Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi Biography | Poet
Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: مولانا جلال الدين محمد رومي , Turkish: Mevlânâ Celâleddin Mehmed Rumi) (1207 — 1273 CE), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: محمد بلخى ), but known to the world simply as Rumi, was a 13th century Persian poet, jurist, theologian and teacher of Sufism.
Rumi was born in Balkh (then a city of Khorasan, now part of Afghanistan) and died in Konya (in present-day Turkey). His birthplace and native tongue indicate a Persian heritage. He also wrote his poetry in Persian and his works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, where the language is spoken. He lived most of his life and produced his works under the Seljuk Empire.
Rumi's importance transcends national and ethnic borders. He has had a significant influence on both Persian and Turkish literature throughout the centuries. His poems have been translated into many of the world's languages and have appeared in various formats. He was also the founder of the Mevlevi order, better known as the "Whirling Dervishes", who believe in performing their worship in the form of dance and music ceremony called the sema.
Rumi's poetry is often divided into various categories: the quatrains (rubaiyat) and odes (ghazals) of the Divan, the six books of the Mathnawi, the discourses, the letters, and the almost unknown Six Sermons. 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 Masnawi is often called the "Qur'an-e Parsi" (The Persian Qur'an). 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 darvish Shams), comprising some 40,000 verses. Several reasons have been offered for Rumi's decision to name his masterpiece after Shams. Some argue that since Rumi would not have been a poet without Shams, it is apt that the collection be named after him. Others have suggested that at the end, Rumi became Shams, hence the collection is truly of Shams speaking through Rumi. Both works are among the most significant in all of Persian literature. Shams is believed to have been murdered by disciples of Rumi who were jealous of his relationship with Shams (also spelled Shems).
Fihi Ma Fih (In It What's in It) is composed of Rumi's speeches on different subjects. Rumi himself did not prepare or write these discourses. They were recorded by his son Sultan Valad or some other disciple of Rumi and put together as a book. The title may mean, "What's in the Mathnawi is in this too." Some of the discourses are addressed to Muin al-Din Parvane. Some portions of it are commentary on Masnavi.
Majalis-i Sab'a (seven sessions) contains seven sermons (as the name implies) given in seven different assemblies. As Aflaki relates, after Sham-i Tabrizi, Rumi gave sermons at the request of notables, especially Salah al-Din Zarqubi.
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi: Poems
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