Rumi wrote the largest corpus of lyric poetry in the Persian language, amounting to 40,000 couplets, as well as a 25,000 couplet epic, the Mathnavi. If there’s a central theme underlying Rumi’s poetry, it is his absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic expression in the world of Islam cannot be overrated. Like that of the other mystic and Sufi poets of the Persian literature, he writes about the concept of Tawheed (unity) and union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut and fallen aloof, and his longing and desire for reunity.
His importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His poems have been translated into many of the world’s languages and have appeared in various formats. Today, more than 700 years after his death, Jalaluddin Rumi is the best selling poet in the United States.
“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”
“If your guidance is your ego, don’t rely on luck for help. you sleep during the day and the nights are short. By the time you wake up your life may be over.”
“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
“Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it.”
“My friend, the sufi is the friend of the present moment. To say tomorrow is not our way.”
“Nightingales are put in cages because their songs give pleasure. Whoever heard of keeping a crow?”
“No mirror ever became iron again; No bread ever became wheat; No ripened grape ever became sour fruit. Mature yourself and be secure from a change for the worse. Become the light.”
“We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.”
“You think the shadow is the substance.”
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”
“You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”
“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire,
Come even though you have broken your vows a hundred times,
Come, and come yet again,
Ours is not a caravan of despair . . .”