Guide Rumi -- Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi

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The deep longing that we feel coming through. His sense of humour. There's always a playfulness [mixed] in with the wisdom. They have sold more than 2m copies worldwide and have been translated into 23 languages. A new volume is due in autumn. Over recent years scholars have begun to organise them and translate them into English. It is said that people of all religions came to Rumi's funeral in Because, they said, he deepens our faith wherever we are. This is a powerful element in his appeal now. The convention in that form is to stress its unattainability and the cruel rebuffs of the beloved.

Rumi celebrates union. It is also arguably the second most influential text in the Islamic world after the Qu'ran. His inspiring words remind us how poetry can be a sustaining part of everyday life.

Rumi - Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi

Besides, according to some statements, Shams was an old man of sixty when he arrived in Konya in He must have been born, therefore, about the year Daulat Shah's statement about Sham's heredity cannot, therefore, be easily accepted. Shams was thus very educated, contrary to what the accounts of a common man turned mystic suggest.

However, he cloaked his nature from religious scholars as well as from practicing pietists, such that his contemporaries were confused about whether he considered himself a scholar of law faqih or a fakir faqir , a Sufi practicing spiritual poverty Maq The Discourses show that there is little basis for this view. In fact, Shams knew the Koran by heart and used to make his living as a teacher. He had studied jurisprudence fiqh --the science of the Shariah, the religious law--and even in Konya he spent time in the company of jurists He certainly looked with contempt on superficial learning and the pretensions of the ulama, that is, the scholars who taught in the mosques and madrassahs.

In his view, they were traitors to their calling because they employed religious learning to make a living rather than to find God. Shams's words are surprisingly colloquial, even if he employs a good deal of technical language drawn from the Koran, the Hadith, jurisprudence fiqh , Sufism, philosophy and theology. This would be in contrast to other sufis who made claims of receiving extraordinary spiritual favors from God but who had a lack of commitment to following the Prophet's example. But I'm saying that he is more superior in regard to those who came after him, and therefore how can I equate anyone with him?

But what was the final outcome of these words?

Western Views of Rumi

Then his inmost consciousness made him drunk from these words , because his inmost consciousness was cleansed and purified, and therefore the meaning of it became known to him. And with his drunkenness, I also knew the pleasure and delight of those words--for I had been neglectfully unaware of the pleasure and delight of these words.

And Shams confirmed that, after their initial conversation, they both entered a state of spiritual ecstasy together. Fortunately, Western scholars have revised their views about the relation of sufism to Islam during the past 50 years. For example, the British scholar A. Arberry a student of Nicholson wrote a book on sufism in in which he said that he was not going to restate the arguments during the previous century that much or little of sufism was imported from other religions by the sufis.

He went on to say:. By following this procedure it is hoped to draw a picture recognisable as a unity of itself, a picture of a mysticism developing out of a single creed and ritual, which may then be compared and contrasted with the mysticisms of other faiths and so be seen for what it really is. They could reach their goal from any starting point--neither the differences between the legal madhhabs nor theological hairsplitting was, basically, of interest to them. Yet what one sometimes hears about his attitude to formal religious affiliation is that he cared not a fig to what community one belonged--and perhaps even went so far as to deny the importance of his own adherence to Islam.

About Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi

For reasons such as that, or perhaps because of the oddly persistent notion that Sufis have always drifted off toward the fringes of Islamic society, relatively little attention has been given to what one of the world's most prominent and popular Muslims thought and felt about Islam's most fundamental notions and principles. It resembles an encyclopedia in scope and comprehensiveness. While Rumi does indeed demonstrate a tolerant and inclusive understanding of religion, he also, we must remember trained as a preacher, like his father before him, and as a scholar of Islamic law.

Rumi did not come to his theology of tolerance and inclusive spirituality by turning away from traditional Islam or organized religion, but through an immersion in it; his spiritual yearning stemmed from a radical desire to follow the example of the Prophet Mohammad and actualize his potential as a perfect Muslim To understand Rumi one must obviously understand something of the beliefs and assumptions he held as a Muslim. It seems to me that Rumi considered each of the first four so-called 'rightly guided' caliphs as the spiritual axis of the age.

The present author's book, "Rumi and Islam" was published in Here are some excerpts from the book:. It is my hope that you will be surprised and uplifted by the profound wisdom that Jalaluddin Rumi conveys through these stories and sayings of the Prophet.


I also hope that it will educate Western lovers of Rumi's poetry about the Islamic foundations of his lover-Beloved mystical poetry. And I hope that it will also educate Muslim readers, who may be skeptical of Islamic mysticism Sufism and the poetry of Rumi, about how Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi was one of the greatest Muslim followers of the Prophet Muhammad, and how his Jesus-like teachings about the nature of love for God and God's Love for us are most suitable for increasing the appreciation of Islamic wisdom in the West. You can read in other books about Rumi's passionate mystical metaphors--about the reed-flute's shrill cry of longing for its original home in the reed field, the nightingale's passionate love songs for the rose, the self-sacrificing love of the moth for the candle flame, the yearning of the water for the thirsty man, and so on.

But now read about his reverence and love for the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Rumi - Past and Present, East and West;
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With this book you are invited to let go, for a time, of whatever attachment you may have to the popularized image of Rumi you have read or heard about, and to allow Rumi to be the Muslim he was. Read here a very different selection of Rumi translations than you have encountered before. Buy from Amazon UK. Buy from Waterstones. Buy from Amazon US. With new translations of over fifty of Rumi's poems and including never before seen prose, this landmark study celebrates the astounding appeal of Rumi, still as strong as ever, years after his birth.

About the Author Franklin D.

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