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    (September 30, 1207-December 17, 1273)
    Birth name is Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammed Rumi
    Wrote ‘Masnavi-ye Manavi (Spiritual Couplets),' ‘Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-I (The Works of Shams of Tabriz),' ‘Fihi Ma Fih (In It, What's In It)' and ‘Majalis-I Sab'a (Seven Sermons)'
    Founded Mevlevi Order (Whirling Dervishes)
    He was persuaded to abandon his teaching duties by wandering mystic Shams of Tabriz.
    Shams disappeared one night, probably killed by Rumi's son or students who resented his influence.
    He requires novice Whirling Dervishes to spin around a floor nail between their first and second toes.
    His teachings risk being trivialized in the West by New Agers and trendy celebrities.
    He wrote a fable which compared uniting with God to making love with a donkey.
    He is one of the most influential Middle Eastern writers and mystics.
    When he was a child, Mongolian raiders forced his family to flee their homeland.
    His mystical poetry is very sensual and often refers to sex and alcohol.
    Turkey banned the Whirling Dervishes in 1924 then lifted the ban when their appeal to tourists became apparent.
    He opposed all forms of discrimination and wrote ‘I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Magian nor Muslim.'
    He is the top selling poet in the United States.

Credit: Georgina

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