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Masnavi: Teachings of Rumi Paperback – 1 Jul 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Octagon Press Ltd; New edition edition (July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863040675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863040672
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,038,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This is a one-volume version of Rumi's great classic, which has been styled by some as "the Koran in Persian".

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excellent book and product in very good condition almost new

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8de13f78) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cf5812c) out of 5 stars Good Version of Rumi 14 Sept. 2001
By Thomas F. Ogara - Published on
For quite a few years, this was the most accessible version of Rumi's Masnavi available on the market. The language is dated, almost Victorian, which may put off some readers who are burned out on works in the style of Fitzgerald's "Omar Khayyam." Also, it is an abridgement, and Whinfield will at times collapse large portions of the work into a half page.
On the whole, though, for the general reader the work doesn't suffer much from these two possible shortcomings. Rumi's unique, teasing genius comes through on almost every page, challenging the reader to look at everyday things from a different viewpoint. Whinfield's notes are sufficient without being intrusive.
I read this version several years ago, and as I find that Rumi is best appreciated in small portions, I still like to keep the book handy as bedside reading. Whatever your opinion on Rumi, whether skeptical or reverent, you will enjoy this book.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cf58540) out of 5 stars A Moving Journey of the Soul 21 Jan. 2001
By Netman1 - Published on
This is a abridged translation of Jalaludin Rum's masterpiece "Masnavi i Ma'navi", which was written over a period of 43 years. The Masnavi is not only an important work in the corpus of Persian literature, but more significantly a classic in Sufism and in world religious thought.

As such it is a "must read" for anyone interested in better understanding why we are here and what our purpose in life is.

Rumi (1207-1273 CE) was born in Balkh in modern day Afghanistan. His family fled the Mongol invasion to Konya in Turkey, where he later founded the Mevlevi Sufi Order (commonly known in the West as the "whirling dervishes") as an outgrowth of his encounter with a wandering Sufi - Shams.

The Masnavi is collection of stories and poems dealing with the central issue of life. Readers familiar with mystic strands in other religions will find much resonance here - common threads, common themes and common conclusions which reinforce the view that man's different religions are construct of man rather than of the Divine.

EH Whinfield was born in England in 1835 and died in 1922. Educated at Rugby (an English "public" school -- a private school in US terminology), he received an MA from Magdalen College at Oxford (1859). He was also in the Bengali Civil Service (1859(?)-1879(?)) which no doubt gave him the opportunity and perhaps introduction to Rumi. Also a barrister -admitted to Middle Temple 1872.

He also translated several other important Sufi works, Khayyam's 'Rubaiyat', Shabistani's 'Gulshan i Raz', and Jami's 'Lawa'ih'.

It's not clear from this edition when the translation dates from (my guess is 1880's -1890s). The language is a bit dated, but still the power of Rumi's thought comes through. Whinfield has provided explanatory footnotes, including Quranic and Hadith references as well as to his other translations. These are quite valuable in helping the reader place the Masnavi in an Islamic focus.

All commentary I have seen suggests that Whinfield was a pretty faithful translator of Rumi - rather than recasting the work in his own words.

One further note for those who buy the book. A "Gueber" is a Parsee (Zoroastrian) - one of the religions recognized by Islam as Divinely inspired, e.g. "people of the book".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cde5078) out of 5 stars It's Good Enough for a Professor 28 Oct. 2008
By Red Wings - Published on
I bought this book as a birthday gift for a professor who has been nominated for the Pulitzer prize in literature. She liked it so much she is considering putting it on her book list for an upcoming college-level poetry class.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cf585b8) out of 5 stars This book is a key to a more fulfilling existance 1 Jan. 2013
By Ms Christian - Published on
Verified Purchase
This book is for all of those who seek deeper understanding of the mysteries of our existence. I was thrilled to have found this title and will read it over and over.
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