The thirteenth-century Persian poet Jelaluddin Rumi has been called the greatest mystical poet of any age. His writings have always been revered in the Persian world, perhaps second only to the Koran, and modern-day scholars often place him in the same category as Shakespeare and Dante. Rumi was born in Balkh (in present-day Afghanistan) in 1207. Fleeing the Mongol invasion, his family eventually settled in what is now Konya, Turkey, where Rumi died in 1273. Rumi’s mystical writings cover every aspect of life. He writes with humor, humility, and inspired passion. Like all truly great writers, he possesses the marvelous ability to speak with the voice of our own deepest longings. And in a magical leap of union beyond boundaries and definitions, Rumi’s poetry answers that longing with the voice of the Divine.
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