Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Rumi was born on 30 September 1207 in the province of Balkh in present day Afghanistan. Thus his name Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi. His known as Rumi in the west.
His father was Bahauddin Walad, a theologian, jurist and a mystic from Balkh, who was also known by the followers of Jalaluddin as Sultan al-Ulama or "Sultan of the Scholars". His mother was Mumina Khatun. The profession of the family for several generations was that of Islamic preachers of the liberal Hanafi rite and this family tradition was continued by Jalaluddin.
When the Mongols invaded Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, Bahauddin Walad, with his whole family and a group of disciples, set out westwards. Walad and his entourage along with the 5 year old Jalaluddin set out for Baghdad, meeting many of the scholars and Sufis of the city. From there they went to Hejaz and performed the pilgrimage at Mecca. The migrating caravan then passed through Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri and Nigde. They finally settled in Karaman for seven years; Jalaluddin's mother and brother both died there. In 1225, Rumi married Gowhar Khatun in Karaman. They had two sons: Sultan Walad and Allahuddin Chalabi. When his wife died, Jalaluddin married again and had a son, Amir Alim Chalabi, and a daughter, Maleka Khatun.
On 1 May 1228, most likely as a result of the insistent invitation of Allauddin Keyqubat, ruler of Anatolia, Bahauddin came and finally settled in Konya in Anatolia within the westernmost territories of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm.
Bahauddin became the head of a madrassa (religious school) and when he died, Rumi, aged twenty-five, inherited his position as the Islamic Maulawi. Sense his name Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad. One of Bahauddin students, Sayed Burhanuddin Muhaqqiq, continued to train Maulana Jalaluddin in Sharia as well as the Tariqa, especially that of Mulana Jalaluddin's father. For nine years, Maulana Jalaluddin practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhanuddin until the latter died in 1240 or 1241. Maulana Jajaluddin became an Islamic Jurist, issuing fatwas and giving sermons in the mosques of Konya. He also served as a Maulawi (Islamic teacher) and taught his adherents in the madrassa.
During this period, Rumi also traveled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.
It was his meeting with the darwaish Shamsuddin Mohammad on 15 November 1244 that completely changed his life. From an accomplished teacher and jurist, Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad was transformed into an ascetic.
Shams had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could "endure my company". A voice said to him, "What will you give in return?" Shams replied, "My head!" The voice then said, "The one you seek is Jalaluddin of Konya." On the night of 5 December 1248, as Jalaluddin and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumored that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Jalaluddin's son, Allahuddin; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.
Jalaluddin's love for, and his bereavement at the death of, Shams found their expression in an outpouring lyric poems, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realized:
Why should I seek? I am the same as He.
His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself!
Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad had been spontaneously composing ghazals (Dari poems), and these had been collected in the Diwan-i Kabir or Diwan Shams Tabrizi. Rumi found another companion in Salaḥuddin Zarkub, a goldsmith. After Salahuddin's death, Jalaluddin scribe and favorite student, Hussam Chalabi, assumed the role of Jalaluddin's companion. One day, the two of them were wandering through the Meram vineyards outside Konya when Hussam described to Jalaluddin an idea he had had: "If you were to write a book like the Ilāhīnāma of Sanai or the Mantiq ut-Tawr of 'Attar, it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it." Jalaluddin smiled and took out a piece of paper on which were written the opening eighteen lines of his Masnawi, beginning with:
Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
How it sings of separation...
Hussam implored Jalaluddin to write more. Jalaluddin spent the next twelve years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnawi, to Hussam.
In December 1273, Jalaluddin fell ill; he predicted his own death and composed the well-known ghazal, which begins with the verse: How doest thou know what sort of king I have within me as companion?
Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs.
Mulana Jalaluddin Mohammad died on 17 December 1273 in Konya; his body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb, today the Mevlana Museum), was erected over his place of burial. His epitaph reads:
When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men
Why think thus O men of piety
I have returned to
I am neither a Moslem nor a Hindu
I am not
Christian, Zoroastrian, nor Jew
I am neither of the
West nor the East
Not of the ocean, nor an earthly beast
I am neither a natural wonder
Nor from the stars yonder
Neither flesh of dust, nor wind inspire
in veins, nor made of fire
I am neither an earthly carpet, nor
Nor am I confined to Creation, nor the
Not of ancient promises, nor of
Not of hellish anguish, nor of parasitic
Neither the progeny of Adam, nor Eve
Nor of the
world of heavenly make-believe
My place is the
My image is without face
Neither of body nor
I am of the Divine Whole.
eliminated duality with joyous laughter
Saw the unity of here
and the hereafter
Unity is what I sing, unity is what I speak
Unity is what I know, unity is what I seek
Intoxicated from the chalice of Love
I have lost both worlds
below and above
Sole destiny that comes to me
In my whole life, even if once
Forgot His name even per chance
For that hour spent, for
I’d give my life, and thus repent
Beloved Master, Shams-e Tabrizi
In this world with
Love I’m so drunk
The path of Love isn’t easy
shipwrecked and must be sunk.
March 25, 1998
Ever since Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad arrived in modern day turkey from modern day Afghanistan, every Sultan of the ottoman empire, upon taking the throne would humble himself by bowing in front of Maulana Jalaluddin before taking the throne. It was a tradition that last long after his death and every sultan there after would bow to the senior most member of the Maulawi order before assuming power.
Mathnavi Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi Rumi's most famous work in 7 books, and 24,660 couplets, in Dari and some Arabic. This work is also commonly referred to as the Persian Quran by Jami.
Maulana’s family includes:
Brother: Allahuddin (2 years older)
Sister: Not known - Married and remained in Balkh
2nd Wife: Unknown
Son - Killed with Shams
Daughter - married a local prince and left Qonya (Konya)
Son - Muhammad Bahauddin Sultan Walad