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:
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.
“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”
Here is His Famous Book Mathnavi (Masnavi) Translated into English