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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)