Maulana Jallal-ud-din Rumi Famous Sufi Poet/Saint

Jalaludin Rumi was born in 1207 in Balkh in modern Afganistan he lived most of his life in Konya, Turkey. A brilliant theologian, and one of Persia’s greatest poets he was also a Sufi Master who gave spiritual instruction to several hundered disciples. A great number of these were transcribed and survive today amidst his vast body of works.

First meeting of Mevlana Rumi and Shams Tabraiz

There are different narrations of Mevlana Rumi’s meeting with Shams Tabraiz.

It is quoted that Rumi was busy reading his Fiqah (Islamic Jurisprudence) books when he encountered Shams Tabraiz. Shams asked him what is he reading. Rumi replied that it is beyond his knowledge.

Shams upon hearing this threw those books in the pond. Rumi was annoyed at this and asked Shams why has he ruined his booked.

Shams smiled and took the books out of water. They remained intact, without a drop of water dripping down. Rumi was stunned at this and asked Shams how come this is possible. Shams replied that this is a world which is beyong Rumi’s knowledge.

After this Shams narrated the following verse.”The Knowledge which does not steal you from yourself; Ignorance is better than such knowledge”

Upon hearing this, Rumi realised that Shams is the spiritual mentor he has been seeking.

Mevlana (Mawlana) Jalal al-din Rumi (May Allah be pleased with him) was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, as well as a universal genius and a great servant of humanity. He was a philosopher and mystic of Islam. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness and charity, awareness through love. Looking with the same eye on mankind his peaceful and tolerant teaching had reached men of all sects and creeds. Mawlana Rumi (May Allah be pleased with him) was laid to rest beside his father on December 17th, 1273 CE (common era), and over his remains a splendid shrine was erected. The 13th century Mevlana mausoleum in Konya, Turkey with its mosque, dervish living quarters and school, and tombs of various leading adherents of the Mevlevi order, continue to this day to draw pilgrims from all parts of the Muslim world as well as many from the non-Muslim world.

Mevlavi Sufi Order:

During the Ottoman Empire there were numerous Sufi Dervish Orders, and their influence was great and widespread. Their numbers have been variously estimated by different sources, some put them at no less than forty, others at eighty, and some over 140, and this figure might be exceeded by including ephemeral suborders. There were strong rivalries between these Orders, and some like the Bektashis, and the Mevlevis (the subject of this paper) had extensive influence in Turkey and were very widespread. These two were more centralised in Anatolia and did not spread outside so much as the other orders.

The Mevlevi Order had a few branches in Damascus, Aleppo, Tripoli, and important branches in the European regions of the Empire, especially in Salonika. As the Bektashis were more rural in character, their supporters were more in the villages, while the Mevlevi fraternity was urban, sophisticated and more centralised, supported by intellectuals and the government circles, and culturally attracting greater attention.

The Dervish Orders began playing a political role during constitutional period in Turkey starting from 1908. On 13th December 1925, a law, was passed closing all the ‘Tekkes‘ (dervish lodges) and ‘Zaviyes’ (Central dervish lodges) and also the centres of veneration to which pilgrimages (ziyaret) were made. Istanbul alone had more than two hundred and fifty ‘Tekkes’ as well as small centres for the gatherings of various fraternities. This law dissolved the Orders, prohibited the use of mystical names, titles and costumes pertaining to these titles, impounded their assets, banned their ceremonies and meetings; the law also provided sentences for those who tried to re-establish them. Two years later, in 1927, the Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya was allowed to reopen as a Museum. Another change occurred much later in 1953 when the present annual ceremony of Mevlana was revived and an audience was invited to a movie theatre in Konya for a first authorised Mevlevi ceremony, though ceremonies may still be held privately and secretly.

His Life and Works:
Mevlana (in Arabic this means ‘Our Lord’ or Our Master) Jalal al-Din Muhammad Ibn Muhammad was born in Central Asia 1207 C.E. His father Baha’aldin Veled was a noted Sufi who found himself obliged to flee from Balkh, while Mevlana was a small boy, beacause of the Mongol attacks and some other local difficulties, and eventually they came to Anatolia known at that time as Rum. Those who dwelled there, whether Byzantine, Seljuk, or Ottoman, were all called Rumi, so Mevlana is known by the surname RUMI, that is Mevlana Jalal al-Din of Seljuk Turkey (Rumi, from the word Roma, was loosely used for all the old Eastern Roman Empire).
  Mevlana and his father settled in Konya, the Seljuk capital, he lived, taught, wrote his masterpieces up to the end of his life, and died in 1273 C.E. (common era).
  Although Mevlana is generally believed to be ethnically of Turkish descent, and he lived most of his life in a Turkish city, except for a few verses in Turkish city, except for a few verses in Turkish, his immense work has all been written in Persian, the dominating literary language of that period. On the other hand his son sultan Veled, born in Turkey in 1226, wrote a series of verses in Turkish languages
  The most significant and turning point in Mevlana’s life is his encounter in 1244 with the wandering mystic dervish Shams a’l-Din of Tabriz (May Allah be pleased with him). Thence forward, Mevlana was a changed man, his devotion to his inspiring master Shams a’l-Din entirely cut him off from his disciples. Because of abuse and threats from the jealous disciples Shams a’l-Din took refuge twice in Damascus, and in 1247 Shams a’l-Din vanished, and it is believed Mevlana’s disciples had plotted to kill him.
 Mevlana declared that one of his greatest works, DIVAN, consisting of approximately sixty thousand couplets and one million distiches, was inspired by Shams a’l-Din since Mevlana identified himself with his muse. His other great work, MESNEVI-I ME’NEVI, divided into six books and containing a total of over twenty five thousand couplets record several hundred stories, extracts from the Noble Qur’an, stories about wandering dervishes, biblical stories, all with allegorical and philosophical content.
  Apart from this vast collection of poems, his prose work contains his sermons, his admonitions, pious anecdotes, his letters dealing with personal and spiritual matters, and his discourses on a wide variety of religious and mystical themes.
Selection of poems and verses from the Master

During the day I praised you and I didn’t know

At night I laid with You and I didn’t know

I had thought that I was myself

but I was entirely You and I didn’t know


You search for the one who is with you.

You look for the looker – closer to you than you.

Don’t rush outside.

Thaw like melting ice, and wash your self away.”


The philosopher exhausted himself with thinking (figuring out)
let him run on, (in vain) since his back is turned toward the treasure

Let him run on, for the more he keeps running
the farther away does he become from the object of his desire

He did not say, “those who have striven away from Us”

[mathnavi VI:2356-8]


Here is His Famous Book Mathnavi (Masnavi) Translated into English

Online Read Mathnavi Link

Maulana Rumi's Shrine and Museum konya turkey

3 thoughts on “Maulana Jallal-ud-din Rumi Famous Sufi Poet/Saint”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s