Mevlana Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in America. Born in Afghanistan, he later migrated to turkey and settled there. He is the best known Muslim Sufi poet, particularly in the west. His poetry and prose is brimming with the love of God and self realization through Divine love. He takes you to a journey of love and self discovery. It has been a few decades since his teachings have started illuminating the western world after enlightening the east for centuries.

Mevlana Rumi the Most Popular Poet in America

The Theme of Rumi’s Works

Rumi’s original Persian poetry and prose has been translated into English by numerous American, English, German and Indian writers. The main theme of his works is the union with our true Beloved (God) and the journey to discover the meaning of life and the purpose of creation. He professes that we were a part of this Supreme Being and our impurity has cut us off from Him.

We search for Him here and there

while looking right at Him.

Sitting by His side we ask,

"O Beloved, where is the Beloved?"

The purpose of creation is to purify ourselves since it is the only way to seek union with our Root, our True Beloved. Rumi's major work is the "Mathnawi", comprising of 25,000 verses of spiritual teaching and Sufi wisdom. Mathnawi is considered as the greatest spiritual masterpiece ever written.

Why is Rumi so Popular in America?

It is indeed thought provoking as to why and how Rumi has become so popular in United States. It is in fact a sign of great spiritual thirst within Americans and wherever he is read. Moreover, the universal appeal of his teachings has attracted all religions and cultures to him. According to Shahram Shiva, "The world of Rumi is neither exclusively the world of a Sufi, nor the world of a Hindu, nor a Jew, nor a Christian; it is the highest state of a human being - a fully evolved human. Today Rumi's poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene."

Rumi provides an answer to many of the questions that disturb us. Why am I born? What is the purpose of creation? Where am I going to go after death?

"I died as a mineral and became a plant,

I died as plant and rose to animal,

I died as animal and I was Man.

Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar

With angels blest; but even from angelhood

I must pass on: all except God doth perish.

When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,

I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.

Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence

Proclaims in organ tones, 'To Him we shall return.'"

The Whirling Dervishes

The recently released Indian film "Jodha Akbar" shows a glimpse of whirling dervishes in the song "Khawaja merey khawaj". The whirling dervishes in fact come from the Sufi order of Mevlana Rumi. It was Rumi who introduced this whirling or Sema as a form of human being's spiritual journey and love to Perfection. Turning toward the Truth, he experiences love, goes beyond the ego, meets the truth, and reaches at Perfection. Then he returns from this spiritual journey after becoming mature and complete; he can love and serve the creation without any discrimination.

The Discourse of Rumi and Divan-e- Shams Tabraiz are Rumi’s other masterpieces. He invites mankind to love God and be a part of Him since we are what we love. Our souls are restless because we are veiled from the Beloved. Once we polish the mirror of the heart, the Beloved would reflect in it. What Rumi presents here is in fact the mystical teaching of Islam as put by Prophet Muhammad ( may peace be upon him): "The best of God's servants are those who, when seen, remind one of God." We are with our Beloved, a part of Him, but our own impurities do not let us merge with Him. The result is chaos and restlessness as the world is experiencing today.