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.



Rumi (1208-1292) from Masnavi. We and our existence….

We and our existences are non-existent: Thou art the absolute appearing in the guise of moralityThat which moves us is thy Gift: our whole being is of thy creation

Thou didst show the beauty of Being unto not-being, after Thou hadst caused not-being to fall in love with Thee.

Take not away the delight of Thy Bounty: take not away Thy dessert and wine and wine-cup!

But if Thou takest it away, who will question Thee? Does the picture quarrel with the painter?

Look not on us, look on Thine own Loving-kindness and Generosity!

We were not: there was no demand on our part; yet Thy Grace heard our silent prayer and called us into existence.


Rumi (1207-1273) captive bird, a story from Masnavi.

Rumi, Sadi and others used stories to convey morals. Masnavi has many and here is one.

A certain man caught a bird by guile and trap; the bird said to him, “O noble sire,thou hast eaten many oxen and sheep, thou hast sacrificed many camels;Thou hast never in the world been sated(satisfied) by them, neither wilt thou be sated by my limbs. Let me go, that I may bestow on thee three counsels, that thou mayest perceive whether I am wise or foolish. (I will give thee) the first of those counsels on thy hand, the second of them on thy plastered roof, and the third counsel I will give thee on a tree. (let me go), for thou will become fortunate through these three counsels.  (As for) that saying which is (to be said) on thy hand, ‘tis this; ‘do not believe an absurdity (when thou hearest it) from anyone.’”When it (the bird) had uttered the first grave counsel on his palm, it became free and went (to perch) on the wall of his house,And said, “The second is, ‘do not grieve over (what is) past; when it has passed from thee, do not feel regret for it.”After that, it said to him, “In my body is concealed a solitary (large and precious) pearl 10 dirhems in weight.By thy soul’s truth (as sure as thou livest), that jewel was thy fortune and the luck of thy children.Thou hast missed the pearl, for it was not thy appointed lot (to gain it)—a pearl the like of which is not in existence.”——Khwaja began to cry out clamorously.The bird said to him, Did not I admonish thee, saying, ‘Let there be no grief in thee for what passed yesterday’?Since it is the past and gone , why art thou grieving? Either thou didst not understand my counsel or thou art deaf.And (as regards) the second counsel I gave thee, (namely), ‘Do not from misguidedness put any belief in an absurd statement,’O lion, I do not myself weigh 10 dirhems ; how should the weight of 10 dirhems be within me?”The khwaja came back to himself (recovered from his wits) and said, “Hark, disclose the third (piece of) excellent counsel.”“Yes,” said the bird, “thou hast made good use of those (former counsels), that I should tell (thee) the third counsel in vain!”To give counsel to a sleepy ignoramus is to scatter seed in nitrous soil.The rent of folly and ignorance does not admit of being patched up; do not give the seed of wisdom to him (the fool), O counselor.



Maulana Jalal Uddin Rumi (1207-1273) Every fantasy….

Every fantasy from Msanavi of Rumi..

Every fantasy devours another fantasy:
one thought feeds on another.
You can’t be delivered(set free( from fantasy
or fall asleep to escape from it altogether.
Your thoughts are like hornets, and your sleep is like the water
in which you are plunged: when you awake, the hornets return,
and many hornet-like fantasies fly in
and draw you now this way and then that way.
This mental fantasy is the least of the devourers:
the Almighty knows how great the others are.
Listen, flee from the hordes of devourers
towards the One who has said, ‘We are your protector’ [their
footnote: “Qur’an: Surah Al-Imran (The House of Imran), 3:150″];
or if you can’t hasten towards the Protector Himself,
towards the one who has gained that power of protection.”

Maulana Rumi (1207-1273) on causation

Causation from Masnavi of Rumi

 God hath established a rule and causes and means for the sake of who seek Him under the canopy.

Most things come to pass according to the rule, but some time His power breaks the rule.

He established a goodly rule and custom; He made the evidentiary miracle a breach of custom.

O thou who art ensnared by causes, do not imagine that the Causer is defunct!

The Causer brings into existence whatsoever He will, His Omnipotence can destroy all causes;

But, for the most part, He lets the execution of His Will follow the course of causation,

In order that seeker may be able to pursue their object of desire.

Where there is no cause, what way should the seeker pursue?

He must have a visible cause in the way he is going.

Causes are films on the eyes, for not every eye is worthy to contemplate His work.

Rumi (1207-1273) O friend…

A selection from Masnavi  of Rumi

“O friends, God has given me inspiration.
Oftentimes strong counsel is suggested to the weak.
The wit taught by God to the bee
Is withheld from the lion and the wild ass.
It fills its cells with liquid sweets,
For God opens the door of this knowledge to it.
The skill taught by God to the silkworm
Is a learning beyond the reach of the elephant.