Thomas Aquinas, the Western contemporary of Persian mystic and poet, Rumi, identified Divine love as the medium through which Divine law is executed by human beings, thereby denoting the necessity of love in religion. This essay aims to explain the doctrine of love, as expounded in the verses of Rumi, in relation to the religious order with which he was affiliated, Sufism. Sufism is a separately designated esoteric branch of Islam originating in the East, with its ascetic followers renowned for their spellbound states of rapture. The majority of the original Sufis were public figures in positions of political authority, but attempting to pinpoint an accurate chronological origin for Sufism proves difficult, as the traits which define the Sufis were present even in the earliest centuries of Islam. Nile Green, however, attributes the appearance of Sufism as a collective movement to the ninth century CE, with the earliest Sufis to be the likes of Rabi’ah al-Basriyyah and Ibrahim ibn Adham. The study of Sufism without experience of its devotional practices was classed as deeply restrictive by al-Ghazali, the Muslim intellectual who declared Sufism to be the only manner of understanding the meaning of life. He says, ‘how great a difference there is between your knowing the definition and causes and conditions of health and satiety and your being healthy and sated’ (Path to Sufism, 52). Rumi is now one of the most widely translated poets in the world, his poems are routinely filleted for ‘life-lessons’ which are devoid of their original Sufi context. This essay aims to restore the philosophico-religious context for Rumi’s teachings and explain the significance of his discourse on love with respect to Sufist doctrine.
Keywords: Persian Poetry, Rumi, Sufism, Mathnawi, Divine Love, Oneness, Philosophy of Love, Self-renunciation.
1617 WordsJun 11th, 20117 Pages
Paper on Rumi’s thought: “Signs of the Unseen” & “Fundamentals of Rumi’s thoughts”
Mevlana Jalal al- Din Rumi is one of the most influential Islamic mystics of all times. It is no surprise that even seven hundred years after his death; he remains to be the best selling poet in North America. His poetry reflects the teachings of Islam and his opinions on various matters such as faith, prayer, love, free will etc. are assembled in a book called “The signs of the Unseen”. Occasionally, commentators dissociate Rumi poetry’s from Islam but the fact is that Rumi’s entire writings are inspired from the Quran and sayings of Prophet (PBUH) and represent the essence of Islam. Rumi sheds light on many…show more content…
His patience and endurance in terms of fasting were at an amazing level. Not only he preached the teachings of Islam through his poetry but also spent his life as a role model for all Muslims. His life depicted unshakable faith in God. Furthermore, Can mentions that Rumi performed his prayers with an open heart forgetting about himself and escaping his imaginary existence. Sipehsalar notes that “If I were to describe one tenth of Rumi’s ecstasy, love and divine attraction, it wouldn’t fit in this book”. Another important theme that is consistent in the “Signs of the unseen” is the annihilation of the ego as the only path to enlightenment and love. Rumi says that “With God, there is no room for two egos”. In order to become a true follower, one has to give up his ego and subject himself to God. Rumi’s writing style is such that he provides multiple anecdotes along with a concept to enhance comprehension and perception. In this particular case, he puts forth the example of the inability of two birds to fly when they are tied together. However, if a dead bird is tied to a living one, it will be able to fly since there is no duality. Likewise, man cannot attain eternal love and spiritual satisfaction unless he gives up his ego to follow the commands of the God whole heartedly. It is the ego that prevented Satan from appreciating God’s