Jalal al-Din Rumi, born on 30th September 1207, was a poet, Islamic scholar and theologian and later turned into a renowned sufi mystic. Rumi was the son of a sufi scholar, Baha al-Din, and it is likely that he was introduced to Sufism by his father. Rumi was a firm believer but he rebuked the mere outwardly ritual practices and focused more on nourishing the inner-self.
Rumi studied Arabic, Persian, law, theology, Qur’an, philosophy and astronomy, in early years of his life. Later on, he penned down some prolific pieces of poetry in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Greek. He spent his time giving lectures to the general public. The turning point in Rumi’s life occurred in in 1244, when in Konya he met the wandering dervish- Shams al-Din. Overwhelming personality of Shams changed the course of events in Rumi’s life when he was introduced to Divine majesty. For a period, Rumi separated himself from his family and disciples and spent his time with Shams, which infuriated Rumi’s family and Shams left Konya in 1246. Rumi was heartbroken and would spend his time in remembering Shams, so his eldest son took on an expedition to look for Shams, and brought him back. The family, yet again, could not bear Rumi’s affiliation with Shams and hence, Shams disappeared in 1247 forever.
This experience of love’s longing and loss, led to the outpouring of his soul through his poetry. Though his work seems to be about Shams, yet a close probation manifests that all his poetry rotates around the love of God. Through Shams, he became filled with the love of God. What was inside his soul, had come out. His son writes, “He found Shams in himself, radiant like the moon.”
Rumi’s major works include “Divan-e-Shams”, “Masnawi”, Divan-e-Kabir”. Omid Safi, a professor at Duke University, believes that “reading Rumi without the Holy Qur’an is akin to reading Milton without the Bible.” Rumi’s work is contextualized within the Islamic history and doctrines.
Rumi’s poems have been translated into different languages and are popular around the world. Rumi’s quotes are available today in the form of books. Coleman Barks, an American poet, is known in the world for interpreting Rumi’s work and rewriting the poems based on other English translations. Here, I am going to highlight some of the well-known Rumi quotes along with explanation.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you”. This quote illustrates the beauty of hardships and struggles. When human beings are busy in pursuing the worldly desires, they forget about the One; the Creator. But when they are struck by a calamity, they return to God. This quote can be viewed as an illustration of a hadith, Prophet Muhammad PBUH said, “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts, wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that, earns His wrath.”
“You think of yourself as a citizen of the universe. You think you belong to this world of dust and matter. Out of this dust you have created a personal image, and have forgotten about the essence of your true origin.” This quote depicts the immense worth that is linked to a human being. When we indulge ourselves in the worldly affairs, we forget about our true-self. We focus only on our repute and image that we try to present to the world, and forget about the soul. As Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, “We have certainly created man in the best of stature.” (93:4). Allah tells us that humans were made in the best forms and blessed with thought, intelligence and conscience. So, a person should focus on developing the inner-self and connecting it to the Absolute-self.
“Know then that the body is merely a garment. Go seek the wearer, not the cloak.” See others for their souls. We might look at someone and rebuke them for their outward appearance, but we cannot decipher the fact that that person might be the most beloved to Allah. Allah might love a person’s soul who seems to be sinful and ignorant. As Allah says, “Whether you conceal what is in your hearts or reveal it, Allah will know it.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.