Lessons Of The Mathnawi Of Rumi
Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar
Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi's Epic poem, the Mathnawi, is one of the best known and most influential works of Muslim mysticism. The poems amount to more than 25,000 verses. The work pursues its way through hundreds of stories used to illustrate the main theme: man's predicament in his search for God. A world class and timeless piece of literature. 'The Qur'an begins with the command Read! while the Mathnawi begins with the command Listen! The latter is an explanation of the former. We are told: Listen to the divine word! Listen to its secrets! Listen to the truth hidden within you! In other words, breezes emanating from the Mathnawi, originating in the truth and secrets of the glorious Qur'an, fan the fire of spiritual love in the hearts of students on the spiritual path. The mystic poems in Mathnawi remind us of Moulana Rumi's extraordinary skill in blending the philosophy of Sufism with poetry. At every age of history when people find themselves helpless in the midst of hatred and despair, these poems appear as a guiding star showing the way of love and compassion. During his lifetime he wrote 3500 poems and 2000 sonnets and the epic 'Mathnawi'. A careful reader of Rumi will realise that these literary works are indeed not bound by just a certain period of time in history, and are not limited to a certain country or group of people. Rather the works of Rumi are very distinct in comparison to other poets. Perhaps due to this distinctness, The Mathnawi has achieved the status of Sharif (i.e. Mathnawi Sharif) among many Muslim. Emotion plays an important role in Rumi's creativity, for Rumi himself had an intense sense of emotion. It seems that Rumi never wanted to hide this aspect of his personality; rather he applied it in quite an admirable manner to ornament his poems. It is said the Mathnawi opens our eyes to see, feel and love the unseen, and build a bridge between God and man.