Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī – also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, Mevlânâ/Mawlānā and more popularly simply as Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.
Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries.
His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages, and he has been described as the most popular poet and the best-selling poet in the United States.
Rumi was born to native Persian-speaking parents, originally from the Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan.
When his father died, Rumi, aged 25, inherited his position as the head of an Islamic school. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240 or 1241.
His poetry has influenced Persian literature, but also Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Azerbaijani, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu, as well as the literature of some other Turkic, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan languages including Chagatai, Pashto, and Bengali.
Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya; his body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe. His epitaph reads:
When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.
1. “In your light, I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
2. “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
3. “My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
4. “Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
5. “Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”
6. “Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”
7. “Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged”
8. “Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”
9. “You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’ because one and one make two. But you must also understand ‘and’.”
10. “Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about… say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.”
11. “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one”
12. “All people on the planet are children, except for a very few. No one is grown up except those free of desire.”
13. “Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths.”
14. “Give your weakness to one who helps.”
15. “Learn the alchemy true human beings know. The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given the door with open.”
16. “You and I have spoken all these words, but for the way we have to go, words are no preparation. I have one small drop of knowing in my soul. Let it dissolve in your ocean”