“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

–Rumi – 1207-1273

An advocate of tolerance for all religions, spreading of love, honesty and good nature, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, stands as the greatest influential Persian poet and Sufi master of the 13th century. He was born in 1207 in the present-day Afghanistan and is popular by the name Rumi. His poetry is considered to be the finest ever written in terms of its eloquence and wisdom as well as the energetic and heart-touching style and have been translated into many languages. The love for Rumi’s poems transcends national borders and at present, he is observed to be one of the most popular poets in US. Rumi was born under the influence of his father, a mystic, and the Persian poets Attar and Sanai. He practised Sufism under his father till his death, after which, he became an Islamic jurist and started giving sermons at mosques in Konya, a Central Anatolian city of Turkey. For several generations, his family followed the profession of the Islamic preachers of the liberal Hanafi custom. At the age of 37, in 1244, Rumi’s life transformed when he met a darvaish at Damascus by the name of Shams-e-Tabrizi. They developed deep friendship and love for each other and his teachings had a profound impact on Rumi’s life. After three years of being together, Shams suddenly disappeared and it was claimed that he died. Rumi expressed his grief and agony over this shocking death in a collection of lyric poems “Divan-e Shams-e-Tabrizi”. He wrote 3000 such love songs attributed to Prophet (PBUH), God and Shams; 2000rubayats(four-line quatrains) and a six-volume spiritual epic, “The Masnavi”. Rumi incorporated rhythm and music in his poetry and would perform religious dance by whirling. It was then that the practice of whirling dervishes took the shape of a ritual, performed by many of Rumi’s followers and the formation of the Mewlewi Sufi Order. Centuries after his death, Rumi’s work is used as an inspiration for novels, poems, music and films. He died in 1273 AD and was buried in Konya, a Central Anatolian city of Turkey. A splendid shrine was built over his grave and it has become a place of pilgrimage.