Rumi: Poems and Prose

Sama' in Rumi's poetry College

The Sufi musical tradition, or Sama’, has been used as a way to connect with the divine for hundreds of years by incorporating poetry, song, and dance to praise God. For many mystics, this blend is the single most powerful link to God, and is considered an even more elevated form of worship than prayer. Religious music is no new concept and is practiced in both Western and Eastern cultures, but many Sufis believe that the practice can cause visions of God and transport both musician and audience into a new reality. Although Sama’ generally includes both auditory and kinetic features, the aural component is considered the more significant of the two; “Sama’” literally translates to “what is being heard”. Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, was particularly inspired by the ritual and dedicated an entire chapter to the subject in his theological texts, translated into English and condensed in The Sufi Path of Love. According to Rumi, music is in the heart of the universe, or as he says, “melodies are derived from the turning of the spheres”. Sama’ and its intricacies are alluded to in numerous poems, functioning as an allegory for faith through themes such as silence, spirituality, and longing. Through poetry, Rumi presents his own...

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