Mevlânâ Celâleddin Mehmed Rumi’s Biography
Mevlânâ Celâleddin Mehmed Rumi was born in Afghanistan (which was the Persian city of Balkh) in 1207. Loosely translated, Jalal means “majesty”, Din means “religion”, and Rumi means “the Roman”, which means “Majesty of Religion”. The Anatolian region in Turkey that Rumi died in was then part of the Byzantine Empire.
Mevlana is a celebrated poet and Sufi mystic that has gained an acceptance worldwide, with his liberal beliefs on religion and his beautiful poetry. The Persian poet’s work transcends religion and the borders of countries.
“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.“ Rumi Quote
Rumi came from a family of Islamic jurists, mystics, and theologians of the Persian empire. Bahauddin Walad was Rumi’s father and author of Ma’arif or Love Notes of Self to Soul, a book that Rumi admired.
After fleeing from Genghis Khan and his armies, Rumi and his family moved around, until eventually settling in present day Konya, Turkey. Rumi’s father headed the dervish learning center until he died when Rumi was just in his twenties, prompting the young poet to take up his father’s position.
Although Rumi was considered a Mystic and wrote of things in spirit, he was also of the world. He was married a second time after his first wife died and raised 4 children. Rumi also played an active role in the everyday matters of his community.
“Hangovers come with love, yet love’s the cure for hangovers.” Rumi Quote
His meetings with the mystic dervish Shams of Tabriz were Mevlana’s greatest source of inspiration. The pair developed a very close relationship, delving deep into matters of the spirit. Shams was sent to Damascus and was allegedly killed by students of Rumi who were jealous of their close relationship. Mevlana was grief stricken by the event and circled a pole, reciting poetry, which became the origin of the present day whirling dervishes. The whirling went on to represent a reaching out to and surrendering to God.
Rumi published many poems, using common everyday objects and circumstances to describe the spiritual world. His poems would, and still do reach those that read them on different levels, with common folk relating to the beauty of his words, while those that work harder with their spiritual practices can read of deeper meanings in them.
Rumi Mevlana passed away on the 17th of December in 1273 and was buried beside his father in the Anatolian region, Konya, Turkey. A tomb was built for the great Sufi poet and it remains a sacred site that is visited by visitors from every part of the world, from all walks of life.
“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?“
The epitath of the “Green Tomb” or “Yesil Türbe” says “When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.“
The Mevlana Mausoleum in Konya contains a mosque, dervish living quarters, dance hall, and resting place of several other important leaders of the Mevlevi Order.