Jalal ad-Din Mu?ammad Balkhi, more usually called Mowlana, is known to the English speaking world as Rumi.
Rumi was born in 1207 in Greater Balkh, a small town located on the river Wakhsh in what is now Tajikistan. His father, Baha ud-Din Walad, was a theologian, jurist and a mystic, who had just received an appointment there. Rumis mother was Mu'mina Khatun.
In around 1215-1220,
Rumi's family and the disciples who followed his fathers
teachings, traveled west, first performing the Hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca).
Rumi eventually settled in the Anatolian city Konya (at that time capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, now located in Turkey. Indeed, it is because he lived most of his adult life in Rum that he is called Rumi) in the year 1228, when he was 21 years old.
Rumis father became the head of a religious school (madrassa) and when he died four years later, one of his students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din Muhaqqiq Termazi, took over the school, and taught Rumi his fathers tenets. For nine years, until Burhan ud-Dins death, Rumi practiced Sufism as his disciple.
Then, Rumi became
a teacher. He preached in the mosques of Konya, and taught in the madrassa.
Rumi had married Gowhar Khatun in Karaman, and they had two sons: Sultan Walad and Ala-eddin Chalabi. When his wife died, Rumi married again and had a son, Amir Alim Chalabi, and a daughter, Malakeh Khatun.
In December 1273, at the age of 66, Rumi fell ill in Konya and died after a short illness. His body was interred beside that of his father, and a shrine, the Yesil Türbe or Green Tomb ( today the Mevlana Museum), was erected over his place of burial. His epitaph reads:
When we are dead,
seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men
Rumi believed in the
use of music, poetry, and dance as a path for reaching God. He taught
that music helped devotees focus their whole being on the divine, so intensely
that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected.
Rumi's major works in poetry consists of the Ma?nawiye Ma'nawi, a six-volume poem, considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry, and the Diwan-e Kabir (Great Work) or Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi|Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi (The Works of Shams of Tabriz) named in honor of Rumi's master Shams.
His prose writings
consist of Fihi Ma Fihi (In It What's in It) which provides a record of
seventy-one talks and lectures given by Rumi on various occasions to his
disciples. An English translation from the Persian was first published
by A.J. Arberry as Discourses of Rumi in 1972.
Makatib (The Letters)
is a book which contains Rumi's letters in Persian to his disciples, family
members, and men of state and of influence.