State Library of Victoria \ Exhibitions \ Love and devotion
Skip to main content
Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond


ʾAbd al-Rahman Jami (1414–1492) was a scholar and theologian who followed the teachings of Ibn ʿArabi and belonged to the mystical Naqshbandi Sufi order. He is regarded by many as the last of the great classical Persian poets.

Jami's major work was the compilation of seven stories known as Haft Aurang (Seven thrones). His 1484 allegorical version of the tale of Yusuf u Zulaykha from Haft Aurang is regarded by many as the best example of a mystical love story in all Islamic literature.

Another of his poems is Baharistan (Garden of spring), a poetic work modelled on Saʿdi’s Gulistan (The rose garden), a series of stories and personal anecdotes written more than a century earlier.

His Silsilat al-Dhahab (Chain of gold) takes its title from the symbolic language of the Naqshbandi order. The Naqshbandis had little interest in ecstatic musical or other sensory experiences. Instead, they were interested in the purification of the heart through intimate conversation between master and disciple, or two friends or partners devoting themselves to each other.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000