Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (جلالالدین محمد رومی) Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (جلالالدین محمد بلخى) (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273) was an Afghan philosopher, theologian, poet, teacher, and founder of the Mevlevi (or Mawlawi) order of Sufism; also known as Mevlana (Our Guide), Jalaluddin Rumi, or simply Rumi.
- Love is the ark appointed for the righteous,
Which annuls the danger and provides a way of escape.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.
- The Masnavi, Book IV, Story II, as translated in Masnavi I Ma'navi : The Spiritual Couplets of Maulána Jalálu-'d-Dín Muhammad Rúmí (1898) by Edward Henry Whinfield
- Variant: Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.
- پيل اندر خانه يي تاريک بود عرضه را آورده بودندش هنود
از براي ديدنش مردم بسي اندر آن ظلمت همي شد هر کسي
ديدنش با چشم چون ممکن نبود اندر آن تاريکي اش کف مي بسود
آن يکي را کف به خرطوم اوفتاد گفت همچون ناودان است اين نهاد
آن يکي را کف بر گوشش رسيد آن بر او چون بادبيزن شد پديد
آن يکي را کف بر پايش بسود گفت شکل پيل ديدم چون عمود
آن يکي بر پشت او بنهاد دست گفت خود اين پيل چون تختي بُدست
هم چنين هر يک به جزوي که رسيد فهم آن مي کرد هر جا مي شنيد
از نظرگه گفتشان شد مختلف آن يکي دالش لقب داد اين الف
در کف هر کس اگر شمعي بدي اختلاف از گفتشان بيرون شدي
چشم حس همچون کف دست است و بس نيست کف را بر همة او دسترس
کف ديگر هست و دريا دگر کف رها کن از سر دريا نگر
- Masnavi-I Ma'navi, Book III, verses 1259–1270
- Some Hindoos were exhibiting an elephant in a dark room, and many people collected to see it. But as the place was too dark to permit them to see the elephant, they all felt it with their hands, to gain an idea of what it was like. One felt its trunk, and declared that the beast resembled a water-pipe; another felt its ear, and said it must be a large fan; another its leg, and thought it must be a pillar; another felt its back, and declared the beast must be like a great throne. According to the part which each felt, he gave a different description of the animal. One, as it were, called it "Dal" and another "Alif."
If you give a candle to everyone, their differences will be gone,
Compare the sensual eye to the
hand of one that felt the elephant.
The eye of outward sense is as the palm of a hand,
The whole of the object is not grasped in the palm.
The sea itself is one thing, the foam another;
Neglect the foam, and regard the sea with your eyes.
- Reason is like an officer when the King appears;
The officer then loses his power and hides himself.
Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun.
- Come to the orchard in Spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts in the pomegranate flowers. If you do not come, these do not matter. If you do come, these do not matter.
- This is what is signified by the words Anā l-Ḥaqq, "I am God." People imagine that it is a presumptuous claim, whereas it is really a presumptuous claim to say Ana 'l-'abd, "I am the slave of God"; and Anā l-Ḥaqq, "I am God" is an expression of great humility. The man who says Ana 'l-'abd, "I am the servant of God" affirms two existences, his own and God's, but he that says Anā l-Ḥaqq, "I am God" has made himself non-existent and has given himself up and says "I am God", that is, "I am naught, He is all; there is no being but God's." This is the extreme of humility and self-abasement.
- Commenting on the famous expression of Mansur al-Hallaj, for which al-Hallaj was executed as a blasphemer, in The Mathnawí of Jalálu'ddín Rúmí, Vol. 4, part 7, edited by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1940) p. 248
- Variant translation: People imagine that it is a presumptive claim, whereas it is really a presumptive claim to say "I am the slave of God"; and "I am God" is an expression of great humility. The man who says "I am the slave of God" affirms two existences, his own and God's, but he that says "I am God" has made himself non-existent and has given himself up and says "I am God", that is, "I am naught, He is all; there is no being but God's." This is the extreme of humility and self-abasement.
- Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it.
Whoever has polished it more sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to him.
- As quoted in The Sufi Path of Love : The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (1983) by William C. Chittick, p. 162
- I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return.
- "I Died as a Mineral", as translated in The Mystics of Islam (1914) edited by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, p. 125
- Variant translation: Originally, you were clay. From being mineral, you became vegetable. From vegetable, you became animal, and from animal, man. During these periods man did not know where he was going, but he was being taken on a long journey nonetheless. And you have to go through a hundred different worlds yet.
- As quoted in Multimind (1986) by Robert Ornstein
- Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving — it doesn't matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
Come, come again, come.
- As quoted in Sunbeams : A Book of Quotations (1990) by Sy Safransky, p. 67
- Variant translations:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire, come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again. Ours is not a caravan of despair.
- As quoted in Muslim Narratives and the Discourse of English (2004) by Amin Malak, p. 151
- Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of living, it doesn't matter
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come even if you have broken your vow a thousand times,
Come, yet again, come, come.
- As quoted in Rumi and His Sufi Path of Love (2007) by M Fatih Citlak and Huseyin Bingul, p. 81
- Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.
- As quoted in Turkey: A Primary Source Cultural Guide (2004) by Martha Kneib
- This poem is wrongly considered to be Rumi's work, where it is actually from Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr. The original poem in Farsi is
- باز آ باز آ هر آنچه هستی باز آ گر کافر و گبر و بتپرستی باز آ این درگه ما درگه نومیدی نیست صد بار اگر توبه شکستی باز آ
- Little by little, wean yourself. This is the gist of what I have to say. From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood, move to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom, to a hunter of more invisible game.
Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo. You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate. There are wheatfields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom. At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."
You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed. Listen to the answer.
There is no "other world." I only know what I've experienced. You must be hallucinating.
- As quoted in The Enlightened Mind (1991), edited by Stephen Mitchell
- Our caravan leader is the pride of the world, Mustafa [Muhammad]
- As quoted in And Muhammad is his Messenger : The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety (1985) by Annemarie Schimmel, p. 215
- Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.
- As quoted in Marry Your Muse : Making a Lasting Commitment to Your Creativity (1997) by Jan Phillips, p. 75
- I am so happy, I cannot be contained in the world;
But like a spirit, I am hidden from the eyes of the world.
If the foot of the trees were not tied to earth, they would be pursuing me;
For I have blossomed so much, I am the envy of the gardens.
- Divan 1740:1-3, as translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz in Reading Mystical Lyric : The Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi (1998)
- The men of God are like fishes in the ocean; they pop up into view on the surface here and there and everywhere, as they please.
- He whose intellect overcomes his desire is higher than the angels; he whose desire overcomes his intellect is less than an animal.
- As quoted in The Rumi Collection : An Anthology of Translations of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (2000) by Kabir Helminski
- The fault is in the one who blames. Spirit sees nothing to criticize.
- As quoted in Rumi Wisdom: Daily Teachings from the Great Sufi Master (2000) by Timothy Freke
- Variant: The fault is in the blamer — Spirit sees nothing to criticize.
- Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.
- As quoted in Path for Greatness : Spiritualty at Work (2000) by Linda J. Ferguson, p. 51
He says, "There’s nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
This is how Hallaj said, I am God,
and told the truth!
The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.
Completely become hearing and ear, and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.
- As quoted in Head and Heart : A Personal Exploration of Science and the Sacred (2002) by Victor Mansfield
- I want a heart which is split, part by part, because of the pain of separation from God, so that I might explain my longing and complaint to it.
- The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr.
- As quoted in Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses — Annotated and Explained (2004) by Ibrahim Gamard p. 171
- 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
- As quoted in "Rumi and Self-Discovery" by Ibrahim Gamard, in Islamica Magazine Issue 15, (Summer 2005)
- You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?
- As quoted in Wisdom for the Soul : Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) by Larry Chang, p. 26
- Whoever enters the Way without a guide
will take a hundred years to travel a two-day journey.
The Prophet said "In this way you have no more
faithful companion than your works."
How can these works and this earning in the way of righteousness
be accomplished without a master, O father? Can you practice the meanest profession in the world
without a master's guidance?
Whoever undertakes a profession without a master
becomes the laughingstock of city and town.
- Mathnavi translated by William Chittick pp. 122-123 as quoted in Classical Islam and Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani p. 153
- We have a way from this visible world to the Unseen,
For we are the companions of Religions Messenger.
We have a way from the house to the garden,
we are the neighbor of the cypress and jasmine.
Every day we come to the garden
and see a hundred blossoms.
In order to scatter them among the lovers,
we will our robes to overflowing. Behold our words!
They are the fragrance of those roses -
we are the rosebush of certainty's rose garden.
- Divan as quoted in Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition By Muhammad Hisham Kabbani p.195
- I have endowed everyone with a temperament of his own, given everyone an idiom of his own; so that what is praise for him is blame for thee, what is honey for him is poison for thee, what is light for him is fire for thee, what is rose for him is thorn for thee, what is good for him is evil for thee, what is beautiful for him is ugly for thee. In the people of Hindustan the idiom of Hindustan is praiseworthy; in the people of Sind, the idiom of Sind is praiseworthy. I do not see the outward and the speech; I see the inward and the state [of feeling]. For the heart is the substance and speech an accident. So, the accident is subservient, the substance is the [real] object. The religion of love stands apart from all religions. For lovers the [only] religion and creed is God.
- Rumi, quoted from Harsh Narain, Myths of Composite Culture and Equality of Religions (1990) p. 20-21 
Rumi Daylight (1990)
- Rumi Daylight: A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance (1990) translations by Camille Adams Helminsk and Kabir Helminski
- God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.
- This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace
to extract the silver from the dross.
This testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away.
- Fortunate is he who does not carry envy as a companion.
- If you wish mercy, show mercy to the weak.
- If you dig a pit for others to fall into,
you will fall into it yourself.
- Many of the faults you see in others, dear reader,
are your own nature reflected in them.
- Whoever gives reverence receives reverence.
- If you are irritated by every rub,
how will your mirror be polished?
- Anyone in whom the troublemaking self has died,
sun and cloud obey.
If you wish to shine like day,
burn up the night of self-existence.
Dissolve in the Being who is everything.
- There is no worse sickness for the soul,
O you who are proud, than this pretense of perfection.
The heart and eyes must bleed a lot
before self-complacency falls away.
- When the remedy you have offered only increases the disease, then leave him who will not be cured, and tell your story to someone who seeks the truth.
Jewels of Remembrance (1996)
- Jewels of Remembrance : A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance : Containing 365 Selections from the Wisdom of Rumi (1996) Translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski
- Are you fleeing from Love because of a single humiliation?
What do you know of Love except the name?
Love has a hundred forms of pride and disdain,
and is gained by a hundred means of persuasion.
Since Love is loyal, it purchases one who is loyal:
it has no interest in a disloyal companion.
The human being resembles a tree; its root is a covenant with God:
that root must be cherished with all one's might.
- Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune:
every success depends upon focusing the heart.
- III, 2302-5
- Even though you're not equipped,
equipment isn't necessary on the way to the Lord.
- III, 1445-49
- If an ant seeks the rank of Solomon,
don't smile contemptuously upon its quest.
Everything you possess of skill, and wealth and handicraft,
wasn't it first merely a thought and a quest?
- III, 1445-49
- When you see anyone complaining
of such and such a person's ill-nature and bad temper,
know that the complainant is bad-tempered,
forasmuch as he speaks ill of that bad-tempered person,
because he alone is good-tempered who is quietly forbearing
towards the bad-tempered and ill-natured.
- IV, 771-4
- That which God said to the rose,
and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
- III, 4129
- Many have been led astray by the Qur'an:
by clinging to that rope many have fallen into the well.
There is no fault in the rope, O perverse man,
for it was you who had no desire to reach the top.
- III, 4210-11
Essential Sufism (1997)
- Essential Sufism (1997) by James Fadiman and Robert Frager
- If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.
- The lower self does not want anyone to receive anything from anybody else, and if it is aware of something receiving a special boon, it seeks to destroy it.
- Whatever posessions and objects of its desires the lower self may obtain, it hangs on to them, refusing to let them go out of greed for more, or out of fear of poverty and need.
Hush Don't Say Anything to God (1999)
- Hush Don't Say Anything to God : Passionate Poems of Rumi (1999) as translated by Shahram Shiva
- To Love is to reach God.
Never will a Lover's chest
feel any sorrow.
Never will a Lover's robe
be touched by mortals.
Never will a Lover's body
be found buried in the earth.
To Love is to reach God.
- When in Love,
body, mind, heart and soul don't even exist.
- Love rests on no foundation.
It is an endless ocean,
with no beginning or end.
- They will ask you
what you have produced.
Say to them,
except for Love,
what else can a Lover produce?
- My head is bursting
with the joy of the unknown.
My heart is expanding a thousand fold.
flies about the world.
All seek separately
the many faces of my Beloved.
- There is a certain cloud,
impregnated with a
There is my body,
in it an ocean formed of his glory,
all the creation,
all the universes,
all the galaxies,
are lost in it.
- I always thought that
I was me — but no,
I was you
and never knew it.
- This is a gathering of Lovers.
In this gathering
there is no high, no low,
no smart, no ignorant,
no special assembly,
no grand discourse,
no proper schooling required.
There is no master,
This gathering is more like a drunken party,
full of tricksters, fools,
mad men and mad women.
This is a gathering of Lovers.
- Love said to me,
there is nothing that is not me.
I don't know where I am.
At times I plunge
to the bottom of the sea,
at times, rise up
like the Sun.
At times, the universe is pregnant by me,
at times I give birth to it.
- A hundred souls cried out, but
we are yours, we are yours, we are yours.
You are the light
that spoke to Moses and said
I am God, I am God, I am God.
I said Shams-e Tabrizi, who are you?
He said, I am you, I am you, I am you.
- Even if you lose yourself in wrath
for a hundred thousand years,
at the end you will discover,
it is me, who is the culmination of your dreams.
- Didn't I tell you
not to be satisfied with the veil of this world?
I am the master illusionist,
it is me, who is the welcoming banner at the gate of your contentment.
- Didn't I tell you?
I am an ocean, you are a fish;
do not go to the dry land,
it is me, who is your comforting body of water.
- Didn't I tell you?
They will accuse you of all the wrongdoings,
they will call you ugly names,
they will make you forget
it is me, who is the source of your happiness.
Teachings of Rumi (1999)
- Quotes from Teachings of Rumi (1999), as translated by Andrew Harvey
- The branch might seem like the fruit's origin:
In fact, the branch exist because of the fruit.
- "There's no courage", The Prophet said, "before the war has begun."
Drunkards vaunt their bravery when you speak of war.
But in the blaze of battle they scatter like mice.
I'm astonished by the man who wants purity
And yet trembles when the harshness of polishing begin...
When a man beats a carpet again and again
It's not the carpet he's attacking, but the dirt in it.
Hush, Don't Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi (2000)
- Hush, Don't Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi (2000) as translated by Shahram Shiva
- Love is best when mixed with anguish.
- In our town,
- we won't call you a Lover
- if you escape the pain.
- Look for Love in this way,
- welcome it to your soul,
- and watch you spirit fly away in ecstasy.
- I am so drunk
- I have lost the way in
- and the way out.
- I have lost the earth, the moon, and the sky.
- Don't put another cup of wine in my hand,
- pour it in my mouth,
- for I have lost the way to my mouth.
- Everyday my heart falls deeper in the pain of your sorrow.
- Your cruel heart is weary of me already.
- You have left me alone, yet your sorrow remains.
- Truly your sorrow is more faithful than you are
The Quatrains of Rumi (2008)
- The Quatrains of Rumi (2008) as translated by Ibrahim Gamard and Rawan Farhadi
- Love is the path and road of our Prophet
- We were born from Love and Love was our mother.
- O you who are our mother, you are hidden within veils,
- Concealed from our disbelieving natures
- "The States of the Lover", p. 456
- The fire of Love cooks me
- Every night it drags me to the Tavern.
- It seats me with the People of the Tavern
- So that no one except the People of the Tavern will know me.
- "The States of the Lover", p. 458
- By eating meagerly, you become clever and aware.
- And by eating gluttonously, you become foolish and idle.
- Your being full of misery is entirely from your gluttony.
- You will become less miserable if you become a sparse eater.
- "Advice to the Disciple and Aspirant" p. 507
- If you dwell with unaware people, you will be cold,
- But if you dwell with aware ones, you will be a true man
- Go, and build your hermit cell inside a furnace, like gold
- If you go out of the furnace, you will be frozen solid
- "Advice to the Disciple and Aspirant", p. 516
- Dwell in the place where your companions are spiritual heroes,
- So that they may wash the foul soot from your [heart]
- Don't think about their faults, for they
- Will know about it before you think.
- "Advice to the Disciple and Aspirant" p. 527
Quotes about Rumi
- Strange as it may seem to our Western egoism, the prospect of sharing in the general, impersonal immortality of the human soul kindles in the Sufi an enthusiasm as deep and triumphant as that of the most ardent believer in a personal life continuing beyond the grave. Jalaluddin, after describing the evolution of man in the material world and anticipating his further growth in the spiritual universe, utters a heartfelt prayer — for what? — for self-annihilation in the ocean of the Godhead.
- Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, in The Mystics of Islam (1914) edited by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, p. 124
- The Foundation of Universal Lovers of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi (EMAV)
- Jalaluddin Rumi
- The Threshold Society and Mevlevi Order
- Rumi: Daylight Selections from the Mathnawi translated by Camille & Kabir Helminski
- The Mevlevi Order of America
- Official website of the family of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
- Translations compared at Blissbat
- Selected poetry at Blissbat
- Selected poetry at AllSpirit
- Collection of Rumi Quotes - RumiQuotesDb.com
- RumiOnFire.com - A Tribute to Rumi
- "Persian Poet Top Seller In America"' by Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor (25 November 1997)
- Selected poetry at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook
- Selected poetry at PoetSeers
- Selection of Rubaiyat Rumi in Persian
- Quotes and pictures
- "A feather on the breath of God" by Nur Elmessiri in Al-Ahram Weekly Online Issue No. 385 (9 - 15 July 1998)