"Sirâjuddîn, the Mathnawi-reciter [masnavi-khwân] at the Tomb (of Rumi) told the story that the reason for the composition of the book of the Masnavî-yé Ma`nawî, which is the Revealer of the secrets of the Qur'an was: One day Hazrat-i... Husâmuddîn [Chelebi-- Rumi's closest disciple], may God sanctify his precious secret, found out that some of the friends, in complete relish and great love, were making serious efforts to study the 'Book of the Divine' [Ilâhî-Nâma] of (the sufi poet) Hakîm (Sanâ'î) and the 'Speech of the Birds' [ManTiqu 'T-Tayr] and the 'Book of Misfortune' [MuSîbat-Nâma] of (the sufi poet) Farîduddîn `ATTâr, and (who) were delighted by (studying) their (mystical) secrets and (accounts of) the unusual spiritual amorousness (of the lovers of God) displayed by them. ..... One night, he found Hazrat-i Mawlana [= Rumi] alone. He bowed and said, 'The collections of odes [ghazalîyât] have become plentiful.... (But) if there could be a book with the quality of the 'Book of the Divine' of Hakîm (Sanâ'î), yet in the (mathnawî) meter of the 'Speech of the Birds,' so that it might be memorized among the knowers and be the intimate companion of the souls of the lovers... so that they would occupy themselves with nothing else...' At that moment, from the top of his blessed turban, he [Rumi] put into Chelebî Husâmuddîn's hand a portion (of verses), which was the Explainer of the secrets of Universals and particulars. And in there were the eighteen verses of the beginning of the Masnavi: 'Listen to this reed, how it tells a tale, complaining of separations' up to. 'None (who is) 'raw' can understand the state of the 'ripe.' Therefore, (this) speech must be shortened. So farewell.'"3
"There has been an increasing tendency among Western scholars and, even more, lovers and admirers of Mawlana [= Jalaluddin Rumi] to forget the deeply Islamic background of his poetry. Did not Jami call his Mathnawi 'the Qur'an in the Persian tongue'!? Modern people tried to select from often very vague secondhand translations only those verses that speak of love and ecstasy, of intoxication and whirling dance. The role that the Prophet of Islam plays in Mawlana's poetry is hardly mentioned in secondary literature. But whosoever has listened with understanding to the na`t-i sharif, that introductory musical piece at the very beginning of the Mevlevi [= "Whirling Dervish"] ceremonies, feels, nay rather knows, how deep the poet's love for the Prophet Muhammad was, which is expressed in his words-- the Prophet, 'cypress of the garden of prophethood, springtime of gnosis, rosebud of the meadow of the divine Law and lofty nightingale.' He is the one whose secrets are communicated through Shams-i Tabrizi, the inspiring mystical friend. And as Muhammad was the last in the long line of God-inspired prophets from Adam to Jesus, it is the believers' duty to acknowledge and honor those who brought in divine message in times past. Thus, their stories [= the stories of the Prophets, such as rendered into Persian by Rumi in the Masnavi] as related or alluded to in the Qur'an form part and parcel of Muslim faith." (Annemarie Schimmel, in Renard's "All the King's Falcons," pp. x-xi).
Rumi Masnavi is one of the greatest books of all times. Its language is symbolic. The author uses small stories, depicting day to day incidents, to make important points. Reading carefully one discovers a pattern and a structure underlying the six books of the Masnavi. The six books covers different stages in sufi path. Through out this long poem (which comprises 26000 couplets), Rumi interprets numerous Ayats from the Holy Quran and Traditions from the ife of the Prophet Muhammad (PHUM) and other prophets of Allah Almighty, may Allah be pleasaed with all of them. This book is a must read for all the students and intellectuals who want to understand the meaning of life. It should be mentioned that they cannot understand and live a life of meaning by focusing solely on western sciences. This is because western sciences are developed to control the physical world, the nature around man. Their foundations are not based on divine principles. Naturally they lead to disturbing conclusions that life is meaningless, a one time affiar, and we need to enjoy it to our fill. And enjoyment is sensual enjoyment. Rumi, the master sufi saint, help students understand how to go beyond the imprisonment of senses. Carefully reading (and re-reading) the masnavi, one can gain insights into how to control one's inner bad self and develop a unity/confirmity with the nature and Allah Almighty. Sang e meel publishers can think about dividing the book into two or three volumes. It is a book that one should read carefully and slowly. It requires reflection. Therefore, it should be in a form that is easy to handle. Currently, it is too massive and bulky. It is unfortunate that we are reading Rumi in English rather than in Persian which is the language of this part of the world. This is also unfortunate that many Western popularizers of Rumi are becoming best sellers by copying incorrectly copying and interpreting Rumi's stories. We should make this book more accessible to our young people. There is some reason why it is considered one of the greatest books in entire human history. 2b1af7f3a8