The Sparkling Gems of the Masnavi


During the last years of his life, Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi, known as Rumi, composed his poetic masterpiece, the “Masnavi”. Also called the “Qur’an in Persian”, the Masnavi is a poetic collection of Sufi stories, teachings and anecdotes. Rumi himself described the Masnavi as “the roots of the roots of the roots of the religion … and the explainer of the Qur’an.” Among the many commentators of the Masnavi is Sarı Abdullah Efendi, one of the most influential Sufi scholars of the 17th century. He wrote the most extensive commentary of five volumes on the first volume of the Masnavi. Sarı Abdullah Efendi is associated with the Bayramiyya-Malamiyya Sufi order. He also worked for the Ottoman government as an official and produced new types of tulips. His interdisciplinary background and  approach render his commentary unique and provide the reader with a comprehensive roadmap of Sufism. Moreover, he pays a special effort to stay connected with Rumi and channel his saintly inspiration throughout the commentary.

Prepared by Aslınur Akdeniz Brehmer, this book contains a commentary on the first eighteen couplets of the Masnavi, a section widely known as the story of the reed flute. The reader is presented with the original text in Ottoman Turkish, its transcription into modern Turkish as well as the simplified text. 

“The Sparkling Gems of the Masnavi” invites truth-seekers of our time on a spiritual journey. Sarı Abdullah Efendi offers precious gems from the sea of Masnavi to his readers which he addresses as “my dear soul” and “light of my eyes.” Those who ‘listen’ as Rumi invites his audience to do at the onset oft the Masnavi, are surely going to get one step closer to what they are seeking for.



Through writing and translating, by painting and crafting, and by hosting pilgrimages and online classes, Aslınur desires to contribute to the revival of Anatolian wisdom culture. Anatolia literally means ‘full of mothers.’ In ancient times, this geography hosted societies in which a matriarchal culture flourished. Anatolia is a cradle of civilizations and religions, a place of cultural cross-pollinization. However, this wisdom has been largely forgotten. But the potential of Anatolian culture is still alive. Turkey needs to remember its Anatolian heritage right now, especially its feminine aspects. In college, she received training in English and Turkish Literature. This helped her connect West and East through the power of words. She received her MA degree at the Islamic theology department to immerse herself into Anatolian Sufi literature. This made her discover another passion: Translating texts of Anatolian Sufism from the past into languages of today, such as modern Turkish and English. For her, this is a sacred work towards collective healing and peace.

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