by Mostafa Vaziri
"This book offers a paradigm shift and fresh interpretation of Rumi's message. After being disentangled from the anachronistic connection with the Mevlevi order of Islamic Sufism, Rumi is placed in the world of philosophy. A pyramidal model is proposed for the structure of Rumi's philosophy, covering the range of topics from the basics of human existence to the principle of an immutable truth beyond time and space. The book also aims to demonstrate the silent yet defiant rebellion of Rumi and Shams. Mostafa Vaziri discusses how the two figures challenged the unbending Islamic dogma and a prejudiced mindset toward non-Muslims, with the intent of fostering an inclusive universalist attitude.
By taking a more inclusive look at thousands of verses, from sources including Rumi's Divan and Masnavi, Sultan Valad's poetry, and the Maqalat (Discourses of Shams), a much broader picture of Rumi as a practical and sober philosopher begins to emerge. In his deeper philosophical approach, Rumi proposes contemplation of the non-self, namelessness, placelessness, timelessness, silence, the practice of dance and music, and the use of visualization techniques. Vaziri shows how these notions and practices, as described in Rumi's writings, reveal elements in common with those of advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, and Kashmir Shaivism. This book aims to expand the perception of Rumi, placing him at the level of intercultural philosopher and universal thinker outside of any religious tradition."