Photographer's Note

The shot shows the mausoleum of Shah Nematollah Vali which is located in the town of Mahan in Kerman province, Iran.

Shah Nur od-Din Nematollah Vali lived up to hundred years of age (1331-1431). He was an Islamic scholar and a sufi poet from the 14th and 15th centuries. Descended from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, Shah Ne'matullah was the Qutb of a sufi order after his master Sheikh Abd-allah Yafe'i. He was born and grown up in Koohbanan ( in Kerman Province). He met Abdollah Yafe'i in Mecca and became his disciple. He studied intensely with his teacher for seven years until he spiritually transformed. He traveled to Samarqand, Herat, and Yazd and he spent the last years of his life in Mahan.
By the time Shah Nematullah died, his fame had spread throughout Persia and India, and it is said he initiated hundreds of thousands of followers in the path now known by his name.

The dome over the tomb of the well known Sufi leader dates back to the early 15th century. The complex is famous for its tile work and the ceiling is quite spectacular. There are also seven ancient wooden doors that are made in India. In the courtyard, there is a pond surrounded by cypress trees. There are also two minarets from the Qajar period.

I searched for the English translations of his poems and the following poem is one of them.

"The Sea Is Our Essence"

We are of the sea, and the sea is our essence;
why then is there this duality between us?
The world is an imaginary line before the sight;
read well that line, for it was inscribed by us.
Whatsoever we possess in both the worlds
in reality, my friend, belongs to God.

His love I keep secretly in my heart;
the less of the pain of His love is our cure.
Companions are we of the cup, comrades of the saki,
lest thou suppose that he is apart from us:
it is the assembly of love, and we are drunk --
who ever enjoyed so royal a party?
So long as Nematollah is the slave of the Lord,
the king of the world is a beggar at his door.

A photo of his tomb is available in the WS.

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Additional Photos by Atousa Taghavi (Atousa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1105 W: 57 N: 2111] (7131)
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