0939 GMT November 13, 2019
Rumi’s influence extends beyond national borders and ethnic divisions. Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and Southeast Asian Muslims have been heavily influenced by the Persian poet’s spiritual heritage over the past centuries.
Rumi undertook one or two journeys to Syria, during one of which he met Shams Tabrizi.
However, he was deeply influenced by Shams during their second visit in Konya, Turkey, in 1244 CE.
For months, the two men constantly interacted, and as a result, Rumi neglected his disciples and family, who could not tolerate the close relationship.
One night in 1247, Shams disappeared forever. This experience turned Rumi into a poet. ‘The Divan of Shams’ is a true translation of his experiences into poetry.
Esther Kuisch Laroche, director and representative of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, talked in 2015 about the particular importance that UNESCO attaches to Rumi’s works and mentioned that in collaboration with Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, UNESCO had celebrated the 800th anniversary of the poet’s birth at its Paris headquarters in 2007, and a special commemorative UNESCO medal was issued in honor of Rumi.
“During his lifetime, Rumi enjoyed especially good relations with people of diverse social, cultural and religious backgrounds. He addressed humanity as a whole and does not distinguish between the relative and the stranger, and it is precisely this spirit that makes him of such importance to us today,” she said in her speech.
The 13th-century Persian poet maintained that the human being can feel the spirit and the universe and transcend humanity and get closer to God.
His poetry has been widely translated into many languages.
Rumi was born in 1207, to native Persian-speaking parents, originally from Balkh, a city in Khorasan, which is now located in Afghanistan. He died in Konya, Turkey, in 1273, and his tomb is located in Konya.
Rumi wrote most of his works in Persian but also used Turkish and Arabic in his poems. His ‘Mathnavi’ is the finest poetry in the Persian language.
In addition to the ‘Mathnavi,’ which consists of six books or nearly 25,000 rhyming couplets, he composed some 2,500 mystical odes and 1,600 quatrains.
Shams Tabrizi was born in 1186; his tomb is in the city of Khoy, in the West Azarbaijan Province of Iran.
As one of Iran’s greatest poets and mystics, he was keen to travel, and it was Rumi who inspired Shams to study poetry and teach poetry.
In Iran, September 29 has been designated as the Shams Tabrizi Day, while September 30 is the Day of Rumi, in honor of the two great poets and figures of Iran and the world.