About Hafez

Hafez (1315 – 1390) was a Persian poet who lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy.  His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are often found in the homes of people in the Persian speaking world, who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-14th century Persian writing more than any other author.  Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica


Hafez (quotes)

Principles for living



  • Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.
  • We are People who need to love, because Love is the soul’s life, Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.
  • Let tenderness pour from your eyes, the way sun gazes warmly on earth.
  • Words have no language which can utter the secrets of love; and beyond the limits of expression is the expounding of desire.
  • The Earth would die if the sun stopped kissing her.
  • Oh, you who are trying to learn the marvel of Love through the copy book of reason, I’m very much afraid that you will never really see the point.
  • I once asked a bird, how is it that you fly in this gravity of darkness? She responded, ‘love lifts me.
  • The heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.
  • Let’s get loose with Compassion. Let’s drown in the delicious ambience of Love.
  • What is the root of all these words? One thing: Love. But a love so deep and sweet it needed to express itself with scents, sounds, colors that never before existed.
  • Time is a factory where everyone slaves away earning enough love to break their own chains.
  • Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly and wants to rip to shreds all your erroneous notions of the truth that make you fight within yourself, dear one, and with others, causing the world to weep on too many fine days… The Beloved sometimes wants to do us a great favor: Hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.
  • Everyone, whether he is self-denying or self-indulgent, is seeking after the Beloved. Every place may be the shrine of love, whether it be mosque or synagogue.
  • The sun will stand as your best man and whistle when you have found the courage to marry forgiveness when you have found the courage to marry Love.
  • What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!
  • When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more and be happy.
  • The tide of my love has risen so high, let me flood over.
  • This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings so love, love, love.
  • One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.
  • Only a Perfect One who is always laughing at the word two can make you know of Love.
  • We don’t need sugar, flour or rice or anything else. We just want to see our dear ones.

Love for God

  • God and I have built an immense fire together. We keep each other happy and warm.
  • When no one is looking, I swallow deserts and clouds and chew on mountains knowing they are sweet bones! When no one is looking and I want to kiss God, I just lift my own hand to my mouth.
  • Start seeing everything as God, but keep it a secret.
  • God disguised as myriad things, and playing a game of tag has kissed you and said, You’re it. I mean you’re really it. Now it does not matter what you believe or feel. For something wonderful, something major-league wonderful, is someday going to happen.
  • Your life within God’s arms, Your dance within God’s arms, Is already Perfect!

Being an instrument for God

  • I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through. Listen to this music.

Many religions, One God

  • I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, an angel, or even a pure Soul. Love has befriended me so completely it has turned to ash and freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever known.
  • I am in love with every church, and mosque, and temple, and any kind of shrine because I know it is there, that people say the different names, of the One God.
  • The great religions are the ships, Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.


  • I should not make any promises right now, but I know if you pray somewhere in this world, something good will happen.
  • For I have learned that every heart will get what it prays for most.


  • It happens all the time in heaven, and some day it will begin to happen again on earth – that men and women who are married, and men and men who are lovers, And women and women who give each other Light, often will get down on their knees and while so tenderly holding their lover’s hand, with tears in their eyes, will sincerely speak, saying, my dear, How can I be more loving to you; How can I be more kind?


  • Thou learnest no secret until thou knowest friendship, since to the unsound no heavenly knowledge enters.


  • Speak but little, and that little only when thy own purposes require it. Heaven has given thee two ears but only one tongue, which means: listen to two things, but be not the first to propose one.
  • Everyone Is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?
  • How do I listen to others? As if everyone were my master speaking to me his cherished last words.


  • Remember for just one minute of the day, it would be best to try looking upon yourself more as God does, for She knows your true royal nature.


  • Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
  • I am happy even before I have a reason.
  • I caught the happy virus last night, when I was out singing beneath the stars. It is remarkably contagious – So kiss me.
  • When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more and be happy.
  • Happiness is right in front of you.


  • Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.


  • Join me in the pure atmosphere of gratitude for life.

Say “yes” to life

  • I rarely let the word NO escape from my mouth, because it is so plain to my soul that God has shouted, Yes! Yes! Yes! To every luminous movement in existence.

Embrace the experience of life

  • We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light!


  • Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. Run like hell my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.

Right speech

  • What we speak becomes the house we live in.
  • For a day, just for one day, talk about that which disturbs no one and bring some peace into those beautiful eyes.

The heart

  • Be kind to your sleeping heart. Take it out into the vast fields of light…And let it breathe.
  • The heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.
  • Carry your heart through this world like a life-giving sun.
  • Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.
  • An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.
  • There are different wells within your heart. Some fill with each good rain, Others are far too deep for that.
  • Only heart to heart can speak the bliss of mystic knowers.

Letting go of the past

  • What do sad people have in common? It seems they have all built a shrine to the past and often go there and do a strange wail and worship. What is the beginning of Happiness? It is to stop being so religious like that.

Letting go of attachment to outcome

  • How seek the way which leadeth to our wishes? By renouncing our wishes. The crown of excellence is renunciation.


  • Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred… Now is the time for you to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but grace.


  • When you can make others laugh with jokes that belittle no one and your words always unite, Hafez will vote for you to be God.
  • Sing because this is a food our starving world needs. Laugh because that is the purest sound.
  • What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!


  • Come in, my dear from that harsh world that has rained elements of stone upon your tender face. Every soul should receive a toast from us for bravery!


  • I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: How are you? I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: What is God? If you think that the Truth can be known from words; if you think that the Sun and the Ocean can pass through that tiny opening called the mouth, someone should start laughing!  Someone should start wildly laughing now!
  • The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me That I can no longer call myself A man, a woman, an angel, Or even pure Soul.

Reality and illusion

  • Listen; this world is the lunatic’s sphere, Don’t always agree it’s real, even with my feet upon it and the postman knowing my door. My address is somewhere else.

The divine order of the universe

  • This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.
  • It is written on the gate of heaven: Nothing in existence is more powerful than destiny. And destiny brought you here, to this page, which is part of your ticket-as all things are-to return to God.
  • Your life within God’s arms, your dance within God’s arms, is already Perfect!
  • The world is like an eye, a beard, a spot of beauty and eyebrow, where each thing is neatly in place.

Surrender and acceptance

  • We have not come here to take prisoners but to surrender ever more deeply to freedom and joy.
  • Be content with what thou hast received, and smooth thy frowning forehead, for the door of choice is not open either to thee or me.


  • Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred.


  • Come, for the house of hope is built on sand: bring wine, for the fabric of life is as weak as the wind.


  • What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!
  • An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.


  • Greatness is always built on this foundation: the ability to appear, speak and act, as the most common man.

Inner being

  • I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.  


  • Don’t be surprised at Fortune’s turns and twists: That wheel has spun a thousand yarns before.


  • Grieve not because thou understand-not life’s mystery; behind the veil is concealed many a delight.


  • How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty? It felt the encouragement of Light against its being; otherwise we all remain too frightened.
  • The beauty of You delights me. The sight of You amazes me. For the Pearl does this… and the Ocean does that.
  • The world is a bride of surpassing beauty-but remember that this maiden is never bound to anyone.

Things that can limit us



  • You yourself are your own obstacle, rise above yourself.


  • Now that all your worry has proved such an unlucrative business, why not find a better job?


  • Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.

Pleasure and addiction

  • Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that may buy you just a moment of pleasure, But then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.
  • There is no pleasure without a tincture of bitterness.
  • Dear Ones, Beware of the tiny gods frightened men Create To bring anaesthetic relief to their sad days.


  • Do not surrender your grief so quickly Let it cut more deeply Let it ferment and season you as few human or divine ingredients can Something is missing in my heart tonight That has made my eyes so soft and my voice so tender and my need of God so absolutely clear.
  • Grieve not; though the journey of life be bitter, and the end unseen, there is no road which does not lead to an end.


  • It is not easy to stop thinking ill of others. Usually one must enter into a friendship with a person who has accomplished that great feat himself. Then something might start to rub off on you of that true elegance.


  • You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep and I say ‘here is a rope tie it around me Hafez will be your companion for life’.

Thoughts on …



  • Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire with the light of wine!
  • The only friends who are free from cares are the goblet of wine and a book. Give me wine…that I may for a time forget the cares of the world.
  • Come, for the house of hope is built on sand: bring wine, for the fabric of life is as weak as the wind.

Art and poetry

  • True art awakens the Extraordinary Ovation.
  • A poet is someone who can pour light into a spoon, then raise it to nourish your beautiful parched, holy mouth.
  • The great religions are the ships, Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.
  • Art is the conversation between lovers. Art offers an opening for the heart. True art makes the divine silence in the soul Break into applause.
  • Art is, at last, the knowledge of where we are standing – where we are standing in this Wonderland. When we rip off all our clothes and this blind man’s patch, veil, that got tied across our brow.
  • Art is the conversation between lovers.

More thoughts

  • Light will someday split you open.
  • Now is the time to understand That all your ideas of right and wrong Were just a child’s training wheels to be laid aside When you finally live with veracity and love.
  • On the holy boughs of the Celestial Tree High up in the heavenly fields, beyond terrestrial desire My soul-bird a warm nest has built.
  • On the neck of a young man sparkles no gem so gracious as enterprise.
  • People say that the soul, on hearing the song of creation, entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was the song.
  • Pulling out the chair beneath your mind and watching you fall upon God What else is there for Hafez to do that is any fun in this world!
  • The small man builds cages for everyone he knows While the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low, keeps dropping keys all night long for the beautiful rowdy prisoners.