On December 17th Sufis around the world celebrate the passing of Jalaluddin Rumi, the great 13th century mystical poet who was born near Balkh, Afghanistan, and lived his adult life in Konya, Turkey. Rumi considered his death as his “wedding night” with the Divine.
The following poem was translated by Kabir Helminski and Ahmed Rezwani in the book Love’s Ripening (Shambhala Press).
Money and real estate occupy the body,
but all the heart wants is expanding friendship.
A rose garden without a friend is indeed a prison;
a prison with a friend becomes a rose garden.
If the pleasure of friendship did not exit,
neither man nor women would be here.
A thorn from a friend’s garden is worth more
than a thousand cypresses and lilies.
Love sewed us securely together.
We owe nothing to the needle and thread.
If the house of the world is dark,
Love will find a way to create windows.
If the world is full of arrows and swords,
the Armorer of Love has made us coats of mail.
Love itself describes its own perfection.
Be speechless and listen.
The painting of whirling dervishes is by an artist in Damascus named Sanaa Abd Almajid.