is powerless in the expression of Love. Love alone
is capable of revealing the truth of Love and being
a Lover. The way of our prophets is the way of Truth.
If you want to live, die in Love; die in Love if you
want to remain alive.
I silently moaned so that for a hundred centuries
The world will echo in the sound of my hayhâ1
It will turn on the axis of my hayhât
The name Mowlana Jalaluddin
Rumi stands for Love and ecstatic flight into the infinite.
Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses
of mankind and was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order,
a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam.
Rumi was born in Wakhsh (Tajikistan)
under the administration of Balkh in 30 September 1207 to
a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion
and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively
in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally
settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire. When
his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his
father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24
years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious
and positive sciences.
He was introduced into the
mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shamsuddin of Tabriz.
His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found
their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems,
Tabrizi'. Rumi is the author of six volume didactic epic
work, the `Mathnawi',
called as the 'Koran in Persian' by Jami, and discourses,
Fihi', written to introduce his disciples into metaphysics.
If there is any general idea
underlying Rumi's poetry, it is the absolute love of God.
His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic
expression in the world of Islam cannot be overrated.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died
on December 17, 1273. Men of five faiths followed his bier.
That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever since,
the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.
The day I've died, my pall is moving on
But do not think my heart is still on earth!
Don't weep and pity me: "Oh woe, how awful!"
You fall in devil's snare - woe, that is awful!
Don't cry "Woe, parted!" at my burial -
For me this is the time of joyful meeting!
Don't say "Farewell!" when I'm put in the grave
A curtain is it for eternal bliss.
You saw "descending" - now look at the rising!
Is setting dangerous for sun and moon?
To you it looks like setting, but it's rising;
The coffin seems a jail, yet it means freedom.
Which seed fell in the earth that did not grow there?
Why do you doubt the fate of human seed?
What bucket came not filled from out the cistern?
Why should the Yusaf "Soul" then fear this well?
Close here your mouth and open it on that side.
So that your hymns may sound in Where- no-place!
Schimmel, Annemarie. Look!
This Is Love: Poems of Rumi.
Boston, Mass.: Shambhala Publications, 1991.
waves upon my head the circling curl,
in the sacred dance weave ye and whirl.
then, O heart, a whirling circle be.
in this flame - is not the candle He?
The Mawlawi rites samâ
symbolise the divine love and
mystical ecstasy; they aim at union with the Divine. The music
and the dance are designed to induce a meditative state on
the love of God. Mawlawi music contains some of the most core
elements of Eastern classical music and it serves mainly as
accompaniment for poems of Rumi and other Sufi poets. The
music of the samâ
is generally conducted by the chief drummer. Percussion accompaniment
is supplied by the kudums (small kettledrums) and
cymbals; melody is provided by the Ney
(reed flute), the string instruments and the voice. The words
and even syllables of the poetry are connected to the musical
sentences. "Dervish music cannot be written in notes.
Notes do not include the soul of the dervish."
The dervishes turn timelessly
and effortlessly. They whirl, turning round on their own axis
and moving also in orbit. The right hand is turned up towards
heaven to receive God's overflowing mercy which passes through
the heart and is transmitted to earth with the down turned
left hand. While one foot remains firmly on the ground, the
other crosses it and propels the dancer round. The rising
and falling of the right foot is kept constant by the inner
rhythmic repetition of the name of "Allah-Al-lah,
Al-lah..." The ceremony can be seen as a great crescendo
in three stages: knowing God, seeing God and uniting with
what is samâ? A message from
the fairy, hidden in your heart;
with their letter comes serenity to the estranged
The tree of wisdom comes to bloom with this breeze;
The inner pores of existence open to this tune.
When the spiritual cock crows, the dawn arrives;
When Mars beats his drum victory is ours.
The essence of the soul was fighting the barrel of the body;
When it hears the sound of the daf it matures and
A wondrous sweetness is sensed in the body;
It is the sugar that the flute and the flute-player bring
to the listener.
Translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz,
Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi',
University of South Carolina Press, 1998.
has heard of me, let him prepare to come and see me;
whoever desires me, let him search for me. He will
find me - then let him choose none other than I.
The steps of the way to union
with the Divine are performed according to strict rules. Within
a circle the sheikh stands at the "post". It is
the highest spiritual position, marked by a red rug indicating
the direction of Mecca. Red is the colour of union and of
the manifested world. The musicians' platform faces. There
are 24 colour of union and of the manifested world. The musicians'
platform faces the sheikh; the whirling dervishes take their
places to his left.
The N'aat, a poem of
praise to the Prophet, opens the ceremony. It is followed
by a recitation from the Qur'an. The kudums (drums) then break
the silence to introduce the flute solo that conveys the yearning
for the union with God. The next step is the Sultan Veled
Walk when the dervishes, following the sheikh, circle the
hall three times, stopping to bow to each other at the "post".
The first selam (salutation)
introduces the dance: the dervish obtains his permission to
whirl by kissing the hand of the sheikh. The master of the
dance directs him to his position: As the musicians play and
the chorus chants, the sheikh stands at the "post"
and the dervishes unfold and turn repeating their inaudible
"Allah, Allah, Allah. . ." This part of the ceremony
lasts approximately ten minutes and is repeated four times.
At the fourth selam the sheikh joins the whirling. He represents
the centre (the sun); the dervishes represent the orbiting
planets turning around him and around themselves in the
solar system of Rumi.
The Ceremony is concluded
by the recitation of the Fatiha, the opening chapter of the
Qur'an, followed by a prayer to Mowlana and Shamsuddin of
Tabriz. All dervishes then join in chanting the "Hu"
which is the all-embracing Name of God, the One.
What is to be done, O Moslems? for I do
not recognize myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land,
nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature's mint, nor of the circling' heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence,
nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of
I am not of the kingdom of 'Iraqian, nor of the country
I am not of the this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise,
nor of Hell
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless ;
'Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of
I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds
One I seek, One I know J One I see, One I call.
He is the first, He is the last, He is the outward, He is
I know none other except 'Ya Hu' and 'Ya man Hu.'
I am intoxicated with Love's cup, the two worlds have passed
out of my ken ;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without thee,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with thee,
I will trample on both worlds, I will dance in triumph for
O Shamsi Tabriz, I am so drunken in this world,
That except of drunkenness and revelry I have no tale to
From Divan-i Shams
Excerpt from Rumi,
A Spiritual Biogrpahy (Lives & Legacies) by Leslie
Wines, Barbara Ellis (editor)
Life and Work of Jalaluddin Rumi, Afzal Iqbal, (August
1999) Oxford University PressI
Am Wind Your Are Fire: The Life and Work of Rumi Annemarie
Schimmel, (December 1992) Shambhala Publications
- Past and Present, East and West by Franklin
D. Lewis Published 2000 Oneworld Publications
Heritage of Sufism Volume 1: Classical Persian Sufism from
Its Origins to Rumi (700-1300) Leonard Lewisohm (Editor),
Javad Nurbakhsh, 24 June, 1999, Oneworld Publications