|Biographical detail : ||A great Sufi mystic poet.
Rumi had been an eminent professor of religion and a highly attained mystic who inspired poetry and loved humanity.
The memorable event, which had the greatest influence on him, was his meeting with the mystic Shams Tabrez, a friend and inspiration. The principal work of Rumi was his Masnawi, a compendium of poems, tales, and anecdotes – all meant to illustrate Sufi doctrine – and offers solutions to many complicated problems in metaphysics, religion, ethic, mysticism, etc.
The Masnawi comprises six books of poetry in a didactic style (designed or intended to teach; intended to convey instruction and information as well as for pleasure and entertainment). By common consent it ranks among the world’s greatest masterpiece of religious literature: theoretical discussion of the principal themes of Sufi mystical life and doctrine, and stories or fables intended to illustrate those themes as they arise. R A Nicholson, whose eight-volume text-edition translation and commentary constitute the greatest single contribution to Islamic studies of the first half of the twentieth century.
The use of the parable in religious teaching has a very long history, and Rumi broke no new ground when he decided to lighten the weight of his doctrinal exposition by introducing tales and fables to which he gave an allegorical twist. He was especially indebted, as he freely acknowledges in the course of his poem, to two earlier Persian poets, Sana’I of Ghazana and Farid al-Din ‘Attar of Nishapur. As Ibn Arabi summed up all that had been said on Sufism in Arabic, so Rumi came closest to this in Persian.
Rumi’s impact on philosophy, literature, mysticism and culture, has been so deep throughout the Central Asia and most of Islamic countries that almost all religious scholars, mystics, philosophers, sociologists and others have referred to his verses during all these countries since his death. His message seems to have inspired most of the intellectuals in Central Asia and adjoining areas since his time, and scholars like Iqbal have further developed Rumi’s concepts.
Rumi was the founder of the order of the dancing dervishes. The unique trait of this order was that, contrary to general Muslim practices, Rumi gave a considerable place to music in the ceremonies. His poems reverberate to this day in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
Rumi was born Jalal al-Din Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hussain al-Rumi at Wakhsh (Tajikistan) under the administration of Balkh (now Afghanistan) to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family (his father Baha al-Din was a renowned religious scholar) travelled extensively and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then and a part of Turkish Seljuk Empire. Rumi when he was 24 years old was already an accomplished scholar.
Rumi is one of the few intellectuals and mystics whose views have so profoundly affected the world-view in its higher perspective in large parts of the Muslim World. After his death that night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union) and since then the Mawlawi dervishes have been celebrating a festival on that memorable night.
On permission given by Rumi’s son, the Persian architect Bedrettin built the monument on four columns appropriately called ‘elephant feet’. Numerous sultans and noblemen have added to the original construction over some periods.