(1207-1273 A.D.)

Jalal al-Din Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mohammad IbnHusain al-Rumi was born in 604 A.H. (1207/8 A.D .) at Balkh (nowAfghanistan). His father Baha al-Din was a renowned religiousscholar. Under his patronage, Rumi received his early educationfrom Syed Burhan-al-Din. When his age was about 18 years, thefamily (after several migrations) finally settled at K onya and at theage of 25, Rumi was sent to Aleppo for advanced education and laterto Damascus. Rumi continued with his education till he was 40years old, although on his father's death Rumi succeeded him as aprofessor in the famous Madrasah at Konya at th e age of about24 years. He received his mystical training first at the hands ofSyed Burhan al-Din and later he was trained by Shams al-Din Tabriz.He became famous for his mystical insight, his religious knowledgeand as a Persian poet. He used to teach a l arge number of pupilsat his Madrasah and also founded the famous Maulvi Order inTasawwuf. He died in 672 A.H. (1273 A.D.) at Konya, whichsubsequently became a sacred place for dancing derveshes of theMaulvi Order.

His major contribution lies in Islamic philosophy andTasawwuf. This was embodied largely in poetry, especially throughhis famous Mathnawi. This book, the largest mystical exposition inverse, discusses and offers solutions to many complicated problemsin metaphysics, rel igion, ethics, mysticism, etc. Fundamentally,the Mathnawi highlights the various hidden aspects of Sufism andtheir relationship with the worldly life. For this, Rumi draws on avariety of subjects and derives numerous examples from every-day life. H is main subject is the relationship between man and Godon the one hand, and between man and man, on the other. Heapparently believed in Pantheism and portrayed the various stages

of man's evolution in his journey towards the Ultimate.

Apart from the Mathnaui, he also wrote his Diwan (collectionof poems) and Fihi-Ma-Fih (a collection of mystical sayings). How-ever, it is the Mathnawi itself that has largely transmitted Rumi'smessage. Soon after its completion, other scholars start ed writingdetailed commentaries on it, in order to interpret its rich propositionson Tasawwuf, Metaphysics and Ethics. Several commentaries indifferent languages have been written since then.

His impact on philosophy, literature, mysticism an d culture,has been so deep throughout Central Asia and most Islamic countriesthat almost all religious scholars, mystics, philosophers, sociologistsand others have referred to his verses during all these centuries sincehis death. Most difficult problems i n these areas seem to get simpli-fied in the light of his references. His message seems to have inspiredmost of the intellectuals in Central Asia and adjoining areas sincehis time, and scholars like Iqbal have further developed Rumi'sconcepts. The Math nawi became known as the interpretation of theQur'an in the Pahlavi language. He is one of the few intellectuals andmystics whose views have so profoundly affected the world-viewin its higher perspective in large parts of the Islamic World.

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from: http://www.oman-net.com/msp/rumi.htm