Thursday, 18 July 2024
Did you come to unite or to separate? Who is Mevlana? What Does He Mean for the World?

Did you come to unite or to separate? Who is Mevlana? What Does He Mean for the World?

Prof. Doğan Kaplan

Necmettin Erbakan University

Ahmet Kelesoglu Theology Faculty 

Department of the Islamic Sects


Today, the most important symbolic figure of Konya, Hz. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is a world-renowned Sufi who was born in the historical Khorasan region, in Belh, today's Afghanistan, spent 50 years of his life in Konya and died here. Maybe it is more known in other world countries than in Islamic countries. Because the Mevlana Museum, which has nearly 3 million visitors every year, consists of 800 thousand foreign guests. 

What is the reason why Mevlânâ, whose poems are the best-selling and read poet in America, is so famous? Why does it attract so many visitors from Far East Asia, especially Japan and Korea, every year?

In fact, when we look at his life and works, we can clearly see the answer to this question. Because this is clearly understood when we look at all his works, especially his poetic work, the Masnavi. Rumi, like all Sufis, calls people to unity, brotherhood and peace. However, Mesnevi, which is a "candle" in the words of Mevlana, cannot be understood with brutish feelings, but it is a work that can be fully understood when read with the language of the heart. 

Mevlânâ, who is one of the heart soldiers who came to Anatolia from Horasan after the Mongol invasion, illuminated Anatolia with his light like other saints. In this respect, he is no different from Hacı Bektaş Veli, who says, "Don't hurt even if you're hurt," and Yunus who says, "You don't need a hand to beat, you don't need a tongue to speak." All Sufis addressed people with an encompassing perspective and entered their hearts. Perhaps the most concrete indicator of this is the Prophet Mevlana narrated in the Mesnevi. It is the story of Moses and the Shepherd. (Mathnawi, II/1720-1815, edited and translated by Reynold Nicholson)

One day a shepherd prays to God as: “O my God, my Lord! Where are you, let me come and be your servant. Let me sew your sandals, comb your hair, wash your clothes and remove lice. My God, let me bring you milk, let me kiss your hand and rub your feet. When it's time to sleep, I'll sweep your floor, may all my goats be sacrificed for you. All my heydays are for remembering you.” Moses hears him and says that “What is this blather, you became an unbeliever without being a believer, you rebelled against Allah. It is not correct to make these sentences. Hz. Hearing these words of Moses, the shepherd sighs in regret and throws himself into the desert. However, a revelation comes to Moses by Almighty God and it is stated that this attitude is not correct and that the shepherd with that level of understanding is excused.

Coming here as a warning to Moses; “You separated our servant from us. Did you come to unite or to separate?” His advice is also the source of inspiration for the phenomenon called Anatolian Knowledge today. Prophets came to unite societies, not to separate them. The Sufis who followed their path also became a bridge for the societies in which they lived, inviting people to peace and well-being, not to blood and war. And since Rumi expressed this call in a poetic language, it has been a lamp, a lighthouse that attracts people from past to present.