Jalal al-Din Rumi (c. 1207-73) is a famous Muslim mystic and poet. Fleeing the Mongol invaders, his family emigrated from Balkh (in modern Afghanistan) to Konya (a city now in central Turkey).
Rumi began his career as a preacher and theologian, but after meeting a dervish, he became a mystic, or Sufi. His followers formed the Mevlevi order of dervishes, sometimes known in the West as the "whirling dervishes," after their dance that emulates the movement of planets on their journey of spiritual fulfillment. Rumi wrote the largest corpus of lyric poetry in the Persian language, amounting to 40,000 couplets, as well as a 25,000 couplet epic, the Mathnavi. Rumi's poetry has universal appeal; he is today the best selling poet in the USA.