Sacred Texts  Islam 
Buy this Book at

Rumi meeting Shams-i Tabrizi for the First Time [Persian Manuscript] (Public Domain Image)
Rumi meeting Shams-i Tabrizi for the First Time [Persian Manuscript] (Public Domain Image)

The Mesnevi and the Acts of the Adepts

tr. by James W. Redhouse


Contents    Start Reading    Page Index    Text [Zipped]

In spite of the fact that the Persian Sufi master Rumi has achieved huge name reconition, his works took a long time to be translated into English. This was one of the first English translations of a major portion of Rumi's Masnavi, his largest work. The complete Masnavi is said to comprise 25,700 couplets. This translation is of the first book (of six) of the Masnavi; this was as far as Redhouse apparently got with his translation. Later, in 1898, E.H. Whinfield released an abridged translation of the first six books, also available at this site (here). The first complete translation of the Masnavi was by R.A. Nicholson, published in London by Luzac and Co. from 1925-40. A.J. Arberry also published several ground-breaking translations of Rumi in the mid-20th century.

The Acts of the Adepts, which forms the first part of this book, is also notable. This is an abridged translation of the Menaqibu 'l Arifin, by the historian Eflaki. This is a remarkable collection of legendary stories about the early Sufis.

Both of these texts appear for the first time on the Internet at sacred-texts.

Title Page
Translator's Preface

The Acts of the Adepts

Title Page
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX

The Book of the Mesnevī

Title Page
Proem: The Reed Flute
I. The Prince and the Handmaid
II. The Oilman and the Parrot
III. The Jewish King, Persecutor of the Christians
IV. Another Jewish King, Persecutor of Christians
V. The Lion and the Beasts
VI. The Greater (Spiritual) Warfare
VII. The Merchant and the Parrot
VIII. The Harper
IX. The Poor Scenite Arab and his Wife
X. Patience and Perseverance Under a Teacher
XI. The Lion's Hunt, in Company
XII. Joseph and the Mirror
XIII. The Prophet's First Amanuensis
XIV. The Chinese and Roman Artists
XV. Zeyd's Inspiration
XVI. ‘Alī's Forbearance
XVII. Conclusion