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Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, also known as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, Mawlana, Mevlana, Mevlevî, and more popularly simply as Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turkish, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling Islamic poet" in the United States, among Muslims. Rumi's works are written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. Translations of his works are very popular, most notably in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the United States, and South Asia. Rumi was born in a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire. When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences. He was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shamsuddin of Tabriz. His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems, `Divani Shamsi Tabrizi'. Rumi is the author of six volume didactic epic work, the `Mathnawi', called as the 'Koran in Persian' by Jami, and discourses, `Fihi ma Fihi', written to introduce his disciples into metaphysics. If there is any general idea underlying Rumi's poetry, it is the absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic expression in the Islamic world cannot be overrated. Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died on December 17, 1273. Men of five faiths followed his bier. That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever since, the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.
A moment of happiness, you and I sitting on the verandah, apparently two, but one in soul, you and I. We feel the flowing water of life here, you and I, with the garden's beauty and the birds singing. The stars will be watching us, and we will show them what it is to be a thin crescent moon. You and I unselfed, will be together, indifferent to idle speculation, you and I. The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar as we laugh together, you and I. In one form upon this earth, and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
In every gathering, in any chance meeting on the street, there is a shine, an elegance rising up. Today I recognized that that jewel-like beauty is the presence, our loving confusion, the glow in which watery clay gets brighter than fire, the one we call the Friend.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.
Dance when you're broken open. Dance when you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Suddenly the drunken sweetheart appeared out of my door. She drank a cup of ruby wine and sat by my side. Seeing and holding the lockets of her hair my face became all eyes, and my eyes all hands.
Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober would worry about things going badly. Let the lover be.
Those who don't feel this Love pulling them like a river, those who don't drink dawn like a cup of spring water or take in sunset like supper, those who don't want to change, let them sleep. This Love is beyond the study of theology, that old trickery and hypocrisy. I you want to improve your mind that way, sleep on. I've given up on my brain. I've torn the cloth to shreds and thrown it away. If you're not completely naked, wrap your beautiful robe of words around you, and sleep.
I want to see you. Know your voice. Recognize you when you first come 'round the corner. Sense your scent when I come into a room you've just left. Know the lift of your heel, the glide of your foot. Become familiar with the way you purse your lips then let them part just the slightest bit, when I lean in to your space and kiss you. I want to know the joy of how you whisper: "More".
Inside this new love, die. Your way begins on the other side. Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape. Walk out like someone suddenly born into color. Do it now. You’re covered with thick cloud. Slide out the side. Die, and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. The speechless full moon comes out now.
There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of spirit on the body. Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell. And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild darling! At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language - door and open the love window. The moon won't use the door, only the window.
If you can’t smell the fragrance don’t come into the garden of Love. If you’re unwilling to undress don’t enter into the stream of Truth. Stay where you are. Don’t come our way.
The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere, they're in each other all along.
In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First, to let go of life. In the end, to take a step without feet; To regard this world as invisible, and to disregard what appears to be the self. Heart, I said, what a gift it has been to enter this circle of lovers, to see beyond seeing itself, to reach and feel within the breast.
Through Love all that is bitter will sweet. Through Love all that is copper will be gold. Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine. Through Love all pain will turn to medicine. Through Love the dead will all become alive. Through Love the king will turn into a slave!
When I am with you, we stay up all night, when you're not here, I can't get to sleep. Praise God for these two insomnias! And the difference between them.
What was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in Turkestan that makes them so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush like a human face, that is being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in language, that’s happening here. The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude, chewing a piece of sugarcane, in love with the one to whom every that belongs!
Love is reckless; not reason. Reason seeks a profit. Love comes on strong, consuming herself, unabashed. Yet, in the midst of suffering, love proceeds like a millstone, hard surfaced and straightforward. Having died of self-interest, she risks everything and asks for nothing. Love gambles away every gift God bestows. Without cause God gave us Being; Without cause, give it back again.
All year round the lover is mad, unkempt, lovesick and in disgrace. Without love there is nothing but grief. In love... What else matters?