(Last Updated on : 09/01/2009)
Moulana Noor-od-Din (Nuruddin) Abdorrahman Jami, popularly known as Hakim Jami was one of the most important and influential classical Sufi authors in the fifteenth century. He was the son of Moulana Nezam-od-Din (Nizamuddin) Ahmad and he was born in a small town named Jam, in Khorasan in the year of 1414 AD (A.H. 817). The place is located in the Ghor province of Afghanistan at present. He died in Herat in 1492 AD (A.H. 898). Jami was actually his poetic name and the word Jam means "wine goblet" in Persian and the word, Nuruddin means "Light of Faith". Hakim Jami learned the basic education in Persian and Arabic during his childhood from his father. After that he went to a school at Herat (presently Afghanistan) and then to school in Samarghand (Samarqand). He studied with one of the great researchers of the time, Ghazi-zadeh Ruhm in Samarghand.
After completing his studies, Hakim Jami came back to his native town Herat and got education in mathematics and philosophy from Ala-od-Din Ali Ghoshchi. He later joined the chief of Naqsh-bandis, Khaja Saaduddin Kashghari and soon became his disciple. He was also quite dedicated to the General of the Order, Khaja Obaidullah Ahrar. Hakim Jami went on pilgrimage to the holy place Mecca in the year 1472 AD. Jami was quite famous among the common people for having sense of humour. Jami paid special attention to the writings of Sheikh Saadi and Hafez in poetry and he was also influenced by Nezami (Nizami) in his masnavi. Jami wrote around 44 to 99 books of grammar, poetry, and theology, throughout his entire life. However, the most important and notable one came from him, at the age of seventy and the book is named as "Yusuf and Zulaikha". Apart from this book, some of his other popular works are his prose works like the "Nafahatul Uns" (Breaths of the Breeze of Friendship), "Beharistan" (Abode of Spring) and also a collection of biographies of Sufi Saints. Hakim Jami wrote the book, Baharistan following the writing style of Sheikh Saadi's "Rose-Garden". Apart from the prose works, the major poetic work of Hakim Jami includes "Haft Awrang" (Seven Thrones of Grace). This consisted of over twenty-five thousand couplets.
Hakim Jami is considered to be a real genius and he showed in his Alexandrian Book of Wisdom, that the Sufi esoteric transmission link of the Asian Khajagan ('Masters') was the same as that used by Western mystical writers. He cited the names like Plato, Hippocrates, Pythagoras and Hermes Trismegistos, as the teachers in the Sufi transmission. His extraordinary view and thoughts made him a popular and celebrated person among the common people and also the educated people; however, he did not like this attention. He was actually annoyed with the acclaim by the public. Hakim Jami actually wanted the people not to adopt him as a hero but to do something about themselves.
While talking about unity, Hakim Jami said that love becomes perfect only when it transcends itself by Becoming One with its object and producing unity of being. According to Hakim Jami, the ruler is a shepherd and his flock is the people. The ruler has to help the people and save them, but not to exploit and destroy them. His concept of Love says that the ordinary human love is capable of raising man to the experience of real love. Hakim Jami has discussed about honesty and hypocrisy quite extensively and said that when he was wandering to Mecca and Baghdad, he made a trial of the behaviour of men.
According to him, honesty is a wonderful thing and hypocrisy is a strange thing. When he asked people to be honest, they always treated him with respect, because they had been taught that good men always speak thus. They had also learned that they must have their eyes downcast when people speak of honesty. However, when he asked them to avoid hypocrisy, all of them just agreed with him. Hakim Jami requested the people not to boast that they don't have any pride, because it is less visible than an ant's foot on a black stone in a dark night. He also asked the people to not to think that bringing it out from within is easy. Talking about intellect, Hakim Jami said that people should stop boasting of intellect and learning; The writings of Hakim Jami has spread his message with a wonderful sense of humour and that was really a unique way to convey the philosophy of Sufism.