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1 Hawthorne Islam- Sufism

The Illuminated Rumi


The Illuminated Rumi Cover




The meeting of Jelaluddin Rumi and Shams of Tabriz was a grand event in the mystical evolution of the planet.  With their friendship, categories of teacher and student, lover and beloved, master and disciple, dissolved.

Jelaluddin Rumi was born in the remote town of Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan.  He lived most of his life in Konya, Turkey, which in the 13th century was a meeting point for many cultures at the Western edge of the Silk Road, a place where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and even Buddhist travelers mingled.

Rumi, at the age of thirty-seven, had become an accomplished doctor of theology, the center of his own divinity school.  He was a venusian lover of the beautiful and the good, a scholar, and artist.

Shams was a wandering dervish monk, rough-hewn and sinewy.  A street bodhisattva who mingled with laborers and camel drivers, he had no school.  People spontaneously gathered around him, though he was given to slipping out side doors and leaving town when it happened.  He did not want followers or fame; he only wanted to find one person vast enough in spirit to be his companion.

He met Rumi in Konya.

As Rumi was riding a donkey through the marketplace, surrounded by a knot of disciples, a stranger with piercing eyes stepped from a doorway and seized his bridle.  The stranger challenged him:

"Who is greater, Muhammad or Bestami?"

Bestami was a legendary Sufi master given to ecstatic merging with God, then crying out with mystical candor that he and the Godhead were one!  Muhammad was the founder of their tradition, the anointed one, but his greatness resided in his stature as messenger of God.  So who was greater?

Rumi gave the approved answer, "Muhammad."

"But Bestami said, 'I am the Glory!'  Muhammad said, 'I cannot praise you enough!"

As Rumi was about to reply, he realized that this was no seminary debate about the mysteries.  In a dusty marketplace in south central Anatolia, he had come face to face with the Mystery.

Learn about your inner self from those who know such things,

but don't repeat verbatim what they say.

Zuleikha let everything be the name of Joseph, from celery seed

to aloeswood.  She loved him so much she concealed his name

in many different phrases, the inner meanings

known only to her.  When she said, The wax is softening

near the fire, she meant, My love is wanting me.

Or if she said, Look, the moon is up, or The willow has new leaves,

or The branches are trembling, or The coriander seeds

have caught fire, or The roses are opening,

or The king is in a good mood today, or Isn't that lucky?

Or The furniture needs dusting, or

The water-carrier is here, or It's almost daylight, or

These vegetables are perfect, or The bread needs more salt,

or The clouds seem to be moving against the wind,

or My head hurts, or My headache's better,

anything she praises, it's Joseph's touch she means,

any complaint, it's his being away.

When she's hungry, it's for him.  Thirsty, his name is a sherbet.

Cold, he's a fur.  This is what the Friend can do

when one is in such love.  Sensual people use the holy names

  often, but they don't work for them.

The miracle Jesus did by being the name of God,

Zuleikha felt in the name of Joseph.

When one is united to the core of another, to speak of that

is to breathe the name hu, empty of self and filled

with love.  As the saying goes, The pot drips what is in it.

The saffron spice of connecting, laughter.

The onion smell of separation, crying.

Others have many things and people they love.

This is not the way of Friend and friend.

I am

dust particles in sunlight.

I am the round sun.

To the bits of dust I say, Stay.

To the sun, Keep moving.

I am morning mist,

and the breathing of evening.

I am wind in the top of a grove,

and surf on the cliff.

Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,

I am also the coral reef they founder on.

I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.

Silence, thought, and voice.

The musical air coming through a flute,

a spark off a stone, a flickering in metal.

Both candle and moth

crazy around it.

Rose and the nightingale

lost in the fragrance.

I am all orders of being,

the circling galaxy,

the evolutionary intelligence,

the lift and the falling away.

What is and what isn't.  You

who know Jelaluddin, you

the one in all, say who I am.

Product Details

Barks, Coleman
Green, Michael
Barks, Coleman
Barks, Coleman
Jalal Al-Din Rumi
Green, Michael
Broadway Books
New York :
Single Author *
Inspirational & Religious
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Jalal al-din rumi, maulana, 1207-1273
Spirituality - General
Jalal al-Din Rumi
Translations into english
Jalal al-Din Rumi - Translations into English
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
11.32x8.88x.61 in. 1.81 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Islam » Rumi
Religion » Islam » Sufism

The Illuminated Rumi Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767900027 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The ecstatic poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi is more popular today than ever and Coleman Barks, his preeminent translator, has expressed Rumi's message in the best-selling The Essential Rumi (75,000 copies sold), in frequent concert performances and on television, when Barks was profiled last year on a Bill Moyers PBS special. Barks now joins Michael Green, the critically-acclaimed author and illustrator of Zen and the Art of the Macintosh (200,000 copies sold) in a magical mystery tour interweaving Rumi's most stunning poems — including many new translations — with original visual interpretations in the illuminated tradition, as well as Bark's own commentary and musings on the poems and Rumi's current relevence.

Rumi's passionate, playful poems chronicle the journey through life, offering insights into the meaning of existence and the individual's search for enlightenment. To complement and enrich these evocative translations, Green has created artwork that combines typography, original art, copies of old masters, photographs and prints in visual masterpieces. A remarkable collaboration, The Illuminated Rumi is a wonderful guide to Rumi's teachings and a treasury of visual delights.

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