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Ali Yıldırım


Balkh is a historically and culturally rich city located in the northeastern part of present-day Afghanistan, in Central Asia. Throughout history, Balkh has been a host to various civilizations, and as a result, it possesses a rich cultural heritage. The city is also known as the birthplace of Hazrat Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi, an Islamic philosopher, poet, and mystic. Balkh played a significant role in Mevlana’s life and served as the foundation for his spiritual journey.

City of History and Civilizations, Balkh

Balkh city has been a home to many civilizations throughout history, resulting in diverse cultural layers. It has been influenced by various civilizations during different periods, such as the Persian Empire, the Greeks, Alexander the Great’s invasion, the Central Asian Hun State, and Islamic conquests.

In the Middle Ages, Balkh became an important center of science and culture. During this period, significant studies were conducted in fields like science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and philosophy. Balkhi scholars and thinkers made significant contributions to the Islamic world, turning the city into a rich center of science and literature.

Hazrat Mevlana and the City of Balkh

Hazrat Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi was born on September 30, 1207, in the town of Vakhsh, located near the city of Balkh. His father, the renowned scholar Bahauddin Veled, was one of the distinguished scholars of Balkh. Mevlana’s maternal side also had ties to Balkh, making the city the homeland of Mevlana’s family roots.

During his childhood years in Balkh, Mevlana learned the foundations of literature, poetry, and Sufism from his family. His father, Bahauddin Veled, played a crucial role in directing Mevlana’s interests and contributing to the development of his spiritual world. Balkh city had a significant impact on Mevlana’s life and became a shaping factor in his thoughts.

The Connection Between Balkh and Mevlana

The connection between Mevlana and Balkh took on a spiritual dimension in his life. In 1212, Mevlana and his family left Balkh and migrated to Anatolia due to the Mongol invasions and political upheavals. This migration marked a pivotal moment in Mevlana’s life and laid the foundation for his spiritual journey.

After settling in Anatolia, Mevlana cherished memories of Balkh with longing and nostalgia. In his poems and conversations, he openly expressed his yearning and sense of belonging to Balkh. The city of Balkh also served as an inspiration for Mevlana’s works and thoughts. His connection with Balkh became an essential part of his life and works.

Present-Day Balkh

Today, Balkh is located within the borders of Afghanistan.