Rumi, Jalal al-Din (1207–1273)
A Sufi poet born in 1207 in Balkh (now Afganistan). He
taught the Sufi doctrine that the chief end of life is to emancipate
oneself from human thoughts and wishes, human needs,
and the outward impressions of the senses, so that one may become
a mere mirror for the Deity. So refined an essence does
one’s mind become that it is as nearly as possible nothing, yet
while in this state it can, by a union with the Divine Essence,
mysteriously become the All.
In his teachings, Rumi declared that names and words must
not be taken for the things they represent
‘‘Names thou mayest know; go, seek the truth they
name
Search not the brook, but heaven, for the moon.’’
Nature figured largely in the imagery of Rumi’s poems. He
also used the image of the reed-pipe, which figures largely in
the symbolism of the Mevlevi order Sufism, popularly known
as the whirling dervishes, which his followers founded after his
death in 1273.
Sources
Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism. Vol. 20, Detroit
Gale Research, 1997.
Jackson, Guida M. Encyclopedia of Literary Epics. Santa Barbara
ABC-CLIO, 1996.

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