If we take seriously what Rumi says about the Mathnawi in his own introduction to this epic poem, we will see that Rumi is claiming to be akin to the empty flute which he describes so evocatively in the opening lines of the poem. Rumi can be seen as a hollow instrument through which the spirit of divine inspiration produced the celestial melody which the Mathnawi is. It is this emptiness of egotism, or this complete self-effacement, which, among other things, characterises the saints, the ‘friends’ of God.
In this lecture, an attempt will be made to understand Rumi’s claim that ‘the oneness of the saints is indeed delightful’. His description of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin will be the point of departure for this exploration of the notion of the essential unity of the saints in the mystical context of Sufi Islam.
This lecture will take place in the Sarah Fell Room , which is located on the 1st Floor of Friends House. Friends House is located in the heart of Euston, directly opposite Euston Station, and a stone throw away from King’s Cross and St Pancras International Stations.
This lecture is part of the Bagri Foundation Open Programme at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, which aims to develop Asian arts courses at The School.