Jelaleddin Rumî (1207-1273)
is among Islam's greatest
poets and mystic
Though born near Balkh, Afghanistan,
his life's work was as a religious
teacher in Konya,
capital of the Seljuk
Turkish Sultanate of Rum.
Called Mevlâna ("Our
Guide" in Persian, the court language
of the Seljuks),
and Rumî ("of
Rome," that is, of the Seljuks'
western, formerly Roman,
lands), he first studied with his father Baha'uddin,
then went on to teachers in Haleb (Aleppo)
and Damascus before
returning to Konya in 1240.
His passionate poetry addressed to "the
was facilitated between 1244 and 1247
by his passionate spiritual friendship
Tebrizi. The "Sun from
Tabriz," an older mystic, became
Rumî's soulmate and the foil
for his spiritual ecstasies.
The two mystics were so close that
Rumî's disciples, angered at
the older man's overwhelming
their master, put Şemsi
||An artist's conception
in old age
Disconsolate, Rumî withdrew
from the world to write his poetic
masterwork, the Mesnevi (Mathnawi in
Persian). He lived and worked in Konya for another quarter century, sometimes
whirling in the streets from sheer
joy and spiritual delirium.
After his death (known as Şeb-i
Aruz, his "wedding
night with God"), a Sufi (Islamic
mystic) order called the Mevlevi ("Followers
of Mevlana," or Whirling
Dervishes) was founded by his
son, Sultan Veled,
based on Rumî's principles
Learn all about Rumi and see
the dervishes whirl in his
memory in Konya on
Tour. Dervishes also whirl
every week in Istanbul. More...
into Konya as
a young man in 1228.