Jalaleddin Muhammad Molavi, a renowned poet and a learned man, was born in the latter part of the sixth century (H.Q.) in the city of Balkh. He spent most of his life in the city of Ghooniyeh in Asia Minor where he came to be known as Rumi.
It is said that Rumi was only five years old when he met Attar, the great poet and philosopher, on a hajj pilgrimage along with his father. This was in the city of Nayshabour where Attar offered one of his books, Asrar Nameh (Book of Secrets), to the child and predicted a bright future for him.
Rumi’s first teacher was his father Bahaeddin Valad who was a clergyman with many followers. Rumi took over his father’s job and continued teaching his classes after he passed away. Rumi learned all there was to learn about Islam.
His sermons, piety, and dedication brought him the respect and admiration of those who knew him.
The most significant turning point in Rumi’s life was when he got acquainted with Shams Tabrizi. Rumi became so fascinated by Shams that he quit teaching altogether and became a student again. What he learned from his new teacher influenced all that he accomplished from then on.
Two years passed, and Rumi’s own students who had gotten impatient by that time decided to force shams to leave the city in order to have their teacher back. The student’s plan worked. But Shams did return once again only to leave a second time. This time he was gone forever, and no trace of him was found again.
Within seventeen years, Rumi created his masterpiece, Masnavi. In a great tribute to his highly beloved and respectful teacher, Rumi titled his book of poems Deevan-e Shams. Tabrizi’s influence on Rumi is quite vivid in this book of poems. Shams is often remembered and praised for the contributions he made to Rumi’s life.
Among Rumi’s works in prose are Feehe Ma Feeh and Makaateeb and in poetry are Deevan-e Ghazaliyaat and Masnavi. Masnavi is indeed a mirror reflecting Rumi’s towering spirit and his deep insight into human affairs and man’s relationship with the universe and the Creator. In addition, Masnavi is also a reflection of the two fruitful years when Rumi was Shams Tabrizi’s student.
One of Rumi’s greatest achievements has been his ability to present the deepest and the most profound insight into man’s existence in the simplest language. There is much that people of all ages can learn from Rumi.
Note: Hajj (Haj), The religious journey to Mecca that all Muslims try to make at least once in their lives.