Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207 – 1273) was a Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic. His influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions, and his poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages. At age twenty-five, Rumi began service as a Molvi (Islamic teacher) and later became a Jurist, but his life completely changed following a trip to Damascus. Here he met a teacher under whose instruction he chose the way of the mystic, becoming an ascetic, devoted to the unorthodox spiritual path. Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. His best-known work, the Masnavi (Spiritual Couplets), is a six-volume poem that holds a distinguished place within the rich tradition of Persian Sufi literature, and has been commonly called “the Quran in Persian.”
Quotations by Jalal al-Din Rumi…
Who stands already on heaven’s topmost dome needs not to search for ladders.
This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.
No need to wait until we die! There’s more to want here than money and being famous and bites of roasted meat.
Remember Unity until you forget separation.
Then you may lose your way in the Named,
without the side-trip of namer and name.
Don’t grieve for what doesn’t come.
Some things that don’t happen
Keep disasters from happening.
I saw you last night in the gathering, but could not take you openly in my arms, so I put my lips next to your cheek, pretending to talk privately.
But the body’s desires, in another way, are like
an unpredictable associate, whom you must be
patient with. And that companion is helpful,
because patience expands your capacity
to love and feel peace.
Always check your inner state
with the lord of your heart.
Copper doesn’t know it’s copper,
until it’s changed to gold.
Your loving doesn’t know its majesty,
until it knows its helplessness.
If the beloved is everywhere,
the lover is a veil,
but when living itself becomes
the Friend, lovers disappear.
And don’t look for me in a human shape.
I am inside your looking. No room
for form with love this strong.
If you want what visible reality can give, you’re an employee.
If you want the unseen world, you’re not living your truth.
Both wishes are foolish, but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is love’s confusing joy.