TEHRAN (MNA) – Mehr 8 in the Iranian calendar corresponding with September 29 this year is considered a significant cultural event for Iranians to commemorate the prominent Iranian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi who is known to everyone.
Rumi was born to native Persian-speaking parents on the Eastern shores of the then Persian Empire on September 30, 1207, in the city of Balkh which is now part of Afghanistan and finally settled in the town of Konya, in what is now Turkey.
Rumi’s life story is full of intrigue and high drama mixed with intense creative outbursts. Rumi was a charming, wealthy nobleman, a genius theologian, law professor and a brilliant but sober scholar, who in his late thirties met a wandering and holy man by the name of Shams on November 30, 1244 in the streets of Konya.
Rumi and Shams stayed together for a short time, about 2 years in total, but the impact of their meeting left an everlasting impression on Rumi and his work. In Rumi’s own words, after meeting Shams he was transformed from a bookish, sober scholar to an impassioned seeker of universal truth and love. Rumi was totally his own man. An utterly brilliant artist and a true genius that after the death of his mentor Shams became unstoppable.
After Shams was extinguished, Rumi fell into a deep state of grief and gradually out of that pain outpoured nearly 70,000 verses of poetry almost all in Persian that are collected in two epic books. These thousands of poems, which include about 2,000 in quatrains, are collected in two epic books. The first collection is devoted to his mentor Shams named, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. It took him 15 years to complete this collection.
After the first collection, he devotes the last ten years of his life to creating Masnavi Ma’navi. A work filled with anecdotes, life lessons, moral stories, stories from all three Abrahamic religions, and popular topics of the day.
Rumi also had three prose works. The prose works are divided into The Discourses, The Letters, and the Seven Sermons.
Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. Rumi encouraged Sama, listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, 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.
He died on 17 December 1273 in Konya. His death was mourned by the diverse community of Konya. Rumi’s body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Green Tomb was erected over his place of burial. Upon his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the Sama ceremony.