800 years ago today, on 30th September 1207, the mystical poet Rumi was born. Rumi’s wisdom on spiritual themes was widely referred to in Persian literature and literature from other parts of that region, his poetry has also become famous around the world and has more recently been incorporated into some pop songs, such as Bittersweet by Madonna in 1998. There is an article about Rumi’s birthplace here on the BBC News website.
Rumi is referenced several times in what Shoghi Effendi described as Baha’u’llah’s “greatest mystical composition”, The Seven Valleys, as well as The Four Valleys which is usually published along side The Seven Valleys. Both of these scriptural works offer mystical insights into themes of spiritual search and progress and were written in response to questions posed to Baha’u’llah.
In Memorials of the Faithful, by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, it is recorded that Baha’u’llah wrote down an ode of Rumi’s for a follower called Ustad Isma’il to sing. The ode is transtalted as follows:
I am lost, O Love, possessed and dazed,
Love’s fool am I, in all the earth.
They call me first among the crazed,
Though I once came first for wit and worth.
O Love, who sellest me this wine,
O Love, for whom I burn and bleed,
Love, for whom I cry and pine—
Thou the Piper, I the reed.
If Thou wishest me to live,
Through me blow Thy holy breath.
The touch of Jesus Thou wilt give
To me, who’ve lain an age in death.
Thou, both End and Origin,
Thou without and Thou within—
From every eye Thou hidest well,
And yet in every eye dost dwell.