The Mesnavi and The Acts of the Adepts, by Jelal-'d-din Rumi and Shemsu-'d-Din Ahmed, tr. by James W. Redhouse, , at sacred-texts.com
Chelebī Emīr ‘Ārīf, Jelālu-’d-Dīn.
(Ninety pages of the volume by Eflākī give more than two hundred anecdotes of the acts and miracles, of various kinds, of this illustrious grandson of Jelālu-’d-Dīn, the teacher and friend of the author, who vouches as an eyewitness for the truth and correctness of some of the narratives.
The Emīr ‘Ārif passed the far greater portion of his life in travelling about to various cities in central and eastern Asia Minor, and north-western Persia, countries then subject to the great Khāns, descendants of Jengīz. He appears to have been of a more energetic or bellicose character than his father, and to have ruled with vigour during his short Rectorship.)
On the last day but one of the period of the greater pilgrimage at Mekka, the eve of the Festival of Sacrifices, the ninth of the month of Zū-’l-Hijja, a.h. 717 (11th February, a.d. 1313), the Emīr ‘Ārif, and the historian Eflākī, his disciple, were together at Sultāniyya, in the north of Persia, the new capital of the great western Mogul empire.
They were visiting at the convent of a certain Mevlevi dervish, named Sheykh Suhrāb, 1 with sundry of the friends and saints, all of whom were engaged in the study of different books, at about the hour of midday, excepting ‘Ārif, who was enjoying a siesta.
Suddenly, ‘Ārif raised his head, and gave one of his loud, awe-inspiring shouts, which caused all present to tremble. Without a word, however, he again composed himself to sleep.
When he at length fully roused himself, and finally woke up from his sleep, Sheykh Eflākī ventured to inquire what it was that had disturbed him.
He answered: "I had gone in the spirit to pay a visit to the tomb of my great-grandfather, when there I saw the two Mevlevī dervishes, Nāsiru-’d-Dīn and Shujā‘u-‘d-Dīn Chanāqī, who had seized each other by the collar, and were engaged in a violent dispute and struggle. I called out to them to desist; and two men, with one pious woman, being there present, saw me."
Eflākī at once made a note of this narrative, putting down the date and hour of the occurrence.
Some time afterwards, ‘Ārif returned to the land of Rome, and went to the town of Lādik (Laodicæa Combusta, not far from Qonya); and there they met the above-named Nāsiru-’d-Dīn. In the presence of all the friends, ‘Ārif asked Nāsir to relate to them the circumstances of his quarrel with Shujā‘.
Nāsir replied: "On the eve of the Festival of Sacrifices, I was standing at the upper end of the mausoleum, when Shujā‘ came there, and committed an unseemly act, for which I reprehended him. He immediately collared me, and I him; when suddenly, from the direction of the feet of the holy Bahā Veled, the voice of ‘Ārif was heard shouting to us, and made us tremble. In awe thereat, we immediately embraced each other, and bowed in reverence. That is all I know of the matter."
‘Ārif then addressed Eflākī, and said: "Pray relate to our friends what thou knowest thereof, that they may be edified."
Eflākī now produced his memorandum-book, and showed the entry he had made, with the date. The friends marvelled at this, and rejoiced exceedingly, their spirits
being refreshed with an influence from the invisible world.
‘Ārif then said: "By the soul of my ancestor, I dislike exceedingly to make a display of any miraculous power. But, now and then, for the edification of my disciples, such scenes will slip out. Then Eflākī takes note thereof."
Such miracles are known by the names of "manifestations," and "ektasis of the spirit."
When Qonya was reached, three friends, one a lady, bore testimony to having seen ‘Ārif at the tomb on that day, and to their having heard him shout.
‘Ārif's last journey was from Lārenda to Aq-Serāy (on the road to Qonya). In the latter place he remained about ten days; when, one night, he laid his head on his pillow, and wept bitterly, continuously moaning and sobbing in his sleep.
In the morning his friends inquired the cause. He said he had seen a strange dream. He was seated in a vaulted chamber, with windows looking on to a garden as beautiful as paradise, with all kinds of flowering shrubs and fruit-bearing trees, beneath the shade of which the youths and maidens of heaven were walking and disporting themselves. Melodious voices were also heard. In one direction he noticed a flower-garden, and there he saw his grandfather, Jelālu-’d-Dīn. He wondered at his appearance; when lo, Jelāl looked towards him, and beckoned him to approach. On his drawing near, Jelāl asked him what had brought him there; and then added: "The time is come; the end of thy term. Thou must come to me."
It was from joy and delight at this kind invitation of his grandfather, that ‘Ārif had wept and sobbed.
He then said: "It is time for me to make my journey to heaven,—to drink of the cup of God's might."
Two days later, they continued their journey towards Qonya, and ‘Ārif showed some slight symptoms of indisposition.
[paragraph continues] These daily grew more severe. He reached Qonya. One morning he came out of his house, and stood in the gateway of his great-grandfather's mausoleum, silent, in the midst of his disciples. It was Friday, the last day of the month of Zū-’l-qa‘da, a.h. 719 (13th January, a.d. 1320).
The orb of the sun rose like a disk of gold, careering over the azure vault from an impulse given to it by the bat of God's decree. It attained the altitude of a lance-length. ‘Ārif contemplated it, and smiled. Shortly afterwards, he spoke as follows:
"I am tired of this lower world, and have no wish to remain beneath the sun, surrounded with dust and misery. The time is come for me to trample on the stars that encircle the pole, mounting beyond the sun, to occupy myself with the mysteries of the heavenly choir, and to be entirely delivered from the instabilities of this world of change."
His disciples burst into tears, and he continued—
"There is no remedy hereto, but to die. During life, my pleasure has been to journey and wander about, in outward space, and in inward self-exploration. For idle spirits come into the world of material forms to contemplate the marvels of the horizons, and the wonders of men's minds,—to acquire knowledge, and attain to certainty. Through the gravity of the body I have been impeded in the investigation, and I shall not be able to travel again. Let me, then, wend my way to the future state, for here below I have no real companion. My only anxiety is, to be with my father and grandfather. How long shall I be severed from them in this world of suffering? I long to behold my grandfather, and I will certainly depart."
He then cried aloud. After which he slowly returned to his chamber, and there continued to moan.
He managed to crawl, as well as he could, to the congregational service of worship of that Friday at noon. Thence he proceeded to the mausoleum, kissed the shrine,
sang a hymn, performed a holy dance, and uttered ecstatic cries. He then laid himself down at full length on the floor, under which he is now buried, and said: "Where the man falls, there let him be interred. Bury you the deposit of my corpse in this spot."
That day was as though the last judgment were at hand. A tempest arose; all creation, mortal and immortal, seemed to be groaning.
The day following, Saturday, the traces of his malady were but too visible in ‘Ārif's features. He strove to battle with it, and to converse, as if he were in perfect health.
His sickness lasted about five and twenty days. On the twenty-second of Zū-’l-Hijja there was a violent shock of earthquake.
There was then in Qonya a certain saint, commonly known as "the Student," a successor of the legist Ahmed. In his youth he had made himself a great reputation for learning, in all its branches. But, for forty years, he had been paralysed, and had never risen from his seat, summer or winter. He was well versed in all mysteries, and now began to say: "They are taking away the lamp of Qonya! Alas, the world will go to utter confusion! I, too, will follow after that holy man!"
Shocks followed after shocks of the earthquake; and ‘Ārif exclaimed: "The hour of departure is at hand! See, the earth yawns for the mouthful it will make of my body. It shows signs of impatience for its food!"
He then asked: "Look! what birds are these that are come here?" His eyes remained fixed for a time on the angelic visions which he now saw. From time to time he would start, as though about to fly. The assembled disciples, men and women, wept bitterly. But he again spoke, and said—
"Sheykhs, be not troubled! Even as my descent into this world was for the regulation of the affairs of your community, so is my existence of equal advantage to you,
and I will at all times be with you, never absent from you. Even in the other world will I be with you. Here below, separation is a thing unavoidable. In the other world there is union without disrupture, and junction without a parting. Let me go without a pang. To outward appearance, I shall be absent; but in truth, I shall not be away from you. So long as a sword is in its sheath, it cuts not; but, when it shall be drawn, you shall see its effects. From this day forward, I dash my fist through the curtain that veils the invisible world; and my disciples shall hear the clash of the blows."
As he spake these words, his eldest son, Shāh-Zāda, and his own half-brother, Chelebī ‘Ābid, entered the room. Sheykh Eflākī asked him what commands he had to give for them. ‘Ārif replied: "They belong to the Lord, and have no longer a relation to me; He will take care of them."
Eflākī now asked: "And what are your wishes with respect to me, your most humble servant?" The answer was: "Do thou remain in the service of the mausoleum. Forsake it not. Go not elsewhere. That which I have commanded thee to do, as to collecting in writing all the memoirs of my ancestors and family, that do thou in all diligence until its completion. So mayest thou be approved of the Lord, and blessed by His saints."
‘Ārif now recited some verses; pronounced thrice the holy name of God, with a sigh; recited some more verses; and then, between the noon and afternoon hours of worship, having recited two short chapters of the Qur’ān, he departed, in peace and rejoicing, to the centre of his existence, on Tuesday, the twenty-fourth day of Zū-'l-Hijja, a.h. 719 (5th February, a.d. 1320). Unto God be all glory, now and for ever!
He was buried on the 25th, where he had himself indicated, by the side of his grandfather. His half-brother ‘Ābid succeeded him.
126:1 Europeanised Armenians have made this into Zohrab, as their own family name.