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UNESCO designates Maulana’s birthday as ‘Respect for Others Day’

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Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) agreed during a conference, upon the request of writers and scholars from Afghanistan, to designate Mowlānā Jalāloddin Mohammad Balkhi’s birthday (September 30, 1207) as “Respect for Others Day.”

Dr. Mohammad Fazil Sharifi, a researcher and professor at the university who participated in this conference, told Khaama Press that the proposal to rename Maulana Balkhi’s birthday to “Respect for Others Day” was suggested to UNESCO by Sayed Hussain Eshraq, a philosopher and researcher from Afghanistan.

Mr. Sharifi explained, “In this global conference, Mr. Sayed Hossein Eshragh presented an academic article titled ‘The Other in Rumi’s Poetry,’ and he made this naming proposal. The topic was put to a vote, and everyone supported it.”

Syed Hossein Eshragh also confirmed to Amu TV that he proposed the 15th of Mizan (the birthday of Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi) to UNESCO, which, after discussion, was approved by the organization.

Several articles by Afghan writers and researchers on Maulana’s worldview and fundamental concepts in his works, including the concept of “the Other” and the concept of “enlightenment,” were discussed at the UNESCO conference. Finally, the 15th of Mizan, solar year, was unanimously named “Respect for Others Day” in commemoration of the poet’s birthday.

Mowlana Jalaluddin Balkhi, commonly known as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi or Rumi in the West, was born on September 30, 1207, in Balkh Province, Afghanistan, which was located on the eastern border of the Persian Empire.

Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi and the Sage of Balkh was born in Balkh on the 15th of Mizan, 586 Hijri Solar.

Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi’s father, Mohammad ibn Hussain, was a renowned preacher known as Sultan al-Ulama among the luminaries of Balkh.

During his childhood, Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi migrated from Balkh to Konya, a city in Turkey, with his family during the invasion of Genghis Khan, where he also gained fame.

The most significant event in Maulana’s life was his encounter with Shams Tabrizi, an enlightened mystic who introduced Maulana to the realms of mysticism and Sufism.

Maulana passed away on Jadi 4, 652, Solar year, due to an illness he suffered from. His mausoleum in Konya serves as a pilgrimage site for lovers and followers of his path.

Maulana left behind his masterpiece, the “Mathnawi Ma’nawi,” along with the “Divan-e Kabir” and “Fihi Ma Fihi.”

His Mathnawi Ma’nawi and ghazals are among his most famous works, and according to research, the concept of “the Other” has been expanded mostly in his Mathnawi Ma’nawi.

Researchers believe Maulana should be regarded as one of the greatest mystic thinkers, as the concept of “the Other” is prominent in his Mathnawi and gives him a unique perspective that might be unparalleled in Persian literature as a whole.

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