Why is Rumi so popular? This 13th century Persian mystic wrote about love in a way that touches us today. He invites the reader to look within and connect with a deep experience of love.
Nasrin Naaseh shares her knowledge and personal experience of studying Rumi, including some lines in the original language.
Jalaledin Mohammad Balkhi known as Rumi in the West, and Molana or ‘Our Master’ in the East, was born in the city of Balkh on the Eastern shores of Persia in 1207 and settled in Konya in today's Turkey, where he died in 1273.
Rumi indicated that the cause of misery in the world is separation from our source, forgetting who we are. This poet, who chose 'Silent' as his pen name, valued letting go of unnecessary speech; where unity is experienced, there is little need for words.
Rumi studied to become a learned Islamic scholar and attracted a following, even at a young age. But his life changed completely when he met Shams e Tabrizi. Shams led Rumi to a realm of experience, looking within to find truth.
When Shams left him, Rumi experienced extreme grief of separation. But at this point Rumi found that Shams' teachings were guiding him from within. Not having written any poems before meeting Shams, he started pouring out his soul through poems, which resulted in two of the world’s most influential mystic poetry works: the Masnavi collection and Divan e Shams.
From Divan e Shams:
I was dead, then I came to life. I was all tears, then I broke into laughter
Love bid me “enter my kingdom”; after that I became immortal.
He said, “You have not lost your mind yet, you are not worthy of this house.” I went and lost my mind and came back to serve his wishes.
He said, “You are not intoxicated, be gone, you don’t belong here.” So, I got drunk - immersed in bliss.
He said, “You are not slain, not yet drenched in ecstasy.” Right there, before his life-giving face, I fell, like a lifeless corpse.
He said, “You are a sheikh, a master.” I said, I am nothing – only a slave to your command.
He said, “You already have wings; I won’t give you wings.” Seeking his feathers and wings, I let go of mine.
Then love said to me, “Stay here, I am the eternal love.” I said, “I will never leave, I am here, now and forever."
Nasrin is a student at the School of Practical Philosophy California.