The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master

The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master

by Emily Jane O'Dell
The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master

The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master

by Emily Jane O'Dell


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An authentic exploration of the real Rumi

As one of the world's most loved poets, Rumi's poems are celebrated for their message of love and their beauty, but too often they are stripped of their mystical and spiritual meanings. The Gift of Rumi offers a new reading of Rumi, contextualizing his work against the broader backdrop of Islamic mysticism and adding a richness and authenticity that is lacking in many Westernized conceptions of his work. Author Emily Jane O'Dell has studied Sufism both academically, in her work and research at Harvard, Columbia, and the American University of Beirut, and in practice, learning from a Mevlevi master and his whirling dervishes in Istanbul. She weaves this expertise throughout The Gift of Rumi, sharing a new vision of Rumi’s classic work.

At the heart of Rumi’s mystical poetry is the “religion of love” which transcends all religions. Through his majestic verses of ecstasy and longing, Rumi invites us into the religion of the heart and guides us to our own loving inner essence. The Gift of Rumi gives us a key to experiencing this profound and powerful invitation, allowing readers to meet the master in a new way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250261373
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/26/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 653,120
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

DR. EMILY JANE O'DELL has spent over two decades visiting Sufi masters and communities from Indonesia to Mali, studied Sufi whirling in Cairo and Istanbul, and preserved Sufi shrines as an archaeologist on the Silk Road in Turkmenistan. A global scholar and adventurer, she has been the Whittlesey Chair of History and Archaeology at the American University of Beirut, an Associate Professor at Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute in China, an Assistant Professor at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman, an Islamic Law and Civilization Research Fellow at Yale Law School, and an editor for Harvard Law School's SHARIASource. Stateside she has taught at Columbia, Brown, and Harvard, where she received a teaching excellence award. Her research can be found in the Journal of Global Slavery, Journal of Iranian Studies, Journal of Africana Religions, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Disability & Society, and SHARIASource. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Louisville Review, Al Jazeera, NPR, CounterPunch, Salon, TRT World, The Christian Science Monitor, and Huffington Post.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Wandering Dervishes 15

Sufism: The Science of the Heart 33

Retreat 49

The Ninety-Nine Names of God 68

Discipleship 72

Self-Discipline 101

Virtue 116

The Heart 128

Whirling Dervishes 140

Love 162

Tolerance 181

Annihilation 205

The Struggle Against the Self 220

Spiritual Friendship 232

Spiritual Poverty 244

The Path of Self-Blame 260

Insanity 270

Notes 285

Bibliography 289

Acknowledgments 295

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