Mevlānā Jelālu-'d-Dīn Muhammed, the Revered Mystery of God upon Earth.*

JELĀLU-'D-DĪN is related to have been born at Balkh on the 6th of Rebī'u-'l-evvel, A.H. 604 (29th September 1207).

When five years old, he used at times to become extremely uneasy and restless, so much so that his attendants used to take him into the midst of themselves.

The cause of these perturbations was that spiritual forms and shapes of the absent (invisible world) would arise before his sight, that is, angelic messengers, righteous genii, and saintly men—the concealed ones of the bowers of the True One (spiritual spouses of God), used to appear to him in bodily shape, exactly as the cherubim and seraphim used to show themselves to the holy apostle of God, Muhammed, in the earlier days, before his call to the prophetic office; as Gabriel appeared to Mary, and as the four angels were seen by Abraham and Lot; as well as others to other prophets.

His father, Bahā'u-'d-Dīn Veled, the Sultānu-'l-'Ulemā, used on these occasions to coax and soothe him by saying: “These are the Occult Existences. They come to present themselves before you, to offer unto you gifts and presents from the invisible world.”

These ecstasies and transports of his began to be publicly known and talked about; and the affectionately honorific title of Khudāvendgār, by which he is so often mentioned, was conferred upon him at this time by his father, who used to address him and speak of him by this title, as “My Lord.”


His son, Sultan Veled, related that there was a paper in the handwriting of his father, Bahā Veled, which set forth that at Balkh, when Jelāl was six years old, he was taking the air one Friday, on the terraced roof of the house, and reciting the Qur'ān, when some other children of good families came in and joined him there.

After a time, one of these children proposed that they should try and jump from thence on to a neighbouring terrace, and should lay wagers on the result.

Jelāl smiled at this childish proposal, and remarked: “My brethren, to jump from terrace to terrace is an act well adapted for cats, dogs, and the like, to perform; but is it not degrading to man, whose station is so superior? Come now, if you feel disposed, let us spring up to the firmament, and visit the regions of God's realm.” As he yet spake, he vanished from their sight.

Frightened at Jelāl's sudden disappearance, the other children raised a shout of dismay, that some one should come to their assistance; when lo, in an instant, there he was again in their midst; but with an altered expression of countenance and blanched cheeks. They all uncovered before him, fell to the earth in humility, and all declared themselves his disciples.

He now told them that, as he was yet speaking to them, a company of visible forms, clad in green raiment, had led him away from them, and had conducted him about the various concentric orbs of the spheres, and through the signs of the Zodiac, showing him the wonders of the world of spirits, and bringing him back to them so soon as their cries had reached his ears.

At that age, he was used not to break his fast more often than once in three or four, and sometimes even seven, days.


A different witness, a disciple of Jelāl's father, related that Bahā Veled frequently affirmed publicly that his Lord, Jelāl, was of exalted descent, being of the lineage of a king, and also of an hereditary saint.

His maternal grandmother was a daughter of the great Imām Es-Sarakhsī* (died at Damascus A.H. 571, A.D. 1175), who was of the lineage of the Prophet. The mother of Es-Sarakhsī was descended from the Caliph 'Alī; and Jelāl's paternal grandmother was a daughter of the King of Kh'ārezm, who resided at Balkh.

Jelāl's paternal great-great-grandmother, also, the mother of Ahmed, El-Khatībī, grandfather of Jelāl's father, was a daughter of a king of Balkh. These particulars establish that Jelāl was well descended on both sides, in a mundane and in a spiritual sense. The well-known proverb—

“Hereditary disposition ever insinuates itself,”

proved fully true in his most illustrious case.


When Jelāl was seven years old, he used every morning to recite the very short chapter, cviii., of the Qur'ān—

“Verily we have given unto thee the abounding good. Therefore, do thou perform thy devotions unto thy Lord, and slaughter victims. Verily, he who evil entreateth thee is one who shall leave no issue after him.”

He used to weep as he recited these inspired words.

Suddenly, God one day vouchsafed to appear to him visibly. On this he fainted away. Regaining conscious­ness, he heard a voice from heaven, that said—

“O Jelālu-'d-Dīn! By the majesty (jelāl) of Our glory, do thou henceforward cease to combat with thyself; for We have exalted thee to the station of ocular vision.”

Jelāl vowed, therefore, out of gratitude for this mark of grace, to serve the Lord to the end of his days, to the utmost of his power; in the firm hope that they who followed him would also attain to that high grade of favour and excellence.


Two years after the death of his father, Jelāl went from Qonya to Haleb (Aleppo) to study. (This account is altogether subversive, as to time and date, of that already given in chap. ii. No. 3.)

As he was known to be a son of Bahā'u-'d-Dīn Veled, and was also an apt scholar, his professor showed him every attention.

Others were offended, and evinced their jealousy at the preference thus accorded to him. They complained to the governor of the city that Jelāl was immoral, as he was in the habit, each night, of quitting his cell at midnight for some unknown purpose. The governor resolved to see and judge for himself. He therefore hid himself in the porter's room.

At midnight, Jelāl came forth from his room, and went straight to the locked gate of the college, watched by the governor. The gate flew open; and Jelāl, followed at a distance by the governor, went through the streets to the locked city gate. This, too, opened of itself; and again both passed forth.

They went on and came to the tomb of Abraham (at Hebron, about 350 miles distant), the “Friend of the All-Merciful.” There a domed edifice was seen, filled with a large company of forms in green raiment, who came forth to meet Jelāl, and conducted him into the building.

The governor hereupon lost his senses through fright, and did not recover until after the sun had risen.

Now, he could see nothing of a domed edifice, nor one single human being. He wandered about on a trackless plain for three days and three nights, hungry, thirsty, and footsore. At length he sank under his sufferings.

Meanwhile, the porter of the college had given intelli­gence of the governor's pursuit after Jelāl. When his officers found that he did not return, they sent a numerous party of guards to seek him. These, on the second day, met Jelāl. He told them where they would find their master. The next day, late, they came up with him, found him to be nearly dead, and brought him home.

The governor became a sincere convert, and a disciple to Jelāl for ever after.

(A parallel tale is told of Jelāl's fetching water from the Tigris for his father by night when he was a little child at Bagdad. There, too, all the gates opened to him of themselves.)


It is related that the Seyyid Burhānu-'d-Dīn was often heard to narrate that, when Jelāl was a child, the Seyyid was his governor and tutor. He had often taken Jelāl up on his shoulder, and so carried him to the empyrean. “But now,” he would add, “Jelāl has attained to such eminence of station that he carries me up.” These sayings of the Seyyid were repeated to Jelāl, who confirmed them with the remark: “It is quite true; and a hundredfold more also; the services rendered to me by that man are infinite.”


When Jelāl went to Damascus to study, he passed by Sīs in Upper Cilicia. There, in a cave, dwelt forty Chris­tian monks, who had a great reputation for sanctity, but in reality were mere jugglers.

On the approach of Jelāl's caravan to the cave, the monks caused a little boy to ascend into the air, and there remain standing between heaven and earth.

Jelāl noticed this exhibition, and fell into a reverie. Hereupon, the child began to weep and wail, saying that the man in the reverie was frightening him. The monks told him not to be afraid, but to come down. “Oh!” cried the child, “I am as though nailed here, unable to move hand or foot.”

The monks became alarmed. They flocked around Jelāl, and begged him to release the child. After a time, he seemed to hear and understand them. His answer was: “Only through the acceptance of Islām by your­selves, all of you, as well as by the child, can he be saved.”

In the end they all embraced Islām, and wished to follow Jelāl as his disciples. He recommended them, however, to remain in their cave, as before, to cease from practising jugglery, and to serve God in the spirit and in truth. So he proceeded on his journey.


Jelāl remained seven years, or four years, at Damascus; and there he first saw his great friend Shemsu-'d-Dīn of Tebrīz, clothed in his noted black felt and peculiar cap. Shems addressed him; but he turned away, and mixed in the crowd. Soon afterwards, he returned to Qonya by way of Qaysariyya. At this latter place, under the guiding supervision of his spiritual teacher, the Seyyid Burhānu-'d-Dīn, Jelāl fasted three consecutive periods of forty days each,* with only a pot of water and two or three loaves of barley bread. He showed no signs of suffering. Burhān now pronounced him perfect in all science, patent and occult, human and spiritual. (Compare chap. ii. No. 3.)