Interpretation and Criticism of Rumi's Masnavi is one of the dozens of books that the late scholar wrote during his lifetime.
Seyed Salman Safavi, head of the London Academy of Iranian Studies (LAIS), has referred to this great work’s features.
The Masnavi of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi (1207-1273) is one of the most important artistic works of Islamic mysticism and is famous across the globe. The book contains teachings in both practical and theoretical fields.
A clear characteristic of the book is using the language of poem and art to offer mystic teachings.
Several books have been written that seek to interpret and criticize Masnavi and the one written by Allameh Jafari enjoys great features.
First of all, the late scholar has adopted a comparative approach as he compares the teachings of Masnavi with those existing in contemporary world literature such as the works of Tolstoy and Shakespeare.
Allameh Jafari also argues that Masnavi, despite what some orientalists say, bears an internal discipline. He says the lines and stories of this book are related as Rumi was seeking to introduce one general concept.
The next feature of Jafari’s book is his approach. Masnavi has six volumes that each contain some 4,000 lines. Most readers find it difficult to interpret the lines when reading them separately, however, Allameh Jafari has tried to provide the readers with the general idea and teachings of each story.
Allameh Jafari’s scientific status, as a senior philosopher, played a major role in introducing Rumi’s work to the religious society as well as seminary school.
He also provided a new definition of Rumi’s ideas according to the Quran and Hadith. The scholar talks about the Quranic roots of what Rumi has pointed to.
Using a unique interpretation approach, Allameh Jafari has offered a book that can act as an encyclopedia of educational sciences as it explains important issues of practical and theoretical mysticism with a simple modern language.
Born in 1925 in Tabriz, northwest of Iran, Allameh Jafari studied at seminary schools in Tehran and Najaf. He was interested in literature other than religious and philosophical fields. He died in London in November 1998 and was buried near Imam Reza (AS) shrine in Mashhad.