“Reason is powerless in the expression of love. Love alone is capable of revealing the truth of love and being a lover. The way of our prophets is the way of truth. If you want to live, die in love; die in love if you want to truly live.”
Rumi (1207 – 1273)
The name Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi stands for love and ‘ecstatic’ flight into the infinite. Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam.
Rumi was born in Wakhsh (Tajikistan) under the administration of Balkh on 30 September 1207, to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family travelled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed a pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of the Seljuk Empire.
When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded him in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi, at 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences. He was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shamsuddin of Tabriz. His love for Shams and also the bereavement he endured at the death of Shams led him to a prolific expression of music, dance and lyrical poems.
Rumi is the author of a six volume didactic epic work, the `Mathnawi’, described as the ‘Koran in Persian’ by Jami. He also is the author of the famous discourses – `Fihi ma Fihi’, written to introduce his disciples to the wonderful arena of metaphysics. Underlying much of Rumi’s poetry, is his absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic and spiritual expression cannot be overstated.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died on December 17,1273. People from five different religions followed his bier, such was his influence on those beyond the Islamic faith. That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever since, the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.