When Rumi’s name echoes, the sound divulges into the phonics of mysticism. Rumi is known for mysticism and mysticism is known for Rumi. Let’s dial back time to the thirteenth century. Jalal Al-Din Muhammad Rumi was born into the home of an influential and respected Islamic scholar of Afghanistan. Fate turned the leaves of Rumi’s life story towards displacement when Mongols invaded Afghanistan, and Rumi along with his family had to stumble across the border into Iran then onto Syria and Saudi Arabia, only to eventually land in Konya, a cosmopolitan city in Turkey. Legends have it, during the family’s travel to Iran, they came across a Persian mystical poet, Farid Al-Din Attar who blessed Rumi and therefore, opened the gateway to mysticism for him.
Rumi always had an Islamic influence due to his father’s rank as a scholar but, Rumi’s life evolved into a mystic journey when the time conspired to have made Rumi cross paths with Shams-e-Tabriz. Shams-e-Tabriz was a darvesh wandering in the streets of Konya. Though he is known as the Son of Religion, Shams-e-Tabriz cannot be affiliated with any of the religious mystic fraternities. The fateful union between Shams-e-Tabriz and Jalal Al-Din Rumi was the turning point in Rumi’s life where he got to indulge in the mysteries of the supreme deity. The two mystics spent around a couple of months closely-knitted so much so that Rumi diverted his attention away from his disciples and family, solely to focus on Shams-e-Tabriz’s teachings. This closeness stirred a lot of scandals in the community eventually forcing Shams-e-Tabriz to move back to Syria leaving Rumi devastated. This devastation and atrocity unraveled Rumi’s poetic abilities to the world. A number of his poems stemmed from his longing and mourning for his mystical master, Shams-e-Tabriz. The Divan-e-Shams is a collection of those pieces that Rumi jotted down lost in spiritual and mystic agony.
As time progressed after Shams-e-Tabriz’s demise, Rumi’s spiritual indulgence further escalated. Events kept transpiring in Rumi’s mystical quest and his spiritual connection with the divine creation became stronger. Oftentimes while reciting his verses, Rumi would also jumble it up with a whirling dance. This whirling dance is widely known throughout the world now as Samaa. The costumes worn by the Sufi dancers in this day and age also symbolize and signify Rumi’s origin from the Middle East. The elongated robe is essentially derived from the Afghan culture, which relates back to Rumi’s roots being affiliated with Afghanistan.
Rumi went on to live a few years after having completed the Masnawi. He was then buried in Konya, which has now become a chronicle shrine for mystic pilgrims throughout the world. Even centuries after his demise, Rumi is still known as the heart and soul of mysticism, and his poetry is widely enjoyed across the world. His original poetry was in Arabic and Persian as well as some Turkish but, the translation of these inscriptions are available in all languages known to mystics of the world.
“The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.” – Maulana Rumi