Mystic love: Delray professor to speak on poet Rumi
July 12, 2002
Majid Naini appears
to speak from the heart when he talks about the subject he is so passionate
about -- love.
"We all have to do our best to spread love and peace,"
said Naini, 48, of Delray Beach, who has given up a 25-year career as a college
professor to teach the world about the man to whom he is devoted.
is working on a series of books about the man he calls his spiritual teacher and
guide, Jelaluddin Rumi, a poet, Islamic theologian and Sufism philosopher who
expressed in poetry the importance of love and love's connection with
Naini is lecturing throughout the country, including tonight and
Aug. 16 at the Science of Mind Center of Boca Raton. The two-hour talks are open
to the public.
"He is a wonderful speaker," said Barbara Lunde, pastor of
the Science of Mind Center. "He has studied Rumi for decades. The beauty of this
man is that he is so into the teachings of Rumi and into teaching others about
"Dr. Naini is a powerful speaker," said Michael Peterson, 49, of
Boca Raton, who attended a recent lecture. "I found the talk on Rumi both
intellectual and spiritual."
Naini was 10 when he first learned about the
religious scholar who lived nearly 800 years ago. He was growing up in Esfahan,
Iran, when Davood Naini, his Persian uncle, recited some of Rumi's song-like
poetry in Farsi, the language of Rumi.
"My beloved uncle's words are
forever with me," Naini said. "Since then, I have kept the insight, wisdom and
profound teachings of Rumi in my life. During the most discouraging times, the
beautiful verses have reminded me of the Creator's great love and of his mercy.
The lovely words have kept my faith strong and my vision clear."
born in 1207 in the northeastern provinces of Persia, present-day Afghanistan.
He was known as a great spiritual master, poet and a philosopher of Sufism, a
mystical philosophy of Islam.
Rumi was well educated in the Muslim lands,
where his family traveled extensively. They finally settled in Konya, Anatol,
where his father was a conservative theologian and professor in religious
When his father, Bahaduddin Valad, passed away, Rumi succeeded
him and took over his religious position, gaining many devotees. At the age of
38, Rumi was introduced to mysticism, the doctrine that teaches it is possible
to achieve communion with God through contemplation and love without the medium
of human reason. He immediately became infatuated, gave up teaching the ways of
conservative religious leaders and began on a mystical path.
to explore mysticism and pursue his career as a mystic poet until his death at
the age of 66.
"Men and women of all religions read his works," said
Naini. "He is loved by people of all faiths."
During his discussions,
Naini recites lines of Rumi poetry in Farsi to give his audience a sample of how
it was originally recited by the poet and an understanding of the ancient
culture and heritage of Rumi's time. He also reads poems in English.
went to one of his talks and he was fabulous," said Ruth Herman, 60, of Boca
Raton. "I think that Rumi's messages are the same messages as other religious
who have taught through the years. He talks about peace, love and unity in the
world. His poetry is just another means of relating his ideas."
aesthetic expression is highly regarded in many areas of the world, but is
somewhat new to America.
"He had incredible knowledge about the future,"
Naini said. "He talked about the creation of the universe, gravity and nuclear
explosions. Rumi's words are so profound that one can study them for many years
and still find that some of his verses remain elusive. It has taken me close to
20 years to understand certain lines of Rumi's poetry."
Naini received a
bachelor's degree in electronics engineering, a master's degree in computer
science and a doctorate in computer and information science from the University
of Pennsylvania. He taught at schools including the University of Hawaii,
Florida Atlantic University, American University in Cairo, Colorado Technical
University and the University of Pennsylvania.
He has written many books,
the latest entitled, Mysteries of the Universe and Rumi's Discoveries on the
Majestic Path of Love.
"God is the religion and nationality of lovers of
God," Naini said, reciting a line from a Rumi poem. "He believed in the soul of
the Creator, the Almighty God of love."
Copyright © 2002, South Florida
Visit his website
or learn about Dr. Naini at