35 Best Mevlana Rumi Books For Beginners

The following is a list of books about Mevlana Rumi that would benefit any serious student of Mevlana Rumi.

Table of Content

Books by the blog author
Books by Mevlana Rumi
Books by Sultan Valad (Bahauddin Walad), Mevlana Rumi’s Son
Books by Mevlana Rumi’s Father & Teachers
Biographies of Mevlana Rumi
Books On Mevlana Rumi by Modern Authors/Translators
Research About Mevlana Rumi
Free Mevlana Rumi Books
Parting Thoughts

My Books About Mevlana Rumi

In addition to other Mevlana Rumi books, I am also sharing here the books I have written.

My goal in writing is to present Mevlana Rumi in an objective and easily readable language. I have made an effort to avoid adding personal perspectives so that you can enjoy Mevlana Rumi’s wisdom in its purest form.

Mevlana Rumi Books

I have extensively studied Mevlana Rumi, and have shared below a collection of Mevlana Rumi books.

I have only included titles and/or author names of Rumi books. I have not included URLs/links to these books or their translations, as a quick Google search with the titles and/or author name will provide all necessary information, including availability and the most convenient online or physical store for purchase.

I have not included books which are universally acknowledged as incorrect translations of Mevlana Rumi’s works or misrepresentations of his life. I have also left out those books which are written by those modern writers whose sole purpose is to capitalize on Mevlana’s name and these writers have not made a serious study of his life and works.

Books by Mevlana Rumi

  • Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi: Mevlana Rumi penned the Divan after the disappearance of his friend and teacher Hazrat Shams, and it is Divan dedicated to Hazrat Shams. Th contains many verses praising him and lamenting his disappearance.
  • Fihi Ma Fihi (In It What’s in It): This is a record of seventy-one lectures given by Mevlana Rumi on various occasions to his students. Mevlana Rumi did not author the work directly, it was curated from the notes of his various students.
  • Masnavi: Mevlana Rumi’s most famous work in six volumes, spread over nearly 27000 lines. These are devotional, spiritual poems.
  • Majales-e Saba: Contains sermons by Mevlana Rumi given on 7 different occasions, especially on request of notable people in the realm.
  • Maktubat (aka Makatib): A collection of letters written by Mevlana Rumi to his students, family members, nobles, and kings.

Books by Sultan Valad (Bahauddin Walad), Mevlana Rumi’s Son

  • Ibtida Nama (The book of the beginning): Written in 1291, the work has over 9000 lines of poetry. It contains biographies of Mevlana Bahauddin (Mevlana Rumi’s father), Mevlana Rumi, Mevlana Rumi’s ancestors and descendants. This is also an important information source about many people such as his teachers (Hazrat Shams and Hazrat Borhan) and his students (Salah al-Din Zarkub, Hosam al-din) and about Sultan Walad (author) himself. This book also contains many mystical anecdotes from Mevlana’s life.
  • Rabab-nama: This book of poetry by Sultan Valad was written at the request of a dervish who met Mevlana’s son. In the book Sultan Valad explains many of the principles of Rumi’s thought in a simpler and more understandable language. This book has been compared to the shining moon that receives its light and radiance from the sun of Rumi’s Masnavi, and illuminates the path in the darkness for the travelers.
  • Intiha-nama: A book of devotional poetry. It has about 8300 lines. In this book Sultan Valad has summarized and distilled his two other books (Ibtida Nama and Rabab-nama).
  • Divan (aka Diwan-i Walad): This is a collection of spiritual and devotional poetry that Sultan Valad termed as his first literary work. However, he continued to revise it till his death.
  • Maarif-i Waladi (The Waladi Gnosis): A collection of 56 of sermons and lectures by Sultan Valad in simple, easily understandable language.

Books by Mevlana Rumi’s Father & Teachers

  • Maarif of Mevlana Bahauddin Walad, the father of Mawlana Rumi: The Maarif (“Mystical Knowings”) is a diary of the mystical experiences Mawlana Rumi’s father, Mevlana Bahauddin Walad. This was published after Mevlana Bahauddin’s death as he in his humility, was reluctant to publish his work. Mevlana Rumi revered his father’s written works. After the death of his father, Mevlana Rumi would carry his works in his cloak pocket and frequently read them again and again.
  • Maqalat (Conversations) of Shams of Tabriz: This book, by Mevlana Rumi’s students contains a collections of words and conversations of the Mevlana Shamsuddin Tabrizi (Hazrat Shams, Mevlana Rumi’s teacher and friend).
  • Burhan al-Din Muḥaqqiq’s Maarif: Mevlana Burhan (aka Borhan) was a student of Mevlana Rumi’s father, and teacher of Mevlana Rumi.

Biographies of Mevlana Rumi (Earliest Sources)

  • Shams al-Din al-Aflaki: Manaqib al-Arifin: For a spiritual seeker, Ahmad Aflaki’s work stands out as one of the most authentic sources of information about Mevlana Rumi. A devoted follower of Rumi’s grandson, Aflaki’s book encompasses anecdotes of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, detailing his family, including his father, wife, sons, and daughter. Moreover, Aflaki provides insights into Hazrat Shams of Tabriz, along with other close companions and students, offering inspiring stories that illuminate the path of a dervish. Ahmad Aflaki himself did not write poetry but he included beautiful verses of poetry by Mevlana Rumi and his father.
  • Faridun bin Ahmad Sepahsalar’s Risala: Faridun bin Ahmad Sepahsalar spent 40 years in Mevlana Rumi’s presence. Among his students, he alone undertook the task of writing a biogrpaphy of Mevlana Rumi. For anyone interested in the life and wisdom of Mevlana Rumi, this is a must read.

Books On Mevlana Rumi by Modern Authors/Translators

  • Following are some authors and translators who have invested in understanding Mevlana Rumi’s life and works. Some of these authors/translators provide an objective and accurate translation while others weave in their skepticism and cynicism. However most of them have done significant amount of original work.
    • Afzal Iqbal
    • Seyed Gahreman Safavi
    • Simon Weightman
    • Annmarie Schimmel: Very objective and learned perspectives on Sufi literature.
    • Franklin Lewis
    • Hulya Kucuk
    • William C. Chittick
    • Sefik Can
    • Gholamreza Aavani
    • Khalifa Abdul Hakim
    • Fritz Meier
    • Badi al-Zaman Foruzanfar
    • Ibrahim Gamard: Ibrahim Gamard dedicated a large part of his life to learning Persian so he can read Mevlana’s works in its original form.
    • Reynold Nicholson: Nicholson’s translations are universally considered to be very accurate except for one caveat that some poems in his translations were later found to be written by other people, not Mevlana Rumi.
  • I have left out all those biographers and translators who have tried to capitalize on Mevlana Rumi’s work as a commercial venture and whose works are factually incorrect and often purposefully misleading. Some of these writers have gone to the extent of claiming that they spent time in Turkey and learned Persian – but it’s all superficial for marketing purposes only. These other authors whom we are not listing here have done great disservice to Mevlana.

Research About Mevlana Rumi

I shall continue including additional research papers on Mevlana Rumi as I come across them. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for inclusion here.

  • Investigating the Reflection of Wisdom and Love in Sultan Valad’s Rababnameh and Bidel Dehlavi’s Telesme Heirat Based on Intertextuality Theory by shiva Birjandi, Ali Mohammad Moazzeni, Gholam Reza Tamimi Tavandashti

Free Mevlana Rumi Books

Parting Thoughts About “35 Best Mevlana Rumi Books for Beginners”

I have included here some of the best Mevlana Rumi books for beginners. How about advanced students?

I believe for an advanced understanding of Mevlana Rumi’s works we have to go beyond books and live our lives as Mevlana taught us. Mevlana led an unpretentious simple life of devotion to God. This is not easy as Mevlana himself needed a Shams to light the fire in his heart. But it is said, ‘When you are ready, a teacher will find you.’ We can at least try to make ourselves ready for a teacher by reading Mevlana’s books.