Some more thoughts of Rumi (1207-1273)

Some more excerpts from a book “The life and work of Jal;al Iddin Rumi by Dr. Afzal Iqbal.
Rumi says that there is a danger in judging life from the analogy of our own limited experience. Logic and intellect are limited. It is only the revelation, inspiration and act of the grace of God that illuminates the mind of man. Rumi says that it is possible to deny and affirm the same thing. The flame of a candle is non-existent in the presence of the sun, though in formal calculations it exists. If you put cotton on it, it will burn. But in reality it is non-existent, it gives no light. When you throw an ounce of vinegar in 100 pounds of sugar, the flavor is not existent, though the ounce exists as a surplus when you weigh it. He says that knowledge is inferior to certainty, but above opinion. Knowledge is a seeker of certainty, and certainty is a seeker of vision. Knowledge leads to a vision that is immediately born of certainty. He says the way to certainty is not the way of reason. One needs no proof in the presence of that which stands proved in front of one’s eyes.

Suppose that a sun has come to speech and says, “ Arise, for the day has risen; jump up do not dispute.” And suppose that you say, “ O sun where is the evidence?” It will say to you, “O blind one, beg of God (that He gives you) an eye.”

He says that our misfortune is that we see with the borrowed light and we think it is our own.

“Thou art content with the knowledge learned (from others); thou hast lit thine eye at another lamp.

He takes away his lamp, that thou mayst know thou art a borrower, not a giver.”

Rumi says that one needs a touchstone (Quran and teachings of Prophet is that touchstone). Without a touchstone, imagination and reason are not clearly distinguished.

Rumi was a great believer in free will, the capacity of man to choose his actions. Choice he calls the salt of devotion. Otherwise there would be no merit in prayer and piety. The celestial sphere revolves involuntarily, hence its revolution has neither reward nor punishment. We have honoured man says the Quran. The honour lies in the gift of free will. Our sense of guilt is the evidence of free will. If there were no free will, what is the shame and what is the sorrow?

Rumi defines justice as putting a thing in its right place and injustice as putting it in a wrong place. Nothing that God has created is in vain. Nothing is absolutely good nor is anything absolutely evil. The usefulness and harm of each thing depends on where you place it. That is why knowledge is necessary.



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I also have another blog with the same contents Called "Islam and Sufism an introduction" at

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