I’m almost sad that I bought this book as an ebook and not as a physical copy, just because of how beautiful the cover is. Alas, my bulging bookcase prevents me from doing so. I’ve heard a lot about ‘Rumi’ throughout the years, come across his poetry in the form of pictures and articles, as I’m sure many of us have. However the introduction to this book showed me how little I really knew about Rumi.
The book starts with an introduction to Rumi and his life. Going into details about his heritage and family life and helps draw an image of what kind of a man Rumi really was. The more I read of his life and struggles the more I wish I knew my fathers mother language, Persian. So that I might “spend time together with Rumi and deepen my understanding of him” as the authors set out to do in the writing of this book.
I think to truly appreciate Rumi’s work it is more favourable to read it in its native text and tongue, so as to pick up the subtleties and nuances that come with specific dialects and how they are structured. Not for the first time have I felt deep regret for not being able to understand Persian, however this became even more so after reading the following insight by the authors “Dipping into the vast ocean of Rumi’s works became an experience of great awe, discovery and joy. Sometimes we were uplifted, sometimes lost for words, but every time more enriched and more in love. It is in gratitude for these moments that we present these poems with the hope to share them with you.”
I’ve often sought out Rumi’s poetry translated into English in an attempt to fully appreciate the standing he has in certain Muslim communities. My enjoyment through poetry comes from the poets ability to touch my soul and evoke emotions through their text and my past dalliances into the English translated texts of Rumi’s work where wholly disappointing for me unfortunately. Never one to quit, I thought this book might help bridge this gap and allow me to finally appreciate the works of the wondrous Rumi.
I went into this book with pretty high expectations and I can fully say that my expectations were met with success. The poetry was written clearly and translated in such a way that it flowed nicely and could be enjoyed fully. I think the world needs more Muslim poets.
As my second read of Ramadan I’ve found that this book also compliments my first read – Reclaim your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed. Particularly with verse like the one quoted from the book below.
Are you searching for your soul? Then come out of your prison.
Leave the stream and join the river that flows into the ocean.
Absorbed in this world you’ve made it your burden.
Rise above this world.
There is another vision…Rumi translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin
Full of so much heartwarming and comforting poetry relating to love and God, I couldn’t help but highlight so many verses, a few of which I want to include below.
Peaceful is the one who’s not concerned with having more or less.
Unbound by name and fame he is free from sorrow from the world and mostly from himself.Rumi translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin
The one who cuts off your head is your friend.
The one who puts it back is a deceiver.
The one who weighs you with his troubles is your burden.
But the one who truly loves you will set you free.Rumi translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin
Deafened by the voice of desire you are unaware the Beloved lives in the core of your heart.
Stop the noise, and you will hear His voice in the silence.Rumi translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin
Having finished this book in one sitting, I’m increasingly grateful for my spontaneous purchase based on the cover alone. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the verse and I’m thankful the book was brought to me during this time in my life. I think my current read follows on wonderfully from this read- Secrets of Divine Love by A. Helwa. Stay tuned for that review shortly!