Friday, February 19, 2016

"Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in."

ZEN PENCILS » 190. RUMI: The Guest House: "Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273) was a Persian poet, scholar and Sufi master. He is a hugely influential figure in Islamic culture, is the most popular poet in the United States and collected translations of his works have sold millions of copies around the world. Rumi was a traditional Muslim preacher and scholar until the age of 37, when he met the Sufi mystic Shams of Tabriz. The two formed an intense friendship and Rumi completely devoted himself to Shams, shunning his usual teachings and disciples. The two were inseparable for three years, until Shams suddenly disappeared (some say he was murdered by Rumi’s followers who were jealous of the two). Rumi was shattered by the loss of his great friend and what followed was the greatest outpouring of heartbreak art in history. Over the next 25 years, produced an astounding amount of poetry, including 3000 love poems to Shams, the prophet Muhammad and God. He also wrote nearly 2000 quatrains (4 line stanzas) and the six-volume spiritual epic The Masnavi (one of the most important books in Islam)."

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