The famous lyricist (1324-1390) is considered the greatest poet of Persia (Iran). His real name was Mohammed Shams ed-Din. Hafis or Hafes means "preserver" and was a rarely given honorific name for those who had mastered the Koran by heart and could recite it flawlessly and to the letter. Other names were "holy fool" and "rose of Shiraz". He lived and died in the city of Shiraz (which is mistakenly called the origin of the Syrah variety), where he is buried under a temple-like pavilion. In his time, he was considered the greatest expert on the Qur'an and Islamic law. In his songs and poems, he not only glorified Allah and the Qur'an, but also sang about the beauty of nature, the love of women, wine, gift-giving, and singing and dancing. He loved life in all its fullness and sensuality and praised it exuberantly in his poems. He mocked the literalists with a loose tongue, so the Islamic clergy persecuted him for his "blasphemous speeches" and accused him of heresy and blasphemy. His verses are written in the special oriental poetic form ghasel (gossamer).
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