803nd wiladat of Hazrat Mawlana (k.s) on the 30th of September mubarak to all Mevlevis, Muhibs and all of our dear friends from all of us at Semazen.net.
His name is Muhammad and his tide is Jalal al-Din. All historians know him by this title. Besides the name Jalal al-Din, he is also called Hudavendigar. In some commentaries on the.Mesnevi, he is referred to as the Mevlana Hudavendigar. The term Hudavendigar often is used in the book of Manaqib, which was written by Faridun bin Ahmad Sipahsalar, who served Rumi and his father for nearly half a century. This work was translated into Turkish by my teacher and my master, the forgiven, Midhat Bahari as well as Ahmed Avni Konuk and Tahsin Yazici. As far as the expressions Mevlevi and Mevlana are concerned., today by Mevlevi, in general, we mean people who have given their hearts to Mevlana. However, in the old days among Sufis, this title was reserved for lovers of God, people of truth, and people whose hearts were awake. Therefore, there have been people who remembered our Mevlana, Rumi, by Mevlevi. Among them, the great Sufi poet Qasim-i Envar of Tabriz (d. 1432) recalls Rumi as Mevlevi in his couplet: "O Qasim, if you desire to seek and find spirit of meanings, read Mevlevi's Mesnevi that is the source of meanings." Rumi also is called "Mevlana Jalal al-Din" by preceding his name with Mevlana, meaning "our master," and sometimes just Mevlana, the most common title for saints.
Since Rumi spent most of his life in Anatolia, which was the land of the Romans at the time, he also is called Mevlana Rumi, Mevlana Jalal al-Din Rumi, or just Rumi. Rumi's surname in poetry is "Shams-i Tabrizi." He also uses the word "khamoosh" or "khaamoosh" (silent) though seldom.
His Birth and Year
Hazrat Mevlana Jalal al-Din Muhammad was born on September 30, 1207 in the city of Balkh, in modern Afghanistan. There are different opinions regarding the date of his birth. While Aflaki (d. 1360 A.D.), author of Manaqib al-Arifin, gives the above date, Rumi, in his book Fihi Ma Fih writes: "We were in Samarqand. Khawarzmshah had surrounded the city, deployed his forces around the city, and was fighting. In that neighborhood there was a very pretty girl. She was so beautiful that there was no girl like her in the city I heard her praying: 'O God, don't leave me in the hands of these tyrants" These short remarks suggest that Aflaki's date is incorrect because Samarqand was surrounded by Khawarzmshah in 1207, the date given as Rumi's birth year. For Rumi to remember the surroundings and the beauty of the girl, he must have been at least five or six years old. Probably for this reason, "historian Will Durant. shows Rumi's birth at 1201, while Maurice Barres fixes it at 1203. The city of Balkh, in those days before being captured by the Mongols, was a center of learning. It was famous for its mosques, seminaries, and palaces. It was a capital on the Silk Road, economically developed, and full of businessmen.
Rumi's ancestry reaches back to Hazrat Abu Bakr, the first caliph of Islam. Sultan Valad writes in his Ibtidaname about his grandfather Baha al-Din Valad: "His title became Baha al-Din Valad. His devotees are countless. His ancestry reaches back to Abu Bakr. Therefore, he attained the highest spiritual level just like Hadrat Siddiq Abu Bakr." Aflaki agrees with this position. He determined Baha al-Din Valad's chain of the ancestry as follows: Baha al-Din Valad - Huseyin Khatibi - Ahmed Khatibi - Mahmud - Mavdud - Husayyib - Mutahhar - Hammad - Abdurrahman – Hazrat Abu Bakr.
DWELLING IN KONYA
The king of the scholars accepted the invitation of the Seljuk ruler Ala al-Din Kay Qobad. He asked his family and friends to begin travel preparations immediately. He was going to leave Karaman where he had been living for seven years. On a spring day in 1229, they set out on a journey to Konya accompanied with the tears of the people of Karaman. Baha al-Din Valad had accepted the sultan's invitation in order to be more beneficial to the people. Were it not for this calling, he never would have left Karaman, where his loved ones were buried. He was not unaware of how much the people of Karaman loved him. The tears of separation were not shed in vain. He saw how the lectures and sermons he had given and the knowledge he had transmitted had induced the people of Karaman to change. Now he was going to a larger city, to the capital of a great sultan who loved and respected scholars. Konya was to be the last destination for him. A stronger saint, the king of the scholars was coming to Konya, the gathering point of the saints who were rushing here from Turkistan, Iran, and other Islamic lands. The mature-spirited, young Rumi was again at the side of his beloved father, his greatest guide and teacher. He had buried his mother and brother in Karaman. But now he had with him his faithful wife, two sons, and his father who was his everything.
The little caravan proceeded slowly toward Konya. The people of Konya were preparing to welcome not only Sultan al-Ulama, the king of the scholars, but also the king of the gnostics (Sultan al-'Arifm), the king of the saints (Sultan al-Awliya).
This small caravan of five to ten people that had left Balkh years ago and traveled to cities like Nishapur and Baghdad, that had not settled in cities like Aleppo or Damascus, this small but spiritually great caravan that could not fit in any city, not even Baghdad, the fortress of the saints, would fit in Konya and settle there. The people of Konya had heard that this great saint was going to honor their city, and therefore were filled with great joy and excitement. Led by Sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qobad, all notables of Konya, high-ranking state and religious officials, scholars and shaykhs, along with the people of Konya went to welcome the king of the scholars.
On a beautiful spring day outside Konya's city walls on the Karaman road, two great sultans were going to meet. One was the greatest sultan of his time, Ala al-Din Kay Qobad, who had revived the great Anatolian Seljuk State at a time when it was collapsing. The other was king of the scholars and sultan of the Gnostics, Baha al-Din Valad, who was fighting against ignorance and un-Islamic novelties; he was an example of humanity, virtue, and faith who was enduring voluntary separation from his home for the sake of his ideas and faith. Ala al-Din Kay Qobad had grown tired of never ending battles and understood the nothingness of being a sultan in this reward less world. He had decided that he would kneel in front of a sultan of spirits in hopes of becoming his dervish, or disciple. It is for this reason that the great sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qobad of noble spirit was more excited than everyone else as he waited for the great saint Baha al-Din Valad.
The modest caravan became visible in the horizon. Sultan al-Ulama with his white beard and luminous face appeared riding on his horse in front of the caravan. Rumi was following his honorable father. His dervishes, disciples, and family, and behind them a few camels carrying loads of book also could be seen. When the caravan came near, the sultan, who was waiting on his horse, dismounted immediately. He ran and grabbed the reins of Sultan al-Ulama's horse and helped him dismount. The two sultans greeted each other with respect, and Sultan al-Ulama was helped back onto his horse. The Seljuk ruler, great Sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qobad, however, did not ride his horse next to Baha al-Din Valad. Instead he walked next to great saint's horse, at times pulling the reins, at times holding the saddle. The sultan of the world had become the servant of the sultan of the spirits. The people who saw this were amazed. They were fascinated by the modesty of their sultan, and they loved and admired him more. As they entered the city, the streets were filled with people. The spectators watched this unique scene from their windows and rooftops. The Seljuk sultan wanted to take his cherished guest to the room in the palace he had prepared for him. He requested that he stay and live there. Baha al-Din Valad replied: "O mighty sultan! I understand your intentions. But madrasas are for imams, dervish lodges for shaykhs, palaces for kings, hotels for tradesmen and hostels for the poor. With your permission, I would like to stay in a seminary." The sultan complied with this request. They were hosted in the greatest seminary of the city, Altun Aba. As was the custom among the sultans, amirs, and men of high positions at the time, Sultan Ala al-Din showered his cherished guest with many gifts. Although he sent money, food, and many other offerings, Baha al-Din Valad politely returned all of these gifts. Just as in the other cities, in Konya he did not accept any gifts from anybody including sultans, and said: "We have no aspirations for worldly wealth. Whatever worldly possessions we inherited from our grandfather are enough for us. The sultan should not give himself the trouble of sending us things we do not deserve."
Years later when Sultan al-Ulama's grandson would discuss in his book Ibtidaname his grandfather's arrival in Konya, he would write: "All people, men, women, young, old, all turned to him. They saw his karamat (a saint's miraculous powers). They heard many secrets from him. From his favor and abundance they progressed spiritually. They continuously spoke of him and his greatness. A few days passed in this manner. Then young, old, men, and women all became his disciples. Not long afterward, Sultan Ala al-Din respectfully came to visit him with his commanders. When Sultan Ala al-Din saw his luminous face, with love and utmost sincerity, he became his disciple. When he heard his sermon he became his admirer and in his heart he reserved a place for him. And in his heart he found many signs from him."
Baha al-Din Valad occupied a few rooms in Altun Aba seminary assigned to him and settled there with his sons and grandsons. He preached in the Ala al-Din Mosque that is still to be seen in Konya. Wherever he went, a great crowd of locals followed him. And the sultan frequently came with his commanders to listen to his sermons.
Baha al-Din Valad had decided to settle and stay in Konya as the greatest of the "saints of Khorasan" who had come to the "Roman land." After a few days, Sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qobad arranged a big ceremony in the palace. He invited to this ceremony, along with Baha al-Din Valad, the foremost scholars, shaykhs, viziers, and commanders of Konya. The great Seljuk Sultan welcomed Baha al-Din Valad at the gate of the palace. He led him to the great ceremony room himself. Everybody in the room stood up and greeted the two sultans. The mighty sultan who was the head of a great empire and the sultan of the spiritual world were standing next to each other. All the eyes were on them. Sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qobad addressed Sultan al-Ulama by raising his voice so that those present could hear him: "O sultan of religion. I have been thinking and have come to a decision. From today on, I shall leave this throne that I inherited from my forefathers to you. From now on, you will be the sultan and I shall be your servant. The sultanate of the physical world that is seen and the other world that is not seen is with you." He said this and gave the crown to him. Upon hearing these words, the sultan of the scholars stood up, hugged the sultan and kissed him on the eyes and said: "O sultan of angelic character and great state! You have acquired the wealth of this world and hereafter. Nobody doubts that. You sit on your throne comfortably. We long since have closed our eyes to this world's wealth. Now we are worshipping God and trying to follow His commandments."
The quarters of the Altun Aba madrasa were not spacious enough for Rumi, who was married with two children, nor his dervishes and disciples. Because of his humility, Sultan al-Ulama could not let Ala al-Din Kay Qobad or others know about this situation, so he prayed in his heart. One day as he was preaching in the Ala al'Din Mosque, the sultan, his commanders, and all of the notables in Konya attended. Amir Badr al-Din Govhartash, the building master of the palace and sultan's tutor, was also there. He had become one of Sultan al-Ulama's disciples. He was fascinated by his sermons. That day, while listening to the great saint, he became ecstatic and had the urge to be of service to him. Was he not the architect of the palace? He decided to build a madrasa for the family of Baha al-Din Valad and his son Rumi and their children. Soon afterward the construction of the madrasa began in the most beautiful area of the city around the sultan's palace. This college-style madrasa was completed within a few months. Sultan al-Ulama along with his son Rumi and his family moved to this new residence. They resided in this madrasa until the end of their lives.
It is narrated that the Seljuk sultan had dedicated the rose garden of the palace, east of the Konya Fortress, to Baha al-Din Valad. They say that one day Sultan al-Ulama pointed to this small hill and said: "My tomb and the tombs of my grandchildren will be there. From now on, that place is the garden of soul and heart, a firm standing place of saints." In fact, after his passing away, Baha al-Din Valad was buried there. The shrine of Rumi also was built there.