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Prayers by Mawlana Rumi, Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Calligraphy

Prayers by Mawlana Rumi, Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Calligraphy

This is a book of devotional prayers (awrad) composed by the mystic, poet, and theologian Rumi (d. 1273 CE). It would have been used by the order of Sufi dervishes that Rumi founded, an order known as the Mevlevi. The devotional prayers combine Qur’anic phrases invoking God’s mercy and majesty with a rhythmic structure suited to individual recitation, group chanting, and mystical sessions. Prayer books, along with the Qur’an and prized poetry, generated a tradition of exquisite calligraphy and book making. But Rumi is much better known for his ghazals and his Masnavi, or “couplets,” a six-volume work of mystical anecdotes. Rumi is still very popular throughout much of the Middle East today, and he even has a growing following in the West. For example, many modern Iranian artists—from respected poets like Ahmad Shamlou (d. 2000 CE) to pop and rock bands—have eagerly recorded their own versions of Rumi’s poetry.

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