Only One Rule

Many of us are familiar with Khalil Gibran and Jalaluddin Rumi, yet few might have known Hafez Syirazi. Hafez was a Persian Poet whose works had greatย influence on Persian literature. The following is one of his great poems, entitled, “Only One Rule”. Happy reading, my friends! ๐Ÿ™‚



The sky

is a suspended blue ocean


The stars are the fish that swim

The planets are the white whales


I sometimes hitch a ride on

The sun and all light

Have forever fused themselves

into my heart

and upon my skin


There is only one rule on this Wild playground

Every sign Hafez has ever seen

Reads the same


They all say,

โ€œHave fun, my dear, have fun.

In the Beloved Divineโ€™s game,

Oโ€™ in the Beloved Wonderful Game.โ€


by Hafez Syirazi

41 thoughts on “Only One Rule

  1. Dear Subhan! I’m so glad I found your blog and your love for Persian poetry. I have always been fascinated with all things Persian! I have recently started reading Hafiz and each time his words bring such a sense of wonder and leave me to believe that this man truly was a great Sufi master and was divinely inspired. With warmest wishes from a Malaysian in Finland, Sharon

    • Well hello, my lovely friend! You love Hafez too? Awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m trying to introduce him to a larger audience, as many people know Gibran and Rumi better. In a way that many of my poems are influenced by Gibran and Rumi, I would say that I’m also influenced by Hafez. Perhaps you’d be interested in reading “Whirling Towards the Divinity”, “Love is the Water of Life”, “My Greetings to You”, “Millions of Candles”.. Have a joyful ride in my blog, my lovely friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

    • Thank you, Louise. Hafez is awesome! Yes, take a look at my other poetry. I’ve “Dance, dance under the rain”, and “Love is a Heart Throbbing Joyride” for you to enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

  2. Thank you for sharing. I have never come across a Persian poet (I am of Tongan ethnicity, born & raised in New Zealand) so reading this was wonderful. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, great to see a Tongan here. Your my first virtual Tongan encounter! ๐Ÿ™‚

      And you live nearby! I live in Down Under. And yes, the Asian culture is rich of poetry. Hafez is just one of them Take a look at my modern version of Pantun: “A Hug from my Heart” and “In My Heart Your Name is Beautifully Crafted”. These two are how our ancestors wrote poetry.

      Thank you for your visit! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

    • Thank you, my new friend! Yes, Hafez is amazing! I loved his poems! ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for following my blog! I’m happy to have another Pakistani friend here.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

      • :). You’re very welcome. Hafez is amazing, his writings justify that. Your blog definitely deserved following, well-organized and amazing to every degree. :).
        Yeah, it’s really good to find fellow Pakistani bloggers here. For once, I thought I was the only one. :P.

    • Thank you very much, Queridaj! I’m honored.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      May you have a great day! And happiness be with you forever and for always.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

  3. Pak Subhan – one small note. Omar Khayyam was a very accomplished poet, politician, etc. But he was also a maverick – loved wine, women and song.

    My favourite as I remember it:

    “A book of verse, a flask of wine and you beside me in the wilderness – wilderness is paradise enow”

    Not exactly spiritual ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cik Eric, -kalau orang Singapore boleh tak dipanggil “Cik”? ๐Ÿ™‚

      It doesn’t have to be spiritual, because I do love it! I actually read his some of his poems in Indonesian long time ago when I was in high school, but I haven’t read his English translation. Not yet. But I will certainly to do it.

      And yeah, I suppose you are right. I guess if we look back to the history, we’ll find many examples of great Islamic poets and thinkers who had a penchant for wine. This is quite extraordinary, but I read somewhere that even Jalaluddin Rumi drank wine! He even metaphorically used wine for the love of God. Those Islamic fundamentalists who admire his poems but prohibit wine may now need to rethink their approach to Islamic traditions. Interestingly, I haven’t come across in my readings any fundamentalists who were also successful poets. Great poets in Islamic traditions, including Rumi and Hafez, were people who had sufism backgrounds. They were people who loved God as much as they loved humanity, and didn’t hate others outside Islam. I suppose the same case applied to Omar Khayyam. Well, just my two cents. Nice talking to you, Pak Eric.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

    • No, he’s got plenty of some other stuff too. If you’re interested, you could check his poems on a book called , “The Gift”. It’s an English translation of his best poems.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

    • Thanks, Hiba! I’m happy that Hafez’ words are now reaching you and the other bloggers. Hope we could be inspired by what he was saying.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Subhan Zein

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