Jalaluddin Al Rumi who is also famous by the name of Maulawi or Maulana Rumi is the author of the famous book “Mathnawi”. Rumi was born in year 604 after hijra in Balkh, which was that time part of Khurasan and now is part of Afghanistan. He died in 672 after hijra. His father was a Sunni Hanafi Sheikh and he studied from his father the Hanafi Fiqh. He accompanied his father when his father migrated from Balkh to Baghdad, that time Rumi was just 4 years old and he stayed in Baghdad many years. He went to Konya in year 623 which is a place in Turkey now and he was teaching the Hanafi Fiqh in the religious schools there. Then he left teaching and became a Sufi. Rumi was not Shia from what we read in his Mathnawi because he praised persons who cannot be praised by the followers of Ahlulbayt (a.s.) and also Rumi in his Mathnawi called the Shias as روافض Rafidhi which is a title used by the enemies of the Shias to label the Shias. The works of Rumi or Maulawi Rumi contain lot of poetry including religious matters and wise words. We as followers of Alhlulbayt (a.s.) appreciate the facts mentioned in some of his statements but we can never endorse all his statements. With due respect to all righteous scholars, we should be very frank in saying that based on his own statements, he is not a Shia who believe in Ahlulbayt (a.s.) and follow them and they never praise anyone who stood against Ahlulbayt (a.s.). Agha Buzurg Tehrani (a very well known Shia Scholar) has compiled a big book by the name of “Al Zariyah” الذريعة has mentioned in Volume-10 Page-70 Under Number-106 some of the books of Rumi, that is why some people think that Rumi was a Shia but our Ulema say that itself is not an evidence because Rumi has written books and mentioned Ahlulbayt (a.s.) but the criteria of a real Shia is to follow Ahlulbayt (a.s.) and should not follow or should not praise the opponents of Ahlulbayt (a.s.).
It is also to be mentioned that Jalaluddin Rumi was student of Shams Tabrizi who was a Sunni Hanafi Sheikh.
It is to be mentioned that Jalaluddin Rumi was student of Ibne Arabi known as Muhiyiddin who is a well known Sufi, and as Ibne Arabi was a Sunni, Jalaluddin Rumi was following his Sunni teacher.
Our Ulema have expressed appreciation to the facts mentioned in Mathnawi and also many of our Ulema opposed and condemned some statements mentioned in Mathnawi which are in favour of enemies of Ahlulbayt (a.s.). We as Shias deal with Mathnawi and with Jalaluddin Rumi like we deal with any work by any person who is not Infallible. We take the good and avoid the wrong.
We deal with all poets , philosophers and scholars according to level of truth in their statements.