Footprints of the Master

The three most influential Persian poets of all time, Fariduddin 'Attar, Hakim Sana'i, and Jalaluddin Rumi, were all Sunni Muslims, while Persia (Iran) today is over 90 percent Shi'a Muslim.

♦ Letters of Recommendation.

Like any well-respected professor, Rumi wrote letters of recommendation to help people get jobs or receive grants from the government.

♦ Letters of Religious Rulings.

Rumi received many requests for religious guidance and rulings on a wide variety of topics.

Let's look at an example of an occasion that prompted Rumi to write a letter. Rumi had gotten his son, Sultan Walad, married off to Fatimah, the daughter of his good friend, Salahuddin Zarqubi. The newlyweds later had a fight, and there was a period of estrangement between them. Rumi wrote a letter to Fatimah in which he told her that he supported her side in the disagreement and that she was fully justified in her position. He then told her that he felt sorry for her sadness, and that he always had the utmost respect for her father, who had recently passed away. Rumi wrote that he was so indebted to her father that, "Only the treasury of God Most High could repay him for the gratitude I feel."

Rumi then went on to say that he didn't want her to hide any of her suffering, and that it would help him to convince his son to be reasonable and reconcile with her. He backed up his concern by saying that if his son didn't relent of his anger, then he would give up his love for his own son, refrain from returning his greetings, and he wouldn't allow his son to attend his funeral. He then wrote, "I wish that you never would have been made to suffer or feel sad. God, may He be glorified, will help you, and the servants of God will help you, too." (The pair eventually reconciled.) Rumi included this poem in his letter:

May the splendors of Salahuddin rise again, and be poured into the eyes of the lovers. May every soul that's been purified and become even purer than that, be mingled with the dust of Salahuddin.

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