In his poetry, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, claims that he has reached the stage of knowing God. To define his frame of mind, as well as the spiritual stages went through in order to reach annihilation, in one of his poems, he states that he was constantly burnt until he discovered the way to love God. To Rūmī, this burning is the direct result of knowing God and becoming one with him. Within the same poem, he claims that he was raw at first, then he was cooked, and finally was burnt (into ashes). The three stages of being raw, then cooked, and finally being burnt are clearly referring to the spiritual stages that Rūmī went through, to reach certainty about the one and only truth, God.
As said by Sufi scholars, all the seekers experience the same stages, however, every Sufi or truth seeker has a different interpretation of what they experience until they reach their final destination. This paper seeks to explore whether or not the spiritual changes stated by Rūmī in his poetry correspond directly with his life experiences. This research will show that the evidence from Rūmī’s poetry and biography demonstrates that his distinguished spiritual stages are simultaneous with three outstanding events within his life cycle. It will also show that his intellectual maturity is synchronized with the teachings and the influence of three profoundly formative characters within his life. His father Baha al-Din Valad, his shaikh Borhan al-Din Mohaqqeq, and the mysterious Sham al-Din Tabrizi played a key role in shaping his intellectual maturity. It will then show that each one of these characters contributed to the previous knowledge of Rūmī empowering him to rapidly ascend the steps towards perfection.
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