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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Kimya

KONYA, AUGUST 17, 1245

Breathlessly I wait for a summons, but Rumi doesn’t have time to study with me anymore. As much as I miss our lessons and feel neglected, I am not upset with him. Maybe it’s because I love Rumi too much to get cross with him. Or maybe it’s because I can understand better than anyone else how he feels, for deep inside I, too, am swept up by the bewildering current that is Shams of Tabriz.

Rumi’s eyes follow Shams the way a sunflower follows the sun. Their love for each other is so visible and intense, and what they have is so rare, that one can’t help feeling despondent around them, seized by the realization that a bond of such magnitude is missing in one’s own life. Not everyone in the house can tolerate this, starting with Aladdin. So many times I’ve caught him looking daggers at Shams. Kerra, too, is ill at ease, but she never says anything and I never ask. We are all sitting on a powder keg. Strangely, Shams of Tabriz, the man who is responsible for all the tension, either is unaware of the situation or simply doesn’t care.

Part of me is bitter at Shams for taking Rumi away from us. Another part of me, however, is dying to get to know him better. I have been struggling with these mixed feelings for some time now, but today, I am afraid, I might have given myself away.

Late in the afternoon, I took out the Qur’an hanging on the wall, determined to study it on my own. In the past, Rumi and I had always followed the order in which the verses were handed down to us, but now that there was nobody guiding me and our lives had been turned topsy-turvy, I saw no harm in reading without an order. So I haphazardly opened a page and put my finger on the first verse that came up. It turned out to be al-Nisa, the one verse in the whole book that has troubled me the most. With its unpromising teachings on women, I found the Nisa hard to understand and harder to accept. As I stood there reading the verse one more time, it occurred to me to ask for help. Rumi might be skipping our lessons, but there was no reason I couldn’t ask him questions. So I grabbed my Qur’an and went to his room.

To my surprise, instead of Rumi I found Shams there, sitting by the window with a rosary in his hand, the dying light of the setting sun caressing his face. He looked so handsome I had to avert my eyes.

“I’m sorry,” I said quickly. “I was looking for Mawlana. I’ll come later.”

“Why the rush? Stay,” Shams said. “You seem to have come here to ask something. Perhaps I could be of help.”

I saw no reason not to share it with him. “Well, there is this verse in the Qur’an that I find a bit hard to understand,” I said tentatively.

Shams murmured, as if talking to himself, “The Qur’an is like a shy bride. She’ll open her veil only if she sees that the onlooker is soft and compassionate at heart.” Then he squared his shoulders and asked, “Which verse is it?” “Al-Nisa,” I said. “There are some parts in it where men are said to be superior to women. It even says men can beat their wives.… ”

“Is that so?” Shams asked with such exaggerated interest that I couldn’t be sure whether he was serious or teasing me. After a momentary silence, he broke into a soft smile and out of memory recited the verse.

“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” When he finished, Shams closed his eyes and recited the same verse, this time in a different translation.

“Men are the support of women as God gives some more means than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide for them). So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and guard the hidden as God has guarded it. As for women you feel are averse, talk to them suasively; then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they are willing). If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them. Surely God is sublime and great.

“Do you see any difference between the two?” Shams asked.

“Yes I do,” I said. “Their whole texture is different. The former sounds as if it gives consent to married men to beat their wives, whereas the latter advises them to simply walk away. I think that is a big difference. Why is that?” “Why is that? Why is that?” Shams echoed several times, as if enjoying the question. “Tell me something, Kimya. Have you ever gone swimming in a river?”

I nodded as a childhood memory returned to me. The cold, thirst-quenching streams of the Taurus Mountains crossed my mind. Of the younger girl who had spent many happy afternoons in those streams with her sister and her friends, there was now little left behind. I turned my face away as I didn’t want Shams to see the tears in my eyes.

“When you look at a river from a distance, Kimya, you might think there is only one watercourse. But if you dive into the water, you’ll realize there is more than one river. The river conceals various currents, all of them flowing in harmony and yet completely separate from one another.” Upon saying that, Shams of Tabriz approached me and held my chin between his two fingers, forcing me to look directly into his deep, dark, soulful eyes. My heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t even breathe.

“The Qur’an is a gushing river,” he said. “Those who look at it from a distance see only one river. But for those swimming in it, there are four currents. Like different types of fish, some of us swim closer to the surface while some others swim in deep waters down below.” “I’m afraid I don’t understand,” I said, although I was beginning to.

“Those who like to swim close to the surface are content with the outer meaning of the Qur’an. Many people are like that. They take the verses too literally. No wonder when they read a verse like the Nisa, they arrive at the conclusion that men are held superior to women. Because that is exactly what they want to see.” “How about the other currents?” I asked.

Shams sighed softly, and I couldn’t help noticing his mouth, as mysterious and inviting as a secret garden.

“There are three more currents. The second one is deeper than the first, but still close to the surface. As your awareness expands, so does your grasp of the Qur’an. But for that to happen, you need to take the plunge.” Listening to him, I felt both empty and fulfilled at the same time. “What happens when you take the plunge?” I asked cautiously.

“The third undercurrent is the esoteric, batini, reading. If you read the Nisa with your inner eye open, you’ll see that the verse is not about women and men but about womanhood and manhood. And each and every one of us, including you and me, has both femininity and masculinity in us, in varying degrees and shades. Only when we learn to embrace both can we attain harmonious Oneness.” “Are you telling me that I have manliness inside me?”

“Oh, yes, definitely. And I have a female side, too.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “And Rumi? How about him?”

Shams smiled fleetingly. “Every man has a degree of womanliness inside.”

“Even the ones who are manly men?”

“Especially those, my dear,” Shams said, garnishing his words with a wink and dropping his voice to a whisper, as if sharing a secret.

I stifled a giggle, feeling like a little girl. That was the impact of having Shams so close. He was a strange man, his voice oddly charming, his hands lithe and muscular, and his stare like a crease of sunlight, making everything that it fell upon look more intense and alive. Next to him I felt my youth in all its fullness, and yet somewhere inside me a maternal instinct sprawled, exuding the thick, milky scent of motherhood. I wanted to protect him. How or from what, I could not tell.

Shams put his hand on my shoulder, his face so close to mine that I could feel the warmth of his breath. There was now a new, dreamy gaze to his eyes. He held me captive with his touch, caressing my cheeks, his fingertips as warm as a flame against my skin. I was flabbergasted. Now his finger moved down, reaching my bottom lip. Baffled and giddy, I closed my eyes, feeling a lifetime’s worth of excitement welling up in my stomach. But no sooner had he touched my lips than Shams drew his hand back.

“You should go now, dear Kimya,” Shams murmured, making my name sound like a sad word.

I walked out, my head dizzy and my cheeks flushed.

Only after I went to my room, reclined on my back on the sleeping mat, and stared up at the ceiling, wondering how it would feel to be kissed by Shams, did it dawn upon me that I had forgotten to ask him about the fourth undercurrent in the stream—the deeper reading of the Qur’an. What was it? How could one ever achieve that kind of depth?

And what happened to those who took the plunge?

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