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Jalaladdin-i Rumi Never Played Reeds


The great wali [1] Celaleddin Rumi (quddisa sirruh), who was full of love for Allahu ta'ala, never played reeds or any other instrument. He did not listen to music, nor did he ever dance (raqs). Commentaries have been written in every country in many languages to his Mathnawi (Mesnevi), which has more than forty-seven thousand couplets that have been spreading nur (light) to the world. The most valuable and tasteful of these commentaries is the one by Mawlana Jami which has also been commentated on by many others. And, of these, 56 pages, which covered only four couplets, of the commentary by Suleyman Nesh'et Efendi was published during the time of Sultan 'Abd al-Majid Khan by the Matba'a-i Amira in 1263 A. H.

In this book, Mawlana Jami (quddisa sirruh) wrote, The word 'ney' (reed) in the first couplet of the Mathnawi [Listen to the reed. . .] means a perfect and exalted human being brought up in Islam. Such people have forgotten themselves and everything else. Their minds are always busy seeking Allahu ta'ala's rida (approval, love). In the Persian language, 'ney' means 'non-existent. ' Such people have become non-existent from their own existence.

The musical instrument called 'ney' is a plain pipe and the sound from the ney is completely from the player. As those exalted men are emptied of their existence, the manifestation of Allahu ta'ala's Akhlaq, Sifat and Kamalat (moral qualities, attributes of perfection) are observed in them. The third meaning of the word 'ney' is reed-pen, which again means, or points to, an insan-i kamil (perfect human). Movements and writtings of a pen are not from itself, nor are the actions and words of a perfect human; they are all inspired to him by Allahu ta'ala." 'Abidin Pasha 'rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih', the governor of Ankara during the time of Sultan 'Abd al-Hamid Khan the Second, gave nine proofs in his Masnawi Sharh to show that 'ney' meant insan-i kamil.

[1] wali: (pl. Awliya') one who is loved and protected by Allahu ta'ala; a salih who has also corrected his nafs.