Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī: 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Muslim Mystic.
Here is Rumi recited in American Society by Madonna:
Here is Rumi in today's American Society...Demi Moore reciting poems of Rumi:
Rumi's mysticism comes from the root of Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) teaching regarding the knowledge and understanding of God. This general secular push to remove Islam from Rumi and Islam from Islamic Mysticism (Tasawwuf / Sufism)in order to justify their love for such Islamic Mysticism is rather unfair to these great scholars. If they admit that they had Islamic affiliations, then they feel that Rumi has been "tainted by religion". This kind of wrong deductions have also been used on other Persian scholars of the past such as Omar Khayyam Hafiz, Saadi, and others. Ironically, these people were all Muslims who understood the deeper meaning of Islam vs. the secular and superficial legalistic parts of Muslim culture and community.
Sufism or "Tasawwuf" is Islamic Mysticism and part of Islam just like doing your baptism (wudu) for prayer (salat). We as Muslims in order to better understand ourselves and God use tasawwuf principles. This is something that was taught by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as well as all the 124,000 prophets through out history. We believe that Prophet Adam (pbuh) was the first and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last or "seal of the prophets".
Now there are Sufi Tariqas which tend to formalize tasawwuf in order to be able to give a clear understanding of the narration of the teachings which are passed down from one Shaykh to another. The first Shaykh is always Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). All the Sufi tariqas have Hazrat Ali as the second after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) except with the exception of the Naqshbandi tariqa that has Abu Bakr as the second in the chain of narration. There are at least 14 recognized official Sufi Muslim Tariqas in the world that should not be confused with some Pseudo-Sufi groups that claim they are practicing Sufism or tasawwuf without Islam. Sufism is to Islam as Gnosticism is to Christianity, Kabbalah to Judaism, and Zen to Buddhism. They can not exist without the other. However, that does not mean that Sufi teachings are not universal. These Sufi teachings are within traditional Sunni and Shia Islam but you don't have to be part of a tariqa in order to practice or understand Sufism within Islam.
Many Muslims glorify the Jannisary Warriors of Ottoman Turkey, who have a lot in common with the Sassanid Cataphracts, Sarmatian Knights, Preatorian Guard of Rome and the Knights of Europe(their Iranian Islamic counterpart was the "Qizilbash" of the Safavids). Both the Ottoman Jannisary and Safavid Qizilbash were heavily influenced by the Sufi Brotherhoods that had Hazrat Ali as their role model. There is a saying that "there is no warrior like Ali and no sword like Zulfiqar". This tradition has been passed on to the United States Marines who still to this day carry the "Mamluk Sword". However, instead of Hazrat Ali being the role model, Prophet Jesus has been used as the catalyst of this brotherhood. The Jannisary Marching Band was copied by every army in Europe. There is a song called "Mehter/Mehteran/Mehter Marsi" that was done by the Jannisary, which is parallel to the USMC's song that talks about "the shores of tripoli".
Here is a clip of the "Mehter Marsi":
However, what is very interesting to note is that 90% of the Jannisary were Shia Bektashi Dervishes who were formerly Christian from the Balkans within the Sunni Orthodox Ottoman Empire. The order had close ties with the Janissary corps, the bulk of the Ottoman Army. With the abolition of Janissaries, the Bektashi order was banned throughout Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826. This decision was supported by the Sunni religious elite as well as the leaders of other, more orthodox, Sufi orders. Bektashi tekkes were closed and their dervishes were exiled. Bektashis slowly regained freedom with the coming of the Tanzimat era. The first U.S. college in the Middle East, Robert College, was built close to a Bektashi tekke in Bebek north of Istanbul. According to a German teacher at Robert in the 1890s, Friedrich Schrader, there was an excellent relationship between the Unitarian founders of the college and the leaders of the tekke. After the foundation of republic, Kemal Atatürk banned all Sufi orders and shut down the lodges in 1925. Consequently, the Bektashi leadership moved to Albania and established their headquarters in the city of Tirana.
The understanding of tasawwuf is beneficial for Muslims, Muslim Communities and Non-Muslim Communities because it unifies people on an intra-faith and interfaith level. Tasawwuf in Islam is the glue that binds us all, regardless of the labels we carry. However, that does not mean that it exists without Islam. [I will write more on this topic inshallah]
"In an authentic quatrain composed by Rumi, he tells us:
I am the servant of the Qur'an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words.
[--Rumi's Quatrain No. 1173, translated by Ibrahim Gamard and
Ravan Farhadi in 'The Quatrains of Rumi,' an unpublished
[Here, the Persian word 'bezar' translated as 'quit of' and
'outraged' also means disgusted, fed-up, repelled, estranged. The
meaning is that no one should interpret Rumi's speech and poetry
as having meanings that do not conform to the revelation and
practice of Islam.] "