Rumi’s masterwork Masnavi translated into 26 languages
A local Turkish municipality has been working on translating Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi’s Masnavi into several languages, aiming to make the 13th-century Sufi poet’s masterwork available across the world.
“Our aim is to translate Masnavi into 50 languages. Up until now, 26 translations have been completed. The latest translation was into Kyrgyz,” Uğur İbrahim Altay, the mayor of the Central Anatolian province of Konya, told state-run Anadolu Agency in a recent interview.
“Visitors coming to Konya have been interested. In state visits abroad, statesmen present the Masnavi in the country’s language as gifts. It creates an opportunity for people to read it in their native languages, and people are impressed by this,” he added.
ltay said quotes from the Masnavi were widely shared on social media accounts, reaching many across the world.
“For each word from the Masnavi, a book can be written. It can be regarded as a prominent reference book for the sake of coexistence in the world,” he said.
“Especially in Europe and America, as well as our country, Masnavi is widely read. Even though some prefer not to read the whole poem, they take quotes from it. Masnavi is on everybody’s agenda,” he added.
The spiritual epic is planned to be translated into languages, such as Uighur and Portuguese, Altay said.
Masnavi has been translated into Turkish, Arabic, English, German, Swedish, Italian, Urdu, French, Japanese, Albanian, Spanish, Turkoman, Kazakh, Uzbek, Tajik, Chinese, Greek, Russian, Azerbaijani, Malay, Swahili, Kurdish, Bosnian, Dutch and Kyrgyz.
Known as Rumi in the West, Mevlana Jalaluddin is regarded as one of the greatest Sufi spiritual masters. His extensive poem Masnavi consists of more than 50,000 verses and is regarded a masterpiece.
Rumi penned the poem on his predicament in search for God after losing a friend, the wandering dervish Shams Tabriz.
Upon his death in 1273, Rumi’s followers founded the Mevlevi order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the “Samah” ceremony.
Every year, an international commemoration ceremony marks the anniversary of Rumi’s union with God, known as “Şeb-i Arus,” or “the night of union,” which ended in Konya on Dec. 17.