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The Qur'an and Islam

The Masnavi and Rumi's Poetry

See in Sufism and
Islam section

Resources

Sacred Text Archive: Islam

Dar-al-Masnavi
Study center dedicated to studying Rumi's masterpiece of Islamic sufism

Mevlânâ Studies

Journal: The Mawlana Rumi Review

Near East University Rumi Institute
see photo gallery and video of Sema

Allah in Arabic

Music

Sufism and Mystical Islam

Mevlana1

The Qur’an (literally “the recitation” also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Kuran, Koran, Qur’ān, Coran or al-Qur’ān), ) is the fundamental religious text of Islam. Widely regarded as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language, the Qur’an serves as the verbal divine guidance and moral direction for Muslims. The Qur'an is the supreme authority and living source of all Islamic teaching, the sacred text that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics, and laws of Islam.

The text of the Qur’an consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. Chapters are classed as Meccan or Medinan, depending on when (before or after Hijra) the verses were revealed. Chapter titles are derived from a name or quality discussed in the text, or from the first letters or words of the sura. Muslims believe that Muhammad, on God's command, gave the chapters their names.

Rumi and Union with the Beloved

Maulana Jalalu-'d-din Muhammad Rumi (born 1207, died 1273)

"Known as Mevlānā in Turkey and as Rumi in the West, where he is known primarily for his ecstatic spiritual poetry. Mevlānā was born in Persia, in what is now Tajikistan. His father moved the family to Konya, the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum which is in present-day Turkey. He lived most of his life there and produced what is considered one of the greatest works of mystical poetry. He is buried in Konya where his shrine has became a place of pilgrimage. After his death his followers and his son, Sultan Walad, founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, who practice the ecstatic Sufi dance, the Sema."

The Masnavi I Ma'navi of Rumi

"The general theme of Rumi's thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is essentially that of the concept of tawhid – union with his beloved (the primal root) from which whom he has been cut off and become aloof – and his longing and desire to restore it. The Masnavi weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Quranic revelations and exegesis, and metaphysics into a vast and intricate tapestry. In the East, it is said of him that he was "not a prophet — but surely, he has brought a scripture".

Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine, and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of "whirling" dervishes developed into a ritual form.

His teachings became the base for the order of the Mawlawi which his son Sultan Walad organized. Rumi encouraged sama listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, sama represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes, and nations.

In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love: The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries."
 
~ Publisher on the Masnavi I Ma'navi of Rumi

Whirling Prayer Ceremony of the Mevlevi Order

Sema 1
Sema 2
Sema 3
Sema 4