13th century has seen a great poet, a Sufi and an Islamic thinker: Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. Present-day people regard him as one of the most impressive spiritual figures and poetical intellects. The number of people who have been affected by his guidance about life, love and peace is countless. Rumi wrote poems that inspired Persians in Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan. It won’t be surprising to find out the fame of his poems spread around the world and were translated into lots of languages.
“We carry inside us the wonders that we seek outside us.”
BUT WHO IS RUMI?
Born in Balkh (present-day Afghanistan) on September 30, 1207, Rumi was grown up in a family of theologians and mystics. That must be one of the reasons why he was so successful in describing the spiritual world by making use of everyday life’s circumstances. When he was very young, he had to leave Balkh due to war and migrated to the beautiful city Konya, located in Turkey now. In Konya, Rumi met Sufism and started to practice it; he learnt a lot about the spiritual rituals of Sufism. When he was at the age of 24, he was already a well-known scholar in religious matters.
In 1244, he came across a wandering dervish named Shamsuddin of Tabriz. This was the day his life changed drastically. They immediately became close friends, a true friendship that inspired the themes of many books and stories. However, Shams were killed by the students of Rumi since the students were extremely resentful about their close relationship. That incident made Rumi express his deep love for Shamsuddin through music, dance and poems. His poems for Shamsuddin were collected in his book Diwan-e-Kabir.
In his late years, Rumi started to write his masterwork Masnavi. The book is one of the best known and most influential works of both Sufism and Farsi literature. The Masnavi consists of six books of poetry that together amount to nearly 25,000 verses. The famous book is a spiritual writing that teaches Sufis how to reach their goal of being in true love with God.
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi passed away in Konya on 17th December 1273. His tomb, Mevlana Mausoleum, was built in Konya and consists of a dance area, a quarter where dervishes live and a beautiful mosque. Every year, many visitors around the world are visiting the mausoleum.
TRACES OF RUMI
Rumi has a drastic influence on Turkish literature. While Masnavi is one of the most beloved spiritual books in Turkey, the popularity of his poems has gone beyond national borders. Rumi’s works have been translated to many languages across the world, including Russian, German, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, French, Italian and Spanish.
Mevlevi Sufi Order was actually founded by Rumi. Mevlevi Order still continues; it is famous throughout Turkey and has a very significant role in Turkey’s culture and history. Thanks to Rumi, Mevlevi Sufi Order was actually related with dance and song. The famous image of whirling dervish is also a part of Mevlevi culture and the Mevlevi order has been led by the descendants of its founder Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.
“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form.”