“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
–Mevlana Celal ud Din Rumi
Devotees and visitors love visiting Rumi’s
tomb on their arrival in Konya.
Sufi thought in Islam finds its most vivid expression in the form of poetry. Some of the greatest Sufis have been poets, and their poetry dates back to the 10th century AD. However, of all the Sufi poets no one comes close to Jalal-ad-Din Rumi. Commonly known as Mevlana or Rumi or Mevlana Rumi, this great mystic was born around 1207 in the city of Balakh, situated in present-day Afghanistan.
Rumi was the author of a vast collection of mystic odes and lyrics in the Persian language. He propagated his whole philosophy through poetry. Rumi had three main texts written in different forms of poetry: the Diwan-i Shams-i-Tabriz (odes), written in the memory of Rumi’s spiritual master, the Masnavi and the Rubaiyat (quatrains).
The new wave of enthusiasm for Jalal Uddin Rumi’s poetry in America and Europe has brought Sufism to the attention of many in the West who misunderstood Islam, thanks to orientalist writings in abundance in general and the literature produced after the incident of 9-11 to justify the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Rumi’s work helped people in understanding the message of Islam that is peace and love for all.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal was profoundly influenced and impressed by Rumi’s teachings. He considers Rumi as his spiritual teacher and calls him a “Khizar-e-Rah” or his spiritual guide.
Rumi’s tomb is located in Konya, modern-day Turkey. On a visit to his final abode, one can see hundreds of visitors every day paying their respect to this wise man of the thirteenth century, whose poetry still heals people’s souls.