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Jelaluddin Rumi
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20946

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rumi's Masnavi, part 3: Knowledge and certainty

Can learning lead to God? For Rumi, knowledge is always partial. The Sufi way, however, can provide a taste of true reality



Franklin Lewis guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 December 2009 12.05 GMT

Article historyThe sun itself is proof the sun exists!
Seek your proofs, but don't turn your face from it.

Masnavi 1: 116

Given that true reality (haqiqat) is obscured by forms and appearances, as we have seen, an epistemological question is inevitable: how reliable are intellect and logic as a means of discovering and knowing the real? Can we humans reach certainty about our knowledge and our beliefs? The basic answer for Rumi would be that God, the Real (haqq), reveals itself to humanity through the prophets. But this does not tell us whether we have understood and correctly interpreted the meaning of God's revelation; after all, there are different interpretations of the Qur'an and sects of Islam.

Your passions lead your reading of Qur'an
How base and bent you make the clear intent

Masnavi 1: 1081


The Islamic tradition Rumi inherited placed high value on the acquisition of knowledge, or "science" (‛ilm) through scholarship. A saying of the Prophet Muhammad stresses the importance of lifelong study, urging the faithful to "Seek out knowledge, even unto China." Religious scholars took the ultimate object of such knowledge to be understanding of the prescriptions of the Sharia, or the rules and laws for right living and conduct as set forth in the Qur'an and the sunna (the practice of the Prophet Muhammad). All of this is discoverable through study of the Qur'an, acquired knowledge of the hadith (written traditions about what the prophet said or did), and the application of established rules and principles of jurisprudence (fiqh). Rumi himself spent a good many years acquiring this religious knowledge, and did not disparage it, though he realised that even lifelong methodical study of religion cannot lead the believer to absolute certainty and via that, to salvation. Religious scholars may pursue knowledge for self-aggrandisement and delude themselves into thinking that with vast knowledge comes true understanding and rectitude. But, says Rumi, the fundamental roots of your interior faith and spirituality are of much greater moment than the various branches of jurisprudence and theology.

He knows countless chapters of the sciences
But that wrongdoer does not know his soul
He knows the properties of every essence
But can he tell his own essence from an ass?
'I know what is licit, what's illicit'
But what about your self? You cannot say
If you're licit or illiterate
...
You know religion's grounds and rules, and yet
Look to your own roots, are they sound or not?

Masnavi 3: 2648-56


He tells the humorous tale of an untutored boatman and a prideful grammarian. The grammarian asks the boatman if he knows Arabic grammar (a science that facilitates understanding the Qur'an). No? Well then, half your life is wasted! When the boat begins sinking in a whirlpool, the boatman asks if the grammarian knows how to swim. No? Then your whole life is wasted! (Masnavi 1: 2835-40).

Islamic civilisation under the Abbasids fostered the pursuit of other sciences as well, including medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, and philosophy. Greek philosophy was translated to Arabic and further developed by thinkers in the Muslim world, who adapted the tools of logic and the insights of neo-platonic and peripatetic philosophy to the intellectual questions of their own tradition. Some even proposed philosophy as a complementary rational system of knowledge to the metaphorical system of revealed religion. While admiring some of their logical tools, Muhammad al-Ghazali (d. 1111) considered the question and found the philosophers wanting. Ghazali isolated four competing epistemological claims to evaluate whether they could lead to certainty: philosophy; theology (as developed by Sunni Muslims); the doctrine in (particularly Ismaili) Shia Islam of authoritative interpretation by an infallible imam; and the mysticism of the Sufis. Ultimately, al-Ghazali dismisses the possibility of acquired knowledge and the rational intellect leading us to certainty, true understanding and right belief. He concludes that only experiential knowledge, the "tasting" or gnosis (ma‛rifa) of which the Sufis speak, can lead to certainty – but even that depends on self-purification, proper spiritual orientation, and divine grace. Rumi largely agrees:

The philosoph winds up through doubt, conjecture
In denial. Bash your head against the wall!

Masnavi 1: 3278


Far-sighted reason – I have tested it.
Henceforth, I'll make myself demented

Masnavi 2: 2332


Of course Rumi does acknowledge the value of human reason, and that intellect is a God-given faculty with real and useful applications. The trouble is that any individual possesses only partial intellect, and can never attain perfect knowledge through it. Only the universal intellect, identified with the prophets or saints, can attain that. Rumi illustrates this with the famous parable of the elephant – a tale told by al-Ghazali and Sana'i in the 12th century, though it can be traced all the way back to Buddhist scripture. Several people encounter an elephant for the first time in total darkness, touching different parts of the beast, groping for a rational conclusion about the reality they opaquely confront. Each come away with quite opposing ideas about the nature of the elephant, depending on whether he had touched the ear, the trunk, the back, the leg, or the tail. Only the light of universal intellect transcends their partial understandings to give a complete picture. This is why, for Rumi, true knowledge comes only through the Sufi path of following the prophet and the saints:

The Sufi's book's not writ in words and ink
It is nothing but a heart white as snow

Masnavi 2:159


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/dec/14/rumi-sufism-philosophy-islam
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch for the upcoming broadcasts of
"Rumi Returning
The Triumph of Divine Passion"

presented by American Public Television (APT)
DVD Available Now!

http://www.rumireturning.com/index.htm

We have extraordinary news! "Rumi Returning" has now been broadcast on over 330 PBS stations. That's virtually every PBS station in the country. The amazing part is that "Rumi" was not a network show. It was syndicated. Each station had to choose whether to air it or not. Many have chosen to broadcast it three or four times since its release in September.

We want to thank the hundreds of you who have purchased the "Rumi Returning" DVD on our website after viewing the film on PBS. A special thanks to those who have also told your friends about it and those who have written us with kudos or invited us to your community's screening events. You have helped to keep our work in Sacred Cinema going.

We formed Heaven on Earth Creations in 2004 to give our efforts completely to love, forgiveness, beauty, and humanity's inseparable oneness. We believe that each of us has been born to this pivotal era of human history with a purpose which, collectively, can nurture our species towards its limitless capacity for unconditional love, nonviolence, sustainability, and unity in beautiful diversity.

Also, read about our own journey discovering Rumi while we filmed his Wedding Night celebration (Sheb-i Arus) in the altruistic Islamic heart of ancient Anatolia.

*****
http://www.rumireturning.com/interview.htm

AN INTERVIEW WITH
AMBASSADOR AKBAR S. AHMED
Conducted in January, 2007

When I first heard Dr. Akbar Ahmed deliver the keynote address at a conference at the University of Oklahoma, I had not yet read his distinguished resume: Chair of Islamic Studies at American University; former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain; hailed by the BBC as the "world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam." The list goes on and on, to include being named Washington D. C. Professor of the Year in 2004 at an unprecedented interfaith service at the National Cathedral. Akbar had arrived in the U.S. just one week before 9-11. In its aftermath he committed himself to teach all who wanted to learn about the true essence of Islam.

That first time I heard him speak, I only knew that he was a kindred spirit: he was that fascinating, powerful combination of political and spiritual, the quintessential citizen ambassador for peace, who is focused on nothing less than transforming our world.

He was an eloquent spokesman for Islam and Sufism, arresting my attention with his statement about the paradox of Rumi being the best-selling poet in our post 9-11 world. Then he expertly condensed the Sufi message. "The message of Sufis like Rumi is unity." He challenged us to understand the deep love that Muslims have for Muhammad and suggested Jesus could be a bridge between Muslims and Christians because he was beloved by both.

As an anthropologist, educator, and author, Akbar is clearly a seeker and imparter of knowledge, at heart. But he also excels in two other virtues that all Muslims strive to attain: justice and compassion. He couldn’t have welcomed my co-producer Kell Kearns and me more warmly than that bitterly cold day in D. C. when we interviewed him in his office at American University.

- Cynthia Lukas, Co-Producer and Writer, Rumi Returning

CYNTHIA: Let’s begin with the phenomenon that is Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. How would you explain the grand expansive flowering of Rumi’s transcendent mysticism and creative genius within the context of his turbulent times and circumstances, not unlike our own? After being a child refugee who had to flee his home to escape the Mongols, he could have seen himself as a victim, turned to a more conservative heterodoxy, but didn’t. Quite the opposite, with Rumi there is the sense of an absolute lack of limitation, of boundless love.

AKBAR: Remember that Islam is dramatically changing in Rumi’s lifetime. It’s the 13th century. The Crusades have been hammering the Muslim world from the West for centuries. What is hammering the Muslim world from the East comes from the Gobi Desert. . .Genghis Kahn and his descendants. In 1258 Genghis Kahn and his descendants would attack, invade and sack Baghdad, the heart of the Muslim Arab Dynasty, and a chapter in history would come to a close. Rumi is in the center, in the eye of the storm. In spite of that, Rumi transcends his predicament. He rises through Sufism and mysticism and love. And therein is the greatness of Rumi: in a time of great turmoil and trouble, he’s giving the human heart solace and compassion and love.

CYNTHIA: If Rumi is an exemplar of Sufism, explain Sufism. Over the centuries it seems to have been shrouded in mystery, particularly for those in the West.

AKBAR: Sufism is at the heart of all human society. It is man and woman’s urge to reach out to others, to understand the divine outside the formal boundaries of religion, orthodox religion. That is Sufism. It is simplicity. It is compassion. It is piety. And it is, above all, acceptance of others. So it the heart of all the great faiths. You can see it in great Biblical figures like Jesus. There’s no greater mystic, Sufi figure, than Jesus in terms of the symbolism of love and compassion and piety.

In Islam Sufism is directly associated with the Prophet of Islam himself, going back to the 7th century, especially in his dress, his simplicity, and his compassion for and feeling for the dispossessed in society. At that time women had no rights, orphans had no rights, and the Prophet was very, very compassionate and sensitive about the dispossessed. He identified with what in turn became Sufism.

The word itself, suf, comes from cloth or cloak, the rough cloth that simple people wear. And the Prophet of Islam again was famous for wearing a very simple, black blanket around himself. In the poetry and folklore and literature, he’s called The Wearer of the Black Blanket. So he really was a very humble and very simple man. He becomes the ideal prototype of the Sufi. Sufis possess this lineage and pride in the Prophet of Islam.

So, Mawlana Rumi, one of the greatest, best known and most beloved Sufis of all time, is inspired by the Prophet and the Qur’an. And here’s the paradox of Sufism: Rumi is the number one, best-selling poet in the United States of America, post 9-11, and Rumi is inspired directly by not only the Qur’an but the example of the Prophet of Islam.

CYNTHIA: In your book Islam Under Siege you wrote that "the popularity of Rumi’s poetry after 9-11 points to the paradoxes—and the hope—of our world." Many who have written about Rumi, in particular Annemarie Schimmel, note that even in his moments of deepest grief, he always offers hope, and that it is perhaps this aspect of his teaching that has endeared him to millions of readers. Is this fountain of hope characteristic of someone who follows the Sufi path of acceptance and love?

AKBAR: Yes. I’ve studied rural areas throughout the Muslim world. And, ordinary people, especially, especially the poor, love Sufism. They love mysticism. Picture to yourself, if you’re a villager in India or Pakistan, if you’re a Muslim, you’re living in some ordinary, isolated village, and you hear these wonderful devotional songs that Sufis sing. . .
It gives you hope! It gives you a sense of belonging that you are something. You may not be very rich. You may be living in a mud hut. You may have children you can’t feed, but you’re still human. You still matter. This Divine, the God we all worship, still loves you. God still cares for you.

Orthodox Islam, on the other hand, has a tendency—I’m looking at it from the point of view of the ordinary Muslim, the villager—to appear very harsh because orthodox Islam is really saying, “Do this and do this.” It’s very Abrahamic...The Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt and Thou shalt not.” Therefore, orthodox Islam is really telling the ordinary villager, “You shall do this and you shall not do that, or, you’re breaking the law and you’re not breaking the law.” The modernist Muslim tells the poor, “Can you vote for me in the next election?” And after the election like all politicians he may not come around to your village for the next four years or ten years. So, ultimately, the ordinary Muslim has very few people to count on except those who feel for him or her and can share their pain. The Sufi can be counted on to love unconditionally.

CYNTHIA: Why has Sufism continued to grow and spread steadily since its recorded beginning in the 7th and 8th centuries (of the common era) with saints such as Rābi‛a, often called the “First Among Sufis,” who spoke of Allah as her “Beloved” as Rumi and other Sufis would later?

AKBAR: After the 7th century Islam sort of exploded from the Arabian Peninsula, and it exploded in two or three different forms. It is now a global power. It’s a dominant civilization. So it exploded in the forms of generals, military captains, with a fervor; some would say, “with the Qur’an in one hand, sword in the other”. But, much of the explosion came in the form of scholars, sages and mystics, who brought the message of Islam to the villages and towns and shantytowns, and lived with people and talked of love and compassion and simplicity. They brought a different message: the message of Sulh-i-kul (“Peace with all.”).

So the essence of Islam was spread by these wonderful mystics and sages from the time of the Prophet onwards. Sufism spread both to Central Asia and to South Asia, converting millions of people through example, friendship, and personal interaction. Indeed, as you said, one of the earliest Sufis was Rābi‛a. She is a paradox, a great female Sufi -and we’re talking of centuries before Rumi - living in what is now Iraq and talking about love and compassion, although she had a very tough life. She had a very, very tough life as a female, and apparently, a beautiful woman, yet she emerged from her traumatic life to become a figure of love and compassion and simplicity. Her poems to God and her love for God are very, very moving.

In a sense you can see a lot of Rumi in Rābi‛a centuries before. So when Rumi arrives he’s not coming out of nowhere. He’s not composing on a blank slate. There’s already a great build-up to Rumi, and of course, there would continue to be other Sufi figures like Rumi making a similar impact all over the world.

CYNTHIA: Early Sufic masters were persecuted for making statements such as “I am God” or “I am Truth”. There are hints that Rumi’s beloved father and teacher decided to flee Balkh not just because of the Mongol attack but because he wasn’t considered orthodox enough by some fellow theologians. And, of course, the circumstances around Shams’ disappearance and probable murder suggest that some, even one of Rumi’s own sons, believed that Shams had led Rumi astray from orthodoxy. What is there about this Sufic path of love and compassion and simplicity that could draw such opposition and persecution?

AKBAR: The question of how Sufis relate to the Divine is a very interesting one, and not just from the personal dimension. It raises huge theological issues. Because the Sufi may say that he or she loves the Divine so much that they don’t see any boundaries between the Divine and those of us on earth living as mortals. There are no boundaries. We are one, fused with the Divine. So therefore you have the classic example of the Sufi saying, “ana al-haqq,” “I am God” and then confronting the full wrath and majesty of the orthodox establishment.

When Sufis pushed this notion of love and fusion and merging with the Divine to the point of making such statements they were persecuted, very often killed for their beliefs. So Sufis had to find a very clever way of living in this world while expressing their intense love of the Divine. And, one way of doing it was to express the love of God by using symbolism, allegory, metaphors—the language of poetry. So, if they said, “Beloved, I love you to the point of distraction. When I look at you, I look with the eyes of love. You are like wine for me. When I drink you, I become intoxicated.” - The Sufi, in fact, was talking about love for the Divine. Everyone understood this. What this does is, it creates an entire literature around Sufism, very moving, very powerful.

CYNTHIA: For your book Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, you traveled extensively around the world interviewing Muslims about their ideas, values, and role models. You found out that one of the most beloved role models in Turkey is Rumi, who, while born in the Persian Empire, lived most of his life in Rūm (now Turkey). But, how are Sufis viewed today by Muslims who are not Sufis?

AKBAR: I would say that a lot of people when they understand Sufism have great sympathy for Sufism. No Muslim can resist the charm and the attraction of the Prophet of Islam. And when a Muslim sees the Sufi’s love for the Prophet, the Muslim melts because he appreciates the Sufi, his piety and peace.. Not all Muslims may agree with the method, but most appreciate the intense devotion of the Sufi.

CYNTHIA: I’ve heard you speak about our world “reaching an endgame with fewer and fewer choices.” We agree, and all of our film work is about showing our world community our common humanity in order to further understanding, encourage harmony, and offer choices or alternatives that can lead us down the path to “Peace with all.” What do Islam and Sufism in particular offer the world in its precarious position today?

AKBAR: What we’re now seeing in the Muslim world is the reemergence of the traditionalist model. But, what we really need to see is the strengthening, the defining, and the clear identification of the universal mystic model in Islam. That is the message of Islam that the 21st century is waiting for. And it’s absolutely crucial because ¼ of humanity will be Muslim in the next few decades. There are 57 Muslim states today, one of them nuclear. Very soon there may be half a dozen nuclear powers from the Muslim world.

And there are 7 million Muslims in the United States of America. And America has a direct interest in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, all Muslim countries. America above all cannot afford to be ignorant of Islam. It is not merely an academic exercise for Americans to come understand Islam...in its nuances and complexities, not the simplistic stuff that is broadcast in the media, but the kind of discussion you and I are having. Americans need to appreciate, interact, and therefore to make sense of the world of Islam. Without this understanding , the US will have no idea how to deal with this huge global civilization that is Islam.

CYNTHIA: There are those beautiful Rumi lines: “Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.” Rumi himself as a Sufi teacher, with his poetry being only one of the ways that he taught his students, seems to have embodied the Islamic ideal of the pursuit of ilm or knowledge. Historically Muslims have made vital contributions to our world civilization by being inquisitive, pursuing scholarship, and preserving knowledge. For example, when the West descended into the the Dark Ages, it was the Islamic Empire with its hunger for knowledge who kept classical knowledge alive. Tell us about the importance of ilm to Islam.

AKBAR: The Prophet said in the 7th century—think of yourself as an Arab in the 7th century, completely cut off from the world. Yet the Prophet said, “Seek knowledge (ilm) even if you have to go to China.” For an Arab in the 7th century, going to China would be like telling you or me in the 21st century, “Go to Mars or go to the moon to acquire knowledge.” It was a leap into the unknown. And yet it is the duty of a Muslim to acquire knowledge. That is the reason that drives millions of Muslims to respect the United States of America and migrate to the United States, its universities, its way of life, its welcome to the immigrant.

People in the media and America associate Islam with terrorism, extremism, and so on. You see these shrieking mobs, and people being beheaded, and all these terrible things that have happened and are happening in the Muslim world. What they don’t understand is the supreme position of knowledge or ilm in Islam. The second most used word in the Qur’an after the word of God, the name of God, is ilm. The Prophet of Islam said the greatest duty of a Muslim is to acquire knowledge. “The ink of the scholar,” the Prophet said, “is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” Think of the power of this statement! If Muslims understood this, they would not be blowing themselves up. They would be studying and writing and reading and using the mind.

This is a great challenge for Muslims and a greater challenge for the West because the West does not see this aspect of Islam. It simply sees Islam as a threatening, migrating civilization, which is going to strike us here, there, everywhere, in the airport, on the train, or in our homes. Let us understand the true features, the central features, the core features of Islam, and the ideal of Islam, which has ilm at its heart.

CYNTHIA: What specifically does Rumi have to offer us today?

AKBAR: If there’s one motto which the post 9-11 world needs to adopt, I would say it should be a line from Rumi, where he says, “I go to the synagogue, I go to the church, I go to the mosque, and I see the same altar, and I feel the same spirit.” This is the embodiment of the universal spirit, without which I’m afraid in the 21st century, and I can say this with great confidence, we as a world civilization are lost. We do not have a choice. We must rediscover the spirit of the universal mystics.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RUMI FEST 2010 with Coleman Barks
- Oct 23 | 6:30 pm
Venue: Trinity-St. Paul Center (Spadina & Bloor) | **Directions**
Tickets: $20 and $30

*** $30 tickets are sold out. $20 tickets are selling fast ***

>> Go to Rumi Fest - DAY 2
RUMI FEST 2010 - Day 1 will feature performances by: Coleman Barks, Whirling Dervishes with Sufi Music, from the Canadian Sufi Cultural Center, Garo & Friends and a special guest performance on Sitar by Irshad Khan, the sitar maestro. It will also feature an art exhibit by:
THE OPEN EASEL revolving around Rumi's work.

* A Portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the victims of the flooding in Pakistan, where at least 2,000 people have been killed, with more than 20 million people affected.

According to the United Nations, this is more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

http://www.nomanslandpromotions.com/rumifest.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eBook on Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved

http://www.goodreads.com/ebooks/download/6615741?doc=19503
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tret



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Ismailis, ranks [huddod-e Din] of Ismaili tariqa, there are 28 Hujjats of the Imam, as follow:

- 4 Hujjats of proximity that is also allegorized as 4 gates to the Ka'ba. One must enter one of these gates [Hujjats] to get to Ka'ba [The Imam]. Supreme Hujjat [aka Pir] is elected by sole descrestion of the Imam of the Time from amongst these 4 Hujjats of proximity.

- 12 Hujjats of "Day": These Hujjats are proof of the Imam of the Time, within the Ismaili tariqa in various locations.
- 12 Hujjats of "Night": These Hujjats may not necessarily be officially within Ismaili Tariqa; however, they function the same as other Hujjats of "Day" in other communities to invite mankind to true path [Siratu-l-Mustaqim]. Note, Ismaili IS the siratul-Mustaqim.

Therefore, Rumi and even maybe other sages could very well have been functioning as Hujjat of "Night", inviting mankind to siratul-mustaqim continuing the Da'wa. The purpose of Shams Tabriz was that to invite Rumi to awakening and true path. We see today that the works of Rumi is studied not only within various Sufi tariqas and Islamic societies, but extends even beyond to western and christian worlds.

There's a vers from Masnavi of Mawlana that confirms him being Ismaili, as follow:

ای حریفان من از آنها نیستم
کز خیالاتی درین ره بیستم
من چو اسماعیلیانم بی‌حذر
بل چو اسمعیل آزادم ز سر

Note, in the second verse, it says "I am as Ismailis without fear, as the Ismail [son of Abrahim] liberated [ready to be sacrificed]". Rumi specifically mentioned "Ismaili" that he is, in this verse. For reference this verse is in section 197 third chapter of Masnavi
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuseri wrote:
To kmaherali: Ya Ali Madad.
If you can re post the extract of the farman no 160 with 4 lines before that and 4 lines after that.
I need specific reply and not subjective status reply, before I post my status on Rumi.
1) why his Mhi called him as poet and not moulana,auliya,pirs or dai.?
2) I assume that the status of Shams Tabriz was revered n no less than a Pirs.
Why did not the poet Rumi Gave his Bayt thru Shams to the Imam of the Time?
I am ready for the debate.
Below is the extended extract as requested by you.

"There are many religions in the world, which are not Sufi. The Shariati, the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus, etc., those believers are not all Sufi. Their thoughts (khyal) and their bandgi lead downwards. The very desires they possess are not good. They wish to have, once in paradise, good things to eat, nice clothes, lots of women and the joys of paradise for themselves. Such desires are not good. Such desires are those of the Shariati. Paradise too is like the world. The real aspiration of the soul is a different gem (jawhar) altogether.
Mowlana Rumi has said that: “I was a stone; from there, I was created a tree; from that, I was transformed and created an ant; after that, I reached the stage of an animal. I ceased to be an animal to reach the status of a monkey. From that, I became a human being (insan). From human being (insan), what shall I become? I shall become an angel (malayak). From there, where shall I go? I shall rise higher still.”
You must think of becoming fana. Whoever desires it and strives for it, will be able to get there. But your sins do not let you get there; those sins have locked you in a prison. The sins of the world have put you in prison. The same way, the habit of lying has emprisoned you; and your wishes, such as paradise, women, good fruits, all these desires have emprisoned you. But the soul is never happy in a prison. Listen, think: If one catches a nightingale or any other bird, and puts it in a cage, if one gives it water and those good things that animals eat, it will still not be happy in a cage. To fly away and wander in the air will make it happier; it longs to fly away from the cage."

MHI called him a poet because he was addressing an essentially Western audience at Toronto. In the Western world Rumi is known as a poet and therefore MHI referred to him as a poet.

However MSMS in his Farmans to his murids referred to him as Mowlana Rumi - a different audience.

He did not give Bayat to the Imam of the time through Shams because his mission was to spread Sufism to others indicating that fanna fi Allah is possible outside of our Tariqah. MHI cannot be the guide of the entire humanity, it is not possible, hence other tariqahs have been opened for others.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuseri wrote:
Ya ALI madad.
Saw that.
You are posting only what other want to read.
Which one is part of farman no 160.?.

I would not stoop at your level. Go and check out the Farman for yourself!
nuseri wrote:

Rumi was arrogant with his status he disregarded the bayat.your answer stand no ground..?.

If Rumi was so arrogant why would the 48th and 49th Imams mention him at all?
nuseri wrote:

What legacy did rumi leave...?.

Today he is the most famous poet in the Western world. Why do people read his poetry if it did not have any substance. Why would the Imam tell us to study Rumi?
nuseri wrote:

Imam said they took the other path.
What is that path?...?.

As the Imam himself has siad, the path of Haqiqat.

The rest of your post has no substance.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya ALI madad:
Just referring by Imam does not make any binding on Ismaili.
As he was a Sufi and his work merit importance of Sufism in Islam to westerner.
MHI mentioned they we haqiqati n took a path beyond that.
What is the value addition to Ismailia from work of poet rumi?
Has present Mhi referred him in any of his farmans.
Speeches are not binding on Jamat perse.
What language did Imam SMS made Farman.
Who translated if any to English.
During Imam SMS many khojas were leaning toward 12er Shia doctrines n Rumi work was acknowledged as a 12er to cool of the ignorants then.
Three questions still pending.
Language,translation,and what path.????
Khoja scholars are blinkered at caring percentage, no
Originality just copy paste.
Is farman to be like stalwart part of no 160 or different one?
If MHI takes name of Idi Amin in a speech,do we start adoring him?
Does IIS produce all to be parrots of Past history ?
Rumi the fool became Momin of a pirs instead of Imam,
Similarly I see few here trying to follow pirs work more than Imam,inspite they died many hundred back.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuseri wrote:
Ya ALI madad:
Just referring by Imam does not make any binding on Ismaili.

So what makes it binding on Ismaili if not Imam's reference?
nuseri wrote:

As he was a Sufi and his work merit importance of Sufism in Islam to westerner.
MHI mentioned they we haqiqati n took a path beyond that..

That is what MSMS said in his Farman:
"There are many religions in the world, which are not Sufi. The Shariati, the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus, etc., those believers are not all Sufi."

That means Ismailis are Sufis unlike other faiths.

MSMS said in another Farman that Rumi like Pir Shams, Nasir Khusraw was Haqiqati:

Those who do not have the knowledge forsake the Haqiqat, but those who are Haqiqati, follow the other path. Just as (1) Hazrat Essa, (2) Pir Sadardin, (3) Nasir Khushraw, (4) Pir Shams, (5) Mowlana Rumi, and the like, followed the path of Haqiqat. This path is very difficult for the foolish persons.(Farman No.160, Dar-es-Salam, 29-09-1899)
nuseri wrote:

What is the value addition to Ismailia from work of poet rumi?..

MSMS told us to study the work of Rumi to know the goodness of our Tariqah:
"If you will read the books of Mowlana Rumi and of Shah Shams Tabriz, then you would come to know about which path is good!"

Ismailis in Iran read the Masnavi in JKs.
nuseri wrote:

Has present Mhi referred him in any of his farmans.?..

MHI has not referred to any thinker by name in his Farmans, that does not mean that thinkers. poets have no value. MHI has told us to follow the Farmans of his grandfather who has mentioned Rumi.
nuseri wrote:

Speeches are not binding on Jamat perse..?..

But the Farmans are?
nuseri wrote:

What language did Imam SMS made Farman.
Who translated if any to English.
During Imam SMS many khojas were leaning toward 12er Shia doctrines n Rumi work was acknowledged as a 12er to cool of the ignorants then.
Three questions still pending.
Language,translation,and what path.????
Khoja scholars are blinkered at caring percentage, no
Originality just copy paste.
Is farman to be like stalwart part of no 160 or different one?
If MHI takes name of Idi Amin in a speech,do we start adoring him?
Does IIS produce all to be parrots of Past history ?
Rumi the fool became Momin of a pirs instead of Imam,
Similarly I see few here trying to follow pirs work more than Imam,inspite they died many hundred back.

MSMS made all his Farmans in Persian which were then translated into Gujerati in his presence. The Imam would correct them if they were not accurate. The translation is generally an accepted one.

If MHI told us to respect Idi Amin then we would! But that is not a good comparison.

MHI has told us in his Farmans to draw inspiration from the poets and thinkers of the past! Why would the Imam call the Ginans a wonderful tradition which is so unique and special, if the Pirs have no value?
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nuseri



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To kmaherali:Ya ALI madad.
I have the copy of farman no 160.
Other please see how crooked n fallen you are in distorting the farman n utter low grade translation.
I suspected when you posted.
You may doing this because you blinkered failed scholar.
The farman in Gujarati.
Tamara ma this koshish karey me amey pirs Sadarddin.pirs shams thataa Mansur jeeva thayiee.
Next para.
Ketlak hajar varsho tgsi gayee terms ketla mansoo try maksud ney pohochayee che?
H Isaa,H rasool.s.a,Mansur,pirs Shams Andy duniya naa bija maanaso pochhya che.

THERE IS NO MENTION OF RUMI AND YOU HAVE INSERTED IT.
there is mention later of Rumi of his story of evolution from stone to angel.

You are cheating the forum with the content n translation
Read the Ayat ,what is in store for those who wronged the word of Ali+lay= Allah.

Please not post any rubbish to challenge me.
May God bless you.
You bungle up in every third post of yours ,I do not make comment at you do at your best level effort at your low significant level.
I assume you partly wasted your years n Imams fund in IIS.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuseri wrote:
THERE IS NO MENTION OF RUMI AND YOU HAVE INSERTED IT.
there is mention later of Rumi of his story of evolution from stone to angel.
This is a very lengthy Farman starting from page 216 to 223. You did not bother to read the entire Farman...

This is what it says later on page 222.

“Ey” be-ilmi kem raaji thaay? “Ey” haqiqat ney pakadto nathi. Eney haqiqat joiti nathi. Jeo be-ilm chhe teo haqiqat ney chhodi aapey chhe, pun jey haqiqati chhe tey bijey rastey chaaley chhe. Jem aagad (1) Isaa (2) pir Sadardin (3) Naasar Khushroo (4) pir Shams (5) maulanaa Roomi, evi ritnaa maanaso haqiqat na rastaa upar chaalyaa. Aa rasto naadaan ney maatey bahu mushkil chhe.

There is a verse of Sloko which states:

Satgur Kahere, jesaa jiv hove aapna
tesaa tu avar ne buj
jene paarkhu dekhyaa bhundakaa
teto aape hoyshe juthare.....

Meaning:
The True Guide says: You will perceive others according to your own nature. Whoever considers others as evil/vulgar will be proven false.

Think before you speak evil of someone.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Kmaherali: Ya Ali madad.
I have asked for the book from the concerned scholars.
There is no mention of rumi as to be role model for ismailis.
What is English translation for the word naadan,it is foolish or innocent/ignorant.
May be word Murkha means foolish.
Are we living in 1903 or 2015.
Has Mhi mentioned rumi' s name in Farman n not in
speech.
If Imam ordered the selection and narrowed down to just to ruhani ginans of A Single Pir
Why do not you follow that farman.has MHI has negatated that farman.?
So all extract of deselected stuff is Nafarmani and ignoraning the Farman.
The extract of ginan is non ruhani maybe a moral value message.
You are wasting lot of time on those crap.
I ignore that.
Year 1903 was when litrecy would have been not more 20% and dissident with Koran n hajj stuff propagating.
Any name taken ,one does not have to jump into 1000 pages of shallow reading.
Why was Imam SMS farman on selective ginans not followed.
Who you consider yourself as naadan as you did not understand just two line of his farman
said in simple language.
There are certain material of Nasir khusraw to be ignored,Why do you jump into debate.
It is again ignoring the farman and guidance.
Then the debators can be called at Naadan.
If a sincere scholar based on Farman does a qualitative research.It can get conclusion of to much of non ruhani ginan and its cross debates with cunning outsider in that period resulted in wreaking of faith in few n they leaving ismailism.
Only if missionary of then IIS alumni of today junked the unselected stuff,the result would have been different.It took MHI nearly 15 years to reduce the volume of the stuff with resistance from no farmani Khojas.
Why MHI told in audience of most intelligent people in Harvard about Ignorance.??
WHY WHY WHY WHY.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are wasting time. All the matters have been answered before. Go through the previous posts before making useless statements.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya Ali Madad.
Yesterday I attended JK,guess what.a qasida of Rumi was recited and also its translation in
Gujarati.
I heard with interest, It looks like he was praying to Imam Shamsuddin and using the name
Of Shams Tabrizi as a front or cover name in it.
Close look may be needed to know it but not neccasary as we have more of current sayings of ALI to be understand deeper.
My respect for Rumi increases but opinion does not change.
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mazharshah



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuseri wrote:
Ya Ali Madad.
Yesterday I attended JK,guess what.a qasida of Rumi was recited and also its translation in
Gujarati.
I heard with interest, It looks like he was praying to Imam Shamsuddin and using the name
Of Shams Tabrizi as a front or cover name in it.
Close look may be needed to know it but not neccasary as we have more of current sayings of ALI to be understand deeper.
My respect for Rumi increases but opinion does not change.



Look at Rumi's importance that one of his Qasida was recited in Jk of India, where as it is usual practice in many JK's of central Asian countries.
Read Masnavi of Rumi your opinion will change.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE ERASURE OF ISLAM FROM THE POETRY OF RUMI

By Rozina Ali January 5, 2017

A couple of years ago, when Coldplay’s Chris Martin was going through a divorce from the actress Gwyneth Paltrow and feeling down, a friend gave him a book to lift his spirits. It was a collection of poetry by Jalaluddin Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, translated by Coleman Barks. “It kind of changed my life,” Martin said later, in an interview. A track from Coldplay’s most recent album features Barks reciting one of the poems: “This being human is a guest house / Every morning a new arrival / A joy, a depression, a meanness, / some momentary awareness comes / as an unexpected visitor.”

Rumi has helped the spiritual journeys of other celebrities—Madonna, Tilda Swinton—some of whom similarly incorporated his work into theirs. Aphorisms attributed to Rumi circulate daily on social media, offering motivation. “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you ever get polished,” one of them goes. Or, “Every moment I shape my destiny with a chisel. I am a carpenter of my own soul.” Barks’s translations, in particular, are shared widely on the Internet; they are also the ones that line American bookstore shelves and are recited at weddings. Rumi is often described as the best-selling poet in the United States. He is typically referred to as a mystic, a saint, a Sufi, an enlightened man. Curiously, however, although he was a lifelong scholar of the Koran and Islam, he is less frequently described as a Muslim.

The words that Martin featured on his album come from Rumi’s “Masnavi,” a six-book epic poem that he wrote toward the end of his life. Its fifty thousand lines are mostly in Persian, but they are riddled with Arabic excerpts from Muslim scripture; the book frequently alludes to Koranic anecdotes that offer moral lessons. (The work, which some scholars consider unfinished, has been nicknamed the Persian Koran.) Fatemeh Keshavarz, a professor of Persian studies at the University of Maryland, told me that Rumi probably had the Koran memorized, given how often he drew from it in his poetry. Rumi himself described the “Masnavi” as “the roots of the roots of the roots of religion”—meaning Islam—“and the explainer of the Koran.” And yet little trace of the religion exists in the translations that sell so well in the United States. “The Rumi that people love is very beautiful in English, and the price you pay is to cut the culture and religion,” Jawid Mojaddedi, a scholar of early Sufism at Rutgers, told me recently.

Rumi was born in the early thirteenth century, in what is now Afghanistan. He later settled in Konya, in present-day Turkey, with his family. His father was a preacher and religious scholar, and he introduced Rumi to Sufism. Rumi continued his theological education in Syria, where he studied the more traditional legal codes of Sunni Islam, and later returned to Konya as a seminary teacher. It was there that he met an elder traveller, Shams-i-Tabriz, who became his mentor. The nature of the intimate friendship between the two is much debated, but Shams, everyone agrees, had a lasting influence on Rumi’s religious practice and his poetry. In a new biography of Rumi, “Rumi’s Secret,” Brad Gooch describes how Shams pushed Rumi to question his scriptural education, debating Koranic passages with him and emphasizing the idea of devotion as finding oneness with God. Rumi would come to blend the intuitive love for God that he found in Sufism with the legal codes of Sunni Islam and the mystical thought he learned from Shams.

This unusual tapestry of influences set Rumi apart from many of his contemporaries, Keshavarz told me. Still, Rumi built a large following in cosmopolitan Konya, incorporating Sufis, Muslim literalists and theologians, Christians, and Jews, as well as the local Sunni Seljuk rulers. In “Rumi’s Secret,” Gooch helpfully chronicles the political events and religious education that influenced Rumi. “Rumi was born into a religious family and followed the proscribed rules of daily prayer and fasting throughout his entire life,” Gooch writes. Even in Gooch’s book, though, there is a tension between these facts and the desire to conclude that Rumi, in some sense, transcended his background—that, as Gooch puts it, he “made claims for a ‘religion of love’ that went beyond all organized faiths.” What can get lost in such readings is the extent to which Rumi’s Muslim teaching shaped even those ideas. As Mojadeddi notes, the Koran acknowledges Christians and Jews as “people of the book,” offering a starting point toward universalism. “The universality that many revere in Rumi today comes from his Muslim context.”

The erasure of Islam from Rumi’s poetry started long before Coldplay got involved. Omid Safi, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Duke University, says that it was in the Victorian period that readers in the West began to uncouple mystical poetry from its Islamic roots. Translators and theologians of the time could not reconcile their ideas about a “desert religion,” with its unusual moral and legal codes, and the work of poets like Rumi and Hafez. The explanation they settled on, Safi told me, was “that these people are mystical not because of Islam but in spite of it.” This was a time when Muslims were singled out for legal discrimination—a law from 1790 curtailed the number of Muslims who could come into the United States, and a century later the U.S. Supreme Court described the “intense hostility of the people of Moslem faith to all other sects, and particularly to Christians.” In 1898, in the introduction to his translation of the “Masnavi,” Sir James Redhouse wrote, “The Masnavi addresses those who leave the world, try to know and be with God, efface their selves and devote themselves to spiritual contemplation.” For those in the West, Rumi and Islam were separated.

In the twentieth century, a succession of prominent translators—among them R. A. Nicholson, A. J. Arberry, and Annemarie Schimmel—strengthened Rumi’s presence in the English-language canon. But it’s Barks who vastly expanded Rumi’s readership. He is not a translator so much as an interpreter: he does not read or write Persian. Instead, he transforms nineteenth-century translations into American verse.

It’s verse of a very particular kind. Barks was born in 1937 and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He received his Ph.D. in English literature and published his first book of poetry, “The Juice,” in 1971. The first time he heard of Rumi was later that decade, when another poet, Robert Bly, handed him a copy of translations by Arberry and told him that they had to be “released from their cages”—that is, put into American free verse. (Bly, who has published poetry in The New Yorker for more than thirty years—and whose book “Iron John: A Book About Men,” from 1990, greatly informed the modern men’s movement—later translated some of Rumi’s poems himself.) Barks had never studied Islamic literature. But soon afterward, he told me recently, over the phone from his home in Georgia, he had a dream. In the dream, he was sleeping on a cliff near a river. A stranger appeared in a circle of light and said, “I love you.” Barks had not seen this man before, but he met him the following year, at a Sufi order near Philadelphia. The man was the order’s leader. Barks began spending his afternoons studying and rephrasing the Victorian translations that Bly had given him. Since then, he has published more than a dozen Rumi books.

In our conversation, Barks described Rumi’s poetry as “the mystery of opening the heart,” a thing that, he told me, “you can’t say in language.” In order to get at that inexpressible thing, he has taken some liberties with Rumi’s work. For one thing, he has minimized references to Islam. Consider the famous poem “Like This.” Arberry translates one of its lines, rather faithfully, as “Whoever asks you about the Houris, show (your) face (and say) ‘Like this.’ ” Houris are virgins promised in Paradise in Islam. Barks avoids even the literal translation of that word; in his version, the line becomes, “If anyone asks you how the perfect satisfaction of all our sexual wanting will look, lift your face and say, Like this.” The religious context is gone. And yet, elsewhere in the same poem, Barks keeps references to Jesus and Joseph. When I asked him about this, he told me that he couldn’t recall if he had made a deliberate choice to remove Islamic references. “I was brought up Presbyterian,” he said. “I used to memorize Bible verses, and I know the New Testament more than I know the Koran.” He added, “The Koran is hard to read.”

Like many others, Omid Safi credits Barks with introducing Rumi to millions of readers in the United States; in morphing Rumi into American verse, Barks has dedicated considerable time and love to the poet’s works and life. And there are other versions of Rumi that are even further removed from the original—such as the New Age books by Deepak Chopra and Daniel Ladinsky which are marketed and sold as Rumi but bear little resemblance to the poet’s writing. Chopra, an author of spiritual works and an alternative-medicine enthusiast, admits that his poems are not Rumi’s words. Rather, as he writes in the introduction to “The Love Poems of Rumi,” they are “ ‘moods’ we have captured as certain phrases radiated from the original Farsi, giving life to a new creation but retaining the essence of its source.”

Discussing these New Age “translations,” Safi said, “I see a type of ‘spiritual colonialism’ at work here: bypassing, erasing, and occupying a spiritual landscape that has been lived and breathed and internalized by Muslims from Bosnia and Istanbul to Konya and Iran to Central and South Asia.” Extracting the spiritual from the religious context has deep reverberations. Islam is regularly diagnosed as a “cancer,” including by General Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national-security adviser, and, even today, policymakers suggest that non-Western and nonwhite groups have not contributed to civilization.

For his part, Barks sees religion as secondary to the essence of Rumi. “Religion is such a point of contention for the world,” he told me. “I got my truth and you got your truth—this is just absurd. We’re all in this together and I’m trying to open my heart, and Rumi’s poetry helps with that.” One might detect in this philosophy something of Rumi’s own approach to poetry: Rumi often amended texts from the Koran so that they would fit the lyrical rhyme and meter of the Persian verse. But while Rumi’s Persian readers would recognize the tactic, most American readers are unaware of the Islamic blueprint. Safi has compared reading Rumi without the Koran to reading Milton without the Bible: even if Rumi was heterodox, it’s important to recognize that he was heterodox in a Muslim context—and that Islamic culture, centuries ago, had room for such heterodoxy. Rumi’s works are not just layered with religion; they represent the historical dynamism within Islamic scholarship.

Rumi used the Koran, Hadiths, and religion in an explorative way, often challenging conventional readings. One of Barks’s popular renditions goes like this: “Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. / I will meet you there.” The original version makes no mention of “rightdoing” or “wrongdoing.” The words Rumi wrote were iman (“religion”) and kufr (“infidelity”). Imagine, then, a Muslim scholar saying that the basis of faith lies not in religious code but in an elevated space of compassion and love. What we, and perhaps many Muslim clerics, might consider radical today is an interpretation that Rumi put forward more than seven hundred years ago.

Such readings were not entirely unique back then. Rumi’s works reflected a broader push and pull between religious spirituality and institutionalized faith—though with a wit that was unmatched. “Historically speaking, no text has shaped the imagination of Muslims—other than the Koran—as the poetry of Rumi and Hafez,” Safi said. This is why Rumi’s voluminous writings, produced at a time when scribes had to copy works by hand, have survived.

“Language isn’t just a means of communication,” the writer and translator Sinan Antoon has said. “It’s a reservoir of memory, tradition, and heritage.” As conduits between two cultures, translators take on an inherently political project. They must figure out how to make, for instance, a thirteenth-century Persian poet comprehensible to a contemporary American audience. But they have a responsibility to remain true to the original work—an act that, in the case of Rumi, would help readers to recognize that a professor of Sharia could also write some of the world’s mostly widely read love poetry.

Jawid Mojaddedi is now in the midst of a years-long project to translate all six books of the “Masnavi.” Three of them have been published; the fourth is due out this spring. His translations acknowledge the Islamic and Koranic texts in the original by using italics to denote whenever Rumi switches to Arabic. His books are also riddled with footnotes. Reading them requires some effort, and perhaps a desire to see beyond one’s preconceptions. That, after all, is the point of translation: to understand the foreign. As Keshavarz put it, translation is a reminder that “everything has a form, everything has culture and history. A Muslim can be like that, too.”

Rozina Ali is a member of The New Yorker’s editorial staff.
http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-erasure-of-islam-from-the-poetry-of-rumi



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICOT ~ Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto

Rumi’s Fables

Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT) are presenting a new production for young audiences based on a selection of Rumi’s fables. The fables are a beloved collection short stories from the famous 13th Century Sufi poet, philosopher, and scholar Rumi. They have been a part of Middle-Eastern culture for more than seven hundred years. In honour of his 800th birthday, the United Nations declared 2007 as The Year of Rumi. The fables have significance and relevance in today's society and are suitable for both young and old.

This is the story of a hero who is looking for a treasure and encounters various adventures along the way. It is told by narrator, Parmida, with original music composed by ICOT, and music performed by the Ladom Ensemble.

http://www.icot.ca/site/rumis-fables/
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where the Light Enters: Discovering the Poetry of Rumi with Prof. Omid Safi

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFhIpCnFziI&list=PLS4N8YYLEMZaWVqek8wPRreV3ADX12Y89&index=5&utm_source=Direct

"Come, come, whoever you are," and join UNC professor of religious studies Omid Safi in exploring the poetry of Rumi, 13th century Persian poet and mystic, through recitation, analysis, and music. This programs is part of the Bridging Cultures BookShelf: Muslim Journeys and is cosponsored by the Duke Islamic Studies Center and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Online Book

The Essential Rumi


PDF version:

https://littlethingsaboutmeeh.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/coleman-barks-the-essential-rumi.pdf
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How a Persian Mystic Poet Changed My Life

My father recited Rumi to me as I grew up. I finally chose to listen.


Five years ago, in an act of creative desperation, I decided to immerse myself in the classical Persian poetry I grew up taking for granted. I aimed to learn it by heart and under the expert tutelage of my father, a physician by trade and a connoisseur of Sufi poetry by tradition. For my father, nothing is more sacred than poetry — specifically the mystical poetry of Rumi.

Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi, known as Molana (an honorific meaning “our master”) to his fellow Persians like my father and me, was a renowned 13th-century Islamic scholar, theologian, poet and mystic. Born in what is now Afghanistan in 1207, Rumi grew up in an era of deep political turmoil packed with modern parallels, full of walls and bans and wars. As a result, he spent much of his life traveling extensively throughout the Middle East before settling in Konya, in present-day Turkey and then central Anatolia, formerly part of the Eastern Roman Empire. This accounts for the name Rumi, meaning “Roman” in Persian and Arabic.

My father, who grew up in Iran, recites Rumi’s verse with the same fervor and frequency most people reserve for food and oxygen. By all accounts, he is a tried-and-true Rumi addict. But like most children of addicts, I grew up resenting the object of my father’s addiction. An inescapable presence in our Ohio home, Rumi was the annoying elder who forever tested the limits of my Persian hospitality, challenging my limited Farsi with his antiquated medieval verse and dismissing my American hunger for brevity with his seemingly endless collections of rhyming couplets and quatrains.

But all my childhood resentment of Rumi dissolved after I lost my mind and found solace in his verse. Soon, Rumi’s poetry became a lifeline, allowing me to survive both my own personal insanity and the political insanity to come.

My manic, psychotic break from the rest of the world’s notion of reality was clinical and terrifying, but it started out soulful and electrifying. For a brief moment before the hallucinations, delusions, restraints, seclusion and hospitalization that ensued, an intense calm washed over me. Standing on my Atlanta balcony watching the sun rise over Stone Mountain, I felt a deep connection to every atom back to Adam and before, and to the divine spirit within each one of those atoms. However clumsily, I had stumbled into the land of mystics, the land of my father, the land of Rumi.

At long last, I was beginning to understand this poetry that had spoken to my father since he was a child in Shiraz. For what modern medicine lacked by way of explanation, Rumi provided through my father’s voice, visiting me on the locked psychiatric unit of the same hospital where he had performed thousands of surgeries and delivered hundreds of babies:

In love with insanity, I’m fed up with wisdom and rationality.

While Rumi considers insanity a mark of divine favor, he distinguishes between types. The madness he promotes is rooted in ecstatic love; the one he condemns, in petty fear. The former creates a mystic, the latter a lunatic.

When I first began studying Rumi with my father in late 2014, years after that psychiatric hospitalization, properly diagnosed and medicated for bipolar disorder and in recovery, I never expected that within a few short years my extended family in Iran would be barred from visiting us in the United States. Nor did I ever expect that our country would become so deeply divided.

But here we are, more isolated than ever, and as an Iranian-American Muslim feminist living with a mental health condition, I feel the weight of this isolation every day. Heavy with fear’s warped wisdom and rationality, crazier than anything mania ever induced in me, this weight is a reminder that clinical psychosis, even absent any mystical tendency, seems sensible compared with our current political reality. Thankfully, as a student of my father and Rumi, I have learned how to counter the toll of this weight. In Rumi’s words:

Become the sky and the clouds that create the rain, not the gutter that carries it to the drain.

Of course it’s easier to be the gutter than the sky, to imitate rather than to create, but imitation builds cults, not communities. It may seem counterintuitive, but true community demands originality, not conformity. I know this firsthand, because every time I write something new it helps me feel less alone, reminding me that we are all inextricably linked to and through a sacred spark within each of us.

It seems so obvious, but it’s also painfully easy to forget how deeply connected we are. More than any other factor, it’s ego that makes us forget, filling us with a sense of superiority. This false feeling of being somehow “better than” our fellow human beings allows us to forget the common source of our humanity and thus to disconnect from the divinity within ourselves and one another. This is why, for Rumi, ego is not only the worst of our natural and inescapable human afflictions but also the root of them all. His solution?

Quit keeping score if you want to be free. Love has ejected the referee.

Indeed, when it comes to the prison of our own ego, love is our only ticket out. When I first flew across the country to study Rumi’s poetry with my father, I did so brimming with hubris and ambition. I set aside a month to learn this poetry, perfect my rudimentary Farsi, overcome a brutal case of writer’s block and then research and ideally write a book about it. Naturally, nothing went according to plan.

Still, through all of it, I had my father to guide me and remind me that it didn’t matter how long it took to write this imagined book. What mattered was that I approached my poetic pilgrimage with patience and humility, recognizing every hardship as an invitation to step out of fear and into love in my own life:

Every storm the Beloved unfurls permits the sea to scatter pearls.

For as long as I can remember, my father has been scribbling these and other poems on his old prescription pads, signing them as though they were for any ordinary pharmaceutical and leaving them like pearls at my feet. For decades, I failed to fill them, too distracted and distraught by the struggles along the way to notice the treasures lighting my path.

But today, as the faith and ancestry I share with my father and Rumi have made me more of a target, more hated and unwelcome in my own home than ever before, I am grateful for this treasure trove of poetic prescriptions. Now I have a documented reservoir of timeless teachings from my own faith and culture that transcend both. Now I claim my inheritance; I fill my prescriptions, and I pass them along.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/opinion/rumi-poems.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20200226&campaign_id=39&instance_id=16298&segment_id=21636&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=4530530920200226
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sahl Tustari’s (d. 283/896) Esoteric Qur’anic Commentary and Rumi’s Mathnawi: Part 1

Foreword

Perhaps because one of the main didactic purposes of Jalal al-Din Rumi’s
Mathnawi is to elucidate and expound the esoteric meanings of Islam’s
sacred scripture, he often refers to his grand poem as the ‘Decoder of the
Qur’an’ (Kashshaf al-Qur’an). In fact, one of the main reasons why the
Mathnawi is such a rich depository of scriptural exegesis and spiritual
wisdom is precisely because of its focus on exegesis of the Qur’an. Being
himself a learned exegete of the Muslim scripture, no doubt he had
access to all the various resources and texts of Qur’an commentary
available to other scholars of his day. Yet the bases of the exegetical
method that Mawlana Rumi propounded still remain unclear.

Unfortunately, most scholars who have studied the Mathnawi’s
interpretation of the Qur’an have paid more attention to Mawlana’s
use of traditional commentaries and disregarded the influence of mystical exegeses of the Qur’an on his poem. Despite the fact that eminent
authorities on the poetry of Rumi, such as Badic al-Zaman Furuzanfar
and cAbd al-Husayn Zarrinkub, have drawn attention to Mawlana’s
fascination with the mystical interpretation of the Qur’an, to date no
systematic attempt has yet been made to evaluate the impact of early
esoteric Qur’an exegeses upon the Mathnawi. This essay aims to do
just that, hopefully to serve as a preamble to further, more elaborate,
investigations of Mawlana’s poetic use and adaptation of mystical
interpretations of the Qur’an

The entire essay can be accessed at:

https://www.academia.edu/14978569/Sahl_Tustari_s_d._283_896_Esoteric_Qur_anic_Commentary_and_Rumi_s_Mathnawi_Part_1?email_work_card=view-paper
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Hermeneutics of Eroticism in the Poetry of Rumi

Michel Foucault writes that in societies that made use of ars erotica , secrecy served the purpose of amplifying the truth that is drawn from pleasure and the importance of a master in transmitting it in an esoteric manner. He writes that the need for secrecy in sexuality was “not because of an element of infamy . . . but because of the need to hold it in the greatest reserve, since, according to tradition, it would lose its effectiveness and its virtue by being divulged." It is no surprise, then, that secretive traditions often find in eroticism an apt metaphor for the expression of their esoteric concepts. In the same vein as ars erotica , secrecy enhances the mystical enterprise and elevates it to the level of esotericism. It is imperative that something of the secret be revealed, because secrecy is not the same as concealment. A secret that is fully concealed might as well not exist. However, a total revelation would make the secret meaningless, just as in eroticism consummation equates with termination, for eroticism is the deferral of consummation. Thus the constitutive element of secrecy and eroticism is the communicative interplay of disclosure and concealment.

In many passages of the Masnavi , the great epic of the thirteenth century Persian mystic Jalalal-DinRumi(d.1273 ),mystical knowledge is communicated in erotic terms. This article examines the dynamics of eroticism in the Masnavi in order to explore the range of Rumi’s esoteric intentions and symbolizing practices. When structured along the lines of erotic rela-tionality, Rumi’s symbolizing practices are related to the embodied and gendered subjectiv-ities that are inevitably signified in a particular cultural context. I examine the implications of Rumi’s sociocultural context for the sexed and gendered bodies that are utilized for his signifying purposes. In many passages of the Masnavi the production (communication) of mystical knowledge is contemplated as an em-bodied process through which certain bod-ies, or more precisely the function of a certain organ of the male body (the penis), are foregrounded or privileged while others are marginalized. The understanding of this process rests on interpreting the significance assigned to the embodied and gendered subjectivities by their cultural context in which they are situated. For the purpose of such analysis, relevant features of modern theories of gender,semiotics, and psychoanalysis are used as strategic conceptual tools. This article thus supports the relevance of certain trends in psychoanalytical inquiry into subjectivity for new interpretations of mystical texts".

The entire article can be accessed at:

https://www.academia.edu/1353363/The_Hermeneutics_of_Eroticism_in_the_Poetry_of_Rumi?email_work_card=view-paper
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naqshbandi Admirers of Rumi in the Late Timurid Period

Lloyd Ridgeon

Rumi’s observation in the sixth verse of book one of the Mathnawi that “Each person through his own supposition became my friend” may today be viewed as something of a prophecy concerning the ever-increasing number of commentaries and collections of translations of his masterpiece, both devotional and academic. Commentaries and translations inevitably reflect the perspectives, prejudices and preferences of the composer to the extent that the intention of the original author may become obscure and even difficult to identify.The meaning of the original text may become violated, distorted, clarified or enhanced;whatever the case, it is a truism that commentaries disclose often more about the composers than they do about the texts that they set out to elucidate. This paper provides a clear example of this by examining three works that were designed to clarify the Mathnawi. These texts were composed in the fifteenth century by three leading Naqshbandi Sufis: Ya‘qub Charkhi (d. 1447), Nur al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami (d. 1492) and Husayn Waiz-i Kashifi (d. 1504).Despite their common affiliation to the same order, these three Sufis produced very different interpretations of the Mathnawi , revealing the diversity of Naqshbandi thinking. Their positive opinion of the Mathnawi doubtlessly contributed to its propagation among Naqshbandi Sufis and among a wider audience who read or heard these treatises.

The entire article can be accessed at:

https://www.academia.edu/7170446/Naqshbandi_Admirers_of_Rumi?email_work_card=view-paper
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google translation of the original article in Portuguese:

https://the.ismaili/portugal/o-p%C3%A1ssaro-s%C3%A1bio

The Wise Bird

Know the story of the bird and the hunter.


Once upon a time, a bird was caught in a hunter's net. Being very smart, he quickly thought of a way to break free. When the hunter removed the bird from the net, he said it was not large enough to satisfy the hunter's hunger. He also mentioned that if the hunter released him, he could give him three very useful pieces of advice. His conditions were that he would give the first advice while perched in the hunter's hand, the second from the top of the roof and the third from the top of the tree. The hunter thought for a minute. Since he didn't have much to lose, he agreed to listen to the bird.

The bird gave the first council: “when someone says nonsense, don't believe it”. The hunter found this reasonable and released the bird, which immediately flew to the roof. The bird's second advice was: "don't feel sorry for something that has already passed". After it has already happened, it makes no sense to feel unhappy. The bird then wanted to share a secret with the hunter before giving the third piece of advice. He said that one had a very valuable pearl hidden in his body and that he weighed about four kilos, which would make the hunter rich. Now that the bird was free, the hunter had lost the pearl forever.

The hunter burst into tears and began to sob loudly. The bird reminded him of the second advice not to cry past things. The hunter stopped crying when he realized that he would not be able to catch the bird again and the pearl was gone forever. The bird told the hunter that he had forgotten the first advice not to believe nonsense. He added that he weighed less than a pound and a half; how could a pearl of almost five kilos be hidden inside it?

The hunter felt foolish and asked for the third advice. The bird replied that, as the hunter had not followed the first two advices, he should not waste the third with him. And with that, he flapped his wings and flew away.

Mawlana Rumi, Mathnawi

From this story, we understand that in difficult times, we must solve problems with serenity. We also learn not to be greedy or deceived easily. All human beings are endowed with the incredible gift of intellect, which we must use properly and continue to develop its potential.

Source: Ismailis Institute of Studies, A Source of Stories, London: Islamic Publications Limited.
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