THE INFLUENCE OF RUMI’S THOUGHT ON WHITMAN’S POETRY
Sufism or tasawwuf is the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. However, many scholars believe that Sufism is outside the sphere of Islam. As a result, there has always been disagreement among religious scholars and Sufis themselves regarding the origins of Sufism. The traditional view sees Sufism as the mystical school of Islam and its beginnings in the first centuries following the life of the Prophet Mohammad. Indeed, there is another view that traces the pre-Islamic roots of Sufism back through mystics and mystery schools of the other regions gathered into the trunk known as Islamic Sufism. The word Sufi originates from a Persian word meaning wisdom and wisdom is the ultimate power. The following survey tries to explore this concept in the works of Rumi and its impact on the western writers and poets particularly Whitman. It tries to show how Whitman inspired from Rumi and came to be the messenger of Sufism in his poems. These poems reveal the depth of Sufi spirituality, the inner states of mystical love, and the Unity of Being through symbolic expressions. They also express aspects of Sufism and of traveling the Sufi path inaccessible in prose writings.