Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
At an uncertain time like now, the writings and wisdom of the 13th Century Persian poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī are more needed than ever.
Known more simply as Rumi, this learned individual was a man of many talents – a poet, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic (whirling dervish) – who left the world a beautiful legacy of poetry and wisdom for the ages.
Revered for both his insights and humility, Rumi thought that it was important to look inward before we can hope to change things around us. He said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to save the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Rumi also believed that intellectual matters of the mind often stemmed from questions and feelings of the heart. He observed, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
The underlying theme of most of his poems and writings is the need for love and its ability to transform us and our relationships…if we will only let it.
Hoping to bring people together in harmony, Rumi was opposed to violence and discord.
One of the most translated, quoted and enjoyed writers of all time, Rumi’s books sell millions of copies each year.
He spent most of his life in the Sultanate of Rum, the center of Persian Society, in what is now Turkey.
Rumi, who became a whirling dervish, believed that poetry, music, and dance could be combined as a path for reaching God. In Rumi’s honor, the Malevi Order of Whirling Dervishes was founded in 1273 after his death to perform the rhythmic, spinning dance called the Sufi.
Dazzling to see, dervishes can often spin for several minutes at speeds up to one revolution per second.
Whether writing, teaching, or spinning Rumi never forgot the importance of love, noting that it is there “in the silence of love you will find the spark of life.”
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