"It will simply not do to extract quotations out of context and present Rumi as prophet of the presumptions of an unchurched and syncretic spirituality. While Rumi does indeed demonstrate a tolerant and inclusive understanding of religion, he also, we must remember, trained as a preacher, like his father before him, and as a scholar of Islamic law. Rumi did not come to his theology of tolerance and inclusive spirituality by turning away from traditional Islam or organized religion, but through an immersion in it; his spiritual yearning stemmed from a radical desire to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad and actualize his potential as a perfect Muslim. . . To understand Rumi one must obviously understand something of the beliefs and assumptions he held as a Muslim. Rumi's beliefs derived from the Koran, the Hadith, Islamic theology and the works of Sunni mystics like Sana i, Attar, and his own father, Baha al-Din Valad."

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