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A question was asked concerning the interpretation of this line of poetry: "When desire reaches its end, amity turns to utter hostility."

Compared with the world of amity, the world of hostility is cramped; and people run away from the world of hostility in order to get to the world of amity. Even the world of amity is confining in comparison to the world from which amity and hostility receive their being. Amity and hostility, belief and unbelief, are causes for duality because unbelief is a repudiation, and for a thing to be repudiated there must be someone to repudiate it. Similarly, for a thing to be confessed there must be someone to make the confession. Hence, it is obvious that accord and discord are causes for duality, while the other world is beyond belief and unbelief, amity and hostility. Since amity is a cause for
duality, and since a world exists where there is no duality but only pure accord, when one reaches that world one will shed amity and hostility because they do not belong there. When one attains that place, one is parted from duality. Therefore, in comparison with the world to which one has now been transported, one's former world-which was of duality, love, and amity-- is low and mean. Consequently, one no longer desires and is averse to it.

Some people enjoy flowers when the bud opens in full bloom; other take pleasure when the parts of the flower have all scattered and rejoined their origin. Now, some people want there to be no more friendship, love or affection, unbelief or belief so that they can
rejoin their origin, for all these things are "walls' that cause constriction and duality, while the other world causes expansiveness and absolute unity.

from: "Signs of The Unseen"The Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi
Translated by W.M.Thackston, Jr. Threshold Books, 1994


Lets souls be sacrificed for you:
it's no longer a matter of life.
Soul, I feel the need for you:
it's no longer a matter of the world.

Among all souls you are the soul
and the waters of never dying.
Faith and religion you are for us:
it's no longer a matter of faith.

I've washed and tended my wound
and known who afflicted me with it.
For me it's a matter of my Beloved
and no longer a matter of my wound.

My passion for you ripped my mask away:
I was hiding my pain that's divine.
For I've seen you in flesh and blood:
it's no longer a matter of mystery.

For me is there still any remedy
that might yet heal my pain?
To you I would come with my suffering:
it's no longer a matter of remedies.

Come to me and let us be lovers,
let us whirl and whirl for love.
Drunken I laid me down to rest:
it's no longer a matter of whirling.

To me love's arrow has come
to strike my heart with its barb,
so let me now die of my love:
it's no longer a matter of arrows.

What have I done with my soul and my heart?
Into love's fire I cast them
and neglected all that is real:
it's no longer a matter of doubting.

From within love's fortress I fled.
As I passed I traced but a circle.
I find myself again with Friend:
it's no longer a matter of circles.

Diving into the depths of the ocean
I found there mother-of-pearl
and returned with a treasure of pearls:
it's no longer a matter of depths.

Let this place become Mount Sinai,
let all that I see become beautiful,
of what worth is Moses to me?
It's no longer a matter of you or me.

Of Yunus they were thinking again:
one says that the caravan goes by.
As for me, I've reached my goal:
it's no longer a matter of caravans.


--from: "The Wandering Fool"Yunus Emre
Translated by Edouard Roditi with Guzin Dino
Cadmus Editions, San Francisco, 1987


Dervishhood tells me, You cannot become a dervish.
So what can I tell you? You cannot become a dervish.

A dervish needs a wounded heart and eyes full of tears.
He needs to be as easy as a sheep.
You cannot be a dervish.

He must be without hand, when someone hits him.
He must be toungless when cursed.
A dervish needs to be without any desire.
You cannot be a dervish.

You make a lot of sounds with your tounge, meaningfull things.
You get angry about this and that,
You cannot be a dervish.

If it were all right to be angry on this path.
Muhammed himself would have gotten angry.
Because of your anger, you cannot be a dervish.

Unless you find a real path, unless you find a guide,
unless Truth grants you your portion,
You cannot be a dervish.

Therefore, dervish Yunus, come, dive into the ocean now and then.
Unless you dive in the ocean, you cannot be a dervish.

--from: "The Drop That Became The Sea"
Translated from Turkish by Kabir Helminski & Refik Algan
Threshold Books, Vermont, 1989


A sugar-lipped sweetheart brought news, "A caravan has come from Egypt!
A hundred camels, all sugar and candy--oh Lord, what a fine gift!
A candle has come at midnight! A spirit has entered a corpse!"
I said, "Speak plainly!" She said, "You-know- who has come."
My heart flew up in joy and placed a ladder at the intellect's edge.
It rushed to the roof in its love, seeking a tangible sign of that good news.
Suddenly from the housetop it saw a world outside of our world--
An all-encompassing ocean in a jug, a heaven in the form of dust.
Upon the roof sat a king wearing the clothes of a watchman,
An infinite garden and paradise within that gardener's breast.
His image traveled from breast to breast explaining the Sultan of the heart.
Oh image of that king, flee not from my eyes!
Renew my heart for a moment!
Shams-i Tabrizi has seen No-place and built from it a place.


Ghazal (Ode) 2730 Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love" SUNY Press, Albany, 1983


Jelal(Rumi) was one day seated in the shop of his great disciple the
Goldbeater, Salahu-'d Din; and was surrounded by a circle of other
disciples, listening to his discourse; when an old man came rushing
in, beating his breast, and uttering loud lamentations. He entreated
Jelal to help him in his endeavours to recover his little son, a
child seven years old, lost for several days past, in spite of every
effort made to find him.

Jelal expressed his disapprobation at the extreme importance the old
man appeared to attach to his loss; and said:

"Mankind in general have lost their God. Still, one does not hear
that they go about inquest of him, beating their breasts and making a
great noise. What, then, has happened to thee so very particular,
that thou makest all this fuss, and degradest thyself, an elder, by
these symptoms of grief for the loss of a little child? Why seekest
thou not for a time the Lord of the whole world, begging assistance of
him, that peradventure thy lost Joseph may be found, and thou be
comforted, as was Jacob on the recovery of his child?"

The old man at once followed Jelal's advice, and begged forgiveness
of God. Just then, news was brought him there that his son had been
found. Many who were witnesses of these circumstances became devoted
followers of Jelal.


--from: Legends of The Sufis "Selection from Menaqibu' Larifin"
By: Shamsu-'d-din Ahmad, el Eflaki Translated by James W.Redhouse
The Theosophical Publishing House Ltd, London, 1881


Anyone who is loved is beautiful. The reverse, however, is not
necessaryily true. It doesn't follow that all beauties are loved.

Beauty is part of being loved: being loved is primary, so when that
quality is present, beauty follows necessarily. A part of a thing
cannot be separated from the whole. The part must pertain to the

During Majnun's time there were girls much more beautiful than Layla,
but they were not loved by him. When told," There are girls more
beautiful than Layla. Let us show them to you," he would always reply,
"I do not love Layla for her external form. She is not external form;
she is like a goblet which I hold and from which I drink wine. I am
in love with the wine I drink therefore. You see only the goblet and
are not aware of the wine. Or what use would a golden goblet be to me
if it were filled with vinegar or something other than wine? For me a
broken gourd filled with wine would be better than a hundred such

One needs love and yearning to distinguish the wine from the cup.

[discourse # 16] --from: "Signs of the Unseen"
Fihi ma Fihi "The discourses of Rumi"
Translated by W.M. Thackeston, JR.
A Shambhala Threshold Book, Boston & London, 1999


Working with our Humanness

Someone said, "There is something I have forgotten." There is one
thing in the world that should not be forgotten. You may forget
everything except that one thing, without there being any cause for
concern. If you remember everything else but forget that one thing,
you will have accomplished nothing. It would be as if a king sent you
to a village on a specific mission. If you went and performed a
hundred other tasks, but neglected to accomplish the task for which
you were sent, it would be as though you had done nothing. The human
being therefore has come into the world for a specific purpose and
aim. If one does not fulfill that purpose, one has done nothing.

"We proposed the faith unto the heavens, and the earth, and the
mountains: and they refused to ubdertake it, and were afraid of it;
but the human being undertook it: and yet truly, he was unjust to
himself, and foolish. [Qur'an 33:72]

Contributed by Eliza Tasbihi

Fihi ma Fihi #4*--from "The Rumi collection"
Edited by Kabir Helminski
A Shambhala Threshold Book, Boston & London,1999


Further contributions at the Discussion Forum

Last updated: February 6, 2005