Jalal ad-Din Rumi
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi or Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (also known as Mawlawi or Mawlana, meaning our guide or our lord in Arabic and Persian, or Mevlana meaning our guide in Turkish) (September 30, 1207 - December 17, 1273 EV) was a Persian Muslim jurist, theologian, poet and Sufi mystic, who was born in Balkh (then a city of the greater Khurasan province of Persia, now part of Afghanistan) and died in Konya (in present-day Turkey, then within the Seljuk Empire's territory). His birth place and native tongue points towards a Persian heritage. He also wrote his poetry in Persian, and is read widely in Iran and Afghanistan where the language is spoken. Yet, he is adored to such a degree that citizens of the modern Turkey sometimes consider him one of their own.
When the Mongols invaded Central Asia, his father (Baha'al din Veled) set out to Konya, Anatolia within the westernmost territories of Seljuk Empire. Rumi was 18 years old at that time. Rumi was sent to Damascus and Aleppo to obtain religious education. His father became the head of a Madrassah (religious school) and when his father died Rumi succeeded him at the age of 25. He was trained in the religious and mystical doctrines by Syed Burhan al-Din but it was his meeting with the dervish Shams Tabriz that changed his life completely. Rumi spent most of his later years of life in Anatolia and also completed his masterpiece there. He died on December 17, 1273 in Konya in present day Turkey; Rumi was laid to rest beside his father, and a splendid shrine was erected over his tomb. He played a big role in the history of converting Orthodox Anatolia (Asia-minor) to Islam.
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Teachings of Rumi
The general theme of his thoughts, like that of the other mystic and Sufi poets of the Persian literature, is essentially about the concept of Tawheed (unity) and union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut and fallen aloof, and his longing and desire for reunity.
- I am only the house of your beloved,
- not the beloved herself:
- true love is for the treasure,
- not for the coffer that contains it.
- The real beloved is that one who is unique,
- who is your beginning and your end.
- When you find that one,
- you'll no longer expect anything else:
- that is both the manifest and the mystery.
- That one is the lord of states of feeling,
- dependent on none;
- month and year are slaves to that moon.
- When he bids the "state,"
- it does His bidding;
- when that one wills, bodies become spirit.
- Mathnawi III, 1417-1424
Rumi's major work is "Masnavi-ye Manavi" (Spiritual Couplets), a six-volume poem regarded by many Sufis as second in importance only to the holy Qur'an. In fact, the Masnawi is often called the "Qur'an-e Farsi" (The Qur'an in Persian). It is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry. Rumi's other major work is the "Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i" (The Works of Shams of Tabriz - named in honor of Rumi's great friend and inspiration, the dervish Shams), comprising some 40,000 verses. Both works are among the most significant in all of Persian literature. It is believed by some that Shams was murdered by disciples of Rumi who were jealous of his relationship with Shams (also spelt Shems).
Collections of writings by Rumi
- The Essential Rumi-by Jalal Al-Din Rumi, John Moyne, A. J. Arberry, Reynold Nicholson, Jelalludin Rumi Castle Books ISBN 078580871X (1997)
- The Illuminated Rumi by JALAL AL-DIN RUMI, MICHAEL GREEN (Contributor), COLEMAN BARKS (Translator) Broadway ISBN 0767900022
- The Threshold Society and Mevlevi Order (http://www.sufism.org/society/mevlev.html)
- The Mevlevi Order of America (http://www.hayatidede.org)
NOTE: The above two organizations are unaffiliated with each other.
- Official website of the Family of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (http://www.mevlana.net/)
- RumiOnFire.com - A Tribute to Rumi (http://www.rumionfire.com/)
- Rumi, Jalal al-Din (http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/bashiri/Poets/Rumi.html#Rumi), a biography by Professor Iraj Bashiri, University of Minnesota.
- Findagrave.com Entry on Rumi (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmid=46790629&GRid=11042099&pt=Maulana%20Jalaluddin%20Rumi&/)
- Quotes (http://www.quote-fox.com/QuoteFox/plBrowse.php/?browse_cmd=browse_source&author_name=Rumi)
- Wikipedia. (2005). Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi). Retrieved on July 10. 2005.