The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 33

Flowers of Sinai

By Khurram Ali Shafique

Bright red tulips are spread out as far as you can see. Each represents a quatrain, i.e. a poem of four lines. Each has been brought here from Sinai, the mountain where Moses witnessed the Divine illumination on a burning bush.

The tulips communicate with you. The first red flower shows the Sun as a mark of worship on the forehead of dawn. “The banquet of life is a martyr to the Divine Beauty,” says the tulip. “Hence love and courtesy are the very foundations of existence.”

Whispers of the tulips evoke diverse imagery. Waves toss in the ocean, flowers grow on mountain tops, fairy meadows spread out wide and far, and conquerors march on towards their glorious graves while the legendary guide Khizr drinks eternity on the Fountain of Life. The whispering tulips credit every vision to the working of Love until the heart becomes the center of the universe as well as its boundary – there are no boundaries of the universe except in the center, and that center is the human heart.

The flowers are numbered, so you can easily see that they are 163. Since it is a prime number, it cannot be divided except by itself or by 1. Thus it represents the human ego or soul, which is indivisible but can be absorbed in Unity, or Oneness.


  • In what ways are these “tulips of Sinai” similar to the human heart?
  • Can this walk through the tulip field be your remaking as the new human being?

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163 quatrains on the subject of love are spread out like tulips from the Mount Sinai where Moses saw the Divine illumination.
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