A tribute to Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi – World Philosophy Day 2020
World Philosophy Day is celebrated every year on 19 November. In establishing World Philosophy Day UNESCO strives to promote an international culture of philosophical debate that respects human dignity and diversity. The Day encourages academic exchange and highlights the contribution of philosophical knowledge in addressing global issues.
This year the theme for World Philosophy Day is: The 2020 edition invites the world to reflect on the meaning of the current pandemic, underlining the need, more than ever before, to resort to philosophical reflection in order to face the multiple crises we are going through. The health crisis brings into question multiple aspects of our societies.
But I contributed my part on paying tribute to the great Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi in celebrating the World Philosophy Day 2020.
The great Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi is a renowned Philosopher of thirteen century. Sufism and Mysticism are incomplete without mentioning Maulana Rumi. Rumi was born in 1207 and died in 1273. Rumi was born in Balakh a province of Persia (Present-Day north of Kabul, Afghanistan) spent most of the time in Turkey. Rumi has a great influence on the people of Turkey in converting their religion from Christianity to Islam.
Rumi is the most read poet in Islamic countries and in the west as well. He is the most-read poet in the United States. Rumi was an Islamic Scholar, a teacher and influential men in Konya. How Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi became Rumi? What transformed his personality that he wrote poetry, books about divine love.
One day, on 15 November 1244, a wandering man came to Konya and met Rumi. The wanderer transformed Rumi, awaken his soul to the divine love. That man was Shams-i-Tabrizi, who is also the companion of Rumi. Shams-i-Tabrizi was also the spiritual teacher of Rumi. There was a sparkle of unions when they met. Shams was able to teach Rumi about the divine love that it cannot only be understood in books but his to be experienced. That was the beautiful awakening of Rumi. When he as a scholar not only understood the divinity or God or the source of religion or the spirituality through the teachings but experienced the reality with Shams Tabrizi. That was the moment when Rumi understand who he was.
His son later said; “My father (Rumi) was an ascetic man, and now he become drunk with love. My father used to be a scholar and now he is a poet”. This is how the transformation happened. That’s the sparkle of the divine when it touches someone like Rumi.
Moreover, Rumi has had a strong belief that prayers and meditation can bring us close to our soul. When we are close to our soul, we are close to God. Rumi also said; “When he is close to his soul, he feels himself close to the God”.
Rumi often expressed his notion with poetry. He was linking poetry with ney (music of dervishes) and ney with Sema (dance of dervishes). In today’s twentieth century we can see Rumi inside the souls of Whirling Dervishes who are portraying the notion of Maulana Rum.
“To the sounds of ney and rabab, the dervishes spin, first slowly and then faster, their white skirts opening up like lotus flower. They point one hand up towards the sky and the other down to the earth, pledging to distribute every speck of love received from God to the people” (Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love).
Whirling Dervishes are following the teachings of Maulana Rumi and they are influenced to practice their famous practise of whirling as a form of dhikr (Remembrance of God) even today in Turkey.
The imaging of Rumi was; “The universe is an endless flow of life, in which God has an eternal presence.” – Rumi. Men a part of this universe is also a part of this endless continuum process of this universe. He said, in between the continuity of past and future human life is a moment or wink. At this moment, it is a part of this endless flow of life.
Furthermore, he said, we shall not be afraid of death, it is an inevitable part of our life. Everything that ceases to exist in one form, it is reborn in another. For instance, human life is ceased with death may reborn with another form of life, likewise reborn as a plant, animal or anything else.
Rumi said; “I died as a mineral and became a plant, I died as a plant and rose as an animal, I died as an animal and became a man.” – Rumi
Rumi says; If this universe is an endless flow of life then problems of life and materials are not so important. We shall strive on spiritual growth and an understanding of the divine-human relationship. Rumi believes spiritual connection with God is real life. To get closer to our souls, and the soul of God or the divine-human relationship is not possible with human wisdom but with the power of ‘Emotions’. Rumi believes this understanding comes from emotions rather than from reasoning, emotion enhanced by music, poetry, and dance.
If we don’t compare Rumi with Charles Darwin (was an English Naturalist, Biologist, and geologist) the concept of evolution wouldn’t be complete. Darwin was of course a well-known to the world for his theory of evolution. He was mistakenly considered to be the pioneer of the theory, in spite of the fact that Lamarck and surely Rumi had anteceded him. Darwin, to my mind, his substantially supplied it with empirical evidence, supporting greatly Rumi theory of evolution which was based only on mystical perception.
To conclude my words, I believe Rumi has contributed tremendously to the world with his philosophical poetry which is admired by the great poet Muhammad Iqbal and so many other Muslim philosophers. Rumi philosophy has greatly influenced Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, the Middle East, and the Indian sub-continent. Rumi is not only limited to the Muslim world but has greatly influenced the western countries as well. The spiritual legacy of the great Maulana Rumi is appreciated for the past seven centuries. From the divine love to evolution, Rumi is found in every soul of a Sufi. From Sufis to Musicians the followers of Rumi are found everywhere in the world.
The last but not the least, Rumi taught the world about love. The creator created this world because of divine love. I must end with the great sayings of Rumi which shaken my soul to transform myself with the words of Rumi.
“Achieve some perfection yourself, so that you may not fall into sorrow by seeing the perfections in others.” – Rumi
“It’s yours road and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” – Rumi
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” – Rumi
“When you seek love with all your heart you shall find its echo in the universe.” – Rumi
“These pains you feel are the messengers. Listen to them.” – Rumi
Note: This is purely a research-based article, written with a passion to tribute the services of Maulana Rumi who healed my soul and is living in my heart. I can provide references on demand by asking in comments or writing to me by email.
If you liked the content, please drop your feedback below in the comments section.
Maulana Rumi or Maula e Rum stands distinguished among all those who picked the pen and tried to depict the true spirit of Divine Love. No doubt he can considered as the Abu Hanifa of sufism that portrayed a wonderful side of islam.
اے امام عاشقان درد مند
یاد ہے مجھ تیرا وہ حرف بلند
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