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Rumi Dabbled in Astronomy: Iranian Scholar


News Category:

Post-Sasanian Period

 30 June 2004



Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi, the most renown Iranian mystic poet and one of the most great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind, was an astronomer as well, according to an Iranian academician.

In her recently-published book “A Fresh Glance at Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi”, Dr. Shirin Bayani delves into a less-known aspect of him, that of an astronomer. “So far literary and mystic aspects of Rumi’s life have been explored,” she said. “I have found out, however, that he was not only a great poet and dervish, but also an expert of astronomy, whose knowledge of stars and the universe is quite compatible with today’s established facts on cosmos.

She argued that her book reveals Rumi’s discoveries on the mystery of genesis cosmology. “Not all people can steer their path by looking at stars/ But the astronomy-savvy Captain. This and other verses points to his strong knowledge of the stars and planets,” Dr. Bayani further explained.

Rumi was born in Iranian city of Wakhsh (now in Tajikistan) under the administration of Balkh in 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Iranian lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Iranian Empire at the time of Saljuq dynasty. When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi, 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences.

He was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shamsuddin of Tabriz. His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems, `Divani Shamsi Tabrizi'. Rumi is the author of six volume didactic epic work, the `Mathnawi', and discourses, `Fihi ma Fihi', written to introduce his disciples into metaphysics.

When he died on December 17, 1273, men of five faiths followed his bier. That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever sine, the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.



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