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Jalal Al Din Rumi
--: Biography of Jalal Al Din Rumi :--

 Jalal Al Din Rumi 

Jalal Al Din Rumi(1207-1273) was a great Sufi mystic poet. His spiritual sayings are  becoming ever more and more known and loved in the West, particularly in the US, because they transcend cultural and religious divisions.

Jalal al-Din Rumi (also known as Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi) was a poet of the mystical strain of Islam known as Sufism.

Rumi was born in 1207 in what is now Afghanistan but was then part of Persia. He was forced to flee his homeland with his father, Baha’Walad, during a Mongol invasion in 1219. During his travels he is said to have met the Sufi poet, Attar ,who made a great impression on the boy. Attar immediately recognized Rumi’s spiritual depth. Seeing the father walking ahead of the son, he said, “Here comes a sea followed by an ocean.” He gave the boy a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world.

The family settled in Rum (now Turkey) from which the saint derives his name. Baha’Walad took up an important position as a religious teacher, and his son succeeded him in that role. Rumi married and had a son, who later wrote Rumi’s biography.

Rumi studied the Sufi way from his father’s friend, Burhan al-Din, and probably met the great Islamic philosopher, ibn al-Arabi at Damascus, but his greatest influence was the dervish, Shams al-Din of Tabriz, to whom he became a devoted friend.

After the death of the dervish, Rumi started the mystical practice of the sema, an act of worship that takes the form of an ecstatic, whirling dance accompanied by music. The sema is performed to this day in Konya, Turkey, by the Mevlevi order created by Rumi’s disciples.

Encouraged by Husam, one of his disciples, Rumi dictated mystical poetry and tales, and many of his utterances were recorded and collected in what is known as the Discourses. The major work is the Masnavi (Spiritual Couplets), a six-volume poem regarded by many Sufis as second in importance only to the Koran. Rumi fell ill and died in 1273 after predicting his own death.

In common with other Sufi masters, the essence of Rumi’s teaching is the primacy of Divine Love and the idea of Tawheed (unity). Rumi believed that all religions are basically one. The seeker longs to be reunited with the Beloved (the primal root) from which he has been cut off. The Sufi concept of spontaneous union with God is similar to the yoga tradition of India, and Christian mysticism.

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