Bestselling Rumi Books Reviewed
What is it about Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet that continues to captivate us today?
Rumi crafted spiritual wisdom, in the most beautiful of poems and stories. His message is so universal, that even in today’s modern age, anyone reading Rumi will find something they can relate to.
Sufi Comics: Rumi is the first of its kind comic series illustrating an enriching collection of Rumi’s poems in graphic form. The book is available here.
We wanted to create a page containing the best Rumi books and review them. From avid Rumi fans to those new to Rumi, there is sure to be something in here for everybody.
Rumi – Bridge to The Soul by Coleman Barks
From his bestselling book The Essential Rumi to the ‘The Soul of Rumi’, Bark’s has been translating Rumi’s poetry for thirty years and ‘Bridge to the Soul’ is a further treasure of ninety new, ecstatic, spiritual poems, most of them never published before in any form.
In the interesting introduction, Barks explains the inspiration behind the title, reflecting on his travel to Iran in 2006. He explains that the ‘bridge’ is a reference to the stunning Khajou Bridge in Isphaphan, Iran, and suggests too that Rumi is the “bridge” crossing cultures, religions, nationalities, and bringing people together from all walks of life. Further to this, Bark’s says that Rumi’s poetry functions as “bridge links from the poem to the readers consciousness.”
Marking the year of Rumi’s 800th birthday, these ninety selected poems all include reference to the “soul”, “silence” and “heart” which encapsulate the universal message of Rumi. Although the poems are beautifully translated, some poems are quite complex and open to ambiguous interpretation. Thus one who reads the poems should bear in mind that these verses do not portray love between two people, rather of the yearning for God.
The Illustrated Rumi by Huston Smith
If there was one book to read that combines the spiritual wealth of Rumi’s stories and rare art from the Sufi tradition – this is it.
This book offers an authentic rendering of Rumi – with specially selected poetry, parables, and stories from some of Rumi’s best-known works including the mystical epic Mathnawi. Each story from The King and the Handmaiden, The Grocer and the Parrot to the The Man Who Was Always Being Swindled is embedded with a deep spiritual message that speaks to the hearts of contemporary readers.
The foreword by Huston Smith and the introduction is detailed yet engaging, and explains the story of Rumi and his spiritual awakening, namely his meeting with Shabz Tabrizi and his unique journey of seeking knowledge and enlightenment through love and devotion to God.
The Rumi Collection by Kabir Helminski
Kabir Helminski is a popular translator of numerous works on Rumi, and regarded as making Rumi one of the most widely read poet of our time. This collection is a treasure trove of spiritual gems that will delight all Rumi fans as it explores his great works with a number of leading literary translations. Translators include Robert Bly, Andrew Harvey, Kabir Helminski, Camille Helminski, Daniel Liebert, and Peter Lamborn Wilson.
Helminski organises the book topically with eighteen chapters all of which begin with an excerpt of Rumi’s prose, as well as explores the main themes of Rumi’s works such as “The Ego Animal”, “Passion for God” and “Purity.” The book also contains a biography of Rumi by Andrew Harvey and an introductory essay by Kabir Helminski on the art of translating Rumi’s work into English.
The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
After reading a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, the discontent Ella Rubinstein’s world is turned upside down.
Shafak takes us on an interesting journey with Ella, as she sets out to discover and meet the mysterious author behind this work.
Bestseller in Turkey, although this book explores a fictionalised account of Rumi and his relationship with the Sufi mystic Shams of Tabriz, both Rumi fans and those new to Rumi will too find some benefit in the inspiration and insight offered by this book.
Teachings of Rumi by Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey presents his translations of verse and prose of the great works of Rumi. Harvey also includes some of Rumi’s lesser-read prose works, giving a balanced view of his teaching that includes both the high-flying path of love, and the rigorous path of discipline.
On the importance of Rumi’s enlightenment, Harvey says: “The splendor of his fearlessness, humility, and endless courage can help us all develop those powers of insight and trust that could enable us to transmute catastrophe into an opening for massive spiritual growth.” This book is a must-have for those seeking inspiration, motivation, and spiritual growth.