Sufi Poetry

17th December is the Shebi-arus (meaning ‘Wedding Night’, when he was reunited with his Creator) of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. He was a Sufi Shaykh that lived in Turkey 800 years ago, being one of the greatest saints that the world has ever seen. He has been the most popular poet in the USA for the last ten years, with people still finding inspiration in his wisdom and beautiful language. He was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order, who are famous for their Sufi Whirling Ceremony.

We are the Flute

We are the flute; our music comes from God.
Our outer form, regulated by the Law,
is a reed flute through which passes the breath.
Both the outer form (the Law) and the hollow interior (the Way)
are essential to its being a flute.
But there is only music when the breath encounters its interior.
What the inside or qualitative aspect of the flute
wants to be in order to produce harmonic sounds
dictate the outside shape of the flute.
The same is true of the form of the flute:
While the Law concentrates on the ethics of the form or container,
the Way concentrates on that of the contained.
The ethics of the Way, then, is in addition to those of the Law.
Neither can be substituted for the other.”


– Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

Translated by Laleh Bakhtiar, from her series of talks on the Sufi Enneagram.