Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, or simply Rumi as we know him in English, was a 13th century Persian Sunni Muslim poet and Sufi mystic. He is also the origin of the Mawlaw’īyya, or the Whirling Dervishes as they’re better known in popular culture. (If you want to be more precise, his followers founded the Mawlaw’īyya, but the connection to Rumi cannot be denied.) Generally, though, most people associate Rumi with his inspirational writings. His poetry has endured over the centuries and remains popular all over the world. He’s even known as the bestselling poet in the United States. Given these facts, is it any surprise that we can find Rumi quotes everywhere? I’m not just talking about the internet; I’m talking about T-shirts, mugs, and artwork!
There’s plenty of good reasons why Rumi quotes continue to resonate with people 800 years later. The themes explored in his writings transcend time. His poems explore life in its various permutations: the beauty of it as well as the inspiration that exists all around us. Even his observations about relationships are refreshingly timeless. While we often think of poetry as being relevant to specific situations and circumstances, Rumi’s poems apply to everyday life. Perhaps more so because their deceptive simplicity tends to hold deep philosophical musings that persist into the modern day
If you’re new to Rumi’s writings or want to explore further in-depth, I recommend checking out The Essential Rumi. There are many Rumi collections, but this is a good place to start. But while you’re here, I’ve collected 28 of my favorite Rumi quotes that make me think about life, how I live it, and how I approach it.
Rumi Quotes about Beauty
What I love about Rumi’s musings on this topic is that they emphasize the innate beauty and grace in everything and that what we find beautiful is ultimately an artifact of our innermost soul. I also appreciate that his concept of beauty isn’t necessarily rooted in the physical and superficial, but that it exists in our hearts, our minds, and our actions.
“The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.”
“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.”
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”
“Everything in the universe is a pitcher brimming with wisdom and beauty.”
“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.”
Rumi Quotes on Friendship
As I get older, I find new meanings in Rumi’s thoughts about relationships. Friendships should support us and enrich our life and we shouldn’t surround ourselves with people who belittle us and make us feel smaller. This is something I think everyone needs to remind themselves now and again, especially in these trying times when toxicity and divisiveness are rampant.
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
“Friend, our closeness is this: anywhere you put your foot, feel me in the firmness under you.”
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
(Print from SydneyNCompany)
“Always search for your innermost nature in those you are with, as rose oil imbibes from roses.”
“Stay with friends who support you in these. Talk with them about sacred texts, and how you are doing, and how they are doing, and keep your practices together.”
“Be with those who help your being.”
(Print from The Wheatfield)
Rumi Inspirational Quotes
Many people talk about the transformational aspects of Rumi’s writings, and I have to agree. For me, they capture the joy in life and encourage us to find that joy if it isn’t already present. It’s a simple message, but I do think it’s something we can forget under the daily pressures of our lives.
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.”
“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.”
(Leather cuff from StringofJewels2)
“You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness.”
“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.”
“It is your light that lights the worlds.”
“Why are you knocking at every other door? Go, knock at the door of your own heart.”
“There is an invisible within us; when it recognizes two opposing objects of desire, it grows stronger.”
“What you seek is seeking you.”
(Shirt from Neena Creates)
“The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.”
“When you do things from the soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.”
“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”
“Shine like the whole universe is yours.”
(Mug from Michelle Competiello Designs)
“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.”
And there you have it: a collection of my favorite Rumi quotes. Obviously, though, he has very large body of work and it can be difficult to cover everything. Did I leave any of your favorites out? Please comment below and share with us. We can always use more inspirational thoughts and philosophical musings in our life! Additionally, I was constrained by the fact that I could only work with English translations. If you’re familiar with Rumi’s poetry in the original Persian, I’m especially keen to hear from you. I’m aware that some of the cultural and religious aspects in his poetry have been stripped in translation, and I’d like to learn how the context may or may not transform his work and add new meaning.
Find even more of Book Riot’s favorite literary quotes here.