Islamabad : Pakistan | Feb 10, 2009 at 3:00 AM PST
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rumi poems

Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī , but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, Sunni Islamic jurist, and theologian. Rūmī is a descriptive name meaning "the Roman" since he lived most of his life in an area called Rūm because it was once ruled by the Byzantine Empire.

He lived most of his life under the Sultanate of Rum, where he produced his works and died in 1273 CE. He was buried in Konya and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage. Following his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawīyah Sufi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for its Sufi dance known as the samāa ceremony. Rumi's works are written in the New Persian language. A Persian literary renaissance (in the 8th/9th century) started in regions of Sistan, Khorāsān and Transoxiana and by the 10th/11th century, it reinforced the Persian language as the prefered literary and cultural language in the Persian Islamic world. Although Rumi's works were written in Persian, Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders.

His original works are widely read in their original language across the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular in South Asian, Turkic, Arab, and Western countries. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as the literature of the Urdu, Bengali, Arabic and Turkish languages. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats; BBC News has described him as the "most popular poet in America".

Rumi on Love and Ecstasy

This Love is a King

But his banner is hidden.

The Koran speaks the Truth

But its miracle is concealed.

Love has pierced with its arrow

The heart of every lover.

Blood flows but the wound is invisible


All year round the lover is mad,

Unkempt, lovesick and in disgrace.

Without love there is nothing but grief.

In love… what else matters?


Do you know what the music is saying?

“Come follow me and you will find the way.

Your mistakes can also lead you to the Truth.

When you ask, the answer will be given.”


This aloneness is worth more than a thousand lives.

This freedom is worth more than all the lands on earth.

To be one with the truth for just a moment,

Is worth more than the world and life itself


I see so deeply within myself.

Not needing my eyes, I can see everything clearly.

Why would I want to bother my eyes again

Now that I see the world through His eyes?


In love, aside from sipping the wine of timelessness, nothing else exists.

There is no reason for living except for giving one's life.

I said, "First I know you, then I die."

He said, "For the one who knows Me, there is no dying."


There is a candle in the heart of man, waiting to be kindled.

In separation from the Friend, there is a cut waiting to be stitched.

O, you who are ignorant of endurance and the burning fire of love-----

Love comes of its own free will, it can't be learned in any school.


If you show patience, I'll rid you of this virtue.

If you fall asleep, I'll rub the sleep from your eyes.

If you become a mountain, I'll melt you in fire.

And if you become an ocean, I'll drink all your water.

Any soul that drank the nectar of your passion was lifted.

From that water of life he is in a state of elation.

Death came, smelled me, and sensed your fragrance instead.

From then on, death lost all hope of me.


(All readers are welcome to share more of Rumi)

1 of 17
rumi poems
RajaJango is based in Rāwalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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