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Sufism’s Mawlana: Jalal al-Din Rumi

February 11, 2022

A poet, a mystic, and mawlana: Rumi is a name most postmodern scholars have come to associate with Persian lyricism and philosophy. To the Western world, he is the face and father of Middle Eastern literature; a man so versed in language and rhythm that dyadic epics bent to him. To many, Rumi is a Sufi first: always in the graces of divinity and worship, circling his writings back to Islam’s more niche thought avenues. Sufism, Rumi’s primary ideology as a theologian, is a branch dedicated to the “mystical expression of the Islamic faith,” laden with values of asceticism, prayer, and a profound appreciation for creation in all its forms. To most, however, Jalal al-Din Rumi is an enigma: he is an odd poet who – by the grace of fortune and skill – managed to restructure mystical thought and literature throughout the Muslim world. Early Life Born in 1207 Afghanistan to established mystical theologian, author, and teacher Baha al-Din Walad, Jalal al-Din’s youth was fortified with language and religion. Stability, however, was a fleeting privilege; whether due to a dispute with the Afghan ruler or the onset of Mongol…

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