- Born : August 26, 1207 in بلخ / Balĥ, Iran
- Died : November 12, 1273
- Gender : male
- Genre : Poetry, Religion & Spirituality
- Influences : Shams al-Tabriz
Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balḫī (Persian: محمد بلخى), but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi , was a 13th century Persian (Tādjīk) poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. Rumi is a descriptive name meaning “the Roman” since he lived most parts of his life in Anatolia which had been part of the Roman Empire until the Seljuq conquest two centuries earlier.
While historical sources claim that he was born in Balkh (Persian: بلخ – Balḫ), the hometown of his father’s family, modern scholars now believe that Rumi was probably born in 1207 CE in Wakhsh (Waḫš), a small town located at the river Wakhsh in what is now Tajikistan. Wakhsh belonged to the larger province of Balkh, and in the year Rumi was born, his father was an appointed scholar there. Both these cities were at the time included in the Greater Persian cultural sphere of Khorāṣān, the easternmost province of historical Persia, and were part of the Khwarezmian Empire.
His birthplace and native language both indicate a Persian heritage. Due to quarrels between different dynasties in Khorāṣān, opposition to the Khwarizmid Shahs who were considered devious by Bahā ud-Dīn Wālad (Rumi’s father) or fear of the impending Mongol cataclysm, his father decided to migrate westwards. Rumi’s family traveled west, first performing the Hajj and eventually settling in the Anatolian city Konya (capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, now located in Turkey), where he lived most of his life, composed one of the crowning glories of Persian literature and profoundly affected the culture of the area.
He lived most of his life under the Sultanate of Rum, where he produced his works and died in 1273 CE. He was buried in Konya and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage. Following his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawīyah Sufi Order, also known as the order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for its Sufi dance known as the samāʿ ceremony.
Rumi’s work are written in the new Persian Language. New Persian (also called Dari-Persian or Dari), a widely understood vernacular of Middle Persian, has its linguistic origin in the Fars Province of modern Iran. A Dari-Persian literary renaissance (In the 8th/9th century) started in regions of Sistan, Khorasan and Transoxiana and by the 10th/11th century, it overtook Arabic as the literary and cultural language in the Persian Islamic world. Although Rumi’s works were written in Persian, Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His original works are widely read in the original language across the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular in South Asian, Turkic, Arab and Western countries. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Bengali and Turkish literatures. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages in various formats, and BBC News has described him as the “most popular poet in America”.
“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.”
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”