“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
Jalal ad-DinRumi was born on this day in Persia (in what is now Balkh Province, Afghanistan) in 1207. Today is the 805th anniversary of his birth.
When he was 12 the Mongols invaded his homeland and Jalal ad-Din Rumi’s family escaped to Turkey. His father Baha’Walad became
an important position as a religious teacher, and his son succeeded him in that role. Rumi married and had a son, who later wrote Rumi’s biography. [The Messenger, A Guide to Life’s Adventure]
He met the dervish Shams al-Din of Tabriz in 1244 and became his devoted friend.
Rumi started the mystical practice of the sema, an act of worship that takes the form of an ecstatic, whirling dance accompanied by music. The sema is performed to this day in Konya, Turkey, by the Mevlevi order created by Rumi’s disciples.[The Messenger, A Guide to Life’s Adventure]
Rumi’s disciples were jealous of his friendship with Shams, and in December 1248 the dervish was either driven away of killed by one of them (maybe Rumi’s son). Rumi traveled far and wide looking for his friend, but eventually he accepted that Shams would not be found.
Eventually, Rumi made peace with his loss, returning to his home believing Shams to be a part of him: “His essence speaks through me.” [Poetry.org]
He honored his friend with “more than 40,000 lyric verses… odes, eulogies, quatrains and other styles of Eastern-Islamic poetry called Divan-e-Shams-e Tabrizi.” [Poetry.org]
He used music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God.
His six-volume the Masnavi remains an important text to Sufis around the world.
He died on December 17, 1273. His shrine in Konya, Turkey is a pilgrimage destination.
“Rumi is both a poet and a mystic, but he is a teacher first, trying to communicate what he knows to his audience. Like all good teachers, he trusts that ultimately, when the means to go any further fail him and his voice falls silent, his students will have learnt to understand on their own.” [Alan Williams, Spiritual Verses, Introduction]
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. [Jalal ad-Din Rumi , The Messenger, A Guide to Life’s Adventure]