Saviours of Islamic Spirit - Mawlana Jalal-ud-din Rumi (RA)

The science of dialectics and the scholastic argumentation employed by it are incapable of producing conviction and an ardent faith. The reason for it is, according to Rumi, that the dialectician is himself sceptical about the veracity of what he pleads; he merely rehearses the premises and propositions he has learnt from his teachers and the propounders of his school of thought.
"The imitator brings on to his tongue a hundred proofs and explanations, but he has no soul.
When the speaker has no soul and (spiritual glory), how should his speech have leaves and fruit ?"; Rumi prefers intuition or spiritual cognition to the carnal intellect which is particular, individual, discursive, and dependent on sense-perception. He holds the view that experiential aware­ness can gain knowledge pertaining to the terrestrial world only. On the other hand, the spiritual cognition emanating from the Universal Intellect is a lodestar for the human intellect; the intellect of man should be guided by intuition in the same way as the former holds the reins of human frame. The spiritual cognition is thus, in the view of Rumi, the Intellect of intellect without which the carnal intellect would not deserve to be known by that name. Spiritual cognition is, however, enjoyed only by those who have been enriched by an, ardent faith and an unquestioning conviction in the Ultimate Reality.
"The philosopher is in bondage to things perceived by the intellect; (but) the pure (saint) is he that rides as a prince on the Intellect of intellect."
Volumes after volumes have been blackened by the discursive reason of man but it is only the Universal Intellect which illumines this universe.
"The intellect makes books entirely black (with writing); the Intellect of intellect keeps the horizons (the whole universe) filled (with light) from the Moon (of Reality).
It is free from blackness and whiteness : the light of its moon rises (and shines) upon heart and soul."
The Intellect of intellect, born of faith and credence, guards man against carnal desires and earthly temptations. It instils a sense of faith and trust, confidence and hope while discursive reason brings disbelief and infidelity, doubt and suspicion.
"The reason that is allied to Faith is like a just police-inspector : it is the guardian and magistrate of the city of the heart.
Intellect is the guardian of Faith within the human frame; its fear keeps the baser-self in chains."
Rumi propounds the view that Spirit rules over intellect precisely in the same way as the senses are servitors of reason. The Spirit can lay bare the mysteries of heaven and earth which are beyond the ken of intellect and resolve the most knotty problems to which reason cannot find a cine.
"Sense-perception is a captive to the intellect, O reader; know also that the intellect is captive to the spirit.
The spirit sets free the chained hand of the intellect and brings its embarrassed affairs into harmony."'
The philosopher cannot overstep the limits set by the information furnished by human perception and the rules of logical syllogism. The carnal intellect is thus cast into a prison from which it cannot come out.
"The philosopher simply speaks according to the science of reasoning, for his intellect cannot cross the threshold (of its abode).
The philosopher killed (exhausted) himself with thinking : let him run on (in vain), for his back is turned towards the treasure.
Let him run on: the more he runs, the more remote docs he become from the object of his heart's desire."
The philosopher may possess a complete mastery over speculative branches of learning and may also be endowed with foresight but he lacks insight into his own self, although the cognition of the latter is more important than the knowledge of everything else.
"This tyrant excels in thousands of sciences, But lo of his soul he knowest nothing.
Thou knowest the value of every commodity,
But not of thy own, Is'nt it a folly ?"
Rumi advises the philosophers and dialecticians to abandon philosophy and scholasticism and cultivate the knowledge of religious truth, for it alone has the light of certainty and wisdom.
"How long wilt thou be mad after the Grecian lore,
Try to learn the wisdom of faith, once more."
Rumi says that man can attain the knowledge of Self through purification of his heart and rectitude of his behaviour. The more the heart is purified, the more it would be able to reflect, like a mirror, the wisdom contained in the faith and illuminate itself, without the help of a tutor or scripture, with the divine grace and revelatory guidance.
"Make thyself pure from the attributes of self, that thou mayest behold thine own pure untarnished essence,
And behold within thy heart (all) the sciences of the prophets, without book and without preceptor and master."
At another place Rumi says :
"When the mirror of your heart becomes clear and pure, you will behold images (which are) outside of (the world of) water and earth.
If the orifice of heart is open and clean; Divine light without an agent shall it glean."

Love of God:
The impetus received by the movement of rationalism and scholasticism in the seventh century of the Muslim era had cooled the yearnings of the human soul for the apprehension of the Divine. From one end of the Islamic world to another, leaving a few illuminated souls here and there, nobody seemed to have any taste for Divine manifestation and illumination of the heart. It was, as if, an apathy or coolness had overtaken the hearts of the people. It was a situation expressed by Iqbal in this verse :
"The fire of love has cooled down; what a calamity it is !
The Musalman is naught but a heap of ashes."
It was at this critical stage that Rumi sounded the note of alarm and exhorted the people to betake the path of love. His call fired the frenzy of love once again in the entire world of Islam.
Rumi explained what he meant by love and to what sublime eminence it could raise the people. He says :
"By love bitter things become sweet; by love pieces of
copper turn into gold ;
By love dregs become clear; by love pains become
healing ;
By love the prisons becomes a garden; sans love the
garden becomes desolate;
By love stone turns into liquid; devoid of it, wax gets
hard as a metal;
By love illness contributes health ; and, the scourge
becomes a blessing;
By love the dead is made living; by love the king is
made a slave."-
Rumi describes the vigour of love and its virtues in these
words :
"Through Love the earthly body soared to the skies : the mountain began to dance and became nimble.
Love inspired Mount Sinai, O lover, (so that) Sinai (was made) drunken and Moses fell in a swoon.
Love is so dignified and high-souled that it cares nothing for empires. One who has once drunk at the spring of love looks with disdain on all worldly possessions. Iqbal has expressed the same idea in the couplet in which he says:
"Listless it turns the heart from the heaven and earth; How should I describe, what the flavour of love is like."
The lover hardly cares for anything: he is mad after the Supreme Beauty. Rumi says:
"Love turns heedless of the worlds, this or that: A thousand madness it imbibes (in the lover's heart)."'
The lover becomes a King of kings and an object of true-love. He tramples underfoot the crowns and sceptres of authority.
"Overt and latent to the extreme his wonders are;
For those who rule the heart aspire for him. He treads a path different from others; Even the throne of King is under his foot.."
Speaking of the love, arrogant and stately, Rumi himself becomes enchanted by a tremendous spiritual enthusiasm. Says he:
"Worldly dominion is lawful (only) to those who indulge the body ; We (lovers) are devoted to the everlast­ing kingdom of Love."
Love is the only malady welcomed by its sufferer, who never desires to recover from it. The lover really desires a continuous increase in his affliction:
"All the sick hope to be cured, but this sick one sobs, crying, 'Increase my sickness !'
I have found no drink sweeter than this poison: no state of health can be sweeter than this disease."* After the illness of love, no other sickness can overtake the lover.
"The words (spoken by him) deliver (thee) from words (of idle disputation), and the sickness (of love inspired by him) lets thee escape from the sickness (of sensuality)."
If love is a sickness, it is worth a thousand health. It pains and pinches, but still it is sweeter than thousands of pleasures.
"Therefore the sickness of love is the (very) soul of health; its pains are the envy of every pleasure."
Rumi says that love is essentially a spiritual passion. Even if it be regarded a sin, virtue can rightly be sacrificed at its altar. In so far as it serves to purify the soul, it helps to ascend to Divine favour in a moment that years of penance and prayer may be unable to attain.
"No act of piety can be better than this sin: years in comparison with this moment are (but) an hour,"
The blood of the martyr of love is purer than water; for the martyr does not need purifying bath and ablution :
"For martyrs, blood is better than water : this fault (committed by him) is better than a hundred right actions (of another)."
The distraught lover of God is not liable to follow the laws and ordinances promulgated for the ordinary folk How can tithe be levied on a village already devastated ?
"To lovers there is a burning (which consumes them) at every moment: tax and tithe are not (imposed) on a ruined village.*
Love is the heritage of Adam, while Satan has bequeathed artfulness and cunningness.
"He that is blessed and familiar (with spiritual mys­teries) knows that intelligence is of Iblis, while love is of Adam."
The cunning and artful depends on his wits and craftiness, while the lover seeks asylum from his friend and entrusts himself to his care. Cunningness and artfulness are like swimming in a deluge while love is like the Noah's ark. And has anybody seen the crafty and the cunning coming out safely from the great deluge and the Noah's ark submerging in it ?
Intelligence is (like) swimming in the seas: he (the swimmer) is not saved: he is drowned at the end of the business.'"
Love is as a ship for the elect: seldom is calamity (the result) ; for the most part it is deliverance."
The sagacity of intellect can be exchanged for the bewilderment of love, as the former is a product of doubt and uncertainty while the latter is born of gnosis and illumination.
"Sell intelligence and buy bewilderment: intelligence is opinion, while bewilderment is (immediate) vision."
Rumi's summon to betake the path of love is marked by his advice to become a lover if one cannot become a beloved. He says that it is not possible for everyone to become loveworthy but he can nevertheless become an adorer.
"Thou who are not a Joseph, be a Jacob : be (familiar), like him, with weeping and sore distress.
If thou art not Shirin or Layla, be thou a true-love like Farhad or Majnun."'
He goes a step further and says that love being the greatest bounty, it is more profitable to be a lover than becoming a beloved. If the loved ones only knew the sublimity evoked by the devoted attachment, they would themselves choose to be adorers rather than remain an object of adoration:
"Abandon the state of being loved (by men) and adopt the practice of loving (God), O you who think that you are excellent and pre-eminent."
But love is too precious to be wasted on any transitory or finite being which is likely to become extinct. Love is a living spiritual passion and so the object of love should also be living and everlasting:
"Love for the dead is not lasting: Keep your love (fixed) on the Living One who increases spiritual life."
Rumi says that only the overwhelming grace of the Divine Beloved can truly inspire and refresh the heart of man.
"(But) love of the living is every moment fresher than a bud in the spirit and in the sight.
Choose the love of that Living One who is everlasting, who gives thee to drink of the wine that increases life.
Choose the love of Him from whose love all the prophets gained power and glory
Nobody need to have any apprehension of being denied access to that Glorious True-love for He is ever willing to respond to the call of the lover.
"Do not say, 'We have no admission to that King.'
Dealings with the generous are not difficult."
The love may appear to be a sickness for it produces a crush­ing grief in the lover's heart. Its pain may be unbearable but if the lover is able to endure it, he is rewarded with an everlasting illumination and the gnosis of God.
"Being in love is made manifest by soreness of heart: there is no sickness like heart-sickness."
The lover's ailment is separate from all other ailments ; love is the astrolabe of the mysteries of God.
The sickness of love is in fact a cure for every other illness, be it moral or spiritual. Where the spiritual healers fail and yield to despair, the love succeeds and cures all the moral and spiritual diseases in no time. A man so restored to moral and spiritual health by the grace of love exclaims thus under the spell of its enchantment:
"Hail, O Love that bringest us good gain-thou that art the physician of all our ills,
The remedy of our pride and vainglory, our Plato and our Galen!"
Love kindles a flame that reduces every thing save the beloved to a heap of ashes. It is extremely jealous and arrogant to let anything survive besides itself.
"Love is that flame which, when it blazes up, consumes everything else but the Beloved.
He (the lover) drives home the sword of Not in order to kill all other than God: thereupon consider what remains after Not.
There remains except God : all the rest is gone. Hail, O mighty Love, destroyer of polytheism ! ";
The love of God is an ocean, boundless and wide-spread; it pervades the cosmos and is without any beginning or end. It is a story of the rapturous flame kindled in the heart of man, which can never be described adequately and therefore it is better to acknowledge one's incompetence to narrate it and hold his tongue.
"If I should continue to describe Love, a hundred Resurrections would pass, and it (my description would still be) incomplete ;
For there is a limit to the date of the Resurrection, but what limit can there be where the Divine attributes are (concerned).?"