Jelaluddin Rumi was born in 1207. He was a religious teacher and spiritual philosopher in Persia. In fall of 1244, he met his beloved friend Shams of Tabriz, who would open Rumi up to a whole new level of spirit and inspire much of the ecstatic poetry that has called to so many people throughout the centuries.
Shams was a Dervish and spiritual wanderer. Shams sought and prayed for someone who could “endure my company.” Legend says a voice responded, “What will you give in return?” to which Shams immediately responded, “My head!” The answer: "The one you seek is Jelaluddin of Konya."
Of Shams, Rumi said, “What I had thought of before as God, I met today in a human being.” Their spiritual friendship blossomed immediately, leading Rumi closer to the Divine. It’s said that Rumi’s sons became jealous of this bond, and his son Allaedin is thought to be responsible for Sham’s disappearance. On December 5, 1248, Rumi and Shams sat talking, and Shams was called to the back door. He was never seen again. Rumi spent many years seeking the Friend, until he came to the realization:
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.
Rumi died on December 17, 1273. His students went on to found the Mevlevi Order, more commonly known as the Whirling Dervishes. His poetry continues to unite people with the Beloved to this day.
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