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Omar Khayaam

The Authentic Rubaiyyat

Syed Omar Ali-Shah

Hardcover, 86 p., 4 coloured plates
€ 14,90



Omar Khayaam, whose name means “tent maker” in Arabic, was a Persian poet and Sufi master of the early Middle Ages. He died in 1121. In his world-famous collection of quatrains, the Rubaiyyat, he celebrates the feelings of sorrow and joy that we go through when we put our faith in the Divine Spirit and leave the “reality” of earthly priorities behind us. In images of drunkenness, his verses speak of the mystic union with the Divine Self.

The quatrains were translated into English in 1859 by E. Fitzgerald, making them available to Europeans for the first time. The nineteenth century reader was given a rendering which portrayed a wine-inspired poet, a sceptical and fun-loving freethinker, without fully bringing out the mystical aspects of the work. This led to misinterpretations.

For this English edition, the translator, Syed Omar Ali-Shah, made use of a 12th century manuscript from his family’s private collection for the 111 authentic Rubaiyyat quatrains.

The Rubaiyyat is a work of the Sufi tradition. Within it we can only discover that which we are capable of discovering. Wine’ is here a metaphor for love and ‘drunkenness’ for spiritual ecstasy. His work is more spiritual than hedonistic; The reader should take up these verses and see in them what he can see.” Prof. Leonard Lewin, University of Colorado

The Translator:

Syed Omar Ali-Shah was born in Afghanistan in 1922, the son of Iqbal Ali-Shah. His family traces its roots to the Prophet Mohammed and to the Persian Sassanide dynasty. The late Syed Omar Ali-Shah successfully dedicated four decades of his life to the work of making the theory and practice of Sufism accessible in the West. He is an internationally recognized authority on contemporary Sufism.

His translations The Rose Garden (Gulistan) of Sheikh Saadi and The Authentic Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayyam, owing to their authenticity and readability, have both been internationally well received and found their place in university libraries around the world. They have also been further translated into several languages.
Further available by Syed Omar Ali-Shah: Sufism for Today, The Course of the Seeker, Sufism as Therapy, The Sufi Tradition in the West,The Rules or Secrets oft he Naqshbandi-Order.

The first edition was published in 1993, entitled:
The Authentic Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayaam, Translated by Syed Omar Ali-Shah
Published by IDSI, Los Angeles, California, USA.
© IDSI, L. A.

The Authentic Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayaam, Translated by Syed Omar Ali-Shah
© 2007 Peacock Verlag GbR. Göbel & Göbel, Berlin, Germany
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