infernal, human, or animal—who talk just like himself; when he mingles his comments with their discourse and glides imperceptibly from the narrative into the exposition; when he leaves us in doubt as to whom he is addressing or what he is describing—the translator is driven to conjecture, and on occasion must leap in the dark. Hence a translation of the Mathnawí, however careful it may be, is necessarily tentative in some respects and capable of being improved, though the process takes time. The corrections which I look forward to publishing at a later stage, when the commentary on this volume appears, are likely to be fewer, but also more important, than those contained in the long list of textual corrections (vol. I, pp. 21–28), three-fourths of which any reader could have made for himself.
Although the question of literary form does not enter very largely into a version so literal as this, I have attempted to preserve the idiomatic flavour of the original which can be more firmly caught and retained in a prose translation—and also its variety of style, ranging from a plain semi-colloquial manner of expression to a noble and elevated diction like that employed by the author in his mystical odes. On certain topics he is too outspoken for our taste and many pages are disfigured by anecdotes worthy of an Apuleius or Petronius but scarcely fit to be translated into the language of these writers. To omit them, however, would defeat the object I have in view, namely, to provide a complete version of the work which not withstanding the author’s passion for self-effacement, reveals the breadth and depth of his genius most adequately. It is important, for our comprehension of him, to know that he could tell ribald stories in the easy tone of a man of the world, and that the contrast often drawn between him and Sa”dí takes no account of some marked features which the authors of the Mathnawí and the Gulistán possess in common.
This is a translation for students of the text, but I venture to hope that it may attract others neither acquainted with Persian nor specially concerned with Súfism. To those interested in the history of religion, morals, and culture, in fables and folklore, in divinity, philosophy, medicine, astrology and other branches of mediaeval learning, in Eastern poetry and life and manners and human nature, the Mathnawí should not be a sealed book, even if it cannot always be an open one.
The prose headings inserted at short intervals throughout the poem, transliterated words with the exception of proper names, and all direct quotations from the Qur”án except such as occur in the headings are printed in italics. A few foot-notes have been added, some of them for the benefit of the general reader.