Friday, May 22, 2009

Rumi's Passing Away and Funeral

After passing away, don't look for our grave on the fact of earth. Our place is in the hearts of the gnostics. - Rumi

After finishing first five volume of his master piece Mathnawi, during the sixth volume, Mevlana Rumi became weak and ill. His rest was uneasy and his body suffered dramatic changes in temperature. As he rested in this weakened state earthquakes shook Konya. Rumi japed with those visiting him and told them not to be afraid, for the earth was just hungry and would soon receive a fat morsel. Death, he said to them, was not separation but a liberation.

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died in Konya, on December 17, 1273. The evening sky burned red as men and women of various religions pressed through the swelling crowd to touch the green cloth that covered his coffin.

Sadreddin al-Qunawi was to offer funeral prayers for Rumi but fainted when he saw angels and Prophet Muhammad joining the funeral. The prayer was then offered by Husamuddin Chelebi.

According to Sipeshala'r account, when Shaykh Sadr al-Din was asked why he fainted and fell, he responded by saying: "When I came in front of the coffin to lead the prayer, I saw that the angels formed a line in front of the coffin. From the awe of the moment, I lost my consciousness."

The evening of Rumi's death has become known as the Shebi Arus, Wedding Night, the occasion when Rumi was finally united with his Beloved God, in eternal life. May God sanctify his soul.

Rumi's Cat

As Aflaki writes, shortly before Rumi's passing away, this cat came to Rumi and meowed sadly. Rumi smiled and asked those around him: "Do you know what this cat said?"

They said: "No".

Rumi said: "Soon you will go to the heavens, to your homeland with safety. What will I do without you?"

Rumi's cat did not eat or drink anything after his passing away and survived for only seven days after Rumi's passing.

- Adopted and quoted from:
1. Rumi: The Hidden Treasure by Shems Friedlander
and 2. Fundamentals of Rumi's Thought By Sefik Can
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