Discourses of Rumi

Discourses of Rumi

Discourses of Rumi

Discourses of Rumi

Excerpt

Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1207-1273) has long been recognised as the greatest mystical poet of Islam, and it can well be argued that he is the supreme mystical poet of all mankind. Yet his prose utterances have hitherto lain neglected, and have only been rescued from the obscurity of forgotten manuscripts in recent years. The eminent Persian scholar of mysticism, Professor Badī' al-Zamān Furūzānfar, published in 1952 a masterly edition of Rūmī's Discourses which I have now translated, drawing freely upon the editor's valuable annotations. In my version I have sought to be as faithful to the original as could be contrived, endeavouring to reproduce the actual style of Rūmī as he uttered these impromptu conversations.

This is not an easy book to read, but I believe that its study will prove richly rewarding, both for its own sake and for the light which it frequently throws upon Rūmī's poetry. It is in fact not too much to say, that the Discourses are a necessary introduction to the understanding of the poems. I am most grateful to the publishers for undertaking this book, and for the care which they have lavished upon it. My hearty thanks are also due to the Trustees of the Spalding Trust, who advanced a generous grant towards the costs of production.

A.J.ARBERRY

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