Remembering The Poems of Rumi

jalaluddin rumi

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi – also known as Rumi – was born in the small Afghani town called Balkh. Arriving into the world on September 30th, 1207, he was given the name Jalaluddin Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Balkhi al-Qunuwi

At the time, Balkh was anticipating an invasion by Gengis Khan, which caused Rumi’s father to flee to Nishapur with the entire family.

From Nishapur, the family travelled to Baghdad after which they settled in Konya, allowing them to travel extensively throughout the Islamic world. It was in Konya where Rumi found his calling to become a world-class poet.

Rumi’s major work known as the Mathnawi contains over 25,000 verses of poetry, which surpasses what is found in greater works such as Dante’s Divine Comedy. His works crossed the barriers of culture, language and religion and reached a great number of peoples and civilisations.

In commemorating his efforts, we present five of his most-read poems. 

Only Breath

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.

A Moment of Happiness

A moment of happiness,

you and I sitting on the verandah,

apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,

you and I, with the garden’s beauty

and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us,

and we will show them

what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed, will be together,

indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar

as we laugh together, you and I.

In one form upon this earth,

and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

Let Go of Your Worries

Let go of your worries

and be completely clear-hearted,

like the face of a mirror

that contains no images.

If you want a clear mirror,

behold yourself

and see the shameless truth,

which the mirror reflects.

If metal can be polished

to a mirror-like finish,

what polishing might the mirror

of the heart require?

Between the mirror and the heart

is this single difference:

the heart conceals secrets,

while the mirror does not.

Passion makes the old medicine new:

Passion makes the old medicine new:
Passion lops off the bough of weariness.
Passion is the elixir that renews:
how can there be weariness
when passion is present?
Oh, don’t sigh heavily from fatigue:
seek passion, seek passion, seek passion!

The Breeze at Dawn

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Juber Ahmed
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Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
 
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]
Tags: british muslim, british muslim magazine, halal, history, islam, muslim, Poem, poetry, rumi

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