The Masnavi of Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273), a massive poem of some 25,000 rhyming couplets, by common consent ranks among the world's greatest masterpieces of religious literature. The material which makes up the Masnavi is divisible into two different categories: theoretical discussion of the principal themes of Sufi mystical life and doctrine, and stories of fables intended to illustrarte those themes as they arise. This selection of tales is the most accessible introduction to this giant epic for the non-perisan reader.

chapter |10 pages


chapter 1|2 pages

The lament of the reed-flute

chapter 2|6 pages

The king and the sick servant-girl

chapter 3|2 pages

The greengrocer and the parrot

chapter 4|9 pages

The Jewish king and the Christians

chapter 5|8 pages

The lion and the beasts

chapter 6|1 pages

Solomon and the Angel of Death

chapter 7|4 pages

The merchant and The parrot

chapter 8|12 pages

The Bedouin and his wife

chapter 9|1 pages

The grammarian and the boatman

chapter 10|2 pages

The man who wanted to be tattooed

chapter 11|3 pages

The lion, the wolf and the fox

chapter 12|1 pages

2 The man who said 'It is I'

chapter 13|1 pages

3 Joseph and the mirror

chapter 14|2 pages

Harut and Marut reproved

chapter 15|2 pages

The deaf man who visited a sick neighbour

chapter 16|2 pages

The Greek and the Chinese artists

chapter 17|3 pages

Muhammad and the vision of Zaid

chapter 18|1 pages

The fire that consumed Medina

chapter 19|5 pages

Ali and the infidel who spat in his face

chapter 20|2 pages

The fall of Adam

chapter 22|1 pages

The man who stole a snake

chapter 23|2 pages

Jesus and the dead bones

chapter 24|3 pages

The Sufi and his unfaithful servant

chapter 25|1 pages

The king and his falcon

chapter 26|3 pages

The saint and the halwa

chapter 27|3 pages

The Sufis and the dervish's ass

chapter 28|3 pages

The scoundrelly bankrupt and the Kurd

chapter 29|1 pages

The ruined house

chapter 30|1 pages

The man who killed his mother

chapter 31|7 pages

The king and the two slaves

chapter 32|3 pages

The falcon and the owls

chapter 33|2 pages

The man who tore down a wall

chapter 34|2 pages

The man who let his thornbush grow

chapter 35|1 pages

The baptism of God

chapter 36|2 pages

Dhu 'I-Nun in the madhouse

chapter 37|2 pages

Luqman's answer

chapter 38|2 pages

The unbelieving philosopher

chapter 39|2 pages

The coming of Wisdom

chapter 40|3 pages

Moses and the shepherd

chapter 42|1 pages

The blind beggar

chapter 43|3 pages

The man and the bear

chapter 44|1 pages

Galen and the madman

chapter 45|1 pages

A story of Moses

chapter 46|3 pages

The Sufi, the Fakih and the Sharif

chapter 48|1 pages

The man who married a harlot

chapter 49|3 pages

The saint who feigned to be mad

chapter 50|2 pages

The policeman and the drunkard

chapter 51|1 pages

A vision of the Last Day

chapter 52|2 pages

The two thieves

chapter 53|8 pages

The Devil's debate with Moawiya

chapter 54|3 pages

The Mosque of Opposition

chapter 55|2 pages

The stray camel

chapter 56|1 pages

The old man and the doctor

chapter 57|1 pages

Goha and the orphan

chapter 58|2 pages

The Bedouin and the philosopher

chapter 59|2 pages

The miracle of the needles

chapter 60|2 pages

The miracle of the wine

chapter 61|2 pages

The mouse and the camel

chapter 62|2 pages

The miracle of the pearls

chapter 63|2 pages

The Indian tree

chapter 64|2 pages

The men who ate the elephant

chapter 65|1 pages

The prayer that was answered

chapter 66|6 pages

The countryman and the townsman page

chapter 67|2 pages

The jackal that pretended to be a peacock

chapter 68|6 pages

The birth of Moses

chapter 69|2 pages

The snake-catcher and the frozen snake

chapter 70|5 pages

Moses and Pharaoh

chapter 71|1 pages

I The elephant in the dark

chapter 72|3 pages

Noah and Canaan

chapter 73|1 pages

The striker and the stricken

chapter 74|1 pages

The lover and the letter

chapter 75|8 pages

David and the man who begged for food

chapter 77|1 pages

The prescient goldsmith

chapter 78|3 pages

The hermit who broke his vow

chapter 79|1 pages

The mule and the camel

chapter 80|2 pages

The shaikh who showed no sorrow

chapter 81|2 pages

I Buhlul and the dervish

chapter 82|6 pages

The miracles of Daquqi

chapter 83|2 pages

How Jesus fled from a fool

chapter 84|9 pages

The story of the people of Saba

chapter 85|1 pages

The prince and the slave

chapter 86|1 pages

The miracle of the napkin

chapter 90|1 pages

The woman whose children died

chapter 92|2 pages

How Bilal died rejoicing

chapter 93|2 pages

The Virgin Mary and the Archangel

chapter 94|6 pages

The chamberlain of Bukhara

chapter 95|2 pages

Satan and the tribe of Quraish

chapter 96|2 pages

The chickpea in the pot

chapter 97|1 pages

The foal that would not drink

chapter 98|4 pages

The guest in the enchanted mosque

chapter 99|1 pages

The elements converse with the body

chapter 100|2 pages

The gnat appeals before Solomon