Rumi's "Spiritual Shi'ism"


Depiction of Jalal Ud-din Rumi of Persia
Sequential textual evidence in the Mathnawi that supports Rumi’s acceptance of Imam ‘Ali’s Wilayah and spiritual superiority over other companions of the Prophet.

1) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘AMIR AL-MUMININ – COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL – TRANSLATED BY NICHOLSON AS PRINCE OF THE FAITHFUL’ – in the story titled Imam ‘Ali.
See Book One, heading after verse 3720.

2) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE WHO ACTS SINCERELY’ –‘Learn how to act sincerely from ‘Ali’.
Book One, verse 3721 (first part).

3) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘THE LION OF ALLAH’ – ‘Know that the lion of Allah (‘Ali ) was purged of all deceit’.
Book One, verse 3721 (second part).

4) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘THE PRIDE OF EVERY PROPHET’ –‘Ali, the pride of every Prophet’.
Book One, verse 3723.

5) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE PRIDE OF EVERY SAINT’ – ‘Ali the pride of every Prophet and every saint.’
Book One, verse 3723.

6) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE FACE BEFORE WHICH THE MOON BOWS LOW’ – ‘He spat on the countenance before which the face of the moon bows low in the place of worship.’
Book One, verse 3724.

7) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE LION OF THE LORD’ – ‘In bravery you are the lion of the Lord: in generosity who indeed knows who you are?’
Book One, verse 3732.

8.) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ALL MIND AND EYE’ – ‘O ‘Ali you who are all mind and eye, relate a little of that which you have seen.’
Book One, verse 3745.

9) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘FALCON OF THE EMPYREAN’ – ‘Tell, O falcon of the empyrean that finds goodly prey, what you have seen at this time from the Maker.’
Book One, verse 3750.

10) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE LEARNED WHO PERCEIVES THE UNSEEN’ – ‘Your eyes have learned to perceive the unseen while the eyes of the bystanders are sealed.’
Book One verse 3751.

11) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘THE ONE WHO IS APPROVED BY ALLAH’ – ‘Reveal the mystery O ‘Ali you who is approved by Allah.’
Book One, verse 3751 (part 1).

12 Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as being, ‘GOODLY EASE’ – ‘O you who are a goodly ease after evil fate.’
Book One, verse 3752.

13) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ORB OF THE MOON (WILAYAH QAMARIYYAH)’ – ‘From you it shone forth on me, how could you conceal it? Without tongue you are darting rays of light, like the moon. But if the moonsorb come to speech, it more quickly leads the night-travellers the (right) way. They become safe from error and heedlessness: the voice of the moon prevails over the voice of the ghoul.’
Book One, verse 3759-3761.

14) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali u as, ‘LIGHT UPON LIGHT’ – ‘In as much as the moon (even) without speech shows the way, when it speaks it becomes light upon light,’
Book One, verse 3762.

15) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GATE OF THE CITY OF KNOWLEDGE (‘Ali GATE OF WILAYAH MUHAMMADIYYAH)’ – ‘Since you are the Gate of the City of Knowledge, since you are the beams of the sun of clemency (Prophet Muhammad ).’
Book One verse 3763.
This verse refers to the Prophet Muhammad saying, ‘I am the City of Knowledge and ‘Ali is its gate, so anyone who seeks knowledge should enter through its gate.’

16) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GATE OF MERCY’ – ‘Remain open forever.’
Book One, verse 3765 (part one).

17) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ENTRANCE-HALL TO ‘NONE IS LIKE UNTO HIM.’
Book One, verse 3765.
This is a reference to Surah Ikhlas – Qur’an 112.

18) Rumi refers to Imam ¡Ali u as, ‘THE SUN OF WILAYAH’ – ‘Speak, O Prince of the faithful, that my soul may stir within my body like an embryo. How has the embryo the means (to stir) during the period when it is ruled (by
the stars)? It comes (turns) from the stars towards the sun. When the time comes for the embryo to receive the (vital) spirit, at that time the sun becomes its helper.
Book One, verses 3773-5.

These verses refer to the Ahl al-Bayt’s Wilayah Qamariyyah being within the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of the Prophet Muhammad . Here Rumi clari fies that those who hold general or stellar Wilayah – Wilayah ‘Ammah / Wilayah Najmiyyah are merely stars in comparison to ‘Ali who, being like the sun, represents the Perfect Man or perfect shaykh. Thus, while those who hold Wilayah ‘Ammah may aid a ‘Searcher for Truth’ – Salik, complete guidance is only obtainable via those who hold Wilayah Shamsiyyah – a reference to Imam ‘Ali and his successors. Here Rumi presents the three types of Wilayah described in the introduction – Wilayah Shamsiyyah and Wilayah Qamariyyah –aspects of Specific Wilayah – Wilayah Khassah, and Wilayah ‘Ammah, that is also referred to as Stellar Wilayah – Wilayah Najmiyyah. These may be considered Advanced and Element ary levels of Wilayah.

19) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as ‘HOLDER OF SOLAR WILAYAH – WILAYAH SHAMSIYYAH’ – ‘When the time comes for the embryo to receive the (vital) spirit, at that time the sun becomes its helper. This embryo is brought into movement by the sun, for the sun quickly endows it with ‘spirit’. ‘
Book One, verses 3775-3776.
On the spiritual journey towards Allah, the embryo – Spiritual Seeker – Salik, obedient to Wilayah Allawiyyah, arrives at her/his destination.

20) Rumi refers to all Spiritual Seekers having, if they are aware of it not, an inherent connection with Wilayah Allawiyyah, that is, the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of Imam ‘Ali – ‘By the hidden way that is remote from our senses-perception, the sun in the heavens has many ways,’
Book One, verse 3779.
It is via that inherent connection, with the Wilayah Shamsiyyah of ‘Ali, that exists beyond the physical senses, that the Spiritual Seeker is able to develop.

21) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as ‘THE ROUTE OF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE – WILAYAH’, – ‘And the way whereby it makes the Ruby red and the way whereby it gives the lightening-flash to the (iron) horse shoe. And the way whereby it ripens the fruit, and the way whereby it gives heart to one who is distraught.’
Book One verse 3781-82.
These verses refer to Qur’an 100 – Surah Al-‘adiyat that was revealed to illuminate the status of Imam ‘Ali.

22) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘A FALCON WITH SHINING WINGS’ –‘Say it O falcon with shining wings,’
Book One verse, 3783 (part one).

23) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE WHO LEARNED FROM AND BECAME FAMILIAR WITH THE TRUE KING OF THE UNIVERSE’ – ‘Who has learned from the King and His fore arm.’
Book One, verse 3783 (part two).

24) Rumi refers to Imam Ali as, ‘ROYAL FALCON OF ALLAH WHO CATCHES THE ANGA.’ – ‘Say it, O Royal falcon who catches the Anga, O you who vanquished an army all by yourself.’
Book One, verse 3784.

25) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE NATION OF HUMANITY’ –‘You alone are the (entire community) you are one and a hundred thousand. Say it O you to whose falcon your slave has fallen prey’.
Book One, verse 3785.
This verse refers to an ayah of the Qur’an in which Allah tells us that all people are ‘a single nation’ Qur’an 2:213. While all have the potential, only some actually follow the Wilayah of ‘Ali , the one who is obedient to Allah.

26) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE SERVANT OF ALLAH’ – ‘He said I am wielding my sword for Allah’s sake. I am the servant of Allah; I am not under the command ofthe body.’
Book One verse 3787.

27) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE LION OF ALLAH’ – ‘I am the lion of Allah, not the lion of my passions.’
Book One, verse 3788 (part one).

28) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘HE WHOSE DEED WITNESSES HIS RELIGION’ – ‘My deed bears witness to my religion.’
Book One verse 3787 (part two).

29) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE MANIFESTATION OF THE WILL OF ALLAH’ – ‘In war I am the manifestation of the truth of “ It was not you who threw when you threw”: but the sword and the wielder is the (Divine) Sun.’
Book One, verse 3789.
This is a reference to Qur’an 8:17.

30) Rumi refers to Imam ¡Ali u as, ‘ANNIHILATED IN ALLAH’ – ‘I have removed the baggage of “ self” out of the way.’
Book One, verse 3790 (part one).

31) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ONE WHOSE TAWHID IS “ESSENTIAL” TAWHID’ – ‘I have deemed (what is) other than Allah to be non-existent.’
Book One, verse 3790 (part two).

32) Rumi refers to Imam ¡Ali u as, ‘SHADOW OF THE DIVINE’ – ‘I am a shadow, the Sun is my Lord.’
Book One, verse 3791 (part one).
Ali’s Wilayah is from Allah.

33) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE CHAMBERLAIN OF ALLAH’ – ‘I am the chamberlain, not the curtain (that prevents approach) to Him.’
Book One verse 3791 (part two).
‘Ali’s function is to guide people to Allah.

34) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘FILLED WITH THE PEARLS OF UNION WITH ALLAH’ – ‘I am filled with the pearls of union like a (jewelled) sword.’
Book One verse 3792 (part one).

35) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE REVIVER OF SPIRITUAL LIFE’ –‘In battle I revive but do not kill people.’
Book One, verse 3792 (part two).

36) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ADVANCER OF LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL ESSENCE AND DIVINE MORALITY’ – ‘Blood does not cover the sheen of my sword: how should the wind sweep away my clouds?
Book One verse 3793.

The great commentator of Rumi’s Mathnawi, Akbar Abadi said that ‘Sword and clouds here refer to the advanced level of the Spiritual Essence of ¡Ali u – wind refers to negative morality (Akhlaq Nafsani) and the sheen of the sword to Divine Morality. Clear reference that negative attributes do not impinge upon the perfected attributes of ‘Ali u.’ See Akbar Abadi, Sharh Mathnawi, Book 1. P. 307.

37) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘MOUNTAIN OF FORBEARANCE, PATIENCE AND JUSTICE’ – ‘I am not a straw, I am a mountain of forbearance, patience and justice: how should the fierce wind carry off the mountain?’
Book One, verse 3794.

38) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ALLAH’S BUILDING BEING THE BEING OF ‘ALI ’ – ‘I am a mountain and my being is His building. If I become like a straw, my wind (that which moves me) is the recollection of Him.’
Book One, verse 3797.

39) In reference to Imam ‘Ali , Rumi writes, ¡HIS COMMANDER IS ‘LOVE OF ALLAH’ – ‘My longing is not stirred save by His wind; my captain is naught but Love of the One.’
Book One, verse 3798.

40) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘REPRESSOR OF ANGER’ – ‘Anger, king over kings is to me but a slave: even anger I have bound under the bridle.’
Book One, verse 3799.

41) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘IMMERSED IN THE LIGHT OF ALLAH’ – ‘I am immersed in the light although my roof is ruined.’
Book One, verse 3801 (part one).

42) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘A DIVINE GARDEN’ – ‘I have become a gardenalthough I am (styled) Father of Dust – Bu Turab.’
Book One, verse 3801 (part two).
This verse refers to the hadith in which the Prophet titled ‘Ali; Abu Turab.

43) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘LOVER OF ALLAH’ – ‘That my name may be ‘He Loves for the sake of Allah.’ That my desire may be ‘He hates for the sake of Allah’
Book One,verse 3803.

44) Rumi refers to the manifestation of ‘Ali’s ‘generosity’ as, ‘GIVING FOR ALLAH’ – ‘Thatmy generosity may be ‘He gives for the sake of Allah’
Book One verse 3804 (part one).

45) Rumi refers to the mani festation of ‘Ali’s ‘withholding’ as, ‘WITHHOLDING FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH’ – ‘That my being may be “He withholds for Allah’s sake” ’.
Book One, verse 3804 (part two).
Verses 3803 and 4 refer to a hadith, ‘The faith of any who give for the sake of Allah or withhold for the sake of Allah or love for Allah or hate or marry for Allah, will attain perfection.’ Foruzanfar, Ahadith Mathnawi, P.37, Tehran 1361.

46) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘BELONGING ENTIRELY TO ALLAH’ – ‘I belong entirely to Allah, I do not belong to any other.’
Book One, verse 3805 (part two).
The will and being of Imam ‘Ali is circumscribed by the Will and Existence of Allah.

47) In reference to Imam Ali Rumi writes, ‘ALI’S ACTIONS ARE FOR ALLAH ALONE DRAWN FROM HIS u ILLUMINATED KNOWLEDGE OF ALLAH’ – ‘And that which I do for Allah’s sake is (not done in) conformity, it is not fancy or opinion, it is naught but intuition.’
Book One, verse 3806.
‘Ali’s knowledge is intuitive rather than theoretical.

48) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘ATTACHED TO ALLAH ALONE’ – ‘I have been freed from effort and search, I have tied my sleeve to the skirt of Allah.’
Book One verse 3807.

49) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘SEEING ALLAH EVERYWHERE’ – ‘If I am flying, I behold the place to which I soar; and if I am circling, I behold the axis on which I revolve.’
Book One verse 3808.

50) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE HOLDER OF LUNAR AND SOLAR WILAYAH, WILAYAH QAMARIYYAH AND WILAYAH SHAMSIYYAH’ – ‘I am the moon and the sun is before me as my guide.’
Book One, verse 3809 (part two).

51) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GATE OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE’ –‘Come in! I will open the door for you.’
Book One verse 3841.

52) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘GRANTING ETERNAL TREASURE TO HIS FOLLOWERS’ – ‘What then do I bestow on the doer of righteousness? Know you, I bestow treasures and kingdoms everlasting.’
Book One verse 3843.

53) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘MASTER OF THE SPIRIT’ – ‘But do not grieve: I am intercessor for you: I am the spirit’s master, I am not the body’s slave.’
Book One, verse 3942.

54) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘Sun of The Noble’ – ‘This body has no value in my sight: without my body I am the noble (in spirit) the sun of the spirit.’
Book One verse 3943.

55) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE GUIDANCE OF KINGS’ –‘Outwardly he strives aft er power and authority, but (only) that he may show princes the right way and judgement. That he may another spirit to the Princedom; that he may give fruit to the palm tree of the Caliphate.’
Book One, verse 3946-47.

56) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE DIVINE BALANCE’ – ‘You have really been the balance with the just nature of the One (Allah).
Book One, verse 3981 (part one).

57) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘The Balance By Which To Weigh Other Saints’ – ‘Nay, you have been the pivot of every balance.’
Book One, verse 3981 (part two).

58) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE ILLUMINATION OF ¡HIS WILAYAH IS THE LIGHT OF ALLAH’S WILAYAH’ – ‘I am the slave of that eye-seeking lamp from which the lamp receives its splendour.’
Book One, verse 3984.

59) Rumi refers to Imam ‘Ali as, ‘THE PEARL OF ALLAH’S OCEAN OF LIGHT’ – ‘I am the slave of the billow of that Sea of Light that brings a pearl like this into view.’
Book One verse 3985.

60) Rumi refers to Imam Hussein as, ‘KING OF RELIGION, ROYAL AND PURE SPIRIT’ – ‘A royal spirit escaped from a prison; why should we rend our garments and how should we gnaw our hands. Since they (Hussein and his family) were Kings of the (true) religion, it was the hour of joy for them when they broke their bounds.’
Book Six verse 797-8.

In Book Six of the Mathnawi, Rumi refers, with deep respect, to Imam Hussein son of Imam ‘Ali as Royal Spirit and King of Religion. Although greatly upset by it, he introduces the Day of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom – ‘Ashura, as a day of mourning for his spirit. Rumi regards love for Imam Hussein as the continuation of love for the Prophet Muhammad , in the same way that an ear loves a pearl.

He describes Prophet Muhammad as being the ear and Imam Hussein u the pearl, ‘Don’t you know that the Day of ‘Ashura is a day of mourning for a single soul that is more excellent than an entire century. How this tragedy should be lightly estimated by a true believer? Love for the earring (Hussein) is in proportion to love for the ear (Prophet Muhammad). In the view of a true believer, the mourning for that pure spirit is more celebrated than a hundred floods of Noah.’

Most Sufi orders with the exception of the Naqshbandi's follow Imam Ali's spiritual teachings after the Prophet Muhammad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naqshbandi

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