Mawlana's Last Illness
By the autumn of 1273, Mawlana was mostly bed-ridden due to his illness. Two of his closest friends, Akmaluddin Tabib اکمل الدین طبیب (physician), and Serajuddin al-Tatari سراج الدین التاتاری were staying with him. He was under the care of some of the best physicians. It should be mentioned that although Baghdad بغداد was completely destroyed and its citizens massacred only 15 years ago (in 1258), and about half of the total population of the Muslim countries massacred by the Mongol hordes, Muslims still led the world in knowledge, science, literature, and culture. Akmaluddin Tabib had written a commentary on the renowned al-Qanun fi al-Tib القانون فی الطب (The Canon of Medicine) of Ibne Sina ابنِ سینا (Avicenna: 980-1037). The physicians trying to diagnose Mawlanas illness were perplexed as they could not diagnose the illness. Finally they concluded that he himself wanted to die and asked him to tell them about his illness. Around that time Mawlanas friends, family members, disciples, and other people constantly visited him and he consoled them by reciting his ghazals centered on the theme of death. In the Sufi poetry, death is sought since it leads to the soul getting freed from the cage of the body and finally meeting with Allah.
Starting in November 1273, the city city of Konya قونیہ was hit by repeated earthquakes. Konya was then the capital of Seljuq سلجوق Turks. The people of Konya became apprehensive and went to Mawlana. He told them that the earth was shaking since it wanted a big morsel. He asked people not to worry as the earth would soon get its wish fulfilled.
Mawlana's Death & Funeral
Mawlana passed away on 17 December 1273 at sunset time. During the evening, arrangements were made for his burial, and his funeral and burial took place the next day. Men and women of all ages and religions, and all walks of life thronged the streets of Konya to pay their respect. It was the same city where Mawlana had walked the streets like a madman following the last disappearance of Shamse Tabrizi. Everybody was paying respect in his / her own way. The reciters of Quran were reciting verses from the Quran and the musicians were singing verses. After the burial, there was a mehfil-e sama, which went on for a few hours. Then the city of Konya started a public mourning of 40 days.
Mawlana had earlier wished that no tomb should be constructed over his grave. However, Alamuddin Qaiser suggested to Sultan Valad سلطان ولد (Maulanas son) that a mausoleum should be constructed with a Qubbatul Khadra قبۃ الخضرا (Green Dome). The estimated cost was 30,000 dirhams. A collection several times this amount was gathered by the daughter of Ghiyasuddin Kaykhusrow غیاث الدین کیخسرو III (the Seljuq Sultan) and the wife of Moinuddin Parvane معین الدین پروانہ (the powerful Vizir). The construction of the shrine was started under the supervision of Badruddin Tabrizi بدر الدین تبریزی .
The ghazal uploaded here is inscribed on one of the structures around the grave. I have changed the meter (behr بحر ) for the Urdu translation.
(1) The Truimphal Sun by Annemarie Schimmel.
(2) Rumi: Past and Present, East and West by Franklin D. Lewis.
My thanks to dear Omar Maqsood for the pictures he took in Konya, Turkey.