Avoid the Company of Fools

Rumi strongly advised people to remove themselves from the company of those who behave in a heedless and foolish manner. He wrote this Run away from the foolish, for even Jesus fled from them. Oh, how much blood has been shed by keeping fools as friends The air makes the water evaporate slowly, and in the same way, a fool steals your faith away from you. He draws away your heat and gives you frost in exchange, as if someone put hard stones under your seat. Jesus didn't run away (from fools)...

Bad Habits and Their Cure

Know that every one of your bad habits is a thorn bush its thorns have been stuck in your foot many a time. How often have you been wounded by your own habits Don't you have any sense Perhaps you're without it If other people are wounded by what comes from within you, and you don't care, at least you'll notice it when you're wounded In that case, you would be a source of pain to both yourself and everyone else around you Either take up an axe and chop like an adult (against your bad habits), or...

Glossary

Allah The name for God in the Arabic language. From the same linguistic root as the Hebrew word for God, El or Eloh. The whirling dervishes chant this holy name, among many other similar sayings, in their meditative rituals. Chelebi (also Celebi) A noble person. Also the title given to Rumi's top student, Husamuddin. Rumi's descendants take this title as their family name. The worldwide head of the Rumi family also is known by this epithet as a title of respect. dervish (also darwish) From the...

Wisdom of the Ages

People can get locked in their familiar routines. When something unusual happens, however, it can suddenly awaken new feelings within us. And if we don't catch them in time, they may slip away as we settle back into our normal pace of life. For Rumi, that moment of opportunity came when a frantic dervish named Shamsuddin stopped him by chance in the market and asked him a seemingly incomprehensible theological question. Rumi described it as, setting my thoughts on fire. This is what set him...

The Man Who Fled from Death

One day a nobleman burst into King Solomon's hall of justice. He was pale with despair and his lips were blue with fright. O noble sir, Solomon asked, what's wrong with you The man answered him, saying, The Angel of Death came and looked at me with eyes filled with anger and hate. The king then said, Come now, what favor would you ask of me The nobleman replied, saying, O protector of my life, order the wind to bear me swiftly (on a ship) to India, for maybe when your servant has arrived there...

Vji Footprints of the Master

Rumi had many female students and disciples. They attended his lectures, were teachers to others, and would also participate in the whirling meditation sessions he led. The most famous of Rumi's female acolytes was Fakhr un-Nisa', who was known as the Rab'iah in her day. (Rabi'ah al-Adawiyya, who passed away in 801, is perhaps the most famous female Muslim mystic in history.) Of what value are all of our accomplishments, if we leave this life without ever having a deeper understanding of who...

The Overlooked Treasure

Have you ever felt that you didn't know who you were Not the mundane things like your name, your history, your job, or your daily routines, but knowing who the real you is, deep down, in that spot inside, which nobody knows about but you. Has there ever been a time when you literally woke up from your busy life, even just for a moment, and suddenly felt like a swimmer coming up for air after having been under for far too long Have you ever found yourself becoming unusually afraid that you might...

The Writing of the Mathnawi

Some time between the years 1259 and 1260, Rumi's top student, Husamuddin Chelebi, asked his master to leave a record of his teachings for posterity. As the story goes, Rumi pulled a page of 18 verses out of his turban to signal he had already begun thinking in that direction. For the next several years, Rumi dictated his epic collection of poetry, Mathnawi, or Rhymed Couplets, as Husamuddin recorded them. At the completion of each volume, out of a composition that would eventually span six...

Selection of Quatrains

Some of Rumi's shorter quatrains from the Divan, as follows, speak of loss, while others speak of hope, reflecting the many facets of Rumi's talent. I spent years copying others in my quest to know myself. Within my heart, I never knew what to do. When I could see no longer, I heard my name being called from somewhere. Then I took a walk outside. My heart, leave me if you cannot stand the pain. Leave me, for the streets are full of homeless lovers. My soul, if you're not afraid, then come to...

Dont Put Off Remorse

Be warned Don't commit a crime while taking refuge in the thought, I can repent of it later on and be safe. True repentance requires a flash of realization in the heart that's followed by a flood of tears. That kind of lightning flash and rain cloud is a prerequisite for sincere repentance. Fruit needs a flash of lightning and the resultant rainfall to grow therefore, rain clouds and lightening are an essential component to growth. Unless there's a flash of lightning in the heart and streaming...

The Hero of Qazwin

In this story, set in the Persian town of Qazwin, we learn of how one man's courage was put to the test in a way he didn't expect. Rumi begins the action in this way Listen to this tale from the storyteller, and what it says of the ways of the people of Qazwin. They tattoo themselves with blue ink delivered lightly on the point of a needle on their bodies, hands, and shoulders, taking every care not to feel any pain. A certain warrior of Qazwin went to a tattoo artist and said to him, Tattoo me...

The Story of the Three Fish

Here is an aquatic tale that Rumi borrowed from an existing story collection he was familiar with called Kalila and Dimnah. Rumi put his own spin on the account and drew out several spiritual lessons. This is the story, O stubborn one, of a lake in which there were three huge fish. You've already seen it in Kalila, though that book only had the outer shell of this tale, while here you'll find the hidden meaning. Three fishermen once passed by the edge of this lake they saw that there was much...

What Love Sometimes Brings

I often wonder at the seeker of purity, who shies away from harsh treatment when it's time to be polished. Love is like a lawsuit rough handling is the evidence of its passing. Where there is no evidence, the case is lost. Don't feel wronged when this Judge demands your evidence. In order to unlock this treasure, you sometimes have to kiss a snake. The rough handling is not directed toward you personally, O child no, not at all, but rather it's directed toward the bad qualities you harbor...

The Seven Sermons

Throughout his life, Rumi gave many sermons in the mosques of Konya and many addresses and speeches to gatherings of his students, followers, and others. On seven of these more auspicious occasions, either Rumi's son, Sultan Walad, or his top student, Husamuddin Chelebi, recorded what the Master said. These seven recorded sermons, together, are known as the Majalis-i Saba which translates as the Seven Sermons. Each of these seven speeches centers upon an important saying, or hadith, of the...