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Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi or Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi (also known as Mowlavi or Moulana, meaning our guide or our lord in Arabic and Farsi, or Mevlana meaning our guide in Turkey) (September 30, 1207 - December 17, 1273 CE) was a Persian poet and Sufi mystic, who was born in Balkh (then a city of the greater Khorasan province, Persia at that time, present Afghanistan) and died in Konya (present Turkey, then within the Seljuk Empire's territory). 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.
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.
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 Qur'an. In fact the Masnavi is often called "Qor'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).
Rumi's importance transcends national and ethnic borders. Speakers of the Persian language in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan see him as one of their most significant classical poets and an influence to many poets through history. He has also had a great influence on Turkish literature throughout the centuries. His poetry forms the basis of much classical Iranian and Afghan music. Contemporary classical interpretations of his poetry are made by Mohammad-Reza Shajarian (Iran), Shahram Nazeri (Iran) and Ustad Mohammad Hashem Cheshti (Afghanistan). To many modern Westerners, his teachings are one of the best introductions to the philosophy and practice of Sufism. Pakistan's National Poet, Muhammad Iqbal (November 9, 1877-April 21, 1938) was also inspired by Rumi's works and considered him to be his spiritual leader and addressed him as Pir Rumi in his poems (pir literally means old, but in sufi/mystic context, it means guide, teacher, master.)
- Rumi: A Spirited Biography (Wines, Leslie)
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
NOTE: The above two organizations are unaffiliated with each other.
- Official website of the Family of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
- RumiOnFire.com - A Tribute to Rumi
- Love Poems of Rumi
- Rumi, Jalal al-Din, a biography by Professor Iraj Bashiri, University of Minnesota.
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