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The famous Persian poet and mystic, Jalal od-Din Mohammad Balkhi Rumi

Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On December 17, 1273 AD, the famous Persian poet and mystic, Jalal od-Din Mohammad Balkhi Rumi, passed away at the age of 67 in Konya in what is now Turkey. He was born to Iranian parents in the village of Wakhsh, a town located on the river of the same name in Balkh, Khorasan. (Wakhsh is now in Tajikistan while Balkh is in Afghanistan). The most important influences upon the boy, besides his scholarly father, Baha od-Din Walad, who was connected to the spiritual lineage of Najm od-Din Kubra, were the Persian poets Attar Nishapuri and Sana’i Ghaznavi.
He was hardly ten years when the family had to flee Khorasan towards Iraq because of the barbaric Mongol invasion. After a sojourn in Baghdad and travel to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, followed by a brief stay in Damascus, he settled in Konya in Anatolia which was under the Persianate Seljuq Sultanate of Rum – hence his title Rumi.
He produced his famous work the “Mathnawi” here, where his shrine has became a place of pilgrimage for Sufis. Iranians, Turks, Afghans, Tajiks, and other Central Asians as well as Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent follow his spiritual legacy. Known also as Mowlavi and Mowlana, his poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages. His “Mathnawi”, which has been translated into English, remains one of the literary glories of the Persian language. In addition to Persian literature, his poetry has influenced Urdu, Punjabi, Turkish, Pashto, Chaghatai, Bengali and Sindhi languages. In his poems he has paid homage to the unsurpassed merits of Imam Ali (AS), the divinely-decreed vicegerent of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).

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