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What do you think of Rumi?

What do you think of Rumi?


Asakamualiakum, I was wondering what you thought of Rumi? A lot of people say he promoted bidah, but I feel like they’re reading into the wrong meanings of his words. What do you think about this?

Wa alykum as-salaam,

I think people who accuse Rumi of bidah are unaware of what he actually stood for, we, as Muslims, also fail to see how serious the term “bidah” actually is, but that’s a side issue. I have joked about Rumi before, but, I get frustrated at this perception of Rumi.

I have said this before, and I will say it again, Rumi is known to us as this nice, poet, mystic guy. Rumi was a judge. He was a Hanafi jurist, and he was part of a long line of Hanafi jurists. To deny this aspect of his upbringing, this history of his education, is what lies at the root of people misunderstanding his work.

It seems that very few know Rumi’s theological positions, and to define him simply by his poetry alone, is rather odd, to be honest. Not because I do not value his poetry, rather, it is because when you read his work on theological concepts, I think it adds tremendous value to his poetry.

So to accuse him of bidah, without actual information on him, which seems to be routine, is particularly tiresome, in my opinion.

For instance, in one of his famous “Seven Sermons,” he opens with this:

“…He [God] raised up our Prophet, Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings upon him) when ignorance appeared and blasphemy and waywardness reigned, and he counseled his community through words and deeds, making clear to them which paths were forbidden and which were permissible. He exerted himself in the path of God under all conditions until the sea of negation evaporated like a mirage and the Truth was established straight and tall by his effort.

God’s peace and blessings upon him and his family – the best of families – and upon his companions: upon Abu Bakr, the righteous, who liberally supported him with his wealth; upon Omar, distinguisher of truth from error, whose obedience to him intensified even in terrifying floods of tribulation; upon Osman, possessor of the twin lights, who held fast to recitation of The Remembrance (i.e. the Qur’an) every morn and every eve; and upon Ali b. Abu Taleb, the smasher of idols and slayer of champions. So long as the gazelle cubs graze in the meadows and the darkness is lit up and wicks blaze, our fervent and humble supplications (for them) will not cease.”

How many people expected that to come from Rumi? I imagine not too many.

I hope this helps, insha Allah.

I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

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