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Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi : Konya Turkey

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Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī[3] (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balḫī[3] (Persian: محمد بلخى), but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, (September 30, 1207–December 17, 1273), was a 13th century Persian (Tājik)[4][5] poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian[6]. Rumi is a descriptive name meaning "the Roman" since he lived most parts of his life in Anatolia which had been part of the Byzantine Empire two centuries before.[7]

Rumi was born in Balkh (in present-day Afghanistan), then a city of Greater Khorasan, and died in Konya (in present-day Turkey), then a city of the Great Seljuq Empire. His birthplace and native language/local dialect indicates a Persian heritage.[8] His poetry is in Persian and his works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and in translation especially in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the US, and South Asia. He lived most of his life in, and produced his works under the Seljuq Empire.[9] After Rumi's death, his followers founded the Mowlawīyah, better known as the "Whirling Dervishes," who believe in performing their worship in the form of dance and music ceremony called the samāʿ.

Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. Throughout the centuries he has had a significant influence on Persian as well as Urdu and Turkish literatures. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages in various formats, and BBC News has described him as the "most popular poet in America"
Rumi's life is described in Shams ud-Din Ahmad Aflāki's "Manākib ul-Ārifīn" (written between 1318 and 1353). His father was Bahā ud-Dīn Wālad, a theologian, jurist and a mystic from Balkh, who was also known during his lifetime as "Sultan of the Scholars". His mother was Muʿmina Ḫātūn.

When the Mongols invaded Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, his father with his whole family and a group of disciples set out westwards. On the road to Anatolia, Rumi encountered one of the most famous mystic Persian poets, Attar, in the city of Nishapur, located in what is now the Iranian province of Khorāsān. 'Attar immediately recognized Rumi's spiritual eminence. He saw the father walking ahead of the son and said, "Here comes a sea followed by an ocean." He gave the boy his Asrarnama, a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact on the eighteen-year-old Rumi's thoughts and later on became the inspiration for his works.

From Nishapur, Walad and his entourage set out for Baghdad, meeting many of the scholars and Sufis of the city.[11] From there they went to Baghdad, and Hejaz and performed the pilgrimage at Mecca. The migrating caravan then passed through Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri and Nigde. They finally settled in Karaman during seven years. His mother and his brother died in Karaman. In 1225 Mevläna married Gevher Hatun in Karaman. They had two sons: Sultan Veled and Alaeddin Çelebi. When his wife died, Mevlâna married again and had a son Emir Alim Çelebi and a daughter Melike Hatun.

On 1 May 1228, most likely as a result of the insistent invitation of 'Alā' ud-Dīn Key-Qobād, ruler of Anatolia, Baha' ud-Din came and finally settled in Konya in Anatolia within the westernmost territories of Seljuk Empire.

Baha' ud-Din became the head of a madrassa (religious school) and when he died Rumi inherited his position and succeeded him at the age of twenty-five. One of Baha' ud-Din's students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din-e Muhaqqiq, continued to train Rumi in the religious and mystical doctrines of Rumi's father. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240-1. From then on started Rumi's public life. He became the teacher who preached in the mosques of Konya and taught his adherents in the madrassah.

During this period Rumi also travelled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.

It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that changed his life completely. Shams had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could "endure my company". A voice came, "What will you give in return?" "My head!" "The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya." On the night of December 5, 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is believed that he was murdered with the connivance of Rumi's son, 'Ala' ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.

Rumi's love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in an outpouring of music, dance and lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realized:

Why should I seek? I am the same as

He. His essence speaks through me.

I have been looking for myself![12]
For more than ten years after meeting Shams, Mawlana had been spontaneously composing ghazals, and these had been collected in the Divan-i Kabir. Rumi found another companion in Salaḥ ud-Din-e Zarkub, the goldsmith. After Salaḥ ud-Din's death, Rumi's scribe and favorite student Hussam-e Chelebi assumed the role. One day, the two of them were wandering through the Meram vineyards outside of Konya when Hussam described an idea he had to Rumi: "If you were to write a book like the Ilāhīnāma of Sanai or the Mantiq ut-Tayr of 'Attar it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it."

Rumi smiled and took out a piece of paper on which were written the opening eighteen lines of his Masnavi, beginning with:

Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,

How it sings of separation...[13]
Hussam implored Rumi to write more. Rumi spent the next twelve years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnavi to Hussam. In December 1273, Rumi fell ill; he predicted his own death and composed the well-known ghazal, which begins with the verse:

How doest thou know what sort of king I have within me as companion?

Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs. [14]

Rumi`s tomb in KonyaHe died on December 17, 1273 in Konya; Rumi was laid to rest beside his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe "Green Tomb" (original name:قبه لخزراء), was erected over his tomb. His epitaph reads:

"When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men
Teachings of Rumi

A page of a copy circa 1503 of the "Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i"The general theme of his thoughts, like that of the other mystic and Sufi poets of the Persian literature, is essentially about the concept of Tawhīd (unity) and union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut and fallen aloof, and his longing and desire for reunity.

The "Masnavi" weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations and exegesis, and metaphysics, into a vast and intricate tapestry. Rumi is considered an example of "insan-e kamil" — the perfected or completed human being. In the East, it is said of him, that he was, "not a prophet — but surely, he has brought a scripture". Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dancing as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine, and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of Whirling Dervishes developed into a ritual form. He founded the order of the Mevlevi, the "whirling" dervishes, and created the "Sema", their "turning", sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, Sema represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to "Perfect." In this journey the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the "Perfect". The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey with greater maturity, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination against beliefs, races, classes and nations.

According to Shahram Shiva, one reason for Rumi's popularity is that "Rumi is able to verbalize the highly personal and often confusing world of personal/spiritual growth and mysticism in a very forward and direct fashion. He does not offend anyone, and he includes everyone. The world of Rumi is neither exclusively the world of a Sufi, nor the world of a Hindu, nor a Jew, nor a Christian; it is the highest state of a human being — a fully evolved human. A complete human is not bound by cultural limitations; he touches every one of us. Today Rumi's poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene." According to Professor Majid M. Naini [6], Rumi's life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.

In other verses in Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:

Love’s nationality is separate from all other religions,

The lover’s religion and nationality is the Beloved (God).

The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes

Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.[16]
Major works
Main articles: Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi and Masnavi
Rumi's poetry is often divided into various categories: the quatrains (rubayāt) and odes (ğazal) of the Divan, the six books of the Masnavi, the discourses, the letters, and the almost unknown Six Sermons.

Maṭnawīye Ma'nawī
Mevlâna museum, Konya, TurkeyRumi's major work is Maṭnawīye Ma'nawī ("Spiritual Couplets"; Persian: مثنوی معنوی - Maṣnawīye Ma'nawī), a six-volume poem regarded by many Sufis as second in importance only to the Qur'an. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry.
Rumi's other major work is the Dīwān-e Kabīr ("Great Work") or Dīwān-e Šams-e Tabrīzī ("The Works of Shams of Tabriz"; Persian: دیوان شمس تبریزی - named in honor of Rumi's great friend and inspiration, the dervish Shams), comprising some 40,000 verses. Several reasons have been offered for Rumi's decision to name his masterpiece after Shams. Some argue that since Rumi would not have been a poet without Shams, it is apt that the collection be named after him.[citation needed] Others have suggested that at the end, Rumi became Shams, hence the collection is truly of Shams speaking through Rumi.[17] Both works are among the most significant in all of Persian literature.[citation needed] Shams is believed to have been murdered by disciples of Rumi who were jealous of his relationship with Shams (also spelled Shems).[citation needed]
Fiḥi Ma Fiḥ ("In It What's in It") is composed of Rumi's speeches on different subjects. Rumi himself did not prepare or write these discourses. They were recorded by his son Sultan Valad or some other disciple of Rumi and put together as a book. The title may mean, "What's in the Masnavi is in this too."[citation needed] Some of the discourses are addressed to Mo'īn al-Dīn Parwāna. Some portions of it are commentary on the Maṭnawī.
Maktubāt is the book containing the letters he wrote to his close friends with the answers to questions asked.
Majāleṣe Sab'a ("Seven Sessions") contains seven sermons (as the name implies) given in seven different assemblies. As Aflakī relates, after Šams-e Tabrīzī, Rumi gave sermons at the request of notables, especially Salāh al-Dīn Zarqūbī
Rumi's importance transcends national and ethnic borders.[18] Speakers of the Persian languages in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan see him as one of their most significant classical poets and an influence on many poets through history.[19] He has also had a great influence on Turkish literature throughout the centuries.[20] His poetry forms the basis of much classical Iranian and Afghanistani music.[21] Contemporary classical interpretations of his poetry are made by Muhammad Reza Shajarian (Iran), Shahram Nazeri (Iran), Davood Azad (Iran) and Ustad Mohammad Hashem Cheshti (Afghanistan). To many modern Westerners, his teachings are one of the best introductions to the philosophy and practice of Sufism. Pakistan's National Poet, Muhammad Iqbal (November 9, 1877-April 21, 1938) was also inspired by Rumi's works and considered him to be his spiritual leader and addressed him as Pir Rumi in his poems (the honorific Pir literally means old man, but in the sufi/mystic context it means founder, master, or guide).[22]

Rumi's work has been translated into many of the world's languages including Russian, German, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, French, Italian and Spanish, and is appearing in a growing number of formats including concerts, workshops, readings, dance performances and other artistic creations. The English interpretations of Rumi's poetry by Coleman Barks have sold more than a half million copies worldwide.[23] Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to Billboard's Top 20 list. A collection of Deepak Chopra's editing the translations by Fereydoun Kia of Rumi's love poems, has been sung by Hollywood personalities such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Philip Glass and Demi Moore; also Shahram Shiva's CD, Rumi: Lovedrunk has been very popular on the Internet's music communities such as Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States

پارسی گو گرچه تازی خوشتر است عشق را خود صد زبان دیگر است

Say all in Persian (Parsi) even if Arabic (Tazi) seems better - Love will find its way through all languages on its own

Iranians regard Rumi as an Iranian poet. Although Rumi was born in present day Afghanistan and died in present day Turkey, his poetry reflects the rich Iranian culture as it also is in the Persian Iranian language. Iranians regard Afghanistan as a major part of their own country and as one country torn apart by foreign influence (British). At the time of Rumi’s life Afghanistan and Iran were one country, as they have been only until recently. But maybe the most important part of Rumi being Iranian is his creative and artistic representation of the Persian/Iranian culture. This is most evident since Rumi’s master was Shams Tabrizi, the Iranian Sufi mystic who is responsible for introducing Rumi into Iranian Islamic mysticism. Shams was so much beloved by Rumi that Rumi's poetry collection is named after his master, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i ("The Works of Shams of Tabriz"). Rumi attributed more and more of his own poetry to Shams as a sign of love for his departed friend and master. Indeed, it quickly becomes clear in reading Rumi that Shams was elevated to a symbol of God's love for mankind, and that Shams was a sun ("Shams" is Arabic for "sun") shining the Light of God on Rumi.

These cultural, historical and linguistic ties between Rumi and Iran have made Rumi an iconic Iranian poet. Rumi’s poetry is displayed on the walls of Tehran, sung in Iranian music, and read in Iranian school books. Literally, Iranians live with Rumi’s poetry.

Of course, this sense of Iranian attachment does not mean that Rumi is not Afghan or Turkic, it’s just that Rumi connects with the Iranians as one of their own with their own language and culture. When it really comes to Rumi’s native land and people, nobody says it better that Rumi himself:

What can I do, Muslims (Submitters to God/truth)? I do not know myself.

I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Magian nor Muslim,

I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,

not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,

not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.

I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,

not from existence, not from being.

I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,

not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan

I am not from the world, not from beyond,

not from heaven and not from hell.

I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan.

My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,

no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.

I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one.

One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.

He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.

Beyond "He" and "He is" I know no other.

I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me.

I have no concern but carouse and rapture.

If one day in my life I spend a moment without you

from that hour and that time I would repent my life.

If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you

I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.

O Sun of Tabriz (Shams Tabrizi), I am so tipsy here in this world,

I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture

The Mevlevi Order
The Mevlevi Sufi order was founded in 1273 by Rumi's followers after his death.[26] His first successor in the rectorship of the order was Husam Chelebi himself, after whose death in 1284 Rumi's younger and only surviving son, Sultan Walad, favorably known as author of the mystical Masnavi Rabābnāma, or the Book of the Guitar (died 1312), was installed as grand master of the order.[27] The leadership of the order has been kept in Rumi's family in Konya uninterruptedly since then.[28] The Mevlevi, or "The Whirling Dervishes", believe in performing their dhikr in the form of sema. During the time of Rumi (as attested in the "Manakib ul Arifin" of Eflaki Dede), his followers gathered for musical and "turning" practices. Mevlana himself was a notable musician, who played the rebab although his favorite instrument was the ney.[29] The music accompanying the traditional ritual consists of settings of poems from the "Masnavi" and "Diwan-i-Kebir" or of his son Sultan Veled's poems.[29] The Mevlevi were a well-established Sufi Order in the Ottoman Empire, and many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The centre for the Mevlevi order was in Konya. There is also a Mevlevi monastery or dergah in Istanbul, near the Galata Tower, where the sema ceremony is performed and accessible to the public. The Mevlevi order issues an invitation to people of all backgrounds:

“ Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, idolater, worshiper of fire,
Come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.[30] ”

Rumi's tomb in Konya, TurkeyDuring Ottoman times, the Mevlevi order produced a number of famous poets and musicians such as Sheikh Ghalib, Ismail Rusuhi Dede of Ankara, Esrar Dede, Halet Efendi, and Gavsi Dede (all buried at the Galata Mevlevi-Hane in Istanbul).[31] Music, especially the ney, play an important part in the Mevlevi order and thus much of the traditional 'oriental' music that Westerners associate with Turkey originates with the Mevlevi order.

With the foundation of the modern secular republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk removed religion from the sphere of public policy and restricted it exclusively to that of personal morals, behavior, and faith. On 13th December 1925, a law was passed closing all the 'Tekkes' (dervish lodges) and 'Zaviyes' (Central dervish lodges) and also the centres of veneration to which pilgrimages (ziyaret) were made. Istanbul alone had more than two hundred and fifty 'Tekkes' as well as small centres for the gatherings of various fraternities. This law dissolved the Orders, prohibited the use of mystical names, titles and costumes pertaining to these titles, impounded their assets, banned their ceremonies and meetings; the law also provided sentences for those who tried to re-establish them. Two years later, in 1927, the Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya was allowed to reopen as a Museum.[32]

In the 1950s, the Turkish government began allowing the Whirling Dervishes to perform annually in Konya on the Urs of Mevlana, December 17, the anniversary of Rumi's death.[33] In 1974, they were allowed to come to the West.[33] The Mevlana annual festival is held every year in Konya in December. It lasts two weeks and its culminating point is the 17th December called Sheb-i Arus meaning 'Nuptial Night', the night of the union of Mevlana with God.

[edit] International Rumi Year
Upon a proposal by Culture and Tourism Ministry of Turkey, the year 2007 was proposed as the "International Rumi Year" to UNESCO, but has not yet been confirmed. This is intended for the commemoration of Rumi's 800th birthday anniversary and will be celebrated all over the world.[34] On this occasion Iranian musician Shahram Nazeri was awarded Légion d'honneur and Iran's House of Music Award for his renowned works on Rumi masterpieces.[35] 2006 was declared as the "International Mozart Year" by UNESCO.[36].[37]

In honour of Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi, one of the great humanists, philosophers and poets who belong to humanity in its entirety, UNESCO issued a UNESCO Medal in his name in association with the 800th anniversary of his birth in 2007 in the hope that this medal will prove an encouragement to those who are engaged in a deep and scholarly dissemination of his ideas and ideals, which in turn would in fact enhance the diffusion of the ideals of UNESCO.[38][39]

[edit] Rumi and orthodox Islam
The idea that Rumi cared little for orthodox Islam has been put forward by translations of poems attributed to Rumi which were actually not composed by him and which express ideas that are not characteristic of him. Some writers have even claimed or suggested that Rumi really wasn't a Muslim, because they believed that the line, "na tarsâ na yahûd-am man na gabr-am na musalmân-am" ("I am not a Christian, a Jew, a Zoroastrian, or a Muslim") expressed Rumi's true attitude toward Islam. However, this poem is not in the earliest manuscripts and so probably is not a genuine Rumi poem. R. A. Nicholson first published a translation of this line in 1898, but he admitted that, "The original text does not occur in any of the editions or MSS used by me" (p. 281)

Rumi's actual approach to Islam is clarified by the following quatrain composed by him
800th anniversary
A day of commemoration is organized at UNESCO on 6 September 2007 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi, one of the greatest poets, philosophers and scholars of the eastern civilization.[42]

On September 30, 2007, Iranian school bells were rung throughout the country in honor of Mowlana.[43]On the occasion of Rumi's birthday, Iran hold Iran’s Rumi week from October 26 until November 2. An international ceremony and conference was held in Tehran, Iran. The event was opened by Iranian president and chairman of Iranian parliament. Scholars from 29 countries attended the events and 450 articles were presented in the conference.[44]

On September 30, 2007, Turkey celebrated Rumi’s 800th birthday with a giant whirling dervish sama performance to be aired live in 8 countries using 48 cameras. Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey Ertugrul Gunay stated that: “300 dervishes are scheduled to take part in this ritual, making it the largest performance of sama in history.”[45]

[edit] Farshchian & Molana
Iranian master miniaturist, Mahmud Farshchian has created a work entitled “Shams and Rumi”. The painting took two months to complete in the U.S. and was unveiled at the Farshchian Art and Cultural Complex in Isfahan on August 2, 2007.

The creation of such an artwork is a good retort to publishers in Arab countries who have introduced Rumi, the Iranian poet and mystic, along with other great Persian scientists and intellectuals, as the luminaries of other nations. In addition, prints of paintings by Iranian artists have been wrongly named as Arab works of art in their publications.

Farshchian’s work “Shams and Rumi,” has been inspired by one of Rumi’s poems. Special colors have been used in the painting to feature the mystical and spiritual relationship that existed between Shams and Rumi.

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Antalya seashore....Lara beach

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Antalya - Turkey 2004

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