Pilgrim #3: Roger Williams

   Another way of relating to the natives, somewhat between that of Morton and Brewster, is that of Roger Williams. An attempt was also made to deport Williams, as was done to Thomas Morton, though he was a teacher at Salem, and Plymouth was too picky to find a Pastor. Williams escaped from the Massachusetts congregation into the wilderness. He is the founder of Rhode Island and Providence, the first Baptist in America, and the cause as much as any single person of the American experiment with the freedom of Religion. Williams bought his property, or received it as a gift from “His friend Cannonicus, sachem of the Narragansett.” (Willison, p. 377). Providence, and later Rhode Island, became a refuge for those fleeing the religious persecution of the Puritans and Plymouth Saints, as these had fled the Anglicans, and they the Romans, and now we the Baptists! Williams “challenged the validity of the Massachusetts Bay charter, which gave the authorities power to appropriate native American lands without compensation and to establish a uniform faith and worship among the colonists. “He asserted that only direct purchase from the native Americans constituted a valid title to the land, and he denied the right of the government to punish what were considered to be religious infractions” (Microsoft Encarta, 2005). Williams wrote to Bradford:

   James has no more right to give away or sell Massasoit’s lands, and cut and carve his country, than Massasoit has to sell King James’ kingdom or send Indians to colonize Warwickshire” (Ibid, p. 502).

   Williams was expelled from both the Plymouth and the Salem communities for insisting upon the liberty of conscience regarding religion. In this, he followed Robert Browne, who wrote of civil authorities:

   To compel Religion, to plant churches by Power, and to force a Submission to ecclesiastical government by laws and penalties, belongeth not to them, neither yet to the church.

As Madison would later say it, in his essay on religious tax or establishment, these things, which are natural rights regarding government, are because we owe a higher duty to the Creator, and cannot give up to any church or government even if we were to try, as to save our lives. What is a right toward our fellows is due to our duty to God. Daniel during the Babylonian exile is a fine example. Socrates would make fun of us, who, as though we had completed dealing with our own self government, we now had leisure to set others aright. The government of Providence Rhode Island was “based upon complete religious toleration and upon the separation of Church and state,” though Jefferson was the first to use that phrase. A documentary film shows descendants of these first Baptists persuading Madison and Jefferson that religious liberty of the First Amendment is possible.

   The Baptists or Anabaptist,  were established in Britain by John Smyth, who later joined the Mennonites. The are at the root of the American Quaker and Amish, the Seventh Day Adventist, Jehova Witness and Mormon. They are also the cause of the american religion of a “personal” Jesus and the emphasis upon the scripture that one must be born again. These are called re-baptizers because they became confused upon rejecting infant baptism, they came to quarrel on such things as sprinkling vrs. immersion. Encarta writes:

   Accepting the practice of baptism by immersion, Williams was Baptized by a layman in 1639; he subsequently baptized a small group and thus founded the first Baptist Church in America. Later in that same year he withdrew from the church he had founded and declared himself to be a seeker, that is, one who accepts the fundamental beliefs of Christianity but does not profess a particular creed.

Indeed, we hold that the creeds are particular legislations, while Jesus is not a lawgiver at all. The ridiculousness and cruelty of Christian othodoxies are rooted in this confusion, and those who think it think we say there is no law.

   Baptism is a mystery.  Nor is it bought with a profession, but a transformation of the soul and its original ordering of priorities, a going through death with Christ to be reborn, to which the practices and rituals awaken, remind and order us. We do not know its relation to the nature of the soul and to other manifestations, such as the Elysian mysteries. Does the universal soul witness the truth of the Christ, or do the Sacraments established by convention not image mysteries of the soul? According to Justin Martyr, Socrates, who knew the mysteries of ascent and descent, was a “Christian,” though not one made by man.

   Consider even the song of the band the “Who,” called “The Seeker.”

Now you see what it means to begin the Eagles song “Paradise” with: “She came from Providence / The one in Rhode Island.”

Rumi Wiki

Here is the Wikipedia Rumi, which will easily contain 300+ nice things about the Sufi, one for each soul murdered in Egypt.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
İzmir Buca Mevlana heykeli ve mesire alanı 5.jpg

Statue of Rumi in Buca
Title MevlânâMawlānā,[1] MevlevîMawlawī
Born 30 September 1207
Balkh,[2] or Wakhsh,[3][4]Khwarezmian Empire
Died 17 December 1273 (age 66)
KonyaSultanate of Rum
Resting place Tomb of Mevlana Rumi, Mevlana MuseumKonyaTurkey
Ethnicity Persian
Era Islamic Golden Age
Region Khwarezmian Empire (Balkh: 1207–1212, 1213–1217;Samarkand: 1212–1213)[5][6]
Sultanate of Rum (Malatya: 1217–1219; Akşehir: 1219–1222;Larende: 1222–1228; Konya: 1228–1273)[5]
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Hanafi
Main interest(s) Sufi poetryHanafi jurisprudence
Notable idea(s) Sufi whirlingMuraqaba
Notable work(s) Mathnawī-ī ma’nawīDīwān-ī Shams-ī TabrīzīFīhi mā fīhi
Sufi order Mevlevi

Contents: Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persianجلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎‎), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى), Mevlânâ/Mawlānā (مولانا, “our master”), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (مولوی, “my master”), and more popularly simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian[1][7] Sunni[8] Muslim poetjuristIslamic scholartheologian, and Sufi mystic.[9]Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: IraniansTajiksTurksGreeksPashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries.[10] His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet”[11] and the “best selling poet” in the United States.[12][13]

Rumi’s works are written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used TurkishArabic, and Greek,[14][15][16] in his verse.[17][18] His Masnavi (Mathnawi), composed in Konya, is considered one of the greatest poems of the Persian language.[19][20] His works are widely read today in their original language across Greater Iran and the Persian-speaking world.[21][22] Translations of his works are very popular, most notably in TurkeyAzerbaijan, the United States, and South Asia.[23] His poetry has influenced not only Persian literature, but also TurkishOttoman TurkishAzerbaijani, as well as the literature of some other TurkicIranian, and Indo-Aryan languagesincluding ChagataiUrdu and Pashto. A deep grasp of his original poetry requires excellent command of modern Persian, and an equally good command of Islamic prophetic traditions, and the Qur’an. With such command, one may succeed in peeling back the multitude layers of meaning.


He is most commonly called Rumi in English. His full name is Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Persianجلال‌الدین محمد بلخى‎‎) or Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی). Jalal ad-Din is an Arabic name meaning “Glory of the Faith”. Balkhī and Rūmī are his nisbas, meaning “from Balkh” and “from Rûm” (Roman Anatolia[24]), respectively. According to the authoritative Rumi biographer Franklin Lewis of the University of Chicago, “[t]he Anatolian peninsula which had belonged to the Byzantine, or eastern Roman empire, had only relatively recently been conquered by Muslims and even when it came to be controlled by Turkish Muslim rulers, it was still known to Arabs, Persians and Turks as the geographical area of Rum. As such, there are a number of historical personages born in or associated with Anatolia known as Rumi, a word borrowed from Arabic literally meaning ‘Roman,’ in which context Roman refers to subjects of the Byzantine Empire or simply to people living in or things associated with Anatolia.”[25]

He is widely known by the sobriquet Mawlānā/Molānā[1][5] (Persianمولانا‎‎ Persian pronunciation: [moulɒːnɒ]) in Iran and popularly known as Mevlânâ in Turkey. Mawlānā (مولانا) is a term of Arabic origin, meaning “our master”.

The term مولوی Mawlawī/Mowlavi (Persian) and Mevlevi (Turkish), also of Arabic origin, meaning “my master”, is also frequently used for him.[26]


Jalal ad-Din Rumi gathers Sufimystics.

Double-page illuminated frontispiece, 1st book (daftar) of the Collection of poems (Masnavi-i ma’navi), 1461 manuscript

Bowl of Reflections with Rumi’s poetry, early 13th century. Brooklyn Museum.

Rumi was born to native Persian-speaking parents,[17][18][27] originally from the Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan. He was born either in Wakhsh,[4] a village on the Vakhsh River in present-day Tajikistan,[4] or in the city of Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan.[2][28]

Greater Balkh was at that time a major center of Persian culture[20][27][29] and Sufism had developed there for several centuries. The most important influences upon Rumi, besides his father, were the Persian poets Attar and Sanai.[30] Rumi expresses his appreciation: “Attar was the spirit, Sanai his eyes twain, And in time thereafter, Came we in their train”[31] and mentions in another poem: “Attar has traversed the seven cities of Love, We are still at the turn of one street”.[32] His father was also connected to the spiritual lineage of Najm al-Din Kubra.[10]

Rumi lived most of his life under the Persianate[33][34][35] Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, where he produced his works[36] and died in 1273 AD. He was buried in Konya, and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage.[37] Upon his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the Sama ceremony. He was laid to rest beside his father, and over his remains a shrine was erected. A hagiographical account of him is described in Shams ud-Din Ahmad Aflāki’s Manāqib ul-Ārifīn (written between 1318 and 1353). This biography needs to be treated with care as it contains both legends and facts about Rumi.[38] For example, Professor Franklin Lewis of the University of Chicago, author of the most complete biography on Rumi, has separate sections for the hagiographical biography of Rumi and the actual biography about him.[39]

Rumi’s father was Bahā ud-Dīn Walad, a theologian, jurist and a mystic from Balkh, who was also known by the followers of Rumi as Sultan al-Ulama or “Sultan of the Scholars”. The popular hagiographical assertions that have claimed the family’s descent from the Caliph Abu Bakrdoes not hold on closer examination and is rejected by modern scholars.[39][40][41] The claim of maternal descent from the Khwarazmshah for Rumi or his father is also seen as a non-historical hagiographical tradition designed to connect the family with royalty, but this claim is rejected for chronological and historical reasons.[39][40][41] The most complete genealogy offered for the family stretches back to six or seven generations to famous Hanafi jurists.[39][40][41]

We do not learn the name of Baha al-Din’s mother in the sources, only that he referred to her as “Māmi” (colloquial Persian for Māma),[42]and that she was a simple woman who lived to the 1200s. The mother of Rumi was Mu’mina Khātūn. The profession of the family for several generations was that of Islamic preachers of the liberal Hanafi rite, and this family tradition was continued by Rumi (see his Fihi Ma Fih and Seven Sermons) and Sultan Walad (see Ma’rif Waladi for examples of his everyday sermons and lectures).

When the Mongols invaded Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, Baha ud-Din Walad, with his whole family and a group of disciples, set out westwards. According to hagiographical account which is not agreed upon by all Rumi scholars, Rumi encountered one of the most famous mystic Persian poets, Attar, in the Iranian city of Nishapur, located in the province of Khorāsān. Attar immediately recognized Rumi’s spiritual eminence. He saw the father walking ahead of the son and said, “Here comes a sea followed by an ocean.”[this quote needs a citation] He gave the boy his Asrārnāma, a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact on the eighteen-year-old Rumi and later on became the inspiration for his works.

From Nishapur, Walad and his entourage set out for Baghdad, meeting many of the scholars and Sufis of the city.[43] From Baghdad they went to Hejaz and performed the pilgrimage at Mecca. The migrating caravan then passed through DamascusMalatyaErzincanSivasKayseri and Nigde. They finally settled in Karaman for seven years; Rumi’s mother and brother both died there. In 1225, Rumi married Gowhar Khatun in Karaman. They had two sons: Sultan Walad and Ala-eddin Chalabi. When his wife died, Rumi married again and had a son, Amir Alim Chalabi, and a daughter, Malakeh Khatun.

On 1 May 1228, most likely as a result of the insistent invitation of ‘Alā’ ud-Dīn Key-Qobād, ruler of Anatolia, Baha’ ud-Din came and finally settled in Konya in Anatolia within the westernmost territories of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm.

Baha’ ud-Din became the head of a madrassa (religious school) and when he died, Rumi, aged twenty-five, inherited his position as the Islamic molvi. One of Baha’ ud-Din’s students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din Muhaqqiq Termazi, continued to train Rumi in the Shariah as well as the Tariqa, especially that of Rumi’s father. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240 or 1241. Rumi’s public life then began: he became an Islamic Jurist, issuing fatwas and giving sermons in the mosques of Konya. He also served as a Molvi (Islamic teacher) and taught his adherents in the madrassa.

During this period, Rumi also travelled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.

It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that completely changed his life. From an accomplished teacher and jurist, Rumi was transformed into an ascetic.

Shams had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could “endure my company”. A voice said to him, “What will you give in return?” Shams replied, “My head!” The voice then said, “The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya.” On the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumored that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Rumi’s son, ‘Ala’ ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.[44]

Rumi’s love for, and his bereavement at the death of, Shams found their expression in an outpouring of lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realised:

Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself![45]

Mewlana had been spontaneously composing ghazals (Persian poems), and these had been collected in the Divan-i Kabir or Diwan Shams Tabrizi. Rumi found another companion in Salaḥ ud-Din-e Zarkub, a goldsmith. After Salah ud-Din’s death, Rumi’s scribe and favourite student, Hussam-e Chalabi, assumed the role of Rumi’s companion. One day, the two of them were wandering through the Meram vineyards outside Konya when Hussam described to Rumi an idea he had had: “If you were to write a book like the Ilāhīnāma of Sanai or the Mantiq ut-Tayr of ‘Attar, it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it.” Rumi smiled and took out a piece of paper on which were written the opening eighteen lines of his Masnavi, beginning with:

Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
How it sings of separation…[46]

Hussam implored Rumi to write more. Rumi spent the next twelve years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnavi, to Hussam.

In December 1273, Rumi fell ill; he predicted his own death and composed the well-known ghazal, which begins with the verse:

How doest thou know what sort of king I have within me as companion?
Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs.[47]

Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya; his body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb, قبه الخضراء; today the Mevlâna Museum), was erected over his place of burial. His epitaph reads:

When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.[48]

Georgian Queen Gürcü Hatun was a patron and a close friend of Rumi. She was the one who sponsored the construction of his tomb in Konya.[49] The 13th century Mevlâna Mausoleum, with its mosque, dance hall, dervish living quarters, school and tombs of some leaders of the Mevlevi Order, continues to this day to draw pilgrims from all parts of the Muslim and non-Muslim world. Jalal al-Din who is also known as Rumi, was a philosopher and mystic of Islam.


A page of a copy c. 1503 of the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i.

The general theme of Rumi’s thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is that of tawhid — union with the Beloved, from whom he sees himself as being cut off and aloof. His longing and desire to attain it is evident in the following poem from his book the Masnavi:[50]

از جمادی مُردم و نامی شدم
وز نما مُردم به حیوان برزدم
مُردم از حیوانی و آدم شدم
پس چه ترسم کی ز مردن کم شدم؟
حملهٔ دیگر بمیرم از بشر
تا برآرم از ملائک بال و پر
وز ملک هم بایدم جستن ز جو
کل شیء هالک الا وجهه
بار دیگر از ملک پران شوم
آنچ اندر وهم ناید آن شوم
پس عدم گردم عدم چون ارغنون
گویدم که انا الیه راجعون

I died to the mineral state and became a plant,
I died to the vegetal state and reached animality,
I died to the animal state and became a man,
Then what should I fear? I have never become less from dying.
At the next charge (forward) I will die to human nature,
So that I may lift up (my) head and wings (and soar) among the angels,
And I must (also) jump from the river of (the state of) the angel,
Everything perishes except His Face,
Once again I will become sacrificed from (the state of) the angel,
I will become that which cannot come into the imagination,
Then I will become non-existent; non-existence says to me (in tones) like an organ,
Truly, to Him is our return.

The Masnavi weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations and exegesis, and metaphysics into a vast and intricate tapestry.[51] In the East, it is said of him that he was “not a prophet — but surely, he has brought a scripture.”[this quote needs a citation]

Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of whirling Dervishes developed into a ritual form. His teachings became the base for the order of the Mevlevi, which his son Sultan Walad organised. Rumi encouraged Sama, listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, samāʿ represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations.[citation needed]

In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:

The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.[52]

Rumi’s favourite musical instrument was the ney (reed flute).[11]

Major works

An Ottoman era manuscript depicting Rumi and Shams-e Tabrizi.

Rumi’s poetry is often divided into various categories: the quatrains (rubayāt) and odes (ghazal) of the Divan, the six books of the Masnavi. The prose works are divided into The Discourses, The Letters, and the Seven Sermons.

Poetic works

Maṭnawīye Ma’nawī
Mevlâna MuseumKonyaTurkey

  • Rumi’s major work is the Maṭnawīye Ma’nawī (Spiritual Coupletsمثنوی معنوی), a six-volume poem regarded by some Sufis[53] as the Persian-language Qur’an. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry.[54] It contains approximately 27,000 lines of Persian poetry.[55]
  • Rumi’s other major work is the Dīwān-e Kabīr (Great Work) or Dīwān-e Shams-e Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabrizدیوان شمس تبریزی), named in honour of Rumi’s master Shams. Besides approximately 35000 Persian couplets and 2000 Persian quatrains,[56] the Divan contains 90 Ghazals and 19 quatrains in Arabic,[57] a couple of dozen or so couplets in Turkish (mainly macaronic poems of mixed Persian and Turkish)[58][59] and 14 couplets in Greek (all of them in three macaronic poems of Greek-Persian).[60][61][62]

Prose works

  • Fihi Ma Fihi (In It What’s in It, Persian: فیه ما فیه) provides a record of seventy-one talks and lectures given by Rumi on various occasions to his disciples. It was compiled from the notes of his various disciples, so Rumi did not author the work directly.[63] An English translation from the Persian was first published by A.J. Arberry as Discourses of Rumi (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1972), and a translation of the second book by Wheeler Thackston, Sign of the Unseen (Putney, VT: Threshold Books, 1994). The style of the Fihi ma fihi is colloquial and meant for middle-class men and women, and lack the sophisticated wordplay.[64]
  • Majāles-e Sab’a (Seven Sessions, Persian: مجالس سبعه) contains seven Persian sermons (as the name implies) or lectures given in seven different assemblies. The sermons themselves give a commentary on the deeper meaning of Qur’an and Hadith. The sermons also include quotations from poems of Sana’i‘Attar, and other poets, including Rumi himself. As Aflakī relates, after Shams-e Tabrīzī, Rumi gave sermons at the request of notables, especially Salāh al-Dīn Zarkūb. The style of Persian is rather simple, but quotation of Arabic and knowledge of history and the Hadith show Rumi’s knowledge in the Islamic sciences. His style is typical of the genre of lectures given by Sufis and spiritual teachers.[65]
  • Makatib (The Letters, Persian: مکاتیب) is the book containing Rumi’s letters in Persian to his disciples, family members, and men of state and of influence. The letters testify that Rumi kept very busy helping family members and administering a community of disciples that had grown up around them. Unlike the Persian style of the previous two mentioned works (which are lectures and sermons), the letters are consciously sophisticated and epistolary in style, which is in conformity with the expectations of correspondence directed to nobles, statesmen and kings.[66]

Religious outlook

Rumi belongs to the class of Islamic philosophers which include Ibn Arabi and Mulla Sadra. These transcendental philosophers are often studied together in traditional schools of irfan, philosophy and theosophy throughout the Muslim world[67].

Rumi embeds his theosophy (transcendental philosophy) like a string through the beads of his poems and stories. His main point and emphasis is the unity of being.

It is undeniable that Rumi was a Muslim scholar and took Islam seriously. Nonetheless, the depth of his spiritual vision extended beyond narrow understanding sectarian concerns. One rubaiyat reads:

در راه طلب عاقل و دیوانه یکی است
در شیوه‌ی عشق خویش و بیگانه یکی است
آن را که شراب وصل جانان دادند
در مذهب او کعبه و بتخانه یکی است

On the seeker’s path, wise men and fools are one.
In His love, brothers and strangers are one.
Go on! Drink the wine of the Beloved!
In that faith, Muslims and pagans are one.[68]

—Quatrain 305

According to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad is a mercy sent by God to the Aalameen (to all creation), including humanity overall.[69] In regards to this, Rumi states:

“The Light of Muhammad does not abandon a Zoroastrian or Jew in the world. May the shade of his good fortune shine upon everyone! He brings all of those who are led astray into the Way out of the desert.”[70]

Rumi, however, asserts the supremacy of Islam by stating:

“The Light of Muhammad has become a thousand branches (of knowledge), a thousand, so that both this world and the next have been seized from end to end. If Muhammad rips the veil open from a single such branch, thousands of monks and priests will tear the string of false belief from around their waists.”[71]

Many of Rumi’s poems suggest the importance of outward religious observance and the primacy of the Qur’an.[72]

Flee to God’s Qur’an, take refuge in it
there with the spirits of the prophets merge.
The Book conveys the prophets’ circumstances
those fish of the pure sea of Majesty.[73]

Rumi states:

I am the servant of the Qur’an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words.[74]

Rumi also states:

“I “sewed” my two eyes shut from [desires for] this world and the next – this I learned from Muhammad.”[75]

On the first page of the Masnavi, Rumi states:

“Hadha kitâbu ‘l- mathnawîy wa huwa uSûlu uSûli uSûli ‘d-dîn wa kashshâfu ‘l-qur’ân.”
“This is the book of the Masnavi, and it is the roots of the roots of the roots of the (Islamic) Religion and it is the Explainer of the Qur’ân.”[76]

Seyyed Hossein Nasr states:

One of the greatest living authorities on Rûmî in Persia today, Hâdî Hâ’irî, has shown in an unpublished work that some 6,000 verses of the Dîwân and the Mathnawî are practically direct translations of Qur’ânic verses into Persian poetry.[77]

Rumi states in his Dīwān:

The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr.[78]

His Masnavi contains anecdotes and stories derived largely from the Quran and the hadith, as well as everyday tales.


Rumi’s poetry forms the basis of much classical Iranian and Afghan music.[79][80] Contemporary classical interpretations of his poetry are made by Muhammad Reza ShajarianShahram NazeriDavood Azad (the three from Iran) and Ustad Mohammad Hashem Cheshti (Afghanistan). To many modern Westerners, his teachings are one of the best introductions to the philosophy and practice of Sufism. In the West Shahram Shiva has been teaching, performing and sharing the translations of the poetry of Rumi for nearly twenty years and has been instrumental in spreading Rumi’s legacy in the English-speaking parts of the world. Pakistan’s National PoetMuhammad Iqbal, was also inspired by Rumi’s works and considered him to be his spiritual leader, addressing him as “Pir Rumi” in his poems (the honorific Pir literally means “old man”, but in the Sufi/mystic context it means founder, master, or guide).[81]

Shahram Shiva asserts that “Rumi is able to verbalise the highly personal and often confusing world of personal growth and development in a very clear and direct fashion. He does not offend anyone, and he includes everyone…. Today Rumi’s poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene.”

According to Professor Majid M. Naini,[82] “Rumi’s life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.”

Rumi’s work has been translated into many of the world’s languages, including Russian, German, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Bengali, French, Italian, and Spanish, and is being presented in a growing number of formats, including concerts, workshops, readings, dance performances, and other artistic creations.[83] The English interpretations of Rumi’s poetry by Coleman Barks have sold more than half a million copies worldwide,[84] and Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States.[85] Shahram Shiva book “Rending the Veil: Literal and Poetic Translations of Rumi” (1995, HOHM Press) is the recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award.

Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to the USA’s Billboard’s Top 20 list. A selection of American author Deepak Chopra‘s editing of the translations by Fereydoun Kia of Rumi’s love poems has been performed by Hollywood personalities such as MadonnaGoldie HawnPhilip Glass and Demi Moore.

There is a famous landmark in Northern India, known as Rumi Gate, situated in Lucknow (the capital of Uttar Pradesh) named for Rumi.

Rumi and his mausoleum on the reverse of the 5000 Turkish lira banknotes of 1981–1994

Rumi and his mausoleum were depicted on the reverse of the 5000 Turkish lira banknotes of 1981–1994.[86]

Iranian world

پارسی گو گرچه تازی خوشتر است — عشق را خود صد زبان دیگر است

Say it in Persian although in Arabic might sounds better—Love, however, has its own many other dialects

These cultural, historical and linguistic ties between Rumi and Iran have made Rumi an iconic Iranian poet, and some of the most important Rumi scholars including Foruzanfar, Naini, Sabzewari, etc., have come from modern Iran.[87] Rumi’s poetry is displayed on the walls of many cities across Iran, sung in Persian music,[87] and read in school books.[88]

Mewlewī Sufi Order

The Mewlewī Sufi order was founded in 1273 by Rumi’s followers after his death.[89] His first successor in the rectorship of the order was “Husam Chalabi” himself, after whose death in 1284 Rumi’s younger and only surviving son, Sultan Walad (died 1312), popularly known as author of the mystical Maṭnawī Rabābnāma, or the Book of the Rabab was installed as grand master of the order.[90] The leadership of the order has been kept within Rumi’s family in Konya uninterruptedly since then.[91] The Mewlewī Sufis, also known as Whirling Dervishes, believe in performing their dhikr in the form of Sama. During the time of Rumi (as attested in the Manāqib ul-Ārefīn of Aflākī), his followers gathered for musical and “turning” practices.

According to tradition, Rumi was himself a notable musician who played the robāb, although his favourite instrument was the ney or reed flute.[92] The music accompanying the samāʿ consists of settings of poems from the Maṭnawī and Dīwān-e Kabīr, or of Sultan Walad’s poems.[92] The Mawlawīyah was a well-established Sufi order in the Ottoman Empire, and many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The centre for the Mevlevi was in Konya. There is also a Mewlewī monastery (درگاهdargāh) in Istanbul near the Galata Tower in which the samāʿ is performed and accessible to the public. The Mewlewī order issues an invitation to people of all backgrounds:

Rumi’s tomb in Konya, Turkey.

During Ottoman times, the Mevlevi produced a number of notable poets and musicians, including Sheikh Ghalib, Ismail Rusuhi Dede of Ankara, Esrar Dede, Halet Efendi, and Gavsi Dede, who are all buried at the Galata Mewlewī Khāna (Turkish: Mevlevi-Hane) in Istanbul.[94] Music, especially that of the ney, plays an important part in the Mevlevi.

With the foundation of the modern, secular Republic of TurkeyMustafa Kemal Atatürk removed religion from the sphere of public policy and restricted it exclusively to that of personal morals, behaviour and faith. On 13 December 1925, a law was passed closing all the tekkes (dervish lodges) and zāwiyas (chief dervish lodges), and the centres of veneration to which visits (ziyārat) were made. Istanbul alone had more than 250 tekkes as well as small centres for gatherings of various fraternities; this law dissolved the Sufi Orders, prohibited the use of mystical names, titles and costumes pertaining to their titles, impounded the Orders’ assets, and banned their ceremonies and meetings. The law also provided penalties for those who tried to re-establish the Orders. Two years later, in 1927, the Mausoleum of Mevlâna in Konya was allowed to reopen as a Museum.[95]

In the 1950s, the Turkish government began allowing the Whirling Dervishes to perform once a year in Konya. The Mewlānā festival is held over two weeks in December; its culmination is on 17 December, the Urs of Mewlānā (anniversary of Rumi’s death), called Šabe Arūs (شب عروس) (Persian meaning “nuptial night”), the night of Rumi’s union with God.[96] In 1974, the Whirling Dervishes were permitted to travel to the West for the first time. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed “The Mevlevi Sama Ceremony” of Turkey as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.[97]

Religious denomination

As Edward G. Browne noted, the three most prominent mystical Persian poets Rumi, Sanai and Attar were all Sunni Muslims and their poetry abounds with praise for the first two caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattāb.[98] According to Annemarie Schimmel, the tendency among Shia authors to anachronistically include leading mystical poets such as Rumi and Attar among their own ranks, became stronger after the introduction of Twelver Shia as the state religion in the Safavid Empire in 1501.[99]

Eight hundredth anniversary celebrations

In Afghanistan, Rumi is known as Mawlānā, in Turkey as Mevlâna, and in Iran as Molavī.

At the proposal of the Permanent Delegations of Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, and as approved by its Executive Board and General Conference in conformity with its mission of “constructing in the minds of men the defences of peace”, UNESCO was associated with the celebration, in 2007, of the eight hundredth anniversary of Rumi’s birth.[100] The commemoration at UNESCO itself took place on 6 September 2007;[2] UNESCO issued a medal in Rumi’s name in the hope that it would prove an encouragement to those who are engaged in research on and dissemination of Rumi’s ideas and ideals, which would, in turn, enhance the diffusion of the ideals of UNESCO.[28]

The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Youth established a national committee, which organised an international seminar to celebrate the birth and life of the great ethical philosopher and world-renowned poet. This grand gathering of the intellectuals, diplomats, and followers of Mewlana was held in Kabul and in Balkh, the Mewlana’s place of birth.[101]

On 30 September 2007, Iranian school bells were rung throughout the country in honour of Mewlana.[102] Also in that year, Iran held a Rumi Week from 26 October to 2 November. An international ceremony and conference were held in Tehran; the event was opened by the Iranian president and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Scholars from twenty-nine countries attended the events, and 450 articles were presented at the conference.[103] Iranian musician Shahram Nazeri was awarded the Légion d’honneur and Iran’s House of Music Award in 2007 for his renowned works on Rumi masterpieces.[104] 2007 was declared as the “International Rumi Year” by UNESCO.[105][106]

Also on 30 September 2007, Turkey celebrated Rumi’s eight-hundredth birthday with a giant Whirling Dervish ritual performance of the samāʿ, which was televised using forty-eight cameras and broadcast live in eight countries. Ertugrul Gunay, of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, stated, “Three hundred dervishes are scheduled to take part in this ritual, making it the largest performance of sema in history.”[107]

Mawlana Rumi Review

The Mawlana Rumi Review[108] (ISSN 2042-3357) is published annually by The Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies at the University of Exeter in collaboration with The Rumi Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus, and Archetype Books,[109] Cambridge.[109] The first volume was published in 2010, and it has come out annually since then. According to the principal editor of the journal, Leonard Lewisohn: “Although a number of major Islamic poets easily rival the likes of DanteShakespeare and Milton in importance and output, they still enjoy only a marginal literary fame in the West because the works of Arabic and Persian thinkers, writers and poets are considered as negligible, frivolous, tawdry sideshows beside the grand narrative of the Western Canon. It is the aim of the Mawlana Rumi Review to redress this carelessly inattentive approach to world literature, which is something far more serious than a minor faux pas committed by the Western literary imagination.”[110]


See also

On Persian culture
Rumi scholars and writers
English translators of Rumi poetry
Interpreters of Rumi


  1. Jump up to:a b c Ritter, H.; Bausani, A. “ḎJ̲alāl al-Dīn Rūmī b. Bahāʾ al-Dīn Sulṭān al-ʿulamāʾ Walad b. Ḥusayn b. Aḥmad Ḵh̲aṭībī.” Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. Excerpt: “known by the sobriquet Mewlānā, persian poet and founder of the Mewlewiyya order of dervishes”
  2. Jump up to:a b c “UNESCO: 800th Anniversary of the Birth of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi”. UNESCO. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2014The prominent Persian language poet, thinker and spiritual master, Mevlana Celaleddin Belhi-Rumi was born in 1207 in Balkh, presently Afghanistan.
  3. Jump up^ William Harmless, Mystics, (Oxford University Press, 2008), 167.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Annemarie Schimmel, “I Am Wind, You Are Fire,” p. 11. She refers to a 1989 article by Fritz Meier:

    Tajiks and Persian admirers still prefer to call Jalaluddin ‘Balkhi’ because his family lived in Balkh, current day in Afghanistan before migrating westward. However, their home was not in the actual city of Balkh, since the mid-eighth century a center of Muslim culture in (Greater) Khorasan (Iran and Central Asia). Rather, as Meier has shown, it was in the small town of Wakhsh north of the Oxus that Baha’uddin Walad, Jalaluddin’s father, lived and worked as a jurist and preacher with mystical inclinations. Franklin Lewis, Rumi : Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, 2000, pp. 47–49.

    Lewis has devoted two pages of his book to the topic of Wakhsh, which he states has been identified with the medieval town of Lêwkand (or Lâvakand) or Sangtude, which is about 65 kilometers southeast of Dushanbe, the capital of present-day Tajikistan. He says it is on the east bank of the Vakhshâb river, a major tributary that joins the Amu Daryâ river (also called Jayhun, and named the Oxus by the Greeks). He further states: “Bahâ al-Din may have been born in Balkh, but at least between June 1204 and 1210 (Shavvâl 600 and 607), during which time Rumi was born, Bahâ al-Din resided in a house in Vakhsh (Bah 2:143 [= Bahâ’ uddîn Walad’s] book, “Ma`ârif.”). Vakhsh, rather than Balkh was the permanent base of Bahâ al-Din and his family until Rumi was around five years old (mei 16–35) [= from a book in German by the scholar Fritz Meier—note inserted here]. At that time, in about the year 1212 (A.H. 608–609), the Valads moved to Samarqand (Fih 333; Mei 29–30, 36) [= reference to Rumi’s “Discourses” and to Fritz Meier’s book—note inserted here], leaving behind Baâ al-Din’s mother, who must have been at least seventy-five years old.”

  5. Jump up to:a b c H. Ritter, 1991, DJALĀL al-DĪN RŪMĪThe Encyclopaedia of Islam (Volume II: C–G), 393.
  6. Jump up^ C. E. Bosworth, 1988, BALḴ, city and province in northern Afghanistan, Encyclopaedia Iranica: Later, suzerainty over it passed to the Qarā Ḵetāy of Transoxania, until in 594/1198 the Ghurid Bahāʾ-al-Dīn Sām b. Moḥammad of Bāmīān occupied it when its Turkish governor, a vassal of the Qarā Ḵetāy, had died, and incorporated it briefly into the Ghurid empire. Yet within a decade, Balḵ and Termeḏ passed to the Ghurids’ rival, the Ḵᵛārazmšāh ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad, who seized it in 602/1205-06 and appointed as governor there a Turkish commander, Čaḡri or Jaʿfar. In summer of 617/1220 the Mongols first appeared at Balḵ.
  7. Jump up^ Franklin D. Lewis, “Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The life, Teaching and poetry of Jalal Al-Din Rumi”, Oneworld Publication Limited, 2008 p. 9: “How is that a Persian boy born almost eight hundred years ago in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as in Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere”
  8. Jump up^ The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Rumi Meditations, Penguin Group, p. 48
  9. Jump up^ Annemarie Schimmel, “The Mystery of Numbers”, Oxford University Press, Apr 7, 1994. p. 51: “These examples are taken from the Persian mystic Rumi’s work, not from Chinese, but they express the yang-yin [sic] relationship with perfect lucidity.”
  10. Jump up to:a b Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Islamic Art and Spirituality”, Suny Press, 1987. p. 115: “Jalal al-Din was born in a major center of Persian culture, Balkh, from Persian speaking parents, and is the product of that Islamic Persian culture which in the 7th/13th century dominated the ‘whole of the eastern lands of Islam and to which present day Persians as well as Turks, Afghans, Central Asian Muslims and the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent are heir. It is precisely in this world that the sun of his spiritual legacy has shone most brillianty during the past seven centuries. The father of Jalal al-Din, Muhammad ibn Husayn Khatibi, known as Baha al-Din Walad and entitled Sultan al-‘ulama’, was an outstanding Sufi in Balkh connected to the spiritual lineage of Najm al-Din Kubra.”
  11. Jump up to:a b Charles Haviland (2007-09-30). “The roar of Rumi—800 years on”. BBC News. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
  12. Jump up^ Ciabattari, Jane (21 October 2014). “Why is Rumi the best-selling poet in the US?”. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  13. Jump up^ Tompkins, Ptolemy (2002-10-29). “Rumi Rules!”TimeISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  14. Jump up^ Δέδες, Δ. 1993. Ποιήματα του Μαυλανά Ρουμή. Τα Ιστορικά 10.18–19: 3–22.
  15. Jump up^ Meyer, G. 1895. Die griechischen Verse in Rabâbnâma. Byzantinische Zeitschrift 4: 401–411.
  16. Jump up^ “Greek Verses of Rumi & Sultan Walad”uci.edu. 22 April 2009. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  17. Jump up to:a b Annemarie Schimmel, The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi, SUNY Press, 1993, p. 193: “Rumi’s mother tongue was Persian, but he had learned during his stay in Konya, enough Turkish and Greek to use it, now and then, in his verse.”
  18. Jump up to:a b Franklin Lewis: “On the question of Rumi’s multilingualism (pages 315–17), we may still say that he spoke and wrote in Persian as a native language, wrote and conversed in Arabic as a learned “foreign” language and could at least get by at the market in Turkish and Greek (although some wildly extravagant claims have been made about his command of Attic Greek, or his native tongue being Turkish) (Lewis 2008:xxi). (Franklin Lewis, “Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi,” One World Publication Limited, 2008). Franklin also points out that: “Living among Turks, Rumi also picked up some colloquial Turkish.”(Franklin Lewis, “Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi,” One World Publication Limited, 2008, p. 315). He also mentions Rumi composed thirteen lines in Greek (Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, One World Publication Limited, 2008, p. 316). On Rumi’s son, Sultan Walad, Franklin mentions: “[Sultan Walad]] elsewhere admits that he has little knowledge of Turkish” (Sultan Walad): Franklin Lewis, Rumi, “Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, One World Publication Limited, 2008, p. 239) and “Sultan Valad did not feel confident about his command of Turkish” (Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000, p. 240)
  19. Jump up^ Louis Gardet, “Religion and Culture” in The Cambridge History of Islam—Part VIII: Islamic Society and Civilization, edited by P. M. Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis, Cambridge University Press (1977), p. 586: “It is sufficient to mention ‘Aziz al-Din Nasafi, Farid al-Din ‘Attar and Sa’adi, and above all Jalal al-Din Rumi, whose Mathnawi remains one of the purest literary glories of Persia”
  20. Jump up to:a b C.E. Bosworth, “Turkmen Expansion towards the west” in UNESCO History of Humanity, Volume IV, titled “From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century”, UNESCO Publishing / Routledge, p. 391: “While the Arabic language retained its primacy in such spheres as law, theology and science, the culture of the Seljuk court and secular literature within the sultanate became largely Persianized; this is seen in the early adoption of Persian epic names by the Seljuk rulers (Qubād, Kay Khusraw and so on) and in the use of Persian as a literary language (Turkmen must have been essentially a vehicle for everyday speech at this time). The process of Persianization accelerated in the 13th century with the presence in Konya of two of the most distinguished refugees fleeing before the Mongols, Bahā’ al-Dīn Walad and his son Mawlānā Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, whose Mathnawī, composed in Konya, constitutes one of the crowning glories of classical Persian literature.”
  21. Jump up^ “Interview: ‘Many Americans Love Rumi…But They Prefer He Not Be Muslim'”RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2010-08-09. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  22. Jump up^ “Interview: A mystical journey with Rumi”Asia Times. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  23. Jump up^ “Dîvân-i Kebîr Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī”OMI – Old Manuscripts & Incunabula. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  24. Jump up^ Rumi (2015). Selected Poems. Penguin Books. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-14-196911-4.
  25. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis (2008). Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi. One World Publication Limited. p. 9.
  26. Jump up^ Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (Maulana), Ibrahim Gamard, “Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses, Annotated & Explained”, SkyLight Paths Publishing, February 1, 2004.
  27. Jump up to:a b Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic Art and Spirituality, SUNY Press, 1987. p. 115: “Jalal al-Din was born in a major center of Persian culture, Balkh, from Persian speaking parents, and is the product of that Islamic Persian culture which in the 7th/13th century dominated the ‘whole of the eastern lands of Islam and to which present day Persians as well as Turks, Afghans, Central Asian Muslims and the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistani and the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent are heir. It is precisely in this world that the sun of his spiritual legacy has shone most brilliantly during the past seven centuries. The father of Jalal al-Din, Muhammad ibn Husayn Khatibi, known as Baha al-Din Walad and entitled Sultan al-‘ulama’, was an outstanding Sufi in Balkh connected to the spiritual lineage of Najm al-Din Kubra.”
  28. Jump up to:a b “UNESCO. Executive Board; 175th; UNESCO Medal in honour of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi; 2006” (PDF). UNESDOC – UNESCO Documents and Publications. October 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  29. Jump up^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The life, Teaching and poetry of Jalal Al-Din Rumi, Oneworld Publication Limited, 2008 p. 9: “How is that a Persian boy born almost eight hundred years ago in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as Central Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere”
  30. Jump up^ Maqsood Jafrī, The gleam of wisdom, Sigma Press, 2003. p. 238: “Rumi has influenced a large number of writers while on the other hand he himself was under the great influence of Sanai and Attar.
  31. Jump up^ A. J. Arberry, Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam, Courier Dover Publications, Nov 9, 2001. p. 141
  32. Jump up^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam’s Mystical Tradition HarperCollins, Sep 2, 2008. page 130: “Attar has traversed the seven cities of Love, We are still at the turn of one street!”
  33. Jump up^ Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, (Rutgers University Press, 2002), 157; “…the Seljuk court at Konya adopted Persian as its official language”.
  34. Jump up^ Aḥmad of Niǧde’s “al-Walad al-Shafīq” and the Seljuk Past, A. C. S. Peacock, Anatolian Studies, Vol. 54, (2004), 97; With the growth of Seljuk power in Rum, a more highly developed Muslim cultural life, based on the Persianate culture of the Great Seljuk court, was able to take root in Anatolia
  35. Jump up^ Carter Vaughn Findley, The Turks in World History, Oxford University Press, Nov 11, 2004. p. 72: Meanwhile, amid the migratory swarm that Turkified Anatolia, the dispersion of learned men from the Persian-speaking east paradoxically made the Seljuks court at Konya a new center for Persian court culture, as exemplified by the great mystical poet Jelaleddin Rumi (1207–73).
  36. Jump up^ Barks, ColemanRumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing, HarperCollins, 2005, p. xxv, ISBN 978-0-06-075050-3
  37. Jump up^ Note: Rumi’s shrine is now known as the “Mevlâna Museum” in Turkey.
  38. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000.

    How is it that a Persian boy born almost eight hundred years ago in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as Central Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the Greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in Central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere, in which is now Turkey

  39. Jump up to:a b c d Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pp. 90–92: “Baha al-Din’s disciples also traced his family lineage to the first caliph, Abu Bakr (Sep 9; Af 7; JNO 457; Dow 213). This probably stems from willful confusion over his paternal great grandmother, who was the daughter of Abu Bakr of Sarakhs, a noted jurist (d. 1090). The most complete genealogy offered for family stretches back only six or seven generations and cannot reach to Abu Bakr, the companion and first caliph of the Prophet, who died two years after the Prophet, in C.E. 634 (FB 5–6 n.3).”
  40. Jump up to:a b c H. Algar, “BAHĀʾ-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD WALAD“, Encyclopedia Iranica. There is no reference to such descent in the works of Bahāʾ-e Walad and Mawlānā Jalāl-al-Dīn or in the inscriptions on their sarcophagi. The attribution may have arisen from confusion between the caliph and another Abū Bakr, Šams-al-Aʾemma Abū Bakr Saraḵsī (d. 483/1090), the well-known Hanafite jurist, whose daughter, Ferdows Ḵātūn, was the mother of Aḥmad Ḵaṭīb, Bahāʾ-e Walad’s grandfather (see Forūzānfar, Resāla, p. 6). Tradition also links Bahāʾ-e Walad’s lineage to the Ḵᵛārazmšāh dynasty. His mother is said to have been the daughter of ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad Ḵārazmšāh (d. 596/1200), but this appears to be excluded for chronological reasons (Forūzānfar, Resāla, p. 7)
  41. Jump up to:a b c (Ritter, H.; Bausani, A. “ḎJalāl al- Dīn Rūmī b. Bahāʾ al-Dīn Sulṭān al-ʿulamāʾ Walad b. Ḥusayn b. Aḥmad Ḵhaṭībī .” Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online. Excerpt: “known by the sobriquet Mawlānā (Mevlâna), Persian poet and founder of the Mawlawiyya order of dervishes”): “The assertions that his family tree goes back to Abū Bakr, and that his mother was a daughter of the Ḵhwārizmshāh ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad (Aflākī, i, 8–9) do not hold on closer examination (B. Furūzānfarr, Mawlānā Ḏjalāl Dīn, Tehrān 1315, 7; ʿAlīnaḳī Sharīʿatmadārī, Naḳd-i matn-i mathnawī, in Yaghmā, xii (1338), 164; Aḥmad Aflākī, Ariflerin menkibeleri, trans. Tahsin Yazıcı, Ankara 1953, i, Önsöz, 44).”)
  42. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). p. 44:“Baha al-Din’s father, Hosayn, had been a religious scholar with a bent for asceticism, occupied like his own father before him, Ahmad, with the family profession of preacher (khatib). Of the four canonical schools of Sunni Islam, the family adhered to the relatively liberal Hanafi fiqh. Hosayn-e Khatibi enjoyed such renown in his youth—so says Aflaki with characteristic exaggeration—that Razi al-Din Nayshapuri and other famous scholars came to study with him (Af 9; for the legend about Baha al-Din, see below, “The Mythical Baha al-Din”). Another report indicates that Baha al-Din’s grandfather, Ahmad al-Khatibi, was born to Ferdows Khatun, a daughter of the reputed Hanafite jurist and author Shams al-A’emma Abu Bakr of Sarakhs, who died circa 1088 (Af 75; FB 6 n.4; Mei 74 n. 17). This is far from implausible and, if true, would tend to suggest that Ahmad al-Khatabi had studied under Shams al-A’emma. Prior to that the family could supposedly trace its roots back to Isfahan. We do not learn the name of Baha al-Din’s mother in the sources, only that he referred to her as “Mama” (Mami), and that she lived to the 1200s.” (p. 44)
  43. Jump up^ Ahmed, Nazeer, Islam in Global History: From the Death of Prophet Muhammed to the First World War, p.58, Xlibris Corporation (2000), ISBN 978-0-7388-5962-0
  44. Jump up^ “Hz. Mawlana and Shams”semazen.net.
  45. Jump up^ The Essential Rumi. Translations by Coleman Barks, p. xx.
  46. Jump up^ Helminski, Camille. “Introduction to Rumi: Daylight”. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  47. Jump up^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1987). Islamic Art and Spirituality. SUNY Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-88706-174-5.
  48. Jump up^ Mevlâna Jalal al-din Rumi
  49. Jump up^ H. Crane “Notes on Saldjūq Architectural Patronage in Thirteenth Century Anatolia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, v. 36, n. 1 (1993), p. 18.
  50. Jump up^ Ibrahim Gamard (with gratitude for R. A. Nicholson’s 1930 British translation). The Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî – Rhymed Couplets of Deep Spiritual Meaning of Jalaluddin Rumi.
  51. Jump up^ Maulana Rumi (25 May 2011). The Masnavi I Ma’navi of Rumi: Complete 6 Books. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4635-1016-9. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  52. Jump up^ Naini, MajidThe Mysteries of the Universe and Rumi’s Discoveries on the Majestic Path of Love.
  53. Jump up^ Abdul Rahman Jami notes:

    من چه گویم وصف آن عالی‌جناب — نیست پیغمبر ولی دارد کتاب

    مثنوی معنوی مولوی — هست قرآن در زبان پهلوی

    What can I say in praise of that great one?
    He is not a Prophet but has come with a book;
    The Spiritual Masnavi of Mowlavi
    Is the Qur’an in the language of Pahlavi (Persian).

    (Khawaja Abdul Hamid Irfani, “The Sayings of Rumi and Iqbal”, Bazm-e-Rumi, 1976.)

  54. Jump up^ J.T.P. de Bruijn, “Comparative Notes on Sanai and ‘Attar”, The Heritage of Sufism, L. Lewisohn, ed., p. 361: “It is common place to mention Hakim Sana’i (d. 525/1131) and Farid al-Din ‘Attar (1221) together as early highlights in a tradition of Persian mystical poetry which reached its culmination in the work of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi and those who belonged to the early Mawlawi circle. There is abundant evidence available to prove that the founders of the Mawlawwiya in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries regarded these two poets as their most important predecessors”
  55. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). p. 306: “The manuscripts versions differ greatly in the size of the text and orthography. Nicholson’s text has 25,577 lines though the average medieval and early modern manuscripts contained around 27,000 lines, meaning the scribes added two thousand lines or about eight percent more to the poem composed by Rumi. Some manuscripts give as many as 32,000!”
  56. Jump up^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008). p. 314: “The Foruzanfar’s edition of the Divan-e Shams compromises 3229 ghazals and qasidas making a total of almost 35000 lines, not including several hundred lines of stanzaic poems and nearly two thousand quatrains attributed to him”
  57. Jump up^ Dar al-Masnavi Website, accessed December 2009: According to the Dar al-Masnavi website: “In Forûzânfar’s edition of Rumi’s Divan, there are 90 ghazals (Vol. 1, 29;Vol. 2, 1; Vol. 3, 6; Vol. 4, 8; Vol. 5, 19, Vol. 6, 0; Vol. 7, 27) and 19 quatrains entirely in Arabic. In addition, there are ghazals which are all Arabic except for the final line; many have one or two lines in Arabic within the body of the poem; some have as many as 9–13 consecutive lines in Arabic, with Persian verses preceding and following; some have alternating lines in Persian, then Arabic; some have the first half of the verse in Persian, the second half in Arabic.”
  58. Jump up^ Mecdut MensurOghlu: “The Divan of Jalal al-Din Rumi contains 35 couplets in Turkish and Turkish-Persian which have recently been published me” (Celal al-Din Rumi’s turkische Verse: UJb. XXIV (1952), pp. 106–115)
  59. Jump up^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008): ““a couple of dozen at most of the 35,000 lines of the Divan-I Shams are in Turkish, and almost all of these lines occur in poems that are predominantly in Persian””
  60. Jump up^ Dedes, D. 1993. Ποίηματα του Μαυλανά Ρουμή [Poems by Rumi]. Ta Istorika 10.18–19: 3–22.
  61. Jump up^ http://www.opoudjis.net/Play/rumiwalad.html
  62. Jump up^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008): “Three poems have bits of demotic Greek; these have been identified and translated into French, along with some Greek verses of Sultan Valad. Golpinarli (GM 416–417) indicates according to Vladimir Mir Mirughli, the Greek used in some of Rumi’s macaronic poems reflects the demotic Greek of the inhabitants of Anatolia. Golpinarli then argues that Rumi knew classical Persian and Arabic with precision, but typically composes poems in a more popular or colloquial Persian and Arabic.”.
  63. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West — The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Oneworld Publications, 2000, Chapter 7.
  64. Jump up^ “As Safa points out (Saf 2:1206) the Discourse reflect the stylistics of oral speech and lack the sophisticated word plays, Arabic vocabulary and sound patterning that we would except from a consciously literary text of this period. Once again, the style of Rumi as lecturer or orator in these discourses does not reflect an audience of great intellectual pretensions, but rather middle-class men and women, along with number of statesmen and rulers”” (Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). p. 292)
  65. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). p. 293
  66. Jump up^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). p. 295:“In contrast with the prose of his Discourses and sermons, the style of the letters is consciously sophisticated and epistolary, in conformity with the expectations of correspondence directed to nobles, statesmen and kings”
  67. Jump up^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2000) Transcendent Theosophy of Mulla Sadra ISBN 9644260341
  68. Jump up^ Rumi: 53 Secrets from the Tavern of Love, trans. by Amin Banani and Anthony A. Lee, p. 3
  69. Jump up^ Verse (21:107) – English Translation
  70. Jump up^ Ibrahim Gamard, Rumi and Islam, p. 163
  71. Jump up^ Ibrahim Gamard, Rumi and Islam, p. 177
  72. Jump up^ Lewis 2000, pp. 407–408
  73. Jump up^ Lewis 2000, p. 408
  74. Jump up^ Ibrahim Gamard, Rumi and Self Discovery, Dar al Masnavi
  75. Jump up^ Ibrahim Gamard (2004), Rumi and Islam, SkyLight Paths, p. 169
  76. Jump up^ About the Masnavi, Dar Al-Masnavi
  77. Jump up^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Rumi and the Sufi Tradition,” in Chelkowski (ed.), The Scholar and the Saint, p. 183
  78. Jump up^ Quoted in Ibrahim Gamard, Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses — Annotated and Explained, p. 171.
  79. Jump up^ Hiro, Dilip (2011-11-01). Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz stan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Iran. The Overlook Press. ISBN 978-1-59020-378-1.
  80. Jump up^ Uyar, Yaprak Melike; ʂehvar Beʂiroglu, ʂ (2012). “Recent representations of the music of the Mevlevi Order of Sufism”Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies6 (2): 137–150. doi:10.4407/jims.2014.02.002ISSN 1307-0401. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  81. Jump up^ Said, Farida. “REVIEWS: The Rumi craze”. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  82. Jump up^ “index”naini.net.
  83. Jump up^ “Rumi Network by Shahram Shiva – The World’s Most Popular Website on Rumi”rumi.net.
  84. Jump up^ “University of Tehran”ut.ac.ir.
  85. Jump up^ Curiel, Jonathan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Islamic verses: The influence of Muslim literature in the United States has grown stronger since the Sept. 11 attacks(February 6, 2005), Available online (Retrieved Aug 2006)
  86. Jump up^ Banknote Museum: 7. Emission Group—Five Thousand Turkish Lira—I. SeriesArchived 2010-03-02 at the Wayback Machine., II. Series Archived 2010-03-02 at the Wayback Machine. & III. Series. Retrieved on 20 April 2009. Archived June 3, 2009, at WebCite
  87. Jump up to:a b Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000.
  88. Jump up^ See for example 4th grade Iranian school book where the story of the Parrot and Merchant from the Mathnawi is taught to students
  89. Jump up^ “Sufism”gmu.edu.
  90. Jump up^ ISCA—The Islamic Supreme Council of America Archived August 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  91. Jump up^ “Mevlâna Celâleddin Rumi”. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  92. Jump up to:a b “About the Mevlevi Order of America”hayatidede.org.
  93. Jump up^ Hanut, Eryk (2000). Rumi: The Card and Book Pack : Meditation, Inspiration, Self-discovery. The Rumi Card Book. Tuttle Publishing. xiii. ISBN 978-1-885203-95-3.
  94. Jump up^ Web Page Under Construction Archived 2006-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  95. Jump up^ Mango, Andrew, Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, (2002), ISBN 978-1-58567-011-6.
  96. Jump up^ Kloosterman Genealogy, Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi Archived 2006-09-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  97. Jump up^ The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony UNESCO.
  98. Jump up^ Edward G. BrowneA Literary History of Persia from the Earliest Times Until Firdawsh, 543 pp., Adamant Media Corporation, 2002, ISBN 978-1-4021-6045-5ISBN 978-1-4021-6045-5 (see p.437)
  99. Jump up^ Annemarie SchimmelDeciphering the Signs of God, 302 pp., SUNY Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0-7914-1982-3ISBN 978-0-7914-1982-3 (see p.210)
  100. Jump up^ “Haber, Haberler, Güncel Haberler, Ekonomi, Dünya, Gündem Haberleri, Son Dakika, – Zaman Gazetesi”zaman.com.
  101. Jump up^ “Ministry of Foreign Affairs”mfa.gov.af.
  102. Jump up^ همشهری آنلاین Archived 2007-10-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  103. Jump up^ Int’l congress on Molana opens in Tehran Archived 2007-12-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  104. Jump up^ Iran Daily — Arts & Culture — 10/03/06 Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  105. Jump up^ CHN | News
  106. Jump up^ “Podcast Episode: Living Dialogues: Coleman Barks: The Soul of Rumi (Thought-Leaders in Transforming Ourselves and Our Global Community with Duncan Campbell, Visionary Conversationalist, Living Dialogues.com”personallifemedia.com.
  107. Jump up^ tehrantimes.com, 300 dervishes whirl for Rumi in Turkey
  108. Jump up^ “Mawlana Rumi Review”facebook.com.
  109. Jump up to:a b “archetypebooks.com”archetypebooks.com.
  110. Jump up^ Lewisohn, Leonard. “Editor’s Note”Mawlana Rumi Review.

Further reading

English translations

Life and work

Persian literature

External links

Exclusive: Brexit Referendum ‘May Need to Be Redone’

Trump began to alter policy shortly after the election, then backed off because this became apparent. Trump Russian collusion is demonstrable from the data collection of Kaspersky and the targeted interference of Russia and their subcontractors.


Multiple sources with links to UK intelligence report that Russian corruption of the Brexit vote is far worse than previously thought. The referendum on remaining part of the EU received so much illegal foreign money and influence from Russia, these sources say, that UK intelligence is minded to recommend to Theresa May’s government that the Brexit vote be redone, as it is not thought that the vote was ‘free and fair’. This term is often used in Great Britain to describe a legitimate election process.

Patribotics is very grateful for the support of our readers, which makes this effort possible. If you can help us please donate. There are buttons around the site, or you could make a contribution here. 

It is illegal under UK electoral law for foreign nationals and entities to spend sums of money influencing domestic votes. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, sources…

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Thomas Morton: Ideas for Drama #2

   Now that the reverential part of Thanksgiving has passed, one cannot help, if they turn the page in the American literary tradition, to stumble upon the story of “Mort.” Thomas Morton did what others on the Mayflower considered doing, and split off like Shakespeare’s Jacques, perhaps, to settle his own community in the woods, still in the 1620’s. William Bradford conducted a comic minor war between the Plymouth and the wild men of Merry Mount, (now Quincy), a suburb south of Boston that rivals the Toledo war in demonstrating how funny war can be. Morton had rebelled against a lieutenant who was selling the common people into slavery in Virginia. Being a lawyer, or Esquire, a “Pettifogger of Furnival’s Inn” as Bradford calls him, Morton had all sorts of arguments about the limits of the authority of others- and even King James- in the new world. He is accused of selling arms to the natives, who hunted for him, as he was a competitor of the Pilgrims in furs. He was also accused of frolicking and fraternizing with the Natives about a certain May Pole. Morton was apparently read in Latin and Greek, while Brewster, the first American writer, is uneducated. As an Anglican, a regular guy, and English Scholar of the age just after Shakespeare, the contrasting appearance must have seemed strange to the Pious Scrooby Separatists. Their appearance to him is recorded in a speech worthy of being set to drama.**  His poetry for the Maypole celebrations, to which all including Indians were invited, includes some riddling lines that Brewster claimed meant something terrible, though Morton called their poems and dancing “harmless mirth by young men who desired…wives.” Bradford organized a raid to capture him and he was sent back to England. But by surprise, Morton returned as the secretary of Isaac Allerston, the very brother in law of William Brewster.* Brewster later burned the town, and dogged Morton back again to England, though he returned a third time to die in Main in 1647 under the protection of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. His book New English Cannon is a Christian Utopian work showing his efforts at new wold legislation, long before the other modern utopians. Since he was entertained by the Algonquins, he considered the natives ethically superior to the Europeans, and envisioned a society of equality and peace that is the alternative to the more theocratic Puritan Pilgrims of Plymouth.


*George F. Williston, Saints and Strangers, p. 304.

**Ibid,. p. 375.




   Our Thanksgiving commemorates a moment of peace and a feast between the settlers at Plymouth and the Wampanoag, and one treaty that was kept for 54 years. Squanto was a godsend to the Puritans in the year of 1621, after the first winter had killed nearly half the pilgrims. As William Bradford writes, Squanto was introduced to the pilgrims by Samoset, and…

…directed them how to set their corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities, and was also their pilot to bring them to unknown places for their profit, and never left them till he died. He was a native of this place, and scarce any left besides himself. He was carried away by one Hunt, a master of a ship, who thought to sell them for diverse slaves in Spain. But he got away for England and was entertained by a merchant in London, and employed to Newfoundland and other parts, and lastly brought hither into these parts by one Mr. Dermer…

   The pilgrims were quite lucky to find natives who spoke English. The whole tribe of Squanto, the “Patuxets,” had been killed by an illness, and Squanto himself soon died of a fever. Bradford continues…

All the summer there was no want ; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterwards decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.

   The treaty itself is quite interesting, following the Mayflower Compact, one written example of the founding of a political community by consent and contract, looking to just and equal laws aiming at the common good. They agree not to harm one another, and to fight with the Wampanoag against their enemies if they are unjustly attacked. So Thanksgiving is our day of gratitude set when the Pilgrims were grateful for the divine assistance of their friend and the sharing the first harvest, after near starvation. Without Squanto and Bradford, the European settlement on the continent would have been much different.

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, in The American Tradition in Literature, p. 25-27.

Conversations with Famous People IV: Hidetaka Nishiyama

   Japanese history must surely include the memory and legend of Mr. Nishiyama. For most of his life, he was the highest ranking person of Shotokan karate, and for a time the only living tenth degree, the highest rank attainable. Mr. Nishiyama was the one to bring the Japanese martial arts to the United States, and, despite the war, resided and taught here. He may have understood liberty. One surely must appreciate how the U. S. gave Germany and Japan back to the Germans and Japanese, ending the world where conquest was an assumed goal, and the misery of war the rule.  This setting aside of rule for self-government is similar to the refusal of Washington to become King George, when he might have. Mr. Nishiyama flew both the American and Japanese flags in his dojo, along with the picture of Mr. Funakoshi (whose pen name as a poet is Shoto). I saw Mr. Nishiyama because a teacher of mine, Mr. Skinner, was a follower of his, and tried to convert him to Christianity. Mr. Skinner was a soldier in the Korean war, and taught Karate, Judo, and Aikido at the local community college. The questions for us, of course, occur where the great traditions intersect.

   Whether there can be a Christian martial way is a good question. The best understanding of how Christianity and politics fit together seems to be that of Martin Luther King Jr., non violent civil disobedience being perfectly compatible with apostolic endeavors. There is only a single line in the Psalms about the abilities of David-who, like Hercules, fought lions and bears and bulls and such, showing that the human by mind and training can conquer these. Theseus too was able to defeat the monsters on the way to Athens, apparently without using his sword. The Christian martial teaching of Mr. Skinner truly is profound. Still, we would joke, “turn the other cheek…very fast!” But we had begun to wonder, for example,  about the Holy Spirit and ki. Mr Skinner was correct to note, in light of the Machiavellian critique, that most the U. S. Army Rangers, for example, are very Christian. Ki is the mysterious center of Karate, correctly the unique focus of the school of Mr. Skinner. It is mysterious, but the visible part has to do with breathing, abdominal muscles, and the center of the body, as of a circle. We would ask him repeatedly, “What is the beginning of ki?” or “How does one begin to practice with ki?”

   Stories about the abilities of Mr. Nishiyama abound, to the extent that we can hear these. He seemed to reveal these only to provide an example of what is possible. One such story is the demonstration that, standing with ki, he could not be lifted, even by two large men of rank. Another is his staying under water for near to the world record amount of time, another, his doing chin ups for a reporter, all the way up, so that the bar was at his waist- for 17 hours, till the reporter tired of watching him. He would catch flies at picnics- between two fingers. He would sleep little, like a Yogi, hitting brain waves in meditation.

   Because my teacher was such a follower of Mr. Nishiyama, and Mr Nishiyama quite friendly, even magnificent in the archaic sense, graciously visiting the clubs around the world, we had two occasions to speak with this great man, and it strikes us that his answers to naive questions are worth recording. The first occurred in Rockford, Illinois, where Mr. Nishiyama was a guest leading classes. As another teacher of mine (called Sensei) spoke to him in some detail, I stood a ways off, smoking and watching him. One absorbs learning from merely seeing such a man stand or walk. My best philosophy teachers are like that. Later, as these stood, I approached, and, having asked to ask a question,  asked, “Can an unjust man have Ki?”

   The aim is to connect the Greek study of the comprehensive science of the human things with the theoretical side of Shotokan. One would think that those seeking the higher degrees would especially look to this study, for example, of the philosopher-kings. The only thing like the Samurai training is the Spartan martial training, though one would not wish to oppose either a Roman soldier or a medieval knight. The Chinese temple training, alluded to by Bruce Lee and the t.v. show Kung Fu is excepted, because it does not appear. The arts may have entered China and Japan through Alexander, when he reached India, to be nourished in the temples for millennia.

   Despite his perfection, Mr. Nishiyama asked my sensei to clarify the English question. He said, “You know, good man / bad man, ki.” The question matters regarding a few issues. But for the arts, one looks for example for the inner faction which weakens injustice, and the good guy will win if an unjust man cannot have ki. To fight with justice, and only with justice, is stronger. But if it is all the same, then the martial arts cannot be or contain human perfection. The Samurai, though they do cultivate the intellect, have done no better at governing the nation than we have here in the West. It is the Greeks that cultivate political science. If an unjust man can “have” or be in ki, the arts are only an instrument, good or bad as these are used. One teacher is known to have nearly retired in despair upon learning that he had armed injustice.

   Another way to state the question is this: Do the martial arts teach when to fight, or only how to fight? In practice, even in sparring, we would never strike one another or do damage, and seek to always to act with intention. We bow to one another before we begin, respecting one another as ourselves.

   The question is similar to that of the use of technology in war. While we cultivate these powers in order to master nature, we do not cultivate the ability to use these powers well. And the unjust prevail, holding power as the world threatens to spin out of control, like Phaeton’s chariot. Diligence and injury select against the merely violent men and schools in the martial arts, but this too depends in part upon having just and noble men and women as instructors. To arm the weak against oppression has ever been the object of civilization, where, since Theseus and Hercules, crime-fighting is the universal goal of just political communities, and the noble goal of the martial arts.

   Mr. Nishiyama answered:

                                               “No. Heart controls ki.”

   That is of course the answer that we wanted to hear, but it is important to hear it spoken, and perhaps to know that the question makes sense in his terms. And it is of course a difficult and ongoing question, because evil seeks refuge first in arms, pursuing the violent and the appearance of power, and is often formidable and adept.

    Mr Nishiyama would tell Mr. Skinner that he was a practitioner of Bu-do, the way of the warrior. This too is a way of sacrifice and service, like the way of the cross.

In his book, too, published when he was young, he says:

                                                         “Mind like water”


                                                          “Mind like moon!”

   The second time we saw Nishiyama, our teacher, the one translating the question, had invited him to lead a seminar at a nearby college. I had questions written on my hand, but asked only one. In any technique, which part moves first? We were thinking of hip or leg and such, and especially of the spot below the navel as the center of a circle. Does a punch begin with the heel? His answer:

                                                        “Is like whip!”

My last memory of him is as he left: myself and my friend watched him walk down the long dark college hallway toward the light of day at the end of the hallway.

   One more note: Mr. Skinner said Mr. Nishiyama could fight ten masters while blindfolded, and it is known in jujitsu that one can practice blindfolded, apparently because perception is “creative,” or engendered from within. And we remember the blind master of Kain in the Bruce Lee teaching. Mr. Skinner asked him how could he do this? Is it by developing hearing, as do the blind? His answer:

“I see them in my mind”


Romeo and Juliet is Historical

   The story at the root of the great first tragedy of Shakespeare does seem to be based upon an actual love story that occurred in Verona in about 1302-3. Shakespeare famously telescopes the action of some months into about four days, and reduced the ages of the lovers emphasizing their innocence. According to a local history of Verona 2009-2013 (Renbel Travel Service), the Italian soldier and memoir writer da Porta heard the story form an archer named de Verona, or one from Verona. The story checks out in various ways. Dante, while exiled, was sheltered by the Della Scalas of Verona (Paradise, XVII), and mentions the Cappelletti and Montecchi families (Purgatory, VI), which a note (Charles Eliot Norton edition) identifies as Guelphs of Cremona and Ghibbelines of Verona. Bartolemeo I della Scala might even be the Prince shown in the play. But it is indeed the Christian factional disputes, here over the authority of the Emperor and that of the Pope over rule in Italy, that is the background or crossed stars that is the setting. So the point is indeed that Love, or the imago Dei, is sacrificed to purge the conventional Christian-coated factional hatreds.

   Nor is it surprising that the story should be true, as similar love stories happen among warring peoples, holding the seeds of peace. One such story famously occurred in the civil war in Sarjevo.

   Another way the story checks out is that there is a tomb of Juliet, which was of red marble, in the underground crypt of the East wing of a Church of St. Francisco al Corso which became a cloister there in Verona. Visitors once chipped off pieces to make love tokens. The tomb was hidden as a horse watering trough, because Juliet was considered a suicide, yet buried in sanctified ground- an issue also regarding Ophelia. An Archduke Giovanni took the cover to the tomb of Juliet from Verona to Vienna in the early nineteenth century, which may well have had writing on it. The Capulet family crypt may be elsewhere, buried but find-able beneath modern Verona. There is also a Montague house and a house given to the city by the Capelletto family, from the 1300’s, said to be Juliet’s house. One has to imagine where the orchard might have been. Girls answer lovers letters written to Juliet in an upstairs room.  I’d write, “Escape to Mantua!”

   I was sure I had read that the story was true, in the Introduction to a Collected Works in a bed-and-breakfast place in Stratford, Ont, where we would hitch hike to see plays and read in the Tim Horton’s by night. Seeing Plays, we would sleep in the park by day, shower at the Y, and get a room for one night to rest up. I once saw Judy Collins and The Tempest there in the same trip, staying on the island across from the theater, in the bushes! Sometimes friends, and once a love, came along. Once I chased, but luckily did not catch, a genuine and utterly gorgeous French actress (who no doubt remains chased to this day), and once fell for the girl who played Hermia, till I had to visit at the door of the backstage to persuade my soul that she was not herself Hermia! (And do not speak of Olivia Hussey playing Juliet, perhaps the Mona Lisa of Modern Film.) But I would usually go alone as a lost lover, like Romeo wandering among the trees for love of Rosaline, among the flower gardens made for tourists and honeymoon couples.