Moth to the Flame: The Story of the Great Sufi Poet Rumiby Connie Zweig
Pub. Date: 01/25/2007
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
In A Moth to the Flame, the first novel about the life of the Sufi Poet Rumi, based on original sources in both Farsi and English, we discover the key moments that shaped his genius. Although this story happened a long time ago, during another time of war between Islam and the West, this tale of an individual life fully lived is the tale of every life. In the
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A Moth to the Flame by Connie Zweig is a book about the life of a Sufi poet called Rumi. Rumi was a Persian Muslim poet and mystic in the thirteenth century and is very known to the western world. God is the inspiration for most of his poetry, and for the way he lives his life. The book’s main focus is the meeting of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, who was a homeless wanderer. Instead of only concentrating on the poetry side of his life, Zweig looked at the spiritual part of his life and his intimate and close spiritual relationship with Shams. The thing I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that it also talked about Rumi’s wife and daughter and how Islam impacted them. I found their lives extremely interesting and it gave me a very good look on the lives of women in Islam. The author’s writing style was also quite interesting, because it was formal, but was in very plain English, hence was easy to understand.
At last, truly deep insight into the personal life of Rumi. For years now, I have been a fan of Connie Zweig's books Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow (which I recommend to all my students). Following a recent read of her last book, The Holy Longing, I just finished this first novel of hers and feel she has outdone herself in telling the tale of Rumi, who lived 800 years ago, in another time and a faraway place. Perhaps because of her deep knowledge of psychology, the characters are compelling and elegantly drawn. Their struggles are like ours today -- Rumi's longing for a higher world, his wife's longing for his love, his sons' longing for his attention, his disciples' longing for his approval. And yet they are unique. I found myself deeply engaged in the personal story about one of the world's greatest poets. For me, Rumi came alive through his spiritual dreams and relationships. I didn't want it to end. But when it did, I felt deeply satisfied and felt I better knew the real human being behind all the bigger than life, brilliant writings.
Although Islamic fundamentalism has (deservedly) earned disapprobation from the Western world, Connie Zweig's book offers a welcome and balanced look at Islam's profound mystical foundations in the Sufi tradition, which has much to offer spiritual seekers everywhere. A Moth to the Flame is also a first-class work of biographic fiction about one of history's most beloved poets and his struggle to find meaning in a tumultous era. An interesting technique is that the author wrote the narrative in the present tense, lending a sense of immediacy to the narrative. Highly recommended! John Nelson MD, author of The Remembering, Healing the Split, Sacred SorrowsJohn Nelson MD, author of The Remembering, Healing the Split, Sacred Sorrows