Mevlana and Sultan Veled

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Hazreti Pir Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
Also known as Mevlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi

Mevlana (meaning “our master”) spontaneously transmitted a vast body of poetical mystical insight that has captivated people worldwide, even 800 years after his passing. His immense gift to humanity emerged in a time no less tumultuous than our own, with the Mongol invasion devastating the region in which Mevlana lived.

Mevlana was the son and successor of Bâhâeddin Veled. Also known as “Sultan-ı Ulema”, meaning “King of the Scholars of Islam. Sultan-I Ulema was known as the greatest Islamic scholar of is time. When Mevlana had reached the station of his father, he encountered a wandering Qalandar dervish named Shams-i Tabrīzī whose intensity of seeking and deep understanding transformed Mevlana from scholar to mystic.

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

The Mevlevi Order evolved out of the deep insight and love of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. The Order, however, was founded by his son Sultan Veled. Mevlana was heavily influenced by the Malamati who were present in Balkh, Mevlana’s birthplace. Mevlana shared the Malamati emphasis on simplicity and poverty. Mevlana was against the formation of Orders, seeing them as an undesirable force of separation. Similarly, like the Malamati, Mevlana did not accept lofty titles, or wear special clothing. He wore the simple dress of common people and lived a life of poverty.

Out of this simplicity, devotion and deep love emerged a message so powerful that it resonates throughout the world to this day. Mevlana said:

I have come to drag you out of yourself
and take you in my heart.
I have come to bring out the beauty
you never knew you had
and lift you like a prayer to the sky.
If no one can recognize you, I do
because you are my life and my soul.
Don’t run away, accept your wounds and
let bravery be your shield.
It takes a thousand stages
for the perfect being to evolve.
Every step of the way I will walk with you
and never leave you stranded.
Be patient, do not open the lid too soon
simmer away until you are ready.

—Rumi: Hidden Music, Maryam Mafi

The Mathnawi — masterwork of Mevlana is said to be an explanation of the Holy Qur’an, and the message of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. For instance, the Prophet advised us to “Die before death”. Here is Mevlana’s explanation:

Die, die inside this love
and rise in Spirit.
Die, die and cut the ego’s rope
that holds you a prisoner.
Take an axe to the wall and
dig a way out of the prison.
Die, die before the beautiful King
you will become mighty.
Die, die and rise out of this cloud
you will shine like the glorious moon.
Be silent, be silent,
for silence is the sure sign of death.
From your silence
life will trumpet louder than sound.

—Rumi: Hidden Music

Realizing the need to preserve the message of his father, Sultan Veled devoted his life to creating the organizational foundation of the Mevlevi Order. Like his father, he avoided a position of leadership of the Order, working in the background, while Husameddin Celebi took up the role of formal leadership. Their gift to us has stood the test of time, bringing us a message that is more needed than ever.

Make everything in you an ear,
Each atom of your being.
And you will hear at every moment, what the Source is whispering to you,
just to you and for you.
Without any need for my words, or anyone else’s.
You are, we all are, the beloved of the Beloved.
And in every moment, in every event of your life, the Beloved is whispering to you,
Exactly what you need to hear and know.
Who can ever explain this miracle. It simply is.
Listen and you will discover it. Every passing moment,
Listen and your whole life will become a conversation in thought and act,
between you and Him.
Directly, wordlessly, now and always

– Rumi Light Upon Light: Inspirations from Rumi Andrew Harvey

Hazreti Pir Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, May Allah protect his secret.