As one of the world’s most loved poets, Rumi’s poems are celebrated for their message of love and their beauty, but too often they are stripped of their mystical and spiritual meanings. The Gift of Rumi offers a new understanding of Rumi, contextualizing his work against the broader backdrop of Islamic mysticism and adding a magical richness and authenticity that is lacking in so many Westernized readings of his work.
“The main goal of Sufism is to achieve loving union with the divine by detaching from the self and the desires of the ego”.
Dervishes try to free themselves from any attachments to the ego. One of the secrets to Sufism is to “die before you die”. It is seen as an intentional rupture of one’s attachment to ego, the material world, and identity.
Essentially, Sufism teaches us “how to live and how to love”. And the happiness of the Sufi flows from within—not from the material external world.
“Know that the way of pleasure is from within, not from without.”Rumi
At the heart of Rumi’s mystical poetry is the “religion of love” which transcends all religions. Through his majestic verses of ecstasy and longing, Rumi invites us into the religion of the heart and guides us to our own loving inner essence. The Gift of Rumi gives us a key to experiencing this profound and powerful invitation, allowing readers to meet the master in a new way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Jane O’Dell has studied Sufism both academically, in her work and research at Harvard, Columbia, and the American University of Beirut, and in practice, learning from a Mevlevi master and his whirling dervishes in Istanbul. She weaves this expertise throughout The Gift of Rumi, sharing a new vision of Rumi’s classic work.