Life Of Mawlana Rumi

Mawlana Rumi Family was one of the strong links that tied the Khorassan Region whose crucial centers according to today’s borders were Merv in Turkmenistan, Nishabur in Iran, Herat and Balkh in Afghanistan to Anatolia. With these links Khorassan got the chance to open up to Anatolia and Anatolia to the world. We can say that the thought which dominated over the new identity gaining period of Anatolia with this connection and identified with Mawlana Rumi was represented by the concepts of reunion, affection and compassion.
The ancestors of Mawlana Rumi dwelled in the city of Balkh which was in the north of Afghanistan today and close to the border of Uzbekistan at the beginning of the XIII century. This city was under Turkish sovereignty until the centuries close to pre-Islam period, and became an important science center in the time of the Ghaznavids and the Seljuks. The city was under the management of Kharezmshah at the time of Mawlana Rumi’s birth.
Apart from his works, the first reference sources about Mawlana Rumi and his surrounding were Walad-naame that was also called Ibtidaname written by his son Sultan Walad in 1291, Risale which was written by Sipahsalar Feridun b. Ahmet who served to Mawlana Rumi for almost forty years and Menakibul arifin that was completed 1353 by Ahmed Aflaki. While Sultan Walad's work had been a source for both works, Aflaki transferred an important part of Sipahsalar’s Risale to his own work. Together with the fact that the information in Ibtidaname was trustworthy, it just was not enough to enlighten all matters. The information sprinkled among the epics in the works of Sipahsalar and Aflaki on the other hand might lead to missing or wrong evaluations.
Rumi’s Family

The father of Mawlana Rumi, the son of Huseyin Sultanu’l-ulema Bahaddin Muhammad, was from a famous family in the city of Balkh which was well-known by its intellectuals and wisemen and he had a big reputation. Even though the information about his lineage as his relation to famous Khanefi scribes Shamsul-eimme Muhammad-i Serahsi (dth.1097) from his grandmother side and his grandmother from his father side was from Kharezmshah arid reached to Abu Bakr, had occurred in many of the works, these were found neither in his work nor in Sultan Walad’s. However, this information should at least be seen as an evidence of the bigness of respect and affection to the family for the value they had.
The father of Mawlana Rumi, Mawlana-i Buzurg (Great Mawlana) Bahaeddin Walad had two sons and a daughter from his wife Mumine Khatoon. His elder son’s name was Alaaddin Muhammad. His daughter Fatima Khatoon stayed there when the family had left the city of Balkh as she was married.
His son Mawlana Rumi Jalaluddin Muhammad who became famous around the world had three sons and a daughter. Mother of his elder son Bahaeddin Muhammad (Sultan Walad) and Alaaddin Muhammad was Gawhar Khatoon daughter of Sherefeddin from Semerkant. His other son Muzafferuddin Emir Alim and his daughter Melike Khatoon’s mother was Kira Khatoon from Konya whom he got married after his first wife’s death.

Rumi’s Birth, His Name And His Nicknames

Mawlana Rumi was born in Balkh in 30th of September 1207 (6 Rabiulawwal 604). Mawlana Rumi’s name was Muhammad. According to all records his father had the very same name. His name was like this without dissent as he also mentioned in the preamble of Mathnawi. For instance Ankarah Ismail Efendi (dth.1631) said; ‘Mawlana Rumi’s name was Muhammad and his nickname was Jalaluddin. Even his father’s name was Muhammad and his nickname was Bahaaddin.’ Also, Mawlana Rumi’s grandfather’s nickname was Jalaluddin.
The nickname Mawlana Rumi which means "our master” and which is used in front of important person’s names in order to show respect in Islam world, has become a proper noun with Mawlana Rumi Jalaluddin Muhammad. The nicknames such as Hudavendigar, Hunkar, Hazret-i Mawlana Rumi, Mawlawi, Sheikh, Molla-i Rumi, Rumi and Hazret- i Pir were also used for Mawlana Rumi. Nicknames used to show respect “Hazret-i Mawlana Rumi” and "Hazret-i Pir were much more preferred in Mawlawi environment and in Anatolia. Today, the nickname of "Mawlawi” in Iran and Pakistan, and “Rumi” in west are primarily used to commemorate him.
According to the place were he was born the adjective Balkhi (from Balkh) was used with his and his father’s names particularly in the first sources. As Mawlana Rumi spent almost his whole years but his childhood in "Diyar-i Rum” in its past century name and as he chose Konya which was within this region as his fatherland, the adjective “Rumi” meaning “from the country of Rum, from Anatolia” was used for him. Apart from these, in order to refer to the country which was chosen as his fatherland, the adjective “Konevi” meaning “from Konya” was used in many works with his name beginning from the XIII century.

Family’s Departure From Balkh

Mawlana Rumi’s father Bahaaddin Walad decided to leave Balkh when Mawlana Rumi was in his childhood years. The political stability was damaged in these years. The city was captured by the Gurlu in 1198 and by Kharezmshah in 1206, moreover Mongol threat had begun. Bahaeddin Walad’s reasons of leaving the city before the Mongol invasion by all means were not rejected to the sources. However, it was possible that he was disturbed physically and spiritually (anima et corpore) by the current efficiency of the famous scientist Fahreddin-i Razi (dth.1209) whose ideas were criticized in his work called Ma’arif and Kharezmshah Muhammad (dth.1220) who valued the ideas of Fahreddin-i Razi together with the political developments in that geography.
It was mentioned that Mawlana Rumi was five and his brother Muhammad Alaaddin was seven when the family left the city of Balkh. By taking this information into consideration, the departure year of the family from Balkh was indicated as 1212 or 1213 (609 or 610) in some works.
It was more logical that they had left the city in 1219 (616) as Sultan Walad was about to leave the city of Baghdad which was on foe immigration way when the news of the invasion of Balkh by Mongols had reached there. The time of this invasion was the year of 1220 (617).
The convoy moved to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca and they stopped by in Nishabur and in Baghdad and completed their duties in Hijaz and descended to Anatolia via Damascus. According to Ahmed-i Aflaki they went to Malatya from Damascus, then to Erzincan and to Akşehir where they spent four years and then to Larende (Karaman) where they spent seven or more years. According to Sipahsalar) they went to Damascus from Hijaz, from her to Erzincan and immediately to Akşehir in Erzincan and spent the winter in there and reached to Konya afterwards. Sipahsalar did not mention about Malatya and he also mentioned the four-year stay in Akşehir Erzincan as one year and moved on to their arrival to Konya without mentioning the years in Larende.
Mawlana Rumi got married to member of convoy, Gawhar Khatoon daughter of Lala Sharafettin from Semerkant at the age of 17 in Karaman in 1225 upon his father Bahaddin Walad’s demand. Right after this marriage, Sultan Walad in 1226 (623) and Alaaddin Chalabi were born.
During the seven years in Karaman, Mawlana Rumi’s mother Mumina Khatoon and his brother Alaaddin Muhammad passed away, and they were buried in a place called the Tomb of Mader-i Mawlana Rumi today.

Permanent Stay in Konya

Great Mawlana Rumi Bahaaddin Walad arrived in Konya which was the capital city of the Seljuk State after the insistent invitations of Sultan Alaaddin according to the rumors besides Ibtidaname. Father of the family passed away in 23 February 1231 (18 Rabiulakhir 628) in Konya. According to Aflaki he was at the age of 85 and his son Mawlana Rumi was 24 years old. A. Gölpınarlı stated that Bahaaddin Walad should have been born in hegira 546 (1151-1152) according to an expression in his work called Ma’arif.
According to Sultan Walad’s expression Bahaeddin Walad had passed away after two years of his arrival to Konya:
"... two years later Bahaaddin got sick in recognition of God, he put his head down and all of a sudden he passed onto the Hereafter.”
On this occasion, the family reached to Konya in hegira 626. If the departure year from Balkh was accepted as 616, the arrival year to Konya had seemed logical as 626 and ten years had passed between these years. This time period was appropriate when the route and the places of stay had considered.
After his father’s death, Mawlana Rumi replaced him.
After a year Mawlana Rumi was devoted to Sheikh Burhaneddin-i Muhakkik-i Tirmizi, who was also called Seyyid-i Sirdan, one of his father’s followers when he had come to Konya, and this devotion lasted for 9 years:
Aflaki mentioned that some people had told that Mawlana Rumi became a follower of him at that time and some said that he had been a follower of him at the time of his father’s. He carried him on his shoulders just like Seyyid Lala and Atabek. However it was evident that this devotion had reached to a real meaning in elder ages under all conditions.
Mawlana Rumi went to Damascus and Aleppo for his education as Burhaneddin-i Muhakkik whom he had accepted as a mentor and to whom he had been devoted as a follower advised him to do so. On the way back to home, he stopped by in Kayseri in order to visit his mentor and underwent a period of suffering in his supervision. Mawlana Rumi also went to visit his grave to Kayseri when he passed away in hegira 638 (1240 - 1241).

Mawlana Rumi’s Education

It was understood from the information in the sources and from the clear evidences in his own works that Mawlana Rumi had a serious education on sufistic training. At the age of 24 when his father passed away, Mawlana Rumi who had had enough scientific features to move to his father’s place carried on his education instead. It was stated that he went to Aleppo and Damascus to complete his education when his father was alive between the years of 1221 - 1228. However, that he got married in 1225 in Karaman and had two children afterwards should not be ignored.
With Aflaki’s statement “in the second year of Baha Walad's moving off from the world of nonexistence to the world of existence, Mawlana Rumi went to Damascus in order to get better education in the knowledge of the visible and complete his maturity. It was said that that was his first trip.” It was not definite how much that period had lasted. Again Aflaki stated that some had said that he had stayed in Damascus for almost seven years but there were also some people saying that it was for four years.
Mawlana Rumi’s mentor in the school of Aleppo Halewiyyah was Kemaleddin bin Adim (dth.1262). Sipahsalar gave information about his education as: ‘he was successful in sciences such as dictionary, Arabic studies, canon law, interpretation, hadith, madrasah makulat and menkulat and he had gained high authorization in all sciences; moreover he was interested in various science fields in the city of Aleppo at his first years of youth and benefit from unique Mawlana Rumi Kemaleddin b. Adim.

Arrival Of Shams From Tebriz To Konya And His Disappearance

Shams from Tebriz had a special place in Mariana Rumi’s life. Many things were being told and written on their meeting and their love to each other. Shamsaddin Muhammad-i Tebrizi first came to Konya on the 29th of November 1244 (25 Janaaziyalakhir642). The effect of the meeting and first words of Shams were stated by Sultan Walad
‘All of a sudden Shamsaddin came and reached him; shadow in his heavenly light had disappeared.
Behind the world of love reached the sound of love with no tambourine, no instrument.
The beloved told him his states; thus his secret reached up to the high of the highs.
And said: You have pledged yourself to the invisible, but remember, I am the invisible of the invisible.
Students and followers of Mawlana Rumi showed dissatisfaction as he had not been interested in them as before, and they started to complain about Shams.
“Who does this man think he is; he all of a sudden came here and took away our Sheikh from us like a river carrying away a chaff.”
Their demand was to go back to routine. They say;
“If Shams leaves, we’ll have our Sultan only for ourselves. We will get our benefaction from him and eat his unique sweets of spiritual taste; we will be grazed from the world of five senses and six ways."
Shams of Tabriz left the city on 21 Shawwal 643 (10-11 March 1246) because of these complaints and dissatisfaction. Sultan Walad mentioned this togetherness as one or two years.
“They stayed for a while and plunged into peace afterwards.”
Mawlana Rumi was extremely affected by this separation after the harmony and love between them within the period a bit more than sixteen months, and his followers expecting care and protection were so regretful of what they had done and they started to find a solution.
Sultan Walad expressed this as;
“Please be so kind to accept our repentance, we committed crimes as we were ignorant.
They cried and repeated these words, and the begged for months night and day. Sheikh gave up his sorrow and put everything in order when he saw them.
Mawlana Rumi sent his son Sultan Walad to Damascus to bring Shams back. They came back together after 15 months in hegira 644 (1246 – 1247). However this togetherness did not last for a long time and he disappeared in hegira 645 (1247-1248) completely. Aflaki recorded that there had been a Damascus trip between the times of coming and disappearing period: after seven days of the death of Kimya Khatoon, he went to Damascus again in Shaban 644 h./December 1246.
Aflaki established this disappearance as: "The time Shamsaddin had disappeared and got lost was the Thursday of the year 645 (1247). Aflaki also says that they chatted for six months in the cell of madrasah.
While the rumor of Shams being murdered by a group in which Mawlana Rumi’s son Alaaddin was also interfered in was stated with hesitation in the sources every time hence Sultan Walad had never mentioned such thing when he was telling what he had experienced at the age of twenty two.
"This time I want to in such a way that no one will be able to find even a single remark from me.
Everybody will fall weak in searching me but no one will be able to find even a single remark from me.
Many years will pass by but still no one will be able to see my shadow.
Saying so, he just disappeared from among the people to stop the grief in their hearts.”
Mawlana Rumi went to Damascus two times in order to find Shams from Tebriz; after his first going and coming back to Konya, he went again with the same demand couple of years later. Aflaki says that Mawlana Rumi stayed in Damascus more or less than a year.
After these searches and sorrow Mawlana Rumi chose Konyalı Kuyumcu Sheikh Salahuddin as a regent and caliph for himself:
“Mawlana Rumi’s ebullience died down with him, all the efforts and gossips turned into well-being.”
Mawlana Rumi spent eleven years with Sheikh Selahaddin and married his son to his daughter Fatima Khatoon. Sheikh Selahaddin passed away on the 29th of December 1258 (1 Muharrem 657). Mawlana Rumi spent his last ten years by lecturing with Chalabi Husameddin who had caused the Mathnawi to be written. The years that passed by with these two esteemed individuals were peaceful and productive years for Mawlana Rumi and his environment. These years were the years he protected his environment and the works written in verse and prose had been produced mostly.
Mawlana Rumi reached to God at the age of 68 according to Hegira and 66 to the Gregorian date on the 17th of December 1273 (5 Jamaziyelakhir 672). His caliph Chalabi Husameddin passed away eleven years after him on the 3rd of December 1284 (22 Shaban 683). His faithful son Sultan Walad passed away on the 11 th of December 1312 at his fifties by representing his father’s inheritance thoroughly.

Prof. Dr. Adnan Karaismailoğlu