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Rumi Biography

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Rumi Bio
Rumi's Bio

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. Rumi’s mother was Mu'mina Khatun.

In around 1215-1220, Rumi's family – and the disciples who followed his father’s teachings, traveled west, first performing the Hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca).
While they were journeying to Anatolia , Rumi met one of the most famous mystic Persian poets, 'Attar. 'Attar saw the father walking ahead of the son and, according to the stories, said, "Here comes a sea followed by an ocean." He gave Rumi his Asrarnama, a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact on the teenage Rumi, and would become the inspiration for his works.
The travellers then settled in Karaman for seven years; Rumi's mother and brother both died there. In 1225,

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.

Rumi’s 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 father’s tenets. For nine years, until Burhan ud-Din’s death, Rumi practiced Sufism as his disciple.

Then, Rumi became a teacher. He preached in the mosques of Konya, and taught in the madrassa.
In 1244, Rumi met the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi, who helped him form his philosophy. Shams was killed under mysterious circumstances and Rumi was greatly affected by his death.

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
Following his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawiyah Sufi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes.
Rumi’s Teachings

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.

The sacred dance “sama” represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker “symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes, and nations.”

Rumi’s Writings

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.
Majales-e Sab'a (Seven Sessions) contains seven Persian sermons or lectures given in seven different assemblies. The sermons themselves give a commentary on the deeper meaning of Qur'an and Hadeeth.

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.

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Mowlana Biography

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