“Rumi’s Book of Love and Sufistic Verses” written by Afifah Ahmad was released by Afkaruna, an Indonesian interdisciplinary journal of Islamic studies, the Iranian Cultural office in Jakarta announced on Saturday.
“This book is full of spiritual and intellectual knowledge from a great world legend, Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi,” the publisher has said.
Afifah Ahmad is one of the few Indonesian women who is able to write about Rumi in Indonesian well and captivatingly.
The book focuses on the beauty of love and humanity and its dimensions, also mining Rumi’s thoughts on women and gender equality.
The publisher has also called on readers to study Rumi’s masterpiece, Masnavi-ye Manavi.
The author’s ability to delve into Rumi’s works and thoughts in Persian as well as access to primary sources from Persian scholars, make this book an important and reliable work about Rumi in Indonesian.
“Talking about Rumi without mentioning the word love is impossible; like talking about life without considering the elements of water and air,” Ahmad wrote in a preface to her book.
“The task of man in the world is to learn continuously to be a lover who is beneficial to the universe until he meets his beloved one,” she added.
Books on Iran and Persian cultural figures have been regarded by Indonesian scholars and publishing houses over the past few years.
Iran’s Islamic Culture and Relations Organization released Iranian writer Reza Amirkhani’s novel “His Ego” (“Akunya Dia”) in Indonesian in 2020.
Translated into Indonesian by Bastian Zulyeno, the love story is about Ali Fattah, a man from a well-established family in Tehran who falls in love with Mahtab, the daughter of their family maid. Due to Ali’s belief in a pure love, Mahtab declines to marry him until she becomes sure about her real love for Ali. Mahtab enjoys guidelines from a dervish named Mostafa, who is a key character in her life. In the end, however, Ali and Mahtab die unattached in order to marry each other in the future life.
The Iranian Culture Center in Jakarta also published Iranian scholar Abbas Manuchehri’s “Political System in the Islamic Republic of Iran” in Indonesian in the same year.