Spirituality for Peace

The Mystic Master Rumi, the guide across boundaries: Dr Hafeezur Rahman on the eve of Rumi’s Birth anniversary

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi says: Bring your heart in your hand; your soothing is more important than a pilgrimage. A single heart is better than a thousand of kaabas.  The kaba was built by Allah’s khalil Hazrat Abraham, while heart, in contrast, is created and tested by the Majestic God.

The Mystic Master Rumi, the guide across boundaries: Dr Hafeezur Rahman on the eve of Rumi’s Birth anniversaryM

aulana Jalaluddin Rumi, the celebrated 13th century mystic poet had elaborated the aims and objectives of universal brotherhood in the following words in Persian:

_Tu bara-i wasl kardan amadi,

Neh bara-i fasl kardan amadi._

You, (the sufi saints) came to this world to unite the people, not to divide.

The message of universal fraternity, harmony and brotherhood spread by the Sufi saints was so inclusive that even after their union with God, their hospices remain abuzz with the people of all walks of life.

Rumi gives an emphatic call to all human being to come around him to spread love and brotherhood. He calls on the people:

Come, come whoever you are, Wanderers, worshipers, lovers, whatever you are. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a Caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come yet again, come and come.

The great Rumi went on to say:

Ek dil behtar hazaran kabe ast…which means that one heart is far better than one thousand Kabaas.

The Mystic Master Rumi, the guide across boundaries: Dr Hafeezur Rahman on the eve of Rumi’s Birth anniversary
He says further:

Bring your heart in your hand; your soothing is more important than a pilgrimage. A single heart is better than a thousand of kaabas.  The kaba was built by Allah’s khalil Hazrat Abraham, while heart, in contrast, is created and tested by the Majestic God.

An English translation of the famous mystic poet Sheikh Saadi’s following couplet on the universal brotherhood and fraternity has been scripted on the wall of UN building in New York:

_The sons of Adam are limbs of each other, having been created of one essence.

If any calamity befalls on one limb, the other limbs cannot remain at rest. If you do not show sympathy for the troubles of others, you have no worth to be called a human being._

The great sufi saint of India, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti also known as Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer often told the people:

Love for all and malice for non.

His disciples and successors held this message of their mentor by tooth and their hospices became the centre for spreading the universal love and affinity. His disciple Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi often recited the following couplets of Persian poet Abu said Abul khair:

If people spread thorn in your path, you just put flowers in their way; otherwise the entire path would become thorny.

Though Master Rumi was born in Balkh, brought up in Persia and studied at Damiscus and Aleppo but finally he discovered himself in Turkey after meeting with his friend and mentor Shams Tabrizi who transformed an ordinory poet Rumi into an extraordinory mystical master and philosopher who emerged as triumphal sun right from east to the west and became a meeting soul for humanity and lovers.

Rumi doesn’t reflect the lives of believers or Persian speakers only but he is the mentor for one and all irrespective of cast creed and religion beyond the boundery of nations, races and cultures. He left his strong foot prints for his millions followers whether they are believers or atheists. Being sited in Anatolia or Konia in the part of Asia minor he observed the world and humanity 700 years ago which shows that eighter he was his own settelite to see the universe or prophetic revealing power to touch the human hearts by his poetry even after seven centuries and his admirers and followers increasing day by day.

Rumi’s major works consist of two epic poems. The 1st is Diwan-i-kabir or diwan-i- Shams tabrizi names in honour of his guide Shams. It is often abbreviated to Diwan. It consists of about 40,000 verses in a vibrant and energetic style. It has been suggested that the diwan represents Rumi’s feelings while in a dance-induced spiritual state.

The Mathnawi is his other seminal work. It consists of 25,000 verses, in six volume of poetry. The Mathnawi was written at the same time as the Diwan, and was probably intended to place the Diwan with in the wider context of Islam.

Rumi followed by many eminent scholars for his philosophy of Wahdatul Wujud which spread amongst highest order Sufis and scholars right from Turkey to India. Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, Sarmad Shaheed and Dr. Mohammed Iqbal were amongst his ardent followers while Yunus Emre to Ibrahim Hakki in Turkey were prominent amongst his followers.

Two more books of Rumi are also famous amongst the scholars: Fih Ma Fih, which is the collection of Rumi’s lectures on wide and varied themes. Rumi never compiled them by himself rather his son Sultan Walad and some other disciples of Rumi collected them and gave a book form.

Another work is Mektubat, his letters which he wrote to some rulers and his disciples.

A close friend and disciple of Rumi Sepehsalar (Army General) who blessed with the fortune of living with Rumi for years, has said about Rumi in his Risale:

_O Rumi! The well of “water of infinite life’ is submerged completely in shame from its envy of the beauty and grace of your words. It shows itself to no one.

O Rumi! Who accumulated all the good manners and morals of the Prophet who honoured the world in order to complete good manners and morals. O unique explainer of the Qur’anic verses in a most correct and most beautiful way!

What can I write to describe you? What can I say? Even if I use up all the words, your attributes still will remain to be told because your attributes are infinite. Your good manners and habits are innumerable; they cannot be described with words._

The degree of Sepehsalar’s admiration of Rumi can be understood through such statements as: “I have washed my mouth with musk and rose water a thousand times, but I still didn’t think my mouth was worth of mentioning your name.”

The same admirer and literary follower we seen in India is Mohammed Iqbal who admired Rumi in his unique style;

Master Rumi transformed my dust into alchemy.

And changed my body into an effulgent one.

He further said;

Like Rumi, in the house of God, I gave the call to prayer,

And it is from him that I have learnt the secrets of the self.

In the turbulent olden times, he gave the call,

And in the age of discontent, I have given the call.

He also prayed by saying further;

Grant me the dynamism of Rumi, vigour of Khusrau;

Grant the sincerity and warmth of Sanai.

The one thing is very common amongst Rumi and his literary followers whether Bu Ali Shah Qalandar and Mohammed Iqbal in India or Yunus emre and Ibrahim hakki in Turkey they are true believer of the philosophy of Wahdatul Wujood, the self Ego and the idea of Alast to completely surrender before God.

Why Rumi influenced the world beyond boundaries more than his contemporary or his follower?

My answer is simple that there are many Persian poet those are more or less towards a particular direction like eighter they became the master or romantic and mystic ode Like Hafiz shirazi or emerged as humanitarian travelogue like Saadi Shurazi. Some of them became like philosopher, mathematician and astrologer like Umar khayyam famously know for his rubais but Rumi is one who impress people across the boundaries of gender and faith, whether they are believer are atheist he call the entire universe and influenced people irrespective of age and gender which is some how gained by Mohammed Iqbal amongst his contemporaries in indian sub continent.

Rumi him self revealed that mystisim is nothing except following the way of Prophte and Qur’an. When he 1st met with  Shams of Tabriz, they set down for six month and stayed away from human desire such as eating and drinking. Whether they broke their fast, they ate one kind of food. At the most, Rumi’s diet  consisted of not more than a few bites and more often than it would not exceed ten bites only.

His views on earing;

” there is such a dragon in me that cannot stand eating. The bird of your heart cannot crack the egg due to eating in excess and being sick. It remains in this prison of an egg. You come out of the egg of imprisonment of the lower self (Nafs) so that your wings can open up and you can soar in the spiritual heaven.

The above qiutantuon is enough to shed light on the physical fasting of Rumi. When its comes to the spiritual.fasting Rumi again stand unique and he believe in fasting of heart to give up everything except God.

Gnosticsthave decided fasting into three kinds namely: fasting of the Lay, Gasting of the Elit and fasting of the elite of the elite. The fasting the lay merely consist of giving up eating and drinking. The fasting of Elite is fasting of the hands, feet, eyes, ears, tongue and other limbs of of human body by protecting them from doing evil.

The fasting of Elite of the elite is leaving everything other than God. ” Rumi’s fasting fell in the last category which is considered to be the highest order.

As I said in the begging  that Rumi was an ordinory before meeting his mentor Shams just like Polato without Socreties and Khusrau without Nizamuddin auliya of Delhi as Rumi him self claimed that.

Maulavi har giz na shud maula-i-Rum,

Ta ghulam-I- Shams Tabrizi na shud.

Mevlana Rumi cannot be a Maulvi until he did not become the slave of shams Tabrizi.

It’s the well know fact the the presence of Shams in Rumi’s life how turned him from an theology teacher to a lover of God.

Author of this article, Dr. Hafeezur Rahman is Founder of Sufi Peace foundation New Delhi.

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