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Editing Copy & Celebrating Shab-e Arus (Wedding Day), the 749th Death Anniversary of Jalaluddin Rumi

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Jalaludin Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet and Islamic scholar in the Sufi mystical tradition. The night of Rumi’s urs (death anniversary) is called Shab-e Arus or the “Wedding Night.” It took place on the night of December 17. The name “Wedding Night” reflects Rumi’s perspective on death as an eternal union with the Divine. Rumi considered God the greatest love and the day that he would be reunited with the Creator as “the most blessed day – a wedding night.” For Rumi, in the essence of humanity is the Divine and death is the time when we return to the Divine's essence. So remembering Rumi on this day isn't at all somber but rather a happy occasion as we remember he is fully immersed in Divine love, the root of all joy.

I feel that this December 17 I was marking Rumi's Sheb-e Arus in a unique way because I had just retrieved a hard copy of my first book of poems and I began reviewing it. In many ways it was a sacred experience, out of body and mind and surreal. Sacred because I've been so devoted to working on this first book, and some of my verses draw inspiration from Rumi's words. Rumi's writing and philosophy have broken boundaries and traversed the world, and some regret that many "westerners" have conveniently taken the "Islamic" out of Rumi's words. But, his global impact cannot be disputed. And so now it is with awe that I find zoom programs honoring Sheb-e Arus and we can view Youtube videos of ceremonies at Rumi's tomb in Konya, Turkey.

When I die

when my coffin

is being taken out

you must never think

i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears

don’t lament or

feel sorry

i’m not falling

into a monster’s abyss

when you see

my corpse is being carried

don’t cry for my leaving

i’m not leaving

i’m arriving at eternal love--Rumi

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Dec 23, 2022

Congratulations on the reception of the hardcopy of your first poetry book - what an exciting accomplishment! I'm so proud to call you my auntie, and I look forward to absorbing, pondering, and learning from your work. May the conclusion of this book-writing process signify a beginning of further poetic and literary adventures!

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