Experience Mystical Islamic poetry

Once upon a time, when camels and nomads roamed the sands of Arabia, and Turkish sheikhs amassed great wealth and harems, a small group of Muslims known in the west as Whirling Dervishes devoted their days to the poetic expression of the meaning of life. On Wednesday, November 20, at 7:00 PM, this world will be brought back to life at the Union College library room 121 with the reading and discussion of Rumi: Poet and Mystic led by Union College Assistant Professor of English and Communication, Mike Mennard.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, known by the name of Rumi, is the first and most memorable of the Dervishes.  This event is an introduction to the culture and history of Persia, and Islamic mysticism through the writings of Rumi.

Despite the fact that Rumi’s wise words may be published on calendars and bookmarks, Mennard said that he feels we have, “somehow lost their significance” because of our warped view of both Islam and mysticism. He continues, “All religions have mystics we can learn from, even Christianity.”

The book, Rumi: Poet and Mystic, is a collection of Rumi’s work. It is also part of the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. This event, co-sponsored by the Good Neighbor Community Center and the Union College Center for Interfaith Studies and Culture, is the fifth in a series featuring the bookshelf.  Everyone is welcome for what Mennard says will be, “a great night of poetry and mysticism.”

Visit the library's Muslim Journey’s Bookshelf to learn more about this and other upcoming programs.