Dr. Ergin ERGÜL

(erginergul@gmail.com, erginergul.com)


Whatever you think of war, I am far, far from it; Whatever you think of love, I am that, only that.


Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, better known in the west as Rumi, is one of the greatest sages, universal thinkers, spiritual masters and mystic poets of all times.1 From the 13th century to the present day he has continued to guide whosoever wants to know himself/herself, to understand the meaning of life and to find the truth. Besides being an excellent guide for personal development, he is also a perfect source of inspiration in terms of social development and finding solutions to universal problems. Rumi’s influence crosses cultural and national boundaries.

He communicates the universality of his thoughts and provides guidance through brilliant and authentic metaphors, such as a reed and a compass:

Seventy-two nations hear of their secrets from us:
We are the reed whose song unites all nations and faiths.2

Like a compass I stand firm with one leg on my faith,
And roam with the other leg all over the seventy-two nations.3

Rumi, who simply summarizes the philosophy of globalization with these expressions, also sets forth the guiding feature of his ageless view for the global age.

Rumi is, without doubt, one of those universal personalities whose biographies, works and world of thought are deeply analysed. Although we are now experiencing great scientific discoveries compared to the past, and learning many new extraordinary things about the secrets of the universe each day, it is certain that there are still many other issues waiting to be discovered, understood and drawn upon from the scope of the universal wisdom of Rumi.

The discovery, interpretation and systematization of all teachings of Rumi, which would shed light on the universal problems of our age, will require a much more comprehensive and detailed analysis of his works by experts from different branches of science.

Today humanity’s most important universal quest is the need for and aspiration to justice and peace, which, in this respect, resembles the turbulent and quite unstable period during which Rumi lived. Thus, while composing this study, I tried to read and understand his works4 as a source of wisdom from the perspective of universal justice and peace.

Therefore, this study can be seen as an approach of a lawyer, admirer and lover of Rumi in the 21st century through his own accumulation and perspective on the teachings of Rumi, one of the greatest guides of humanity, on issues related to social peace and justice, both at national and international levels.

Rumi’s views and remarks, which I deduced from his ageless works, contain much wisdom to guide and inspire lawyers, politicians, senior public officials and decision-makers in the scope of universal justice and peace. In fact, the dynamic, vivid and deep wisdom lying behind the poetry of Rumi awaits to be analysed more deeply from different perspectives.

Peace, in Rumi’s view, is a core virtue to be nurtured and defended for kthe individual and the community. One of his most eloquent couplets proclaims:

Whatever you think of war, I am far, far from it;
Whatever you think of love, I am that, only that.5

Waves of peace come and eliminate hatred from hearts.
On the contrary, waves of war come and make loves upside down.
Love makes pains to become sweet.
Because essence of love is leading on the right path.6

It’s waves of love that make the heavens turn
Without that love the universe would freeze:
No mineral absorbed by vegetable
No growing thing consumed by animal
No sacrifice of anima for Him
Who inspired Mary with His pregnant breath
Like ice, all of them unmoved, frozen stiff
No vibrant molecules in swarms of motion
Lovers of perfection, every atom
Turns sapling-like to face the sun and grow
Their haste to shed their fleshly form for soul
Sings out an orison of praise to God 7

The words of Rumi, which refresh people like a warm wind full of hope, are reflected as strong and efficient messages of justice, freedom and peace, especially in this intense conflict environment our world is going through. In the words of Eva de Vitray Meyerowitch, the great scholar and translator of Rumi’s books into French, an urgent and quite universal message stands in front of humanity.

To be able to unlock the key of Rumi’s treasury of wisdom, first of all we need to appreciate Rumi as an inspiring, leading guide in scientific, social and current issues rather than merely a great influential historical character, a famous poet or a reputable Sufi. Only on this condition can we better rely on his endless world of thought and immense ocean of wisdom in every field.

Anyone who becomes acquainted with Rumi under the guidance of his/her internal sense is able to rid himself/herself of the illusion of limited external freedom, and tastes unlimited internal freedom and discovers a totally new point of view. Moreover s/he brims with enthusiasm and joy, proceeds with patience, determination and effort and tries to bring out other people’s hidden potential, instead of eliminating their very individualities of them which should be respected. Such a person carries out his or her profession, and the works s/he enters into under the guidance of his/her conscience and soul. Thus a sense of justice and peace fills his/her soul. This mood is reflected in his/her environment and social life as justice and peace.

The writer Nihat Sami Banarlı emphasizes this truth very well in the following lines: “It does not matter whether a person is a judge, a statesman, a scientist, a craftsman, a theologist, a poet, a scholar or has a different occupation; s/he can only be regarded as human so long as there is a world of conscience inside him/her. Therefore, administrating the state, exercising justice or creating a work of art, all of them are the melody of the human soul.8

The pearls compiled from his works of an ocean of inspiration and wisdom, which will always remain fresh and will stand so long as the world stands, may start a new and unique evolution in the minds of the readers. But above all, these pearls will come of age when people remember the wisdom and put it into practice while performing their works and fulfilling their duties.

That magnificent guide who regards the book as nourishment of the soul and relief of the mind emphasizes the necessity of transforming the information into wisdom by putting it into practice, and explains how we should approach his works:

The main purpose of a book is the information it contains, yet if you use it as a pillow to rest on, it will serve as that too;
But this function of being a pillow is not its main purpose: its main purpose is knowledge, right guidance and profit.
If you have used the sword instead of a tent-pin, you have preferred defeat to victory. 9

In brief, this study explains that there are many lessons to be learnt from Rumi’s treasury of wisdom for politicians, lawyers and administrators over the world, in order to realise permanent and fair solutions to universal problems and to ensure the atmosphere of justice and peace much needed by the humanity. Happy are those who succeed in drawing on this endless and priceless treasury…

I wish that readers experience new evolutions and explorations in their minds that help them to comprehend the truth behind the events and the names, to find personal and professional satisfaction and to carry out fruitful studies which contribute to the rule of law and peace in the world, under the guidance of the charismatic soul of Rumi charming and bringing together people’s hearts.



The vendors of old goods are gone. We are the new vendors, this is our bazaar.


A sage for all ages

Rumî is one of the greatest sages of all times, who will never be forgotten. He is a guide and a leader, who tells the unchanging rules of all times despite the centuries between us. With his messages which supersede the ages, Rumi continues to conquer numerous souls from different nations, languages and cultures from all four corners of this world of ours, which has become almost a village as a result of globalization. Many people go through an enormous change and transformation after coming to know him. Those who are closely connected with his great soul benefit from the conquests and evolutions constantly flowing into their hearts, according to their desires and efforts.

A. J. Arberry, one of the scholars who enabled Rumi to speak English through his translations explains his influence as follows: Rumi speaks to people of different religions from all over the world in search of spiritual meaning through the works he wrote as the greatest Sufi poet for centuries.10


1       See Franklin Lewis, Rumi’s Masnavi, part 1: World figure or new age fad?https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/30/rumi- masnavi-muslim-poetry

2 Chams ad-Din Aflaki, “Les saints des derviches tourneurs. Récits traduits du persan et annotés par Cl. Huart, Paris 1922, Tome II, p.97.

3 B. Fürûzanfer, Rûmî Celaleddin, (Çev.Feridun Nafiz Uzluk), Konya Governorship, Provincial Directorate of Cultur and Tourism , Konya 2005, IV

4 Such as The Masnavi (The Mathnawi), Discourses of Rumi (or Fihi Ma Fihi), Rubâi’yât/ quatrains, Diwan-i Kabir, Majalis-i Saba, letters of Rumi (Maktubat)

5 Talat Sait Halman, Love is all, Rumi’s life and poems of ectasy the whirling dervishes, BKG, İstanbul 2011, p.61

6 Reynold A. Nicholson, The Mathnawi of Jalalu’din Rumi, Cambridge, 1925, I/2578-2580.

7 Masnavi V/3854-9

8   Nihad Sâmi Banarlı, Tarih ve Tasavvuf Sohbetleri, Kubbealtı, 4th Print, İstanbul 2008.

9 The Mathnawi, III/2989-2990.

10 A.J.Arberry, Discourse of Rumî, Omphaloskepsis, p.VI. A.J. Arberry who headed the Oriental Languages Department at Cambridge University translated