Reynold A. Nicholson, Editor and Translator, The Mathnawí of Jalálu’ddin Rúmí (Cambridge, UK: Gibb Memorial Trust, first edition 1926, this edition reprint 2001), octavo, three volumes (Books 1 and II, 419 pages; Books III and IV, 496 pages; Books V and VI, 529 pages), hardcover, black cloth with gilt spine lettering, each volume with two-colour dust jacket. Weight: 2.16 kg (3 volumes). Condition: As new, without blemishes. Item #862
Jalálu’ddin Balkhi Rúmí (1207-1273), also known by the honorific Mawlana, began dictating the first book of the Mathnawi (‘Spiritual Couplets’) about 1258 at the suggestion of his disciple, Husam al-Din Chalabi, who acted as his amanuensis. This didactic work greatly enhanced the fame of Rúmí, who was soon regarded as the greatest Sufi mystic and poet in the Persian language; he continued to compose verses of the Mathnawi until his death, when the sixth and final book was later described by some as incomplete. Together, these books amount to about 25,000 verses or 50,000 lines. The Mathnawi comprises a poetic collection derived from sources in the Quran, Hadith (which refers to the Prophet Muhammad’s words and actions) and popular tales, each illustrating a point and provided with a moral discussed in detail. The various dimensions of spiritual life and practice are explained to Sufi disciples and to those pondering the meaning of life. After Rúmí’s death, his disciples were organised as the Mawlawiyyah order. His use of Persian and Arabic in his poetry, in addition to some Turkish and less Greek, has resulted in his being claimed variously for Turkish literature.
This critical edition of the Mathnawi is based by the Editor, Reynold Nicholson, on the oldest known manuscripts, including the earliest, preserved in the Mawlana Museum at Qonya in Turkey. Books I and II are mainly concerned with the carnal self and self-deception. Books III and IV share principal themes of reason and knowledge, while Books V and VI explore and contrast questions about the existence of humans and God.