The name Mowlana Jalal-adDin 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 Mevlevi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam.
Rumi was born in Wakhsh (Tajikistan) under the administration of Balkh in 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire. When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences.
He was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shams of Tabriz. His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems, `Divani Shamsi Tabrizi'. Rumi is the author of six volume didactic epic work, the `Mathnawi', called as the 'Koran in Persian' by Jami, and discourses, `Fihi ma Fihi', written to introduce his disciples into metaphysics.
If there is any general idea underlying Rumi's poetry, it is the absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic expression in the world of Islam cannot be overrated.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died on December 17, 1273. Men of five faiths followed his bier. That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever since, the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.
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