Rumi: A Source of Inspiration and Wisdom

Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumî is one of the greatest wise men of all times who will never go out of date. He is a guide and a leader who shows the signs of the truth despite the centuries between us with his messages going beyond the centuries. He continues to conquer numerous souls from different nations, languages and cultures from all over the world which almost turned into a global village as a result of the globalization. Many people go through an enormous change and transformation after getting to know him. Those who are closely connected with his great soul rely on the conquers and evolutions constantly flowing into their hearts depending on their desires and efforts.

Arberry, one of the scholars who made Rumi speak English through the translations explains his influence as follows: Rumi speaks to the people with different religions from all over the world in search of spiritual meaning through the works he wrote as the greatest Sufi poet for centuries.

Indeed his recipes for the hope, the cure and the solution predominantly remain valid in our age like curative herbs.

The period he lived in (1207-1273) corresponds to the 13th century. This was one of the most turbulent and difficult centuries for the humanity and the whole world in general. As Mongols advanced westward by leaving death and destruction in their wake, Anatolia  became an increasingly attractive and safe destination for Rumi and his family like many other inhabitants of the central parts of the Middle East. However Rumi witnessed the Mongol invasion ravaging and destroying Anatolia when was still a young man. The greatness of Rumi lies behind his success to face the difficulties of that time with courage, instil hope to those oppressed despite the hardship of that age and pave the way for a brighter civilization to rise over the ruins of Mongols.

A contemporary poet and scientist describes him as follows: Influential poet of mystic enthusiasm Rumi is not only a fountain of inspiration for Persian, Turkish and Arabic literature but he is also a grand dimension of Islamic civilization and a shimmering light in the universal culture. Thus his fame and influence have reached every place on earth today.”

Another great Turkish poet and philosopher express his opinion:“Rumi is a person who is not overwhelmed by death and life; time and history. It has been over 700 years since his death. However he is still alive and remembered. Humanity bows respectfully before him. No matter how much change goes on in the world, he will continue to be remembered in the future. People will always bow respectfully before him.”

This is the reality, isn’t it? The programs of many foreign politicians visiting Turkey are arranged, upon their own requests, in a way to let them come into the presence of Rumi. The most powerful administrators bow before him at least once a year during Şeb-iArus Ceremonies.[1]  Furthermore, in every season of every year, many domestic and foreign tourists from different professions and segments flock to Konya just to visit him.He describes himself saying:

I’m not one of those kings who must step down,

From the throne to take the ride in a coffin.

Where I will be is a place of eternity.

Indeed, the basic messages derived from his thoughts which came from hundreds of years ago and shaped the humanity are the main reasons behind his immortality. Today, the points which are put forward as the fundamental or global values with the aim of solving the mounting problems of this age render the value, importance and difference of these messages much more clear and comprehensible.

Of course, it is good to remember Rumi and visit his tomb named “Kaaba of Lovers/Whoever comes half leaves full” by Cami, great Sufi poet, in Konya. However it is required to examine and try to understand him, his works and thoughts in order to get acquainted with him and rely on his guidance.

As known by those who are closely interested in Rumi’s works, everyone can find something of himself/herself, his/her internal world, his/her life and his/her fields of interest in the works of this great philosopher and wordsmith and his call is reflected everywhere on earth in all languages.

A writer emphasizes this fact in the following lines: “Rumi is a person of life. A person of daily troubles, pains and miseries… He aims to save people, open new horizons for them and help them taste freedom and discover the essence inside them. He is not a person of vain science, dull writing, senseless article or insipid book… He is a person of life…”

Muhammad Ikbal, a great philosopher, thinker and lawyer; at the same time a poet who can successfully write in Persian, English and Urdu languages, calls everyone to find themselves by getting acquainted with Rumi: “As you don’t know the feelings and thoughts of Rumi, the strings of the saz (a stringed instrument) in your hands are broken and you are still unaware of yourself.” Ikbal once advised his son: Choose Rumi as your guide so that God will grant you love and ardour.

It is mentioned that Mahatma Gandhi, who also worked as a lawyer for some time, was very fond of the following lines from Rumi:

We did not come to this world to destroy, divide or break. We came to fix the broken, bring together the separated and serve as a bridge between the enemies.

Eva de Vitray-Meyerovitch, the great Islamic scholar and translator, once said, in Rumi, the full rose of the human divine opened. He gave a sign to us all forever of what is possible in a life surrendered wholly to the light.

Rumi’s message is universal and his call is for the whole humanity. Today, in our world which turned into a global village, problems such as conflicts, clashes and transboundary crimes also became global and they had more serious and quick effects at both national and international level. Consequently, the decision-makers need to introduce fair and permanent norms and standards for all these problems. The good news is that Rumi is at the elbow of the academicians, politicians, lawyers and administrators in search of a solution and source of inspiration for the devastating problems of our age with his deep wisdom and holistic approach to the problems.

Rumi is primarily an intellectual, scientist and lawyer speaking Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Greek and Hebrew languages, secondly the greatest poet of all times with his poems on love, justice and freedom accompanied by mystical passion and pain, and above all a universal wise man and philosopher. Even though today he is more widely known as a poet and wise man, through the eyes of the experts it is possible to identify his surprising remarks and perspectives in many fields ranging from physics to law and from biology to sociology which indicates his miscellaneous side.

As is seen, Rumi is one of the rare wise men and philosophers to give valid messages to the whole humanity and for all ages. He interprets the people, the humanity, the life and the permanent values in a holistic approach and brings forward recipes for the problems and dilemmas of all people. He expresses his role on this issue in his work Divân-ıKebîr as follows:


We are like the sun in this world. We came here to bring life to everyone and be beneficial to the whole humanity.

We came to be friends with those left in sorrow with broken hearts, we came to share their sorrow and sadness.

We came to this world to bring those despised by the others, fell down onto the ground and smashed under their feet to the rose garden and to bestow them with joy.

We are not the sole property of some people like gold. We are like oceans, we are like minerals, and we belong to everyone in this universe.

We are not restricted to utterances or speeches. A priceless treasury is hidden inside us.”

I remember these sentences every year in December. Because “People from various religions and faiths come to Konya from all over the world and visit his mausoleum with admiration. In no other place on earth, can the hearts separate from each other be the vanes of the same candle as happens in Rumi Dervish Lounge.”

[1]Thenight of Rumi’sdeath, whoseanniversary is observed on december 17 theachyear at Konya, is calledŞeb-i Arus (theweddingnight).

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