One of the first names that come to mind when Konya is mentioned is Mevlana. Mevlana is one of the most important cultural heritages representing Konya. Mevlana is an important Islamic scholar and thinker for both Konya and Islamic history. Mevlana, whose real name is Muhammed Celaleddin, started to be mentioned with this name meaning 'our master' after he started to give lectures in Konya. Mevlana is also known as Rumi. Rumi literally means Anatolia. He was given this name for living in Konya for many years and being one of the important cultural heritages of Anatolia.
Mevlana was born on September 30, 1207, in the Khorasan region of Balkh, located on the borders of Afghanistan. He also belongs to a noble family. His father is Bahaeddin Veled, known as the Sultan of Scholars. Due to the conflict of his father Bahaeddin Veled's thoughts with Fahreddin-i Razi, one of the important philosophers of the period, Mevlana and his family had to emigrate from Khorasan. After Khorasan, he visited many cities such as Baghdad, Mecca, Medina, and Damascus and finally came to Konya.
Although Mevlana is referred to as a mystic, his thoughts were not limited to a single religion and race and influenced many communities and was followed by people from all religions. His works have been translated into many languages and have influenced hundreds of people over the centuries. His works spread beyond the lands he was born and grew up in, earning him the title of “the best-known and best-selling poet in the USA”. Mevlana wrote most of his works in Persian. But besides Persian, he has also works in Turkish, Arabic and Greek. His most famous works are; Masnavi, Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi, Fihi Ma Fihi, Mecalis-i Seb'a and Mektubat. Mevlana's beliefs and teachings have developed around the idea of tawhid. Generally, his works are based on his love and devotion to Allah. Mevlana has seven famous suggestions. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi stated that "In generosity and helping others: be like the river", "In compassion and grace: be like the sun.", "In concealing others’ faults: be like the night.", "In anger and fury: be like the dead.", "In modesty and humility: be like the soil." “In tolerance: be like the ocean.” and “Either you appear as you are, or: be as you appear.”. One of his best-known works, Masnavi, is a didactic poem written in aruz meter, consisting of 6 volumes and 25618 couplets, written in Masnavi style, and describing the understanding of "unity of existence". In this work, Mevlana tried to explain the Quran more clearly with exemplary stories. One of the most important features of Masnavi is that the stories do not have an end. Another of his best known works is Divan. Mevlana dedicated his work Divan to Shams-i Tabrizi, who had a great influence on the shaping of his thoughts.
Mevlana died on 17 December 1273 in Konya. After Mevlana died, his son Sultan Veled and his student Hüsameddin Çelebi founded the Mevlevi order. Mevlevi order is a human-oriented tariqa which is based on tolerance, sincerity and beauty that developed around Mevlana's teachings and thoughts. Although Mevlana did not lead any tariqa throughout his life, he had a great role in laying the foundations of a tariqa. The foundations of Mevlevi order were laid in Konya. It spread from Konya to Anatolia and then to other regions.
Mevlana Museum is one of the most important cultural symbols of Konya. Mevlana Lodge and Mevlana Tomb started to be exhibited as a museum in 1926. Various artifacts belonging to Mevlana, Mevlana's sarcophagus, Mevlana's cenotaph cover, Masnavi, April Bowl, musical instruments, oil lamps, plates and manuscripts are exhibited in the Mevlana Museum. At the same time, there is a library of manuscripts belonging to the Ottoman, Seljuk and Karamanoğulları periods in the museum. Mevlana Cultural Center organizes Mevlana events at various times of the year. In this center run by Konya Metropolitan Municipality, there are exhibition halls, semahanes (ritual halls), research center, library, and performance stages.