hafez and rendi

Hafez repeatedly refers to the Rend/ Rendi in his ghazals. The Rend is the one who abandons everything for love- the wine of remembrance. Nothing is more compelling than the Beloved’s love and truth which is approached and praised in his beautiful Form as the spiritual Master (ensan-e-kamel). The Rend has no god greater than attaining union with the Beloved, and sacrifices everything in pursuit of this goal. The hypocrisy and pretension of the religious- especially when allied with the sacrosanct abuse of power, drives the Rend crazy for its utter insincerity. The Rend worships Wine, the intoxication that comes from forgetting one’s self in the praise of the Beloved, who is one’s Self.

Islam, of course, does not believe that God incarnates as man (or woman)- this is considered the vilest heresy. Neither does Islam condone drinking wine. The courts, however, often supported wine drinking, and Hafez was for much of his life a court poet. As a panegyrist, Hafez skillfully exploited the ambiguities and ambivalence inherent in his court position with respect to the confusion of identity between the real beloved- man or woman, earthly or divine, and the royal patron, and between courtly vintage and sublime intoxication.
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