The Significance of Fihe mâ fih (Discourses) in Mowlavi’s Works


This essay begins with a brief review of the various works of Mowlânâ Rumi, with a focus on comparison between the two prose collections of his speeches, Majâles-e sab‛e and Fihe mâ fih (the author of the article has produced a critical edition of the letters, Maktubât, of Rumi).  The prose style of the Majâles-e sab‛e, which is quite likely datable to the period before Shams came to Konya, is simple and elegant, in the homiletic genre.  It contains little of the mystical thought present in the Masnavi or the Divân.  A catalogue of the themes treated in the seven sermons of the Majâles is given, citing their usefulness for elucidating certain points in the Masnavi.  The Discourses (Fihe mâ fih, or in some mansuscripts, Asrâr-e Jalâliye) was collected after Rumi’s death in 1273, and the title was therefore not chosen by Rumi.

   The article traces the manuscript transmission of the collection, which is relatively unproblematic, despite the fact that the organization of the discourses represent the written record of an orally delivered discourse.  The article also provides an analysis of the structure of the different types of discourse appearing in the collection (some are question and answer; others relate incidents or anecdotes, etc.). It concludes with the suggestion that some of the discourses may in fact have represented orally commentaries or explanations offered by Rumi in response to questions about his Masnavi.  


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