Jalaluddin Rumi

Jelaluddin Rumi Jelaluddin Rumi

Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) is a Persian poet from what is now Afghanistan and Tajikstan. Rumi's name, by which he is known in the West, is indicative of the place where he mostly lived. His father, Bahā ud-Dīn Walad, an Islamic scholar and jurist--also a mystic--settled his family in south central Turkey. Later, after Rumi's mother's death and his father's remarriage, the family moved to Anatolia.

Rumi was a Sufi and later became an Islamic jurist like his father, inheriting his father's religious position upon his death.  The famous, life-changing meeting with Shams e-Tabrizi, a dervish, was in 1244. After that point, Rumi was drawn to ascetism through the influence of their profound spiritual friendship. Upon Shams' death, Rumi's grief led him to write poetry about the deep loss of his companionship. He wrote poetry for the rest of life, volumes of his wondrous expressions of love for the Divine. After Rumi's death in 1273, the Mevlevi order was founded in his memory and is perpetuated by his descendants. 800 years after his birth, Rumi is revered by Americans as their favorite poet and his poems continue to be translated and published and beloved worldwide.