Jaluluddin Rumi (1207-1273) was of Persian heritage, born on the Eastern shores of Persia in modern day Afghanistan and later settled in Konya in Turkey. Consequently he is claimed as the national poet of Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan.

More surprisingly and more recently, he is one of the most widely read poets in America Rumi’s early life was dedicated to scholarly studies and only started to wrie poetry after meeting a wandering and wild holy man called Shams.

Rumi and Shams spent much time together which had a distinct influence on Rumi. Shams’ death, allegedly at the hands of Rumi’s son, instilled a profound grief in Rumi and a consequent outpouring of thousands of verses in Persian.

Rumi is intrinsically linked with Sufism and one of his other sons founded the Order of the Whirling Dervishes