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Turkey marks Rumi’s 'union with God'

  • 18 Dec 2018

The great sufi scholar and poet Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi died in 1273 in Konya, Turkey. This year marks the 845th death anniversary, which was marked with ceremonies in Konya and Istanbul.

Members of Konya Turkish Sufi Music Ensemble perform Sema ceremony during an event to commemorate 745th death anniversary of Mevlana Jalaluddin al Rumi, in Konya, Turkey (December 17, 2018). ( Aytug Can Sencar / AA )

Born into a Turkic family in 1207, in what is now Afghanistan, Mevlana Jalaluddin al Rumi is one of the most widely read philosophers in the world, with teachings that transcend boundaries of race, color, and religion.

The mystic and Islamic scholar's poetry is still widely read around the world, and his teachings on Sufism are followed worldwide and by dervishes, especially in Konya and Istanbul.

Turkey marks his death anniversary every year between December 7-17.

Here's some pictures of whirling dervishes in Istanbul and Konya, and some verses from his poems.

Members of Konya Turkish Sufi Music Ensemble perform Sema ceremony during an event to commemorate 745th death anniversary of Mevlana Jalaluddin al Rumi, in Konya, Turkey (December 16, 2018).(AA)

A secret turning in us/ makes the universe turn./ Head unaware of feet, / and feet head. Neither cares. / They keep turning. (translated by Coleman Banks)

Members of Konya Turkish Sufi Music Ensemble perform Sema ceremony during an event to commemorate 745th death anniversary of Mevlana Jalaluddin al-Rumi, in Konya, Turkey (December 16, 2018).(AA)

There is no early and late for us./ The only way to measure a lover is by the grandeur of the beloved./ Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle. (translated by Coleman Banks)

Rumi is fondly known by his followers in Turkey as Mevlana, which means scholar.(AA)

I honour those who try/ to rid themselves of any lying,/ who empty the self/ and have only clear being there. (translated By Coleman Banks)

Upon his death in 1273, Rumi’s followers founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the Sema ceremony.(AA)

The minute I heard my first love story/ I started looking for you, not knowing/ how blind that was./ Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere./ They’re in each other all along. (translated by Coleman Banks)

Dervishes perform during a ceremony marking the 745th death anniversary of Mevlana Jalaluddin al-Rumi in Istanbul, Turkey (December 17, 2018).(AA)

We are the mirror as well as the face in it. We are tasting the taste this minute/ of eternity. We are pain/ and what cures pain, both. We are/ the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. (translated by Coleman Banks)

Rumi's poem the Masnavi, with more than 50,000 verses, is considered the most influential work in Sufism, and has been translated into 25 languages.(AA)

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,/ Buddhist, sufi or zen. Not any religion/ or cultural system. I am not from the East/ or the West, nor out of the ocean or up/ from the ground, not natural or ethereal not/ composed of elements at all. (translated by Coleman Banks)

Rumi composed the Masnevi on man’s predicament in his search for God after losing his friend, the wandering dervish Shams Tabriz.(AA)

Do you think I know what I’m doing?/ That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself? / As much as a pen knows what it’s writing, or the ball can guess where it’s going next. (translated by Coleman Banks)

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