After having a rest in the morning, Nasheva went for an afternoon stroll. It was then that she saw a crowd full of men and women of any age, circling a storyteller. Nasheva missed the beginning of the story but joined the crowd nevertheless.
“He is not an ordinary Mufti,” the storyteller said fervently. “Other Muftis teach you religion, but he does more than that. He speaks with wisdom and composes poetry.
“His poems are diamonds. They say with his poems he brings humility to the kings’ heart and dignity to the heart of the peasants.”
Nasheva was listening attentively. From the storyteller she learned that the Mufti’s teachings centered on spiritual love. One who is drunk with love, the storyteller quoting the Mufti, enters a world where their soul could dance ecstatically under the moonlight. It is a world where one’s heart plunges joyfully into a state of pure love. The storyteller then recited a poem that once he heard from the Mufti,
“For the lovers, He alone is all their joy and sorrow;
He alone is their wages and hire for service.
If there be any spectacle except The Beloved,
’tis not love; ’tis an idle passion.
Love is that flame which, when it blazes up,
consumes everything else but The Beloved.”
Dirham and dinar were thrown to the storyteller and people were clapping; the storyteller was smiling triumphantly.
Soon after the clamor receded, Nasheva who knew that the Mufti referred to in the story was the one she was looking for, felt the necessity to confirm it, “Were you just talking about Jalaluddin of Konya?”
“Yes, you’re right,” the storyteller replied. “But no one there calls him Jalaluddin. They refer to him as ‘Mawlana, our Master. Mawlana Jalaluddin, or Mawlana Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi, if you prefer.”
This post is part of Nasheva Trilogy and has been copyrighted.