Home » Art and Literature » Dr. AbdolKarim Soroush’s lecture series on the ghazals of the Divan-e-Shams

Dr. AbdolKarim Soroush’s lecture series on the ghazals of the Divan-e-Shams

ICCNC: Dr. AbdolKarim Soroush’s lecture series on the ghazals of the Divan-e-Shams will be held on the first Saturday of each month at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. For the first time, each session will be devoted in its entirety to one ghazal.

Since January 30, 2016, Dr. Soroush has presented his lecture series on the Divan-e-Shams in this single ghazal format on a monthly basis at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California and these sessions will continue on the first Saturday of each month.

During the first three installments of the lecture series, he delved into Molana’s life, his relationship with Shams Tabrizi, the changes brought in his beliefs and worldview brought about by his meeting with Shams, as well as literary and Sufi characteristics of the Divan-e-Shams. According to Dr. Soroush, the Divan-e-Shams contains some 36,000 lines of poetry that compose 3,200 ghazals. Over the years, ghazals by other poets found their way into the Divan, increasing the number of lines to as many as 60,000. The two best-known editions of the Divan-e-Shams were edited by Badiozzamanh Forouzanfar and Dr. Mohammad-Reza Shafiei Kadkani.

While some English translations of the Divan-e-Shams exist, a complete translation directly from Persian to English is not available. The only complete translation of the Divan was based on a Turkish translation edited by Abdulbaki Golpinarli that was commissioned by the Turkish government. Reynold A. Nicholson and A. J. Arberry is two of the translators who have rendered parts of the work into English directly from the Persian. There exists also a book of selected ghazals in imperfect translation by Coleman Barks.

The first session of the lecture series was held on January 30, 2016, on Skype. Due to the low quality of the audio recording from this session, a transcription is included in the lecture series archive.

By the time the second session was held, Dr. Soroush had relocated to Northern California. Thus, those interested in his work and in Molana have had the great fortune of personally attending his lectures and profiting from his wealth of knowledge and wisdom on the field of Molana Studies.
Dr. Soroush begins each lecture by reading the ghazal in its entirety and then provides interpretation and analysis. The lectures, followed by a question and answer session, commence at 4:30 pm on the first Saturday of each month at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

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