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Jalaluddin Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, was perhaps the finest Persian poet of all time and a great influence on Muslim writing and culture. His poetry is still well known throughout the modern world, and he is one of the best selling poets in the West.
See the fact file below for more information on the Jalaluddin Rumi or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Jalaluddin Rumi worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Birth and Childhood
- Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi, known in Persia as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi and in the West simply as Rumi, was born on September 30, 1207 C. E. in Balkh Province, Afghanistan, then on the eastern edge of the Persian Empire.
- Rumi hailed from a long line of Islamic jurists, theologians, and mystics, including his father, who was known as “Sultan of the Scholars”.
- When Rumi was still young, his father led their family more than 2,000 miles west to avoid the invasion of Genghis Khan’s armies. They settled in present-day Turkey, where Rumi lived and wrote most of his life.
- Rumi was the son of a renowned Sufi scholar, and it is more than likely that he was introduced to Sufism from a young age. Sufism is a branch of Islam primarily concerned with developing the spirituality, or more precisely the inner character, of a Muslim.
- They were firm believers in the revelations of the Qur’an, but criticized the mere outwardly legal and ritual practice that was being promoted at the time. In fact, much of his work is dedicated to waking people up and encouraging them to experience life themselves rather than blindly following the scholars of the day.
- Rumi spent his early years, like many Muslims of the time, learning and studying Arabic, law, ahadith (the body of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), history, the Qur’an, theology, philosophy, and astronomy.
- By the time of his father’s death, Rumi had become an outstanding scholar in his own right, and took over his father’s position as one of the highest scholars in the country at the young age of 24.
- He spent his time teaching and giving lectures to the public and until the age of about 35, lived a fairly nondescript life.
- In 1244 Rumi met a travelling Sufi, called Shams (or Shamsi Tabrizi), in whom he recognised a kindred spirit. The two developed a very close friendship and it was at this point that Rumi became more and more secluded, shunning the society of those with whom he previously discussed and debated.
- Shams’ effect on Rumi was decisive. Whereas Rumi had before preached Islam soberly, he became, through Shams’ influence, filled with the love of God.
- Many of Rumi’s ghazals (Middle Eastern and Indian literature and music) are signed “Shams.” It is not clear precisely why he did this, although some orientalists believe this was out of humility and a sense of gratitude.
- Rumi’s major works consist of two epic poems. The first is the Diwani Shamsi Tabrizi, named in honor of Shams. It consists of about 40,000 verses in a vibrant and energetic style, representing Rumi’s feelings while in a dance-induced spiritual state.
- The Mathnawi is Rumi’s other seminal work. It consists of 25,000 verses, in six books of poetry. The Mathnawi was written at the same time as the Diwan, and was probably intended to place the Diwan within the wider context of Islam. It is regarded as an explanation of some aspects of the Qur’an, placed within a more Sufi context.
- It is believed that Rumi would turn round and round while reciting his poetry, and it is this dance which formed the basis for the Mevlevi Order, or Whirling Dervishes, after his death. Dervish means doorway, and the dance is believed to be a mystical portal between the earthly and cosmic worlds.
- Rumi fell ill and died on December 17, 1273 C. E., in Konya, Turkey. His remains were interred adjacent to his father’s, and the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb) was erected above their final resting place. Now the Mevlâna Museum, the site includes a mosque, dance hall, and dervish living quarters.
Jalaluddin Rumi Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Jalaluddin Rumi across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Jalaluddin Rumi worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Jalaluddin Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, who was perhaps the finest Persian poet of all time and a great influence on Muslim writing and culture. His poetry is still well known throughout the modern world, and he is one of the best selling poets in the West.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Authors Online
- According to Rumi
- Poet in my Pocket
- Culture is Cool
- A Legendary Talk
- Prominent Sufis
- Ways of the Sufi
- Tales from the Desert
- Write Like Rumi
- Real Life Shams
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.