Summary and Info
Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi was born in Balkh North-Eastern Provinces of Persia (in present day Afghanistan), during the reign of the Ghurid Empire on September 30, 1207, and died December 17, 1273. It seems unlikely that a 13th-century Sufi mystic would become one of the most widely read poets in North America, but that is indeed the case today. In the year 1244, Rumi, or Mevlavi as he is known in the East, became acquainted with Shams of Tabriz (referred to in Persian as Shams-e Tabrizi), a wandering dervish. Rumi referred to Shams as "a pure reflection of Allah" and the poetry he subsequently wrote after Shams' departure celebrates the transient moments that he had lived with Shams. In due time, the poetry was accompanied by the lament of the flute and gyrations, the essence of the spiritual flights of the Whirling Dervishes of Konya, an order that celebrates Rumi's life on an annual basis. This selection of poems from the Divan of Shams of Tabrizi is predominantly in the Persian (Farsi) language, but it includes limited English translations by R. A. Nicholson along with some analyses. Includes bibliographical references and an index (in Persian).