Friday, December 17, 2010

On the day of my death - Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi


Today, 17 December, is a memorable day for many who are familiar with Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi (30 September 1207 - 17 December 1273).

It's the day of his death, Jalaluddin Rumi, a remarkable 13th century Persian Sufi, poet, and author of  the much quoted Masnawi and Fihi ma Fihi.

In Turkey, the night of 17 December is known as Shebi Arus or Wedding Night where Mawlana's followers and admirers observe his urs (Arabic word for wedding). Wedding - "because the saint is believed to have attained 'union' (or utmost nearness together with other saints and the prophets) with God, the Only Beloved."

Rumi had in fact written a poem to remind people that death is indeed a celebration!

On the day of my death
On the day of my death
when my coffin is going by,
don't imagine that I have any pain
about leaving this world.
Don't weep for me,
and don't say,
"How terrible! What a pity!"
For you will fall into the error
of being deceived by the Devil,
and that would really be a pity!

When you see my funeral,
don't say, "Parting and separation!"
Since for me, that is the time
for union and meeting God.
And when you entrust me to the grave,
don't say,
"Good-bye! Farewell!"
For the grave is only a curtain
for hiding the gathering
of souls in Paradise.

When you see the going down,
notice the coming up.
Why should there be any loss
because of the setting of the sun and moon?
It seems like setting to you,
but it is rising.
The tomb seems like a prison,
but it is the liberation of the soul...
# All quotes are from Dar-al Masnavi and are re-published with the permission of Dr. Ibrahim Gamard. Read his article on 'Rumi's Wedding Night' here

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