Mevlana is his popular name known in the land where he lived and died in Konya-Turkey. However he is known as Rumi more popularly in the English-speaking world. He lived in the 13th century,between 1207 – 1273. The day he died is known by all in the Sufi world as Sheb-iArus, the wedding night, the night he met his beloved god. It is a well-known legend that he said these words:
“Do not cry after me.
Tonight it is my wedding night.
I am going to the beloved.”
Rumi had many titles such as poet, jurist and theologian but he is most well-known as being a Sufi mystic. In the Sufi world it is also known that he became who he is after being the disciple of Sems-I Tebrizi, another famous Sufi mystic. Rumi was a well-educated and a learned scholar loved by all but after meeting Sems he went through a change by letting go of all he had learned and then tasting the real love of God.This is the basis of Sufism. This ecstatic love turned him from an accomplished teacher and jurist into an ascetic. Rumi believed love and longing for God is the only path for reaching God. For true seekers of God, love is their only religion.
The truth and love vibrating through his work made him heard by people all around the world over the past seven centuries. His teachings are so universal that his poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, and in art/performance/music scenes.Rumi’s works are originally written in Persian and have been translated into several languages. In 2007, he was described as ”The most popular poet in America.”
His works advocate unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. For him, all religions have the same value and he looks with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike. His peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to people of all sects and creeds.
With his works and life style Rumi tried to spread the idea that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. His visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.
His poetry is often divided into various categories: the quatrains (rubayāt) and odes (ghazal) of the Divan, the six books of the Masnavi. The prose works are divided into The Discourses, The Letters, and the Seven Sermons.
Masnavi, which is the source for this selection of work, weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations and exegesis, anecdotes and stories full of secrets of liberation of the soul and enlightenment.