Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Masnavi, Book Two (Rumi)

Reading parts of this aloud helped to let the words soak in

★★★★★★☆

Title: The Masnavi – Book Two
Author: Rumi – Translator: Jawid Mojaddedi
Genre: Poetry / Classic
First published: c1270
Edition: Paperback published by Oxford World’s Classics in 2008

The most influential Sufi poem ever written, the six books of the Masnavi are often called “the Qur’an in Persian.” Book Two is concerned with the challenges facing the seeker of Sufi enlightenment. In particular it focuses on the struggle against the self, and how to choose the right companions in order to progress along the mystical path. By interweaving amusing stories and profound homilies, Rumi instructs his readers in a style that still speaks directly to them.

***

I am not sure I can add much to the thoughts I had on Book One. It’s more in the same one. Clearly, it’s one big work, and when you think of it like that it already feels like a tremendous achievement.

Yes, of course there some things that no longer feel appropriate in the modern age, but mostly the morals and stories that Rumi lays before us during the course of these poems still hold up. I still understood what he was saying and I think a lot of it is still relevant, not only if you’re particularly interested is sufism, but also for me, as layfolk. After all, often the morals presented are simple common sense.

There are some views that are no longer of this time that may be jarring, but I did not dwell on that. This was written in the 1200s…. I think it’s safe to say it was a different time.

The translation makes it very readable and especially when read aloud, these stories are a lot of fun, as well as enlightening in some cases. It does take a certain amount of attention. You cannot read this whilst distracted and I certainly did not want to. I wanted to take in these words, so I took my time reading it.

I enjoyed this one just as much as Book One. I have Book Three and Book Four on my shelf and I will read them eventually when they call to me.

6 out of 7 stars

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