Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Rūmī is the leading poet of Sufism (Islamic mysticism), the eponymous founder of the Maulawiyah Sufi order (which is still active in Konya), and a direct inspiration for almost all subsequent Gnostic writing in the Islamic world.
Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, also known as Maulānā (Our Master), was born in the fall of 1207 in Balkh, a major eastern city in what is now Afghanistan. His father, a well-known Sufi preacher and scholar, moved his family from Balkh across Iran and into Turkey shortly before (and perhaps in anticipatory fear of) the Mongols’ devastating westward incursion into the Islamic world. Neyshabur, the home of ʿAttar, the leading Sufi poet before Rūmī, fell to the Mongols in 1219-1220. A generation later, in 1258, Hülegü, Genghis Khan’s grandson, overran the Islamic capital of Baghdad and ended the caliphate.
Rūmī’s family settled in Konya, in Turkish Anatolia, a region then called Rum, from which the poet later got the name “Rūmī,” by which he is best known in the West. Rūmī studied the Koran, religious sciences, and literature. He was expert in Arabic, but Persian was to be his literary language. When his father died, Rūmī, then twenty-three or twenty-four and married, assumed his position as a teacher in a religious school in Konya. Also at this time, Rūmī began further study of Sufi doctrine and further initiation into Sufi practice...
(The entire section is 2180 words.)
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Biography (Critical Survey of Poetry: World Poets)
Jall al-Dn Rm, also known as Mauln (our master), was born on or near September 30, 1207, in the city of Balkh (in modern northern Afghanistan). When he was five years old and shortly before the onset of the Mongol invasion, his father, who was a religious scholar of renown, left his native land in the company of his family and, traveling westward, finally settled in Konya, a city of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). After his father’s death, Rm succeeded him as a religious leader and scholar and soon gathered a large following.
The arrival in Konya of the wandering dervish Shams al-Dn of Tabrz was an event of radical consequence in Rm’s life. The details of the meeting between the two are rather sketchy and at times contradictory. The account that seems to be more reliable than others belongs to the chronicler Dowlatshhi and can be summarized as follows. One day, the peripatetic Shams—who, in search of a kindred soul, had arrived in Konya and had taken lodgings in the Caravansarai of Sugar Merchants—saw a man riding on a mule while his disciples followed him on foot. The man was Rm, who after the death of his father had become Konya’s most distinguished religious scholar, enjoying a large following. Walking up to him, Shams said, “Tell me, what is the purpose of all the discipline and study of books and recitation of knowledge?” “To know the religious laws and precepts, of course,” the scholar answered. “That is too superficial,” the Sage...
(The entire section is 611 words.)
Biography (World Philosophers and Their Works)
Article abstract: Rūmi’s poetry and prose teachings guided Sufis on Islamic teachings by revealing the way to God in the context of the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad. He showed the way of loving God as a personal transfiguration of radical and profound proportions for individuals who reach spiritual perfection.
Jalā al-Dīn Rūmī’s father, Baha’ Walad, was a Sufi preacher, author, and lawyer in Balkh, present-day Afghanistan, where Rūmī was born in 1207. He influenced many, including Rūmī himself, in placing spiritual values ahead of legal and practical ones of other Muslims, and he irritated learned men with his criticisms of Greek philosophy. Rūmī’s father fled his home city when it was threatened by invading Mongols in 1219. He took the family first on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and then he moved them to Konya, located in modern Turkey, where he soon acquired prominence and influence. Rūmī began his studies in Konya, mastered the Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Greek languages, and then went to study at Damascus, proceeding from basic knowledge to theology and philosophy. He married Gevher Hatun in Karaman and his son, Sultan Veled, was born in 1226 in Konya. In 1231, when Rūmī was twenty-four, his father died, and Rūmī assumed his father’s place as a preacher and legal scholar.
Rūmī’s explicit education in Sufi beliefs was...
(The entire section is 2264 words.)
Rûmî was an extraordinarily prolific Persian poet, best known for his Mathnavî, which is arguably the most important single work in Persian literature. Although the Mathnavî is massive in scope (26,000 verses), it focuses on al-Rûmî’s primary concerns: the longing of the soul for its beloved and the loss of self in a love for God so absolute that only God exists. He emphasized the cycle of the origination of all things from God and their return through extinguishing the self. The highest possible achievement of the soul is longing for God, beyond which there is annihilation of individuality. Rûmî frequently reworked traditional stories or used metaphors of intoxication and/or human love, and, disdaining discursive thought and logical argument, he saw himself as being in the spiritual tradition of al-hallâj, Sanâ’î, and ʿAttâr.
(The entire section is 139 words.)
Biography (Ethics (Ready Reference series))
Rûmî’s family left Balkh when he was quite young, fleeing the invading forces of Genghis Khan. In 1228, he moved to Konya, where his father, the noted theologian Bahâ’ al-Dîn Walad, taught. Rûmî took over those teaching duties after his father’s death. In 1244, he met the famed Sufi Shams al-Dîn Tabrîzî in Konya (they may have met previously in Syria), and the two became inseparable partners in the rapture of absolute, mystical love of God. This relationship seems to have been the cause of Rûmî’s turn to mystical poetry. Rûmî’s relationship with Shams dominated his life, eclipsing responsibilities to family and students, who exiled Shams to Syria. Rûmî’s eldest son, Sultan Walad, recalled Shams because the separation was heartbreaking for Rûmî. Their previous behavior resumed, leading another of Rûmî’s sons to conspire successfully with his students to murder Shams. Soon thereafter, Rûmî entered into a similar relationship with Salâh al-Dîn Zarkûb.
(The entire section is 170 words.)