Before Rumi became Rumi


Shah Shams Tabrizi walked into Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi’s class and, pointing to the books, asked, ‘What is all this?’ Rumi replied, ‘This is something you don’t know.’
In an instant, Tabrizi picked up the books and flung them into the fountain.

‘What have you done?!’ shouted Rumi and his students, ‘Our books! How will we study without them?!’

‘What good is knowledge confined to books,’ said Tabrizi, ‘that it makes you dependent on the books and not the the knowledge?’

Then, he reached into the water and pulled out the books one by one.

Rumi and his students were amazed to see that the books were completely dry as if no water had touched them. Rumi asked, ‘These books are dry! What is all this?’

‘This is something YOU don’t know!’ replied Tabrizi, and walked away silently.


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