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masnavi.net is unaffiliated with any religious or governmental organization. Its goal is to present the Masnavi of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī Balkhī (more widely known as Rumi in some countries and as Mawlānā or Mevlânâ in others) in such a way as to make it more accessible to readers from all walks of life. As such, it is hoped that this site will be found beneficial by both interested members of the public and specialists. While apparently the first of its kind in the category of free online offerings of the Masnavi together with its translations, masnavi.net also serves as an excellent resource for native speakers of Persian. The site currently includes a number of features distinguishing it from virtually every other offering of the poem, whether printed or online. Among them are the following:

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All of the work put into this project, from gathering the necessary Persian text and translations, recitations, and making them suitable for usage on the web, all the way to the actual programming of the site itself has been done independently by volunteers.

Be that as it may, it costs money to have a website on the internet at all. That is to say, there are non-trivial monthly expenses for keeping this site up and running. If you value the Masnavi and all this site has to offer, please make a generous donation through our secure paypal page by clicking the "Donate" button above or below. Without your contributions, masnavi.net will quickly disappear.


How can I help?

At present the site really only needs committed volunteers of the technical kind.

Those who are familiar with web development are most welcome to contribute. Knowledge of Python, JS, JQuery, NoSQL DBs, Django, or UI design are all a big plus, but by no means required. If you are interested in helping and probably learning something new, please email masnavi.net@icloud.com as soon as convenience allows.

I found an error. Where can I report it? (textual or technical)

For textual errors:

To be able to process errors in a timely fashion and ensure the least likelihood of reintroducing others to the text base, a special (but simple) format must be followed by reporters. All that one must do to have a text error in the Persian or any of the translations fixed is fill out this excel spreadsheet and email it to us at masnavi.net@icloud.com. If you have other questions about the process, let us know at the same address.

For technical errors:

The quickest way to help get a bug fixed in the site itself (and not the text) is to record how the bug was produced in the first place. In other words, make sure you can describe the steps of how to consistently reproduce the bug. Sometimes a screenshot of the error may also be helpful. Please email reports of technical errors to masnavi.net@icloud.com.

What is the story of this site?

In 2014, I found an Iranian website that had audio files of the entire Masnavi. I compiled a concordance of the beginning verse numbers and wrote an article on my website (dar-al-masnavi.org), "Listening to Masnavi While Reading the Persian." A brilliant computer programmer named “Muhammad” was inspired by the article to create a new kind of Masnavi website in which the Persian texts of verses would be matched with Nicholson's English translations. He started the Masnavi Project together with another programmer named Firat Ozdemir, who added matching Turkish translations; he also found a way to divide the Persian recordings into over 25,000 separate audio files which matched the Persian, English, and Turkish texts, verse by verse. Later, they invited me to join the Project. My contribution involved mainly the English translations. I made hundreds of corrections from Nicholson's own appendices of corrections and also from his two volumes of commentary ("Translate instead: xxx"). Nicholson did not get a copy of the earliest “Konya” manuscript until he was about a third of the way through his translation of Book 3, so he added appendices of corrections needed to bring his earlier text and translation into conformity with it. I also proposed the website name, masnavi.net, and we acquired it. The site was launched in 2015 (the year Nicholson’s copyright expired). In March 2021, Muhammad sold the website to me and I hope to make corrections in the English text and other improvements. (Ibrahim Gamard, masnavi.net@icloud.com)

How does the search feature work?

We can divide the response to this question into three main parts.

How searches in Persian and translations are treated

The search box on the main page accepts searches in Persian or the translation you currently have selected. For example, if I had selected "English" from the "Translations" dropdown, regardless of the display style I had selected (Persian Only, Translation Only, etc.), I would be able to search either the Persian or English translation. The same scenario goes for all other translations.

There is a translation in another language that would be a great addition to the site. How could that happen?

Please just contact us with the details and we will give you all the information you will need to start preparing it for us to put up on the site. You can reach us at masnavi.net@icloud.com.

How can I get in touch with/contact you?

You can reach us at masnavi.net@icloud.com. Feel free to send us comments, questions, and feature requests. However, due to a high volume of emails and an (extremely) short handed group of volunteers working on the site, we can't gurantee a response to every email. We sincerely appreciate your concern and interest in taking your time to contact us, whatever it may be.

If you are intending to get in touch with us about errors in the text of the poem or the site itself, or about how to add a new translation, please be sure to take a look at the appropriate questions in this FAQs section before contacting us.

What edition is the Persian text? Who are the translations by?

About the Persian text:

We have chosen the edition of Mehdi Azar Yazdi at the present time because (1) it follows the Konya Manuscript (the oldest manuscript of Masnavi, completed five years after Mawlana Rumi's death), with some exceptions (less than four hundred differences in verses and headings), (2) it is on the Internet in digitalized form, and (3) it is the edition that was used for the complete recitation of Masnavi, recorded in Iran on 114 MP3s (Books 1 and 6 by Hosayn Ahi, Books 2-5 by Amir Nuri)--the only recitation (based on a good edition) that we know of on the Internet. There is another digitalized edition on the Internet that is even more faithful to the Konya manuscript, the edition of Abdolkarim Soroush (that differs with other excellent editions only in choices of variants contained in the Konya Manuscript itself), which we may include at a later time. These two editions have many advantages over the Persian edition of R.A. Nicholson, which has not been digitalized on the Internet, and which has over a thousand textual differences with the Konya Manuscript (a copy of which he did not acquire until he had edited and translated Books 1, 2, and more than half of Book 3). Preparations have already been made to implement corrections in the English translation (based on the appendices of corrections in Nicholson's edition). There are numerous scanning errors in the English translation that need to be found and corrected. The Yazdi edition could then be replaced with that of Soroush, in such a way that the audio matches the Persian text. The Turkish translation may have scanning errors in need of correction; other adjustments may be needed in order to improve conformity with the Persian text.

About the translations:

The English is by RA Nicholson. The Turkish is by Veled Chelebi.

The search feature is hard to use. Is there an easier way?

You can use Google to search just our site in whatever language you like. Simply put this before your search in the search bar on Google:

However, while the site is still new, many of our pages can't yet be found on Google (or any other search engine). Google takes time to include all of the pages of any particular site in its search engine. That means that many results may not be found by using this method just yet.

Where are the prefaces to each book of the Masnavi?

Those are still being prepared at this time. Because of the shortage of volunteers in general, and those who know web programming in particular, it may be a while before we can get them up onto the site.

Are there any 'Hot Keys' on this site?

Yes, several.

The UP, DOWN, LEFT, and RIGHT arrow keys allow you to navigate the pages and verses.

SPACE BAR will play the Persian recording for that verse.

If you have either the "Persian Only" or "Translation Only" display style selected, you can also use TAB to drop down the translation or Persian below the currently highlighted verse.

Are there other sites that have the Masnavi?

Yes, several.

You can check out ganjoor.net. Not only do they have A. Soroush's edition of the Masnavi and Rumi's Divan, they also have the works of other Persian poets like Attar, Sana'i, and Hafez.

Why is the recitation different from the Persian text in some places?

We have begun by using what is available on the Internet. We chose to start with the edition of Mahdī Āzar Yazdī because this is the text that was used for the complete recording of the Masnavi made in Iran (by Hosayn Āhī: Books 1 and 6; and Amīr Nûrī: Books 2, 3, 4, and 5). Occasionally, the reciters have chosen words that are not in the Yazdi text.

For example, the second half of the final verse in Book 4 reads: īn chonīn āyena tā t'vān-ī ma-jū [“Do not seek such a mirror as long as you can (help)”]. However, the reciter says: īn chonīn āyena rā hargez ma-jū [“Never seek such a mirror”]. And the oldest manuscript of the famous first verse of Book 1 reads: besh’nō īn nay chūn shekāyat mīkonad/ az jodā’īhā hekāyat mīkonad [“Listen to this reed how it complains, telling a tale of separations––”]. However, the reciter says: besh’nō az nay chūn hekāyat mīkonad/ az jodā’īhā shekāyat mīkonad [“Hear from the reed-flute how it tells a tale, complaining of separations––”]. In this case, the reciter has compromised by recording an “improved” version that has replaced the original wording for centuries.

A different kind of example is the wording of the first Header that follows Book 1: 34: `āsheq-shodan-e pādshāh bar kanīzak… [“How the king fell in love with the handmaiden…”]. However, the reciter says: hekāyat-e `āsheq-shodan-e pādshāh bar kanīzak… [“The story of how the king…” ––and there are other differences]. In this case, the reciter was completely faithful to the Yazdi text. However, we have corrected the text in conformity with the oldest manuscript (completed in Konya in 1278).

One member of the masnavi.net team has done a computer analysis of the textual differences between the Yazdi edition and the Abdolkarim Soroush edition (the most accurate edition on the Internet that conforms to the oldest manuscript) and found 359 differences in the wording of verses and headings (some that are very minor, such as prepositions). Therefore, there are several options in the future in regard to the Persian text and recitation: to keep the Yazdi edition as it is and tolerate the differences, to correct the differences, or to replace the Yazdi edition with the Soroush edition. For the latter two options, it would be desirable to re-record the audio files in the cases where the recitations need to be corrected in order to conform to the most accurate Persian editions.

Who is responsible for the Persian recitation?

Books 1 and 6 are recited by Hosayn Ahi, and books 2-5 by Amir Nuri.
The recitation was sponsored by noorsoft.