Commensurate with its mission, the Forum takes its name from the 13th. Century Sufi philosopher-poet Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi, whose reach embraced all humanity as personified by his message, ”Come, whoever you are, come…” We welcome everyone who has a desire to explore ‘the other’ in the spirit of mutual respect and tolerance. We chose the name "Rumi" for our forum because Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi (Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi) is a symbol figure for love, tolerance and dialogue. We are motivated by Rumi's well known message and call for love, humanity and peace. The following verses summarize what we mean:
Come, come, whoever you are...
Come and come yet again...
Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times
Wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire...
Ours is not a caravan of despair,
This is the date of hope,
Come, come yet again, come
Who is Rumi?
His father Baha’ al-Din Walad (Bahauddin), was a religious scholar and Sufi who with the advent of Mongol invasion of Central Asia took his family westward, visiting Damascus and Naishapur on the way to the Hijaz. Here, the young Jalal al-Din (Jalaladdin) met and received the blessing of Farid al-Din (Fariduddin) Attar, the outstanding Sufi poet of the day, whom he was to succeed in the annals of Persian Sufi poetry. He is reported to have said, as he saw Bahauddin walking toward him with the young Rumi a little behind, "Here comes a sea, followed by an ocean!" . The family made the pilgrimage to Mecca and then set out northward to Anatolia and settled down in the city of Konya, Turkey. It was here that Rumi was to spent his forty-some years of his life, where he composed his peerless works, and where he received the inspiration for sacred music and dervishes. Rumi became like his father, a religious scholar and mastered the sciences of his day. He was also initiated into the mysteries of Sufism. But it was the meeting with the mysterious Sufi, Shams al-Din Tabrizi (Shams), that set his soul on fire and turned him into an incomparable poet of Divine Love and Illumination.
Rumi composed his Mathnawi and Divan-i Shams, the monumental works devoted to gnosis and divine ecstasy, following the encounter with Shams which changed the literary and spiritual landscape of Persian and Turkish worlds. Rumi was not a poet who happened to practice Sufism, but great Sufi master the rhythms of whose soul were expressed in poetry. He founded the Mathnawi Order, which exercised such a profound influence in the Ottoman world as well as its poetic and musical arts. He became a luminous star for both Persian and Turkish speaking worlds and his influence in these worlds subsists to this day. Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi died on December 17, 1273. Men of five faiths followed his bier. That night was named Sebul Arus(Night of Union). Ever since, the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.
Now Rumi, one of the most universal of Islamic Saints, is becoming known to West and the light of his teachings are beginning to illuminate the hearts and minds of many in the occident as it has guided numerous generations of world during past seven centuries.
Mevlana Jalal al-Din Rumi by Fethullah Gulen
On December 17 was the annual celebration of Sheb-i Arus - the wedding with eternity - the night that Mevlana Jalal al-Din Rumi passed away some 700 years ago. In remembering Rumi below is an article by Fethullah Gulen which first appeared as a foreword to the book by Sefik Can, the late Mevlevi spiritual leader [details of book are below the article].
There are some significant personalities who with the help of their voice and breath, their love and excitement, and their promise for humanity always remain fresh and alive over the course of centuries. Time evidently fails to make these characters obsolete. Their thoughts, analyses, explanations, and spiritual messages, which will never be lost, represent, ever anew, alternative solutions and prescriptions for today's social problems, in great variety and diversity.
 Majnun is a legendary personality of love found in Islamic literature.
 Buraq is the name of the mount which carried Prophet Muhammad during his Ascension.
 Qur'an, 5:54.
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The Hizmet Essay Contest is a contest series that encourages research on the Hizmet movement and Fethullah Gulen. The contest aims to motivate individuals to research the works of Fethullah Gulen and the activities of various Hizmet institutions locally and globally, with the purpose of addressing how the Hizmet movement contributes to the individual, the community, society and the world in general.
Fethullah Gulen was interviewed by BBC News recently.
Fethullah Gulen's recent interview with the Wall Street Journal on January 21 2014
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