Ο πατέρας του, ο Μπαχά αντ-Ντιν Ουολόντ, ήταν διακεκριμένος μυστικός θεολόγος, συγγραφέας και δάσκαλος. Η οικογένεια εγκατέλειψε το Μπαλχ γύρω στο 1218 λόγω τής απειλούμενης εισβολής των Μογγόλων και έπειτα από μακρά περιπλάνηση, κατά την οποία επισκέφθηκε πιθανώς την Νισαπούρ και πραγματοποίησε προσκύνημα στην Μέκκα, εγκαταστάθηκε από το 1228 στο Ικόνιο, πρωτεύουσα των Σελτζούκιδων. Έναν χρόνο αργότερα, ο Ρουμί μυήθηκε στις μυστικές θεωρίες που είχαν διαμορφωθεί στο Ιράν. Πιθανώς τότε, αν όχι ήδη από παλαιότερα, απέκτησε επαφή με κύκλους Σουφιστών στην Συρία. όπου ίσως γνώρισε τον μεγάλο μυστικό φιλόσοφο Ιμπν-αλ-Αραμπί, ο οποίος μια φορά βλέποντας τον Ρουμί να ακολουθήσει τον πατέρα του είπε: «Ιδού ο ωκεανός που βαδίζει πίσω από τη λίμνη».
Ο Σουφισμός ως φιλοσοφικό κίνημα γεννήθηκε μέσα στους κύκλους των τεχνιτών των πόλεων που δεν δεχόταν την χλιδή της αριστοκρατίας. Οι Σούφιοι επέκριναν τα γήινα πλούτη, αποδοκίμαζαν την επιδεικτική ευσέβεια του ισλαμικού ιερατείου, δίδασκαν ότι η αγάπη προς των πλησίον και οι καλές πράξεις σημαίνουν πολύ περισσότερο παρά η εκτέλεση των ιεροτελεστιών. Η διδασκαλία τους έλεγε πως η προσωπικότητα μπορεί να προοδεύει μόνο στον δρόμο της άρνησης από την κοσμική ζωή και με αναζήτηση του εσωτερικού της κόσμου.Η σημαντική καμπή στην ζωή του συνέβη το 1244 όταν γνώρισε στους δρόμους τού Ικονίου τον περιπλανώμενο δερβίση Σαμς αντ-Ντιν (Ήλιος τής θρησκείας) από την Ταυρίδα, ο οποίος τού αποκάλυψε τα μυστήρια τού θείου μεγαλείου και κάλλους. Ο απόλυτος δεσμός του με τον Σαμς προκάλεσε τις κλιμακούμενες αντιδράσεις τής οικογένειας του. Τελικά, το 1247. ο Σαμς εξαφανίστηκε μυστηριωδώς και δεν επανεμφανίστηκε πλέον. Όπως αποδείχθηκε πρόσφατα είχε δολοφονηθεί.Η εμπειρία αυτή τού έρωτα, τής νοσταλγίας και τής απώλειας, αποκάλυψε το ποιητικό χάρισμα τού Ρουμί. Οι χιλιάδες στίχοι του εκφράζουν όλα τα στάδια τού μυστικού έρωτα ως την πλήρη ένωση-ταύτιση τού εραστή-ερωμένου, σε σημείο ώστε να υπογράφει συχνά τα ποιήματα του ως Σαμς και να τιτλοφορήσει την συλλογή του «Η συλλογή τού Σαμς». Η μέθεξη τής φύσης στον εκστατικό ερωτά του εκφράζεται με τέτοια αμεσότητα και ρυθμικότητα τού λόγου, ώστε να δημιουργηθεί η πεποίθηση ότι συνέθετε τα ποιήματα του σε κατάσταση έκστασης, χορεύοντας.
Πριν το θάνατό του είπε: «Όταν θα πεθαίνω να με ψάξετε όχι μέσα στη γη, αλλά στις καρδιές των μορφωμένων ανθρώπων»
Jalal-oddin Mohammad Rumi, better known in Iran as Movladi was born in 1207 in Balkh. Rumi is one of those poets whose life is as interesting as his works. As a Sufi, who 'lived his thoughts', his daily life complemented the undulations of his poetry. Our impression of Rumi is therefore derived from both his works and the detailed accounts of his life. Since the poetry of Rumi is at times difficult to understand, it is fortunate that so much about his personal life is reflected in the work of his biographers. More is known about him, than any other writer of Medieval Persia. His father, Baha-oddin Valad, was a famous theologian and expert in cannon law, who came from a long line of distinguished divines. On his mother's side, Rumi was probably related to the royal family of Kharazm shahs. When he was about fourteen, Rumi and his family left Balkh, never to return again. Rumi's family was invited by Sultan Kaighobad Saljughi (reigned 1219-1236) to settle in his capital of Konia. Rumi spent almost all his adult life in konia and thus aquired the name Rumi which means Greek because Greeks in Asia Minor were called Rum and it was once the centure of the Byzantine Empire.
Upon the death of his father in 1231, Rumi became a disciple of Borhan-oddin Mohaghegh, another ex-patriate from Balkh who for the next nine years undertook the spiritual guidance of Rumi. It was Borhan-oddin who initiated Rumi into the mysteries of the Sufi ways and doctrine, and guided his seven-year journey in Syria where he met some great teachers of Islam-encluding probably, the Andalusian theosophist Ebn-Arabi who died in Damascus in 1240. After the death of Borhan-oddin in 1241, Rumi became the spiritual leader of an encreasing group of followers left behind by his father and Borhan-oddin. For about four years, he led the life of a regular religious leader, teaching disciples, and preaching. Having been married at seventeen, by then he had two sons. Had the next event not happened, Rumi would have probably lived and died as an outstanding theologist and preacher. However, what happened next inflamed him in love that turned the theologist into the sage, the preacher into the great poet.
Very little is known about Shams Tabrizi, the mysterious magnetic wandering dervish who set Rumi ablaze, but he does not appear to have been extraordinarily learned. In 1244 Shams entered Konia and at the first meeting with Rumi, he captivated the 37 year old divine so completely that for the next four months, he neclected his family and desciples. Rumi spend all his time with Shams. To him Shams was the very incarnation of the Perfect Man, and the worthiest object of his profoundest love. Indeed the relationship between the two men can be described under no other word other than 'love'. Rumi was never the same again. Except on rare occasions, he did not give sermons anymore. Despite his former distain of poetry, he now composed lines of unprecedented fervency. Rumi's ecstasy had begun. The rest of his life was to be that of a whirling dancer, a butterfly circling the flame of love, a particle drawn and illuminated by Shams (Shams means light). Outraged by the niglet which this all consumming love had subjected them to, Rumi's disciples twice rioted forcing Shams to flee to Damascus. Each time Rumi sent his own son to implore Shams to return. However, when he had thoroughly purified Rumi's heart with the flame of love, Shams Tabrizi, as was his wish, disapeared. This was in 1247. Rumi then undertook a journey in search of Shams, but Shams never reappeared. Rumi spent the rest of his life singing like a bird encaged by the bars of existence, ever longing for a reunion with the sourse of light, Shams or the sun. The disappearance of Shams so transformed Rumi, that he withdrew into the circle of his devoted disciples. He spent most of his time in maditation and the composition of extempore poems which his students wrote down. It is said that many of his poems were composed in amantic franzy caused by chanting of prayers, dancing, or rotating around a nerrow column which stood in his lodgings.
To tend to daily affairs of his dervish house, he appointed a young devotee by the name of salah-oddin Zarhub, as his deputy. Zarhub, much loved by his master, managed the house for ten years. After his early death, Rumi, appointed Hesam-oddin, another young devotee as his deputy. The two deputies had an important role in the spiritual and artistic life of Rumi, who after Sham's disappearance, had become a consummate lover not only of the sought but also of the true seekers. In Rumi's life, such seekers were attractive young men, and they brought out his best poetry. Rumis love for Zarkur inspired him to write a number of lyrics. Hesam-oddin, his second deputy, ecouraged him to write his great Masnavi-e Ma'navi. Until his death at the age of sixty-eight, Rumi, lived in ralative seclusion among his disciples. In 1273 Rumi died. He is Burried in Konia next to his son and near where whirling dervishes of the Movlavi Order perform their rituals to this day. It is said that because of his talerance for members of all religions, his funeral was attented by a large group of mourners including Jews and Christians. Rumi is the author of two works which are monumental both in size and poetic merit. The first is the Divan Shams Tabrizi, a huge collection of poems in which instead of his own, Rumi uses the symbolic name of Shams. Rumi's other great work is the Masnavi-e Ma'navi, a poem composed of six books and twenty-six thousand distichs.
From the book:
A History Of Persian Literature
Collage of translation,