Discourses of Rumi (Fihi Ma Fihi)

Introduction By Doug Marman

Introduction By Doug Marman

Introduction By Doug Marman Recognized as perhaps the greatest mystical poet of Islam, Jalal al-Din Mohammad Balkhi Rumi (1207-1273) communicated something through his writing that has attracted spiritual seekers from almost every religion in the world, for hundreds of years. Even in his day, Rumi w... »

Discource 01

Discource 01

Discource 01 Rumi stated: Mohammed, the great Prophet, once said, “The worst of scholars are those who visit princes, and the best of princes are those who visit scholars. Wise is the prince who stands at the door of the poor, and wretched are the poor who stand at the door of the prince.” Now, taki... »

Discourse 02

Discourse 02

Discourse 02 Someone said: “Our Master does not utter a word.” Rumi answered: Well, it was the thought of me that brought you to my presence. This thought of me did not speak with you saying, “How are things with you?” The thought without words drew you here. If the reality of me draws y... »

Discourse 03

Discourse 03

Discourse 03 The Amir said: “Night and day my heart and Soul are intent upon serving God, but because of my responsibilities with Mongol affairs I have no time for such service.” Rumi answered: Those works too are work done for God, since they are the means of providing peace and security for your c... »

Discourse 04

Discourse 04

Discourse 04 Someone said: “There is something I have forgotten.” Rumi replied: There is one thing in this world that must never be forgotten. If you were to forget all else, but did not forget that, then you would have no reason to worry. But if you performed and remembered everything else, yet for... »

Discourse 05

Discourse 05

Discourse 05 The Amir, surprised by an unexpected visit from Rumi, said: “Master, how gracious of you to honor me in this way. I never expected this. It never even entered my mind that I could be worthy of such an honor. By rights I should be standing night and day in the ranks and company of your s... »

Discourse 06

Discourse 06

Discourse 06 Rumi said: These words are for the sake of those who need words to understand. But as for those who understand without words, what use have they for speech? The heavens and earth are words to them, sent forth themselves from the Word of God. Whoever hears a whisper, what need have they ... »

Discourse 07

Discourse 07

Discourse 07 The son of the Amir entered. Rumi said: Your father is always occupied with God. His faith is overwhelming, and reveals itself in his words. One day your father said, “The people of Rum have urged me to give my daughter in marriage to the Tartars, so that our religion may become one, an... »

Discourse 08

Discourse 08

Discourse 08 Someone asked: “What is greater than prayer?” Rumi said: One answer is that the soul of prayer is greater than prayer, as I have already explained. A second answer is that faith is greater. Prayer is a series of daily actions, while faith is continuous. Prayer can be dropped for a valid... »

Discourse 09

Discourse 09

Discourse 09 Someone said: “A man came who wanted to see you. He kept saying, ‘I wish I could have seen the Master.” Rumi said: He does not see the Master at this moment because in truth the desire that filled him, namely to see the Master, was a veil hiding the Master. So it is with all desir... »

Discourse 10

Discourse 10

Discourse 10 The Amir said to Rumi: “Before you arrived just now, your eldest son, Baha al-Din, excused himself to me, saying, ‘My father said that he doesn’t want to put you to any trouble when you come to visit him. He says, “I am subject to various states of consciousness. In one state I speak, a... »

Discourse 11

Discourse 11

Discourse 11 Rumi said: The saying, “Hearts bear witness to one another,” refers to a hidden reality. If all reality were openly revealed, what need would there be for words? Similarly, when the heart bears witness, what need is there for the testimony of the tongue? The Amir said: “Certainly the he... »

Discourse 12

Discourse 12

Discourse 12 After the Amir arrived, Rumi said: I’ve been longing to call on you. But, knowing you were busy with the interests of the people, I spared you the trouble. The Amir answered: “This duty has been pressing upon me. Now that the emergency has ended, from now on I will wait upon you.” Rumi ... »

Discourse 13

Discourse 13

Discourse 13 Mohammed said, “The night is long, do not shorten it with your sleep. The day is bright, do not darken it with your sins.” The night is long for you to voice your inmost secrets and ask for your needs without the distraction of others, without the disturbance of friends and foes. You ar... »

Discourse 14

Discourse 14

Discourse 14 Sheikh Ibrahim said: “Whenever Saif-al-Din Farrukh ordered someone to be given a beating, he would immediately occupy himself until the beating was over, so that no one could intercede.” Rumi said: Whatever you see in this world corresponds exactly with what is in the world beyond. All ... »

Discourse 15

Discourse 15

Discourse 15 Within people there is a longing and a desire such that, even if a hundred thousand worlds were theirs to own, still they would find no rest or comfort. They try every trade and craft, studying astronomy, medicine and every other subject, but they reach no completion, for they have not ... »

Discourse 16

Discourse 16

Discourse 16 Rumi said: Whoever is loved is beautiful, but this doesn’t mean that whoever is beautiful is loved. “There are girls more beautiful than Laila,” they used to tell Majnun. “Let us bring some to you.” “I do not love Laila for her form,” Majnun would reply. “Laila is like a cup in my hand.... »

Discourse 17

Discourse 17

Discourse 17 The Amir of Rum said: “The unbelievers used to worship and bow down to idols. Now we are doing the selfsame thing. We go and bow down and wait upon the Mongols, and yet we consider ourselves Muslims. We have many other idols in our heart too, such as greed, passion, temper, envy, and we... »

Discourse 18

Discourse 18

Discourse 18 Someone said: “Ibn Muqri recites the Koran correctly.” Rumi said: Yes, he recites the form of the Koran correctly, but he has no knowledge of its meaning. This is proven by the fact that when he is questioned for its meaning, he cannot answer. He recites blindly. He is like a man who ho... »

Discourse 19

Discourse 19

Discourse 19 Rumi said: Someone said to Taj al-Din Quba’i, “These doctors of divinity live amongst us and deprive the people of their religious beliefs.” Taj al-Din Quba’i answered, “They do not live amongst us and take away our beliefs. God forbid they could ever be one of us. If you put a go... »

Discourse 20

Discourse 20

Discourse 20 Rumi said: Night and day you are at war, attempting to reform the character of the opposite sex, to cleanse their impurity and to correct their faults. It is better to cleanse yourself through them than trying to cleanse them through yourself. Reform yourself by means of them. Go to the... »

Discourse 21

Discourse 21

Discourse 21 Rumi said: Sharif Paysukhta has written: God dispenses Its grace, Indifferent to time and space, Itself, the Spirit of the Whole Is independent of our soul. No matter what our ranging thought Within its compass may be brought, We find adoration for the Lord, For It who need not be adore... »

Discourse 22

Discourse 22

Discourse 22 Rumi said to Ibn Chavish: The root of the matter is that you should guard against this backbiting when talking about Sheikh Salah al-Din. Perhaps this will remove these dark shadows and clouds that surround you. How can you defend yourself? People have left their own country, their fath... »

Discourse 23

Discourse 23

Discourse 23 Rumi said: I would like to go to Tuqat, for that region is warm. Although Antalya is warm, only a few people there understand our language. However, I was speaking there one day when a party of unbelievers was present. In the middle of my talk they began to weep with emotion and show si... »

Discourse 24

Discourse 24

Discourse 24 People build these sacred monuments for a particular reason: either to display their generosity for the sake of fame, or to gain a reward in heaven. God should be the true object in honoring the saints, their tombs and graves. The saints do not need to be honored; they are an honor to t... »

Discourse 25

Discourse 25

Discourse 25 Someone entered, and Rumi said: He is beloved and humble, like a branch loaded with fruit – the fruit weighs it down. A branch with no fruit raises its head up high, like the white poplar, but when that fruit exceeds all bounds, they put props under the branch so it will not come ... »

Discourse 26

Discourse 26

Discourse 26 Rumi said: If I appear lacking in gratitude and appreciation for the kindness and support you show me, both directly and indirectly, it is not out of arrogance or indifference, nor is it because I don’t know the importance of returning your favor and love. But I am aware from the purity... »

Discourse 27

Discourse 27

Discourse 27 It is better not to question what Sufis say, since this obliges them to invent a lie. For if a materialist questions a Sufi, the Sufi must give some answer. But how can they be completely truthful with someone incapable of understanding? The materialist’s mouth and lips are not able to ... »

Discourse 28

Discourse 28

Discourse 28 The long entreating prayer-song of seekers and travelers tells a story of lives occupied in labor and devotion with each effort assigned to its special time. It is as though an overseer of habit draws them to their specific task. For example, when first rising in the morning, they give ... »

Discourse 29

Discourse 29

Discourse 29 A Christian by the name of al-Jarrah said: “A number of Sheik Sadr al-Din’s companions drank with me, and they said, “Jesus is God, as you claim. We confess that to be truth, but we conceal and deny it to preserve the honor of our community.” Rumi said: God forbid! These are the words o... »

Discourse 30

Discourse 30

Discourse 30 There are heads that are adorned by crowns of gold, and there are heads whose beautiful curls are merely hidden by jewels and gold. The curls of our heart’s beloved arouse love, and love is the throne-room of the heart. But a crown is nothing but metal and stones. We sought everywhere f... »

Discourse 31

Discourse 31

Discourse 31 The police are always in search of thieves to capture, and thieves are always running away. It is rare indeed to find a thief that searches for the police to be captured and thrown in jail. That’s not a natural desire for thieves. God said to Abu Yazid, “What do you desire, Abu Yazid?” ... »

Discourse 32

Discourse 32

Discourse 32 Knowingness is the perfect Sheik. Inspired and true thoughts are His disciples ranked according to God’s closeness to them. As each thought expands it comes nearer to knowingness and farther from doubt. All thoughts suck milk at the breast of certainty, and grow. Theory and practice nou... »

Discourse 33

Discourse 33

Discourse 33 Everyone is in the midst of their own need. No living creature can be separated from its need. “Their need cleaves to them closer Than their father and mother.” That need is their leash, drawing them this way and that, just like a nose-ring and chain. Now, who would make a l... »

Discourse 34

Discourse 34

Discourse 34 Rumi said: I saw our friend in a dream in the form of a wild animal with the skin of a fox upon him. He was on a small balcony, looking down the stairs. I moved as if to grab him and he raised his hands, leaping about like this and that. Then I saw Jalal al-Tibrizi with him in the form ... »

Discourse 35

Discourse 35

Discourse 35 I am amazed by those who know the Koran by heart yet understand nothing of the spiritual states of the Sufis. As the Koran states, “And do not obey every paltry asserter.” Look at the slanderers when they read this, they are exactly the ones who will say, “Do not listen to S... »

Discourse 36

Discourse 36

Discourse 36 All forms spring from Love, as branches spring forth from their root. No branch can exist without its root. Therefore, God is not called a form, since form is the branch. How can God be called a branch? Someone said: “Love too cannot be expressed or experienced without form. Hence it is... »

Discourse 37

Discourse 37

Discourse 37 Rumi said: The stories that have been spread against this girl are lies and should go no further. But I can see that even though we may put aside these rumors as false, something has settled in the imagination. Our imagination and heart are like a vestibule – thoughts first enter ... »

Discourse 38

Discourse 38

Discourse 38 The Prophet was seated with his Companions. Some unbelievers began to denounce and lecture him. He said, “Well, you all agree there is one person in the world who receives revelation. Revelation descends upon him – it does not descend on everyone. That person has certain marks and... »

Discourse 39

Discourse 39

Discourse 39 Husam al-Din Arzanjani, before entering the service and society of dervishes, was a great debater. Wherever he went, he engaged vigorously in argument and controversy. He used to debate well and spoke excellently, but once he took up the company of dervishes his heart turned completely ... »

Discourse 40

Discourse 40

Discourse 40 Jauhar, the Sultan’s servant, said, “We have been told that we must repeat the Muslim credo five times during our lifetime. What if we don’t understand the words, or do not memorize them correctly? After death, what questions will we be asked, seeing that we have forgotten even the ques... »

Discourse 41

Discourse 41

Discourse 41 We are like bowls on the surface of the water. The direction a bowl moves is controlled not by the bowl, but by the water. Someone said: “That is a general statement. But some people know they are on the surface of the water, while some do not know.” Rumi said: If that is a general stat... »

Discourse 42

Discourse 42

Discourse 42 People who are interested in their scholarly studies think that if they faithfully attend our meetings they will forget and lose all they have learned. On the contrary, when they come here their sciences acquire soul. For all sciences, when they acquire soul, are like an empty body that... »

Discourse 43

Discourse 43

Discourse 43 Our friend, Saif al-Bukhari has gone to Egypt. Everyone likes a mirror, and is in love with reflections of their own attributes and attainments, but our friend misses the true nature of his face. He thinks this bodily veil is a face, and the mirror of this veil is the mirror of his face... »

Discourse 44

Discourse 44

Discourse 44 Everyone who sets out on a journey has a particular idea in mind: “Once I arrive I will be able to gain advantages and improve my affairs. My business will be set in order, my friends will be delighted, and I shall defeat my enemies.” Such are the ideas we have in mind, but God’s object... »

Discourse 45

Discourse 45

Discourse 45 Rumi asked: What is the name of that youth? Someone said: “Saif al-Din (“Sword of the Faith”). Rumi said: No one can judge a sword while it is still in its scabbard. Truly, the Sword of the Faith is one who defends the way, dedicates their efforts wholly to God, who reveals rightness fr... »

Discourse 46

Discourse 46

Discourse 46 Sheikh Ibrahim is a noble dervish. When we see him, we are reminded of our beloved friends. Our Master Shams used to refer to him as “our Sheikh Ibrahim,” showing his affection. Divine favor is one thing, but personal effort is another. The prophets did not attain prophethood through pe... »

Discourse 47

Discourse 47

Discourse 47 God wills both good and evil, but only blesses the good. His Law both commands and prohibits, but commandment is only valid when it is opposed to natural desires. If someone says, “Hungry one, eat sweetness and sugar,” that is not commandment, but a benefaction. Prohibition works in the... »

Discourse 48

Discourse 48

Discourse 48 When God loves people He afflicts them. If they endure with fortitude, He chooses them. If they are grateful, He elects them. Some men and women are grateful to God for His wrathfulness and some for His graciousness. Both are good, for gratitude is the antidote for all occasions, changi... »

Discourse 49

Discourse 49

Discourse 49 Rumi said: A man was leading the prayers, and chanted from the Koran: “The Bedouins are stubborn in unbelief and hypocrisy.” By chance a Bedouin chieftain was present. He gave the chanter a good box on the ears. During the second genuflection, the leader of the prayers chant... »

Discourse 50

Discourse 50

Discourse 50 Someone said: “We have studied all aspects of the human condition one by one, and not so much as a single hair-tip of human temperament, or people’s hot and cold nature, has escaped our notice. Yet, we still have not discovered what aspect of the human being survives death.” Rumi said: ... »

Discourse 51

Discourse 51

Discourse 51 Rumi said: Until you see, how can you find? This is true for all but Lovers: For how can they seek the Beloved, Being blind, Until they have discovered? The human quest consists of seeking for what has not yet been found. Night and day people are searching for that. But the quest that b... »

Discourse 52

Discourse 52

Discourse 52 Rumi was asked the meaning of the following lines: When love attains its ultimate goal Desire turns to dislike. Rumi explained: Dislike is a narrow world compared to friendship. That is why people run from hatred to find friendship. But the world of friendship is itself narrow next to t... »

Discourse 53

Discourse 53

Discourse 53 Rumi was asked the meaning of the following lines from his Masnavi: You are that very thought, my brother: Those bones and nerves are something other. Rumi said: You should think about this. “That very thought” in reality is not “thought” at all, and if it is, it does not belong to the ... »

Discourse 54

Discourse 54

Discourse 54 Rumi said: When I first began composing poetry, a great urge compelled me. At that time the urge was strong. Now the desire has grown weaker and is declining, but still it has its effect. Such is the way of God. He gives life to things in the time of their rising, producing great result... »

Discourse 55

Discourse 55

Discourse 55 omeone said: “Qadi Izz al-Din sends his greetings, and always speaks of you in the most approving terms.” Rumi answered: Whoever remembers us, and speaks us well, Long may the world of their high merit tell. When people speak well of others, those good words reflect back on themselves, ... »

Discourse 56

Discourse 56

Discourse 56 umi said: You are now experiencing happiness. Why? Because the mind is a delicate thing, and like a snare it was properly set to catch its prey. If you are unhappy, then that snare is torn and useless. Therefore, it is best not to be excessive in love or hatred towards others, since bot... »

Discourse 57

Discourse 57

Discourse 57 Akmal al-Din said: “I love our Master and desire to see him. Even heaven is blotted out of my mind. I find comfort in his image without the need for any discourses or lofty ideas. I rest in his beauty. Pleasure comes to me from his very mien – even from a mental picture of h... »

Discourse 58

Discourse 58

Discourse 58 Rumi related: A certain Gnostic once said, “I went to the baths to expand my heart, since the baths had become the place of retreat for certain saints. I saw that the master of the bath stove had an apprentice. The master was telling the apprentice, ‘Do this and do that.’ The apprentice... »

Discourse 59

Discourse 59

Discourse 59 Someone said, “The astronomers say: You claim there is something beyond the heavens and this terrestrial ball. We believe, apart from what we see, nothing exists. If something exists, then show us where it is!” Rumi answered: Your demand is invalid from the very start. You say, “S... »

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