Rumi on evolution

I am grateful to Isa Daudpota for providing this translation by Jalaluddin Rumi’s verses that elaborate on the theory of evolution:

I have experienced seven hundred and seventy mounds.

I died from minerality and became vegetable;

And from vegetativeness I died and became animal.

I died from animality and became man.

Then why fear disappearance though death?

Next time I shall die

Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;

After that soaring higher than angels-

What you cannot imagine, I shall be that.

Isa further writes in a recent piece on Darwin’s birthday:

He however is concerned with conscious evolution that allows him to interact with objective reality through going beyond the constraints of his own material and earthly characteristics. He continues in the Buddhist vein to say, “Let me therefore be nothing.” For him the deepest insight is gained in perfect ‘nothingness’ which is in harmony with divine consciousness, the kind claimed by Socrates and the Semitic prophets. Darwin’s theory overturned such spiritualistic ideas with hard empirically verifiable facts.

This entry was posted in Rumi, science, Sufi poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

About admin

Raza Rumi is a freelance writer from Lahore, Pakistan. He regularly writes for the Pakistani weekly The Friday Times, The News and Daily DAWN on myriad topics such as history, arts, literatue and society. Raza blogs at Jahane Rumi - a website devoted to Sufi thought, the arts, literature, and cultures of South Asia. Raza also edits a cyber-magazine Pak Tea House; and compiles the Development Industry blog . Specialties: Raza is also regular writer at All Things Pakistan, Desicritics, and Global Voices. Raza has worked in Pakistan and abroad in various organizations including multilateral institutions such as the United Nations.

  • Pingback: Jalaluddin Rumi and Evolution « Pak Tea House()

  • Anwar

    Since Rumi writes in relativistic terms and also about the unseen in probabilistic manner, furthermore his followers spin on their longitudinal axis for some unknown reasons, are we to assume that he is the real father of quantum mechanics and theory of relatively? These are affine transformations. It is best to leave him buried where he is instead of dragging him in the evolution debate.

  • Vandana

    Can’t really see the connection with evolution but his lines remain powerful as ever.
    The journey, in the spiritual sense that Rumi meant to portray, continues however.Merging into the divine,becoming one with the divine or finally coming into the stage of’nothingness’ remain the leit motif of spiritual quests in present times too.

  • ned

    Here is an interesting paper that describes the role of evolution in Rumi’s metaphysics:

  • Iris

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: kwehner's subscriptions on Delicious()

  • GreenSufi

    Raza bhai these verses are not on evolution. Isa sahib is merely providing his own context in a frivolous mis-reading of Sufism.

    These verses should be interpreted in the Sufi context. They rather refer to the Islamic order of Creation, jamadat, nabatat, haywanat, insan: the mineral, vegetable, animal and human worlds. Each world depends on the preceding for it’s life, or survival. From the unenlightened point of view, the death of each [mineral or vegetable] seems an end, but actually they become the building blocks of a higher order of life. So we come to man, the pinnacle of creation, yet with the potential to be the lowest of the low [asfala safileen]. He too fears his death and clings to life. But if he “dies before death” and annhilates his Ego, man can transcend this Earthly life and achieve Nearness with God, the stations of Fana Fillah and Baqa Billah, which even the angels cannot aspire to.

  • GreenSufi

    Also look at the dozens of verses where Rumi affirms the Creation ex nihilo of Adam PBUH, and reiterates the Qur’anic argument against the Divinity of Jesus PBUH, by comparing his birth without a father from Divine Decree [kun fa ya kun] with that of Adam, born without father or mother.

  • Pingback: ßench: 03/2009 - 04/2009()

  • Pingback:

  • Pingback: Jalaluddin Rumi and Evolution | Pak Tea House()