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Jay-Z, Beyonce name their baby girl ‘Rumi’. But what does it mean?

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Beyonce and husband Jay Z welcomed twins into the world on June 18, 2017. Having both a baby boy and a girl, the power couple named the newborns Rumi (for the girl) and Sir (for the boy). Sir as a name is one thing but Rumi is a total different world. Here’s what Rumi means in different cultures and what influenced Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Rumi is a well-known Japanese name meaning beauty, flow and water. In Japanese, it is a feminine name but its most famous bearer in history is a male.

Who is this famous Rumi?

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Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, known as Mevlana in the east and Rumi in the West, is one of the most famous thinkers of Turkish and Islamic civilisation. Lived in 13th century Mevlana is a great Anatolian mystic, poet and the founder of the Mevlevi Order. In those days Anatolia was known as ‘the land of Rum’, and because he was settled in Anatolia, the people started calling him Rumi.

Urged by Mongolian invasions, his family and Rumi have left their hometown Belh (an area in Afghanistan) and migrated to Konya, the capital of Seljuk Empire upon the invitation of emperor Alaeddin Keykubad.

In Konya, Rumi has mastered a wide range of disciplines such as philosophy, history, religion and medicine; then he has become a teacher to hundreds and given sermons in the mosques. Along with Islam, Rumi has also studied other religions and learnt four languages; Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Classical Greek.

In his teachings and books, Rumi tried to find a way to be a wholesome human. To him, to be a whole; a person needs to find his inner peace and harmony, should be tolerant and loving and also have an awareness of God’s blessings.

‘There is a life in you, search that life,

Search the secret jewel in the mountain of your body,

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Hey you, the passing away friend, look for with all your strength,

Whatever you are looking for, look in yourself and not around.’

Mevlana died on 17 December 1273 and was buried beside his father’s tomb in Konya, Turkey. His shrine is now a museum and place of pilgrimage. Every year on that date, thousands of people from all around the world gather here to celebrate Seb-i Aruz, Rumi’s ‘Wedding Day’; his reunion with the Divine.

Sema, the whirling dervishes, is the most celebrated ceremony and inspiration of Rumi’s Mevlevi Order. Sema represents a mystical journey of a man’s spiritual ascent. Dervishes, guiding for a selfless state of mind, whirl to find the truth, love and inner peace; to desert their ego, and to become a whole.

In 1958, Pope John XXIII wrote a special message saying: ‘In the name of the Catholic World, I bow with respect before the memory of Rumi’ 

Pırıl Saydam

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