Sayings of Mevlana Rumi when he was on earth in the 13th century

  • I saw so many humans, they had no clothes on them; [they were humans, [but] they were poor]

    I saw so many clothes, they had no human in them. [they were rich, [but] there was no human[ity] in them]

  • If you substitute what your heart sees for what your eye sees, it is good for you.

    If you substitute what your eye sees for what your heart sees, alas, alas!

  • In order to know humans, spend all your power, but do not give all your love,

    Because the more you know them, the more you will be sorry for the love that you gave...

  • Egotism is like a mirror that is placed in front of your eye:

    Wherever that eye looks at, it only sees nobody but itself [himself/herself].

  • Hunger is the king of all medications;

    Think about why physicians prescribe diet[s]!

  • When you commit a sin, repent and ask God for forgiveness at once!

    When [a] human falls into the water, he/she drowns not because he/she falls into the water

    But because he/she does not get out of the water.

  • Ignorant human does not see the beauty of the rose;

    He/she gets caught up in its thorn.

  • Trouble and unrest is absolutely the penalty of a sin;

    [on the other hand,] Peace is the reward of a prayer.

  • Say the truth every time;

    However, [do] not [say] every time, every [same] truth.

  • Human is not considered to be brave because he/she fights;

    The one who is brave is the one who can control him/herself when he/she gets angry.

  • The burning that occurs after the bite of the flea,

    Disappears on its own when [a] snake bites you…

    [all events come from God; if human complains, more severe events may follow...]

  • Greed shows even all ugliness as beautiful.

  • Not the ones who speak the same language,

    But the ones who share the same feelings can get along.

  • Even if the mind knows all the paths that can be walked on,

    It can not know the path to the Deep Love [for Allah],

    It stays as confused and paralyzed.

    [to fall in Deep Love with Allah, one needs guide]

  • Crooked leg’s shadow is crooked too. [followers of bigots are bigots too]

  • Know a human’s manners from how he/she laughs,

    Know his/her intellect and [spiritual] level from what he/she laughs at.

  • Do not despise any infidel,

    Because he/she is expected to die as Muslim.

  • Knowledge is a sea without any border.

    The one who wishes knowledge is a diver who dives into seas.

  • Abandon dry [meaningless/by heart/in other language] prayer;

    The one who wants [a] tree, plants seed.

    [prayers should be from the bottom of the hearth]

  • If someone says a nice word,

    That is thanks to the listener who listens, who understands.

  • How much ever you know,

    Whatever you say is as much as your listener can understand.

  • In the case of generosity and help[ing others], be like [a] running water [the sides of a running water are fertile]

    In the case of kindness and grace, be like the sun [sunlight reaches all humans without discrimination]

    In the case of covering others’ fault, be like the night

    In the case of anger and irritability, be like dead [do never show anger/do never act with anger]

    In the case of submission and modesty, be like the soil [although humans step on it, soil nourishes humans by feeding animals, growing vegetables, etc.…]

    In the case of toleration, be like [a] sea [all rivers flow to the sea/ocean [rivers==various faiths]]

    Either appear as you are, or be as you appear [heart and actions should conform to one another]

  • Heart is the sea, tongue is the shore;

    Whatever there is on the sea, that one goes ashore.

    [what comes out of your mouth/what you say, shows your heart]

  • Yesterday I was smart, I wanted to change the world.

    Whereas today I am wise, I changed myself.

  • Do not look at someone to find [a] fault, if you do you [will] find [fault].

    [however,] Appropriate covering up the fault; behold! then you become [yourself as] faultless.

    [appropriate==to take possession of or make use of exclusively for oneself, often without permission]


For Mevlana Rumi's current day (21st century) teachings visit the site Beyond Sufism.