Fal-e-Hafiz, or The oracle of the poet Hafiz

Doublures inside a collection of Hafiz’s poetry, April 5 1842, Iran. Source: Indiana University Art Museum website.

Fal (faahl) is a tradition practiced in Iran and South Asia (correct me if I’m missing other traditions) where the seeker or supplicant desires an answer to her deepest desires or questions. Hafez is a 14th century Persian poet, central in the Muslim tradition. (More on Hafiz / Hafez and here.)

Quoting directly from the website Hafiz-e-Shirazi on Fal-e-Hafez.

“In the Persian tradition, whenever one faces a difficulty or a fork in the road, Or even if one has a general question in mind, one would hold that question in mind, and then ask the Oracle of Shiraz Hafiz for guidance.

“More often than not, Hafiz, in his own enigmatic way would sing to the questioner and through the song, would get the questioner to look in the mirror of his/her soul.

Upon reflection in the mirror of Hafiz’s Ghazal one would be inspired with an answer, a guidance or a direction.

Traditionally, the first line upon which the eyes of the reader fall, would give the answer to the direct question, and the rest of the Ghazal would give further clarification.” 

Give it a shot. See what Hafiz has to say about your anxiety or desire.


I Have Learned So Much

So much from God
That I can no longer

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

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

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