Rumi



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Fast Facts
rumi1.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی
Function: 
Enlightened Poet
Traditions: 
Sufism, Islam
Main Countries of Activity: 
Turkey, Ancient Greater Persia
Date of Birth: 
September 30, 1207
Place of Birth: 
Wakhsh, a small town on the river Wakhsh, Ancient Greater Persia (nowadays Tajikistan) or Balkh (nowadays Afganistan)
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
December 17, 127
Ancestor Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
dervish Shams-e Tabrizi - prime spiritual mentor

Biography

Rumi was a 13th century Sufi enlightened poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. He is considered as "insan-e kamil" — a perfected or enlightened human being.

While historical sources claim that he was born in Balkh (Persian: بلخ - Balḫ), the hometown of his father's family, modern scholars now believe that Rumi was probably born in 1207 CE in Wakhsh (Waḫš), a small town located at the river Wakhsh in what is now Tajikistan and mentioned in Rumi's poetry. Wakhsh belonged to the larger province of Balkh, and in the year Rumi was born, his father was an appointed scholar there. Both these cities were at the time included in the Greater Persian cultural sphere of Khorāṣān, the easternmost province of historical Persia, and were part of the Khwarezmian Empire.

When the Mongols invaded Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, his father, Baha' al-Din Walad, with his whole family and a group of disciples set out westwards. On the road to Anatolia, Rumi encountered one of the most famous mystic Persian poets, Attar, in Iran's city of Nishapur, located in the province of Khorāsān. Attar immediately recognized Rumi's spiritual eminence. He saw the father walking ahead of the son and said, "Here comes a sea followed by an ocean." He gave the boy his Asrārnāma, a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact on the eighteen-year-old Rumi's thoughts and later on became the inspiration for his works.

From Nishapur, his father and his entourage set out for Baghdad, meeting many of the scholars and Sufis of the city. From there they went west and performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. They then passed through Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri and Nigde and finally settled in Karaman during seven years. His mother and his brother died in Karaman. In 1225 Rumi married Gawhar Khatun in Karaman. They had two sons: Sultan Walad and Alaeddin Çelebi. When his wife died, Rumi married again and had a son Emir Alim Çelebi and a daughter Melike Khatun.

On 1 May 1228, most likely as a result of the insistent invitation of 'Alā' ud-Dīn Key-Qobād, ruler of Anatolia, Rumi's father and family, including Rumi, moved and finally settled in Konya in Anatolia within the westernmost territories of Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm.

His father became the head of a madrasa (Islamic religious school) and when he died Rumi inherited his position and succeeded him at the age of twenty-five. One of his father's students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din-e Muhaqqiq, continued to train Rumi in the religious and mystical doctrines of Rumi's father. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240-1. From then on started Rumi's public life. He became the teacher who preached in the mosques of Konya and taught his adherents in the madrasa.

During this period Rumi also travelled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.

It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that changed his life completely. Shams had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could "endure my company". A voice came, "What will you give in return?" "My head!" "The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya." On the night of December 5, 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is believed that he was murdered with the connivance of Rumi's son, 'Ala' ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.

Rumi's love and grief for the death of Shams found their expression in an outpouring of music, dance and lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realized:

Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself!

For more than ten years after meeting Shams, Mawlana had been spontaneously composing ghazals, and these had been collected in the Divan-i Kabir. Rumi found another companion in Salaḥ ud-Din-e Zarkub, the goldsmith. After Salah ud-Din's death, Rumi's scribe and favorite student Hussam-e Chelebi assumed the role.

Rumi died in 1273 CE. He was buried in Konya and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage (see locations tab).

Following his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawī Sufi order (Mawlawīyah or Mevlevi, as it is known in Turkey), also known as the order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for its Sufi dance known as the samāʿ ceremony.

Teachings

The general theme of Rumi's thoughts, like that of the other mystic and Sufi poets of the Persian literature, is essentially about the concept of Tawhīd (unity) and union with the beloved (the primal root) from which one has been cut and fallen aloof, and his longing and desire for reuniting.

Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dancing as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helps devotees to focus their whole being on the divine, and to do this so intensely that the soul is both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of Whirling Dervishes developed into a ritual form. He founded the order of the Mevlevi, the "whirling" dervishes, and created the "Sema", their "turning", sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, Sema represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the "Perfect". In this journey the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the "Perfect". The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey with greater maturity, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination against beliefs, races, classes and nations.

Rumi verbalizes the highly personal and often confusing world of personal and spiritual growth and mysticism in a very forward and direct fashion. He does not offend anyone, and he includes everyone. The world of Rumi is neither exclusively the world of a Sufi or other tradition, it is the highest state of a human being: a fully evolved human. A complete human is not bound by cultural limitations, he touches every one of us.

To Love is to reach God.
Never will a Lover's chest
feel any sorrow.
Never will a Lover's robe
be touched by mortals.
Never will a Lover's body
be found buried in the earth.
To Love is to reach God.

Be with those who help your being

Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.

A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don’t try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it’s too late for all you could become.

Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?

There is a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise that
Love
comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it
cannot be learned in any school.

Locations

Tomb of Rumi in the Mevlâna Museum, Kunya
Type: 
Tomb
Details: 

Kunya, the city where Rumi lived and created most of his life and where he is barried is a popular pilgrimage destination for Muslims, Sufists, spiritual people and lovers of Rumi.

The Tomb of Rumi in the Mevlana Museum is the climax of Kunya. Also worth to visit in Kunya are the 1000-year-old Alaaddin Mosque where Rumi often prayed and the Mosque and Tomb of Sems-i Tebrizi, Rumi's closest companion, spiritual mentor, and inspiration for many of his poetic works.

Address: 
Mevlana Museum (Mevlana Müzesi)
Konya, Anatolia , Turkey
Phone: 
0332/351-1215
Directions: 

Located next to Selimiye Mosque.

Daily Schedule & Opening Hours: 

Open daily from 09:00 to 17:30.

It's busiest in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, so the best time to visit is right when it opens in the morning, or at lunchtime.

Plan to spend 30 or 45 minutes here.

Etiquette: 
As in all Muslim holy places, you must remove your shoes. Photography is allowed, but it's polite to be discreet and to limit the use of flash. Many Muslim pilgrims raise their hands in prayer as they face the tomb.
Accomodation: 

Plenty of hotel options are available in Kunya.

Prices and Fees: 
Admission fee of YTL5
Maps and Pictures of Location: 
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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing

by Coleman Barks

(Paperback)

Now in paperback, this is the definitive collection of America′s bestselling poet Rumi′s finest poems of love and lovers. In Coleman Barks′ delightful and wise renderings, these poems will open your heart and soul to the lover inside and out.

′There are lovers content with longing.

I′m not one of them.′

Rumi is best known for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries of love of all kinds - erotic, divine, friendship -and Coleman Barks collects here the best of those poems, ranging from the ′wholeness′ one experiences with a true lover, to the grief of a lover′s loss, and all the states in between: from the madness of sudden love to the shifting of a romance to deep friendship - these poems cover all ′the magnificent regions of the heart′.

Cover image

The Illuminated Rumi

by Jalal Al-Din Rumi

(Hardcover)

Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings...

In the mid-thirteenth century, in a dusty marketplace in Konya, Turkey, a city where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist travelers mingled, Jelaluddin Rumi, a popular philosopher and scholar, met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish.  Their meeting forever altered the course of Rumi\'s life and influenced the mystical evolution of the planet.  The bond they formed was everlasting--a powerful transcendent friendship that would flow through Rumi as some of the world\'s best-loved ecstatic poetry.

Rumi\'s passionate, playful poems find and celebrate sacred life in everyday existence.  They speak across all traditions, to all peoples, and today his relevance and popularity continue to grow.  In The Illuminated Rumi, Coleman Barks, widely regarded as the world\'s premier translator of Rumi\'s writings, presents some of his most brilliant work, including many new translations.  To complement Rumi\'s universal vision, Michael Green has worked the ancient art of illumination into a new, visually stunning form that joins typography, original art, old masters, photographs, and prints with sacred images from around the world.

The Illuminated Rumi is a truly groundbreaking collaboration that interweaves word and image: a magnificent meeting of ancient tradition and modern interpretation that uniquely captures the spiritual wealth of Rumi\'s teachings.  Coleman Barks\'s wise and witty commentary, together with Michael Green\'s art, makes this a classic guide to the life of the soul for a whole new generation of seekers.

Cover image

The Essential Rumi

by Jalal al-Din Rumi

(Hardcover)

Thirteenth-century Persian philosopher, mystic, scholar and founder of the order of the Whirling Dervishes, Jelaluddin Rumi was also a poet of transcendental power. His inspirational verse speaks with the universal voice of the human soul and brims with exuberant energy and passion.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Rumi: Turning Ecstatic

(DVD)

Mevlana Jelalludin Rumi was a 13th C. mystic and poet whose writing and teachings still inspire millions around the world today. Filmmaker Tina Petrova shares her extraordinary personal journey with the Sufi master in Rumi: Turning Ecstatic. Journey deep into the heart of Sufi mysticism, with thought provoking discussion, featuring interviews with Coleman Barks, the world\'s most popular translator of Rumi, and other noted experts. Also included are numerous readings of Rumi\'s poetry, historical background and a haunting soundtrack of ecstatic music making Rumi: Turning Ecstatic a treasured resource of knowledge and inspiration.

Cover image

Rumi: Poet Of The Heart

(DVD)

Speaking across all traditions, to all people, Rumi\'s passionate and playful poems stir the soul with their truth. Celebrate sacred life in everyday existence and the spoken world with Coleman Barks. Accompanying Barks are Robert Bly, Deepak Chopra, historian Huston Smith and musicians Hamza El Din and Jai Uttal. This is one of the most beautiful films we have seen. DVD.

Recommended Audio: 
Cover image

The Passion of Rumi

(Audio CD)

Passion of Rumi is a celebration of the poetry of Rumi with a new and fresh musical approach. This recording is the first work of Shahram Nazeri in collaboration with his son, Hafez Nazeri, the composer of this work. Shahram Nazeri, the most well-known vocalist of Iran, has been a pioneer in incorporating the poetry of Rumi in Persian traditional music. This live recording was made at a historical Festival in Iran with more than 140,000 attendees over 5 days. \"Passion of Rumi\" will attract not only lovers of classical and folk Persian music, and admirers of the phenomenal poetry of Rumi, but also audiences who enjoy innovation and the beautiful harmony that can be created from the combination of different musical traditions and cultures.

Pro Opinions

Music.

Leelo11's picture

Reading his poetry is a way to visit paradise.

clascale's picture

Rumi's poetry

Yes indeed. It is intoxicating to partake of Rumi's spirit through his poetry. It dissolves the bonds of the material world and uplifts the soul to an ethereal level.

Love and regards, Colin--

clascale | Sat, 08/15/2009 - 12:35

Divine poetry

NIDHI PARKASH's picture

Poetry coming from the heart centering on the all pervading divinity who is called omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient etc.

Beyond Duality

MAI's picture

....He knew...
....He wrote from that feild....

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.”

-RUMI