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Death of Mevlana

The years passed quickly. Mevlana, aged from toil, fasting and self-deprivation, fell ill during the winter of 1273, a particularly harsh winter during which Konya was struck by a number of earthquakes. News of his illness shook Konya. The ailing Mevlana was visited by the Seljuk Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhusrev III, and his viziers and emirs in turn. Two imperial physicians, Nahcivanli Tabib Ekmeluluddin and Gazanferi It were constantly at his bedside. Mevlana, however, after lying ill for forty days, passed away. His son, Sultan Veled, who was at his side to the last, took down his final verses he lay dying.

"Go, go rest yourself, leave me alone. Stop this hopeless, helpless, grieving despair that paces and turns in the night. I struggle with waves of devotion from night to morning, night after night. If you will, come and pardon me, or if you will, go and torment me".

The next day, on the 17 December 1273 (5 Cemazi'uI-ahir, 672) a bright winter sunday sun rose and fell over the Takkeli mountains west of Konya. As it fell, one mystical light departe from the temporal world, to rise over the spheres of eternal life.

After his death, Konya, which had become a centre of pilgrimage for those in search of the mystical truths, was deprived of its spiritual centre. It is in the hearts of the initiate. But he was much mourned. For Mevlana, death was a form of rebirth into the devotion, the divine love he sought throughout his life, a into the ultimate reality, an understanding of which he had attained during his temporal existance. The night of his death he described as the night of union-Seb-i Arus- as he regarded it as the instant when his physical entity attained union with the universal entity and thus with everlasting life.

His funeral was an extremely emotive occasion for the whole of and thinkers of the Islamic world was not merely a philosopher in the conventional sense. He felt that philosophy, in isolation, was lacking, as it was basically an intellectual pursuit. He explained his mistrust of conventional philosophy with the words: "The intellect has no explanation for the ecstasy of love. Only love itself can explain its own ecstasy and devotion in the true sense...

But neither was the great mystic merely a poet. For Mevlana, poetry was a means to grasping the meaning of an idea, the medium to his mystical system. He actually complained of the restraint into which he was forced by verse, the rhyme and meter imposed upon his ideas: "I concentrate on meter while the object of my devotion exhorts me to think of nothing but his face (the vision of devotion). 'Ah, you, who thinks of meter, to me you are Konya. Members of all sects and of all inclinations were present, alongside the ordinary folk of Konya, ready to pay their last respects to one whom they considered one of mankind's greatest leaders. The funeral procession lasted the entire day. Sadreddin-i Konevi, one of the leading mystics and scholars of the day was to lead the ceremony, but was unable to speak, fainting as he rose to take this dais. His place was taken by Kadi Siraceddin. Mevlana was buried beside his father's grave. The present tomb was built over the site of their graves.


Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Mevlana and the Mevlana Museum".

You can purchase "Mevlana and the Mevlana Museum" book and other Turkey related books from Explore Turkey Bookstore.


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