The poetry of Rumi transcends nationality and religion. Over 700 years after his death, Rumi’s work is appreciated across the globe, influencing contemporary writing, poetry and the music of stars such as Madonna. This Western renaissance of Rumi’s work was sparked by Coleman Barks’ translation, which has made him a bestselling poet in the US.

However, many people don’t realise that Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, one of Islam’s most influential poets, was also a 13th-century Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic. Sufism, or Tasawwuf as it is known in the Muslim world, is Islamic mysticism, an essential dimension of Islam. The Mevlevi order founded by his followers exists today and the Mevlevi are known as Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God). The poetry of Rumi is rooted in spirituality inspired by his knowledge of the Qur’an and love of the Prophet Muhammad.

This is an unmissable event for anyone interested in poetry or mysticism. Join Shems Friedlander as he discusses the essential Sufi core of Rumi’s philosophy and poetry.

About The Speaker

Shems Friedlander

Shems Friedlander is a painter, photographer, author and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo. Friedlander has spent over 40 years in a Sufi order and is now sharing his stories and travels in the winter of his life.