Hz. Mevlana was born in 30 September 1207 in the city of Balkh of Horasan, where Turkish tribes lived (today Balkh is within the boundaries of Afghanistan). His mother was Mumine Hatun, who was the daughter of Rukneddin, the emir of Balkh and his father was Bahaeddin Veled, who was called as Sultan-i Ulema (the sultan of scholars). Their clash of opinions with Fahreddin-i Razi, one of the philosophers of the time, and the approaching invasion of Mongols caused the family of Bahaeddin Veled to leave Balkh together with their relatives. After staying for a time in Baghdad, Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan and Karaman, this migration had ended up on 3th May 1228 in Konya upon the invitation of Alaeddin Keykubad, the Seljuk Emperor.
After getting merried to Gevher Banu in Karaman, Hz. Mevlana had two sons named Bahaeddin (Sultan Veled) and Alaeddin. Years later, during the time when he lived in Konya, Gevher Banu passed away and Hz. Mevlana got married to Kerra Hatun and had 2 more children from this marriage named Muzaffareddin Emir Alim and Melike. Hz. Mevlana had already started to attend his father’s lessons at a very early age and tried to find the secrets of truth on the way to God. He had learned Turkish, Arabic, Persian, common Greek, and Classical Greek. He had studied other religions along with Islam and from history to medicine; he had received education first from his father and then from Seyyid Burhaneddin Tirmizi and other esteemed scholars of that time. Then, he had started to convey such information to hundreds of students in Maddrassahs.
In the mean time, Sems-I Tebrizi was not satisfied with the spiritual rank he had attained and searched for a fellow acquaintance to match his own scholary wisdom and to enjoy his company. He met Hz. Mevlana first in Damascus and then in Konya in 1244. These two guardians, who were the lovers of God, had moved into deep divine conversations and reached heavenly wisdom. Mevlana’s students had got jealous with Mevlana who had started to spend most of his time having conversations, reading poems and performing whirling rituals with his spiritual fellow. And they started to spread unjust rumors against Sems-I Tebrizi. Sems had felt offended and went from Konya to Damascus. All torn up about the separation, Hz. Mevlana secluded himself from all his friends and went aside and wrote many of his poems we read in Divan-I Kebir. The instigators expressed remorse under the circumstances. The group under the leadership of Sultan Veled, the son of Mevlana, had gone to Damascus and brought Sems- Tebrizi back to Konya. However, jealousy had arisen once again and Sems suddenly had disappeared. Later on, his tomb in Konya became the center of visit for his lovers.
Upon the separation with his closest friend, Hz. Mevlana had entered a new stage. He appointed first Sheikh Selahaddin-I Zerkub and then Chalabi Husameddin, one of his students, after Sheikh Selahaddin-I Zerkub passed away to teach on his behalf.
“As long as I live, I am the slave of Quran I am the ground of chosen Mohammed’s way. Whoever carries a word of me apart from this I am complainant of him and I am complainant of those words too.”
As has been also understood from his above-given words, Hz. Mevlana had headed towards God under the leadership of Hz. Mohammed, abided by the commands of God and enlinghtened the humankind within the scope of the Islamic discipline. He had lived in line with the ethics of Islam throughout his life. He had complained about the fanatic ideas appended into Islam later on and about fake Sheikhs.
“The summary of my life is these three statements: I was immature; I became experienced; I was consumed.”
Having summarized his life with these statements, Hz. Mevlana lied sick for a time and in 17th December 1273 rejoined God and his Prophet. This night has been the holiest in the Mevlevi calendar as the night of union. The whirling Dervishes call that night “Sheb-i Arus (Wedding Night)”. When the separation ended, or departed the mortal world to become one with God who loves and has been loved; It is not a time to mourn but to rejoice:
“At my death, do not lament our separation… As the sun and moon, it seems to set but in reality, this is the rebirth.”
The Exalted Mevlana has embraced those of every language, creed and race or color; he has been the symbol of love, peace, brotherhood and tolerance.
Every year, thousands of people from the far corners of the world, travel to Konya in response to Mevlana’s call of 735 years ago:
“Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.”
Apart from Mesnevi, the first 18 lines of which were written by Hz. Mevlana and the rest dictated to his student Chalab-I Husameddin. Hz. Mevlana is the writer of Divan-I Kebir, Fih-I Ma’Fih, Mecalis-I Seb’a and Mektubat. Because of the fact that the common language was Turkish, the literary language was Persian and scientific language was Arabic back then, the works of Hz. Mevlana are in Persian. All of his works were translated into Turkish in time.
“Human is the most honorable of all creation.” has been one of his maxims.