Monday, December 28, 2009

Rumi------ Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī جلال الدین محمد بلخى

Local boy becomes world class poet.

That would be the headlines if there were any when Rumi (1300's) was alive. He was born only a few miles away from where I sit right now and is still revered as one of the most eloquent poets of all time on the subject of Love in mystical ways. His family fled the Mongol hordes as they invaded this area and fled west. It was in the Sultanate of Rum in modern day Turkey that he came to pre-eminence as a spiritual philosopher and most notably as a poet. This gave him his "nickname" of Rumi, although Afghans still refer to him as Balkhi- coming from Balkh.

Translations of his Farsi/Dari poems still ring our ears today. He gives such a different perspective on issues. His poetry is unique.

Just a few excerpts translated:

Looking at my life
I see that only Love
Has been my soul’s companion
From deep inside
My soul cries out:
Do not wait, surrender
For the sake of Love.

You know what love is?
It is all kindness, generosity.
Disharmony prevails when
You confuse lust with love, while
The distance between the two
Is endless.

I read that Rumi was the last documented person to have people of five different faiths carry his funeral bier. He even has some poems about Jesus. The Mawlawī Sufi order or order of Whirling Dervishes was founded in 1273 by Rumi's followers after his death. His son Sultan Walad was installed as grand master of the order. The leadership of the order has been kept within Rumi's family in Konya uninterruptedly since that time.

I encourage you to investigate some of Rumi's works. You may be suprised what Afghanistan has contributed to the culture of the world.

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