Rumi meets Iqbal

…a meeting down the generations

Dr. Javid Iqbal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 23 2018 11:25PM | Updated Date: Feb 23 2018 11:25PM
Rumi meets IqbalFile Photo

Rumi and Iqbal are soul mates. Centuries separating the advent of two hardly matter. Rumi—the ‘Pir (Guide)’ and Iqbal—the ‘Murshid (Disciple)’ relationship endures in the spiritual realm, inspiring millions. It was thus hardly surprising that 22nd generation Rumi descendent--Esin Celebi Bayru met Iqbal’s generation next in Lahore, two weeks back. The meeting hardly held a surprise for believers in meeting of souls; it pleased them nevertheless to no end. The smiles on the faces of Esin Bayru and Iqbal’s octogenarian daughter—Munira Iqbal vibrated. Scores of Rumi and Iqbal lovers across the globe smiled and rejoiced, as the love tale of Rumi and Iqbal came alive in Lahore. Munira sons—Iqbal Salah-ud-Din and Yusuf Salah-ud-Din and nephew—Munib, Justice Javid Iqbal’s son, glowed as the two ladies renewed spiritual ties. 

Esin Celebi Bayru is descendant from Rumi’s son Sultan Veled and his descendant Ulu Arif Celebi. Humble and graceful, Esin has multiplied the efforts of Reynold Nicholson, A. J. Arbery, Coleman Barks and Deepak Chopra in relating the love tale of Rumi to millions in USA and across the globe. The love tale knows no bounds. Recently Rumi also became the most famous poet in Israel, in part due to the translations into Hebrew by an Israeli writer, Miki Cohen. Esin was born in and spent her childhood years in Syria, the country where Rumi 800 years earlier looked for his spiritual mentor—Shams Tabriz. Shams had suddenly left Rumi after a period of spiritual interaction called ‘Sohbat’ in Sufi realm.

 In 1958, Esin’s family moved to Istanbul, where she studied at Istanbul University. Later she worked with the Istanbul Ozel Isiklar High School Association and the Isiklar Association, where she served as the first female president. In 1997, Esin became the Vice President of the International Mevlana (Moulana in Turkish) Foundation. The 1996 foundation spread Rumi’s words of human emancipation and divine love around the world. Esin played a key role in influencing UNESCO’s decision to preserve the culture of the Whirling Dervishes. Eventually, UNESCO designated 2007 as the international year of Rumi in honour of Rumi’s 800th birthday. In 2005, Selcuk University, in Konya, Turkey, selected Esin as a member of the Advisory Board established under the Mevlana Research and Membership Center. She spoke at symposiums and conferences internationally as well as all over Turkey. In April 2011, Star King University in Berkley, California, conferred Esin with a Honorary Doctorate due to her research and contribution to world peace. Esin relating to Turkey much more than Iran may not be taken amiss. Rumi’s love tale is related in Persian, though cultural basis is Turku-Persian. Rumi—Turkish Mevlana is called Moulvi in Iran, Moulana in subcontinent. Rumi the Turk from Konya with Afghan origins relates spiritually to cradle of Persian civilization—Shiraz, as did Iqbal:

Tanam Gule Ze Khayaban Jenat-e- Kashmir

Dil Az Hareem-e-Hejaz Va Nawa Ze Shiraz Ast 

In the captivating couplet, Iqbal sums up his tidings—physically relating to meadows of Kashmir, spiritually to Hejaz, while his voice relates to Shiraz. Gabriel Iqbal—Canada based zealous Rumi lover, originally from Kashmir, relates to soul mates—Rumi and Iqbal in 2nd edition of his book--RUMI SOUL HEALER. “The light of the Qur’an is hidden in his (Rumi’s) breast; the goblet of Cyrus fades in the presence of his mirror,” says Iqbal. Goblet of Cyrus—the Persian Emperor in poetic terms relates to sum total his experiences—Cyrus excelled. Rumi’s spiritual experience is however related to be on a much higher pedestal than the material experience of Cyrus in statecraft. Rumi’s experience is universal; it is not restricted to one sphere, however vast. “Have a spark from my innermost heart for my heart is as fiery as Rumi’s” relates Iqbal, alluding to what remains embedded in innermost recesses of the heart of two masters. Rumi is Iqbal’s guide in Javid Nama—the spiritual sojourn of two masters. Iqbal’s Persian treatise has an extensive poetic essay relating to Kashmir—Ziyarat Amir Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani VA Mulla Tahir Ghani Kashmiri. Yet again Rumi holds Iqbal’s hand in soothing his Kashmir centric concerns. 

Gabriel takes Iqbal beyond being poet philosopher of Islam; he calls him poet philosopher of humanity, due to his major works in expressing the power of love (Ishq) for human emancipation. Iqbal, says Gabriel, acknowledges Rumi as his spiritual guide because Rumi’s interpretation of the Qur’an was focused on the Qur’anic idea of love as the powerful force that binds humanity to God. On Rumi’s quest, Gabriel quotes Iqbal, “There appeared the Master, formed in the mould of Truth, who wrote the Qur’an in Persian.” Jami, 15th century Persian poet attests.  Rumi’s Masnavi is called “The Qur’an in Persian” (Hast Qur’an D’har Zaban-i-Pehlvi). Iqbal strove in similar vein, so did Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani. The revered Sheikh relates, ‘’Why didn’t you die while studying Quran, why didn’t you wither away’’? The withering away relates to breaking free of vanity and desire. The spiritual thread from Rumi to Iqbal or Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani is the same. Relating to Rumi, Noorani (RA) says, ‘’Seek Mullah in Moulana Rumi, otherwise don’t seek one at all’’.

Rumi is being related to globally as conflict widens and people seek solace. Rumi glows in universal love, which is all-embracing, all-encompassing. His words touch the soul; he breathes Ishq and makes you breathe with him. Gabriel in chapter 8 of his book titled: A Mystic Healer of our Times’ says: Rumi’s ravishing inspiration is depicted in his poem, ‘Only Breath’. Rumi says, ‘’he is not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen, not from East or West’’ adding, ‘’my place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul, I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one’’. It is said that when Rumi died people came from far and wide, from different faiths, many of them stating that Rumi’s words confirmed their own faith. His death is commemorated as the Urus (Wedding night with the Beloved). Nearly 2 million people every year from throughout the world and from different faiths visit his mausoleum in Konya.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival] Iqbal’s actual grave is in situated between Badashahi Mosque and Shahi Qila, in Lahore, Pakistan. However, there is a symbolic grave of Iqbal in Konya near Rumi’s grave. The epitaph on the grace translates as ‘An honorary resting place for Muhammad Iqbal, a protégé of our dear master’.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival)

 

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