This poem of Rumi explains more than anything why we celebrate his death day rather than his birthday.
I died to mineral, joined the realm of plants
I died to vegetable, joined animal
I died from animal to human realm
So why fear? When has dying made me less?
In turn again I’ll die from human form
only to sprout an angel’s head and wings
and then from angel-form I will ebb away
For all things perish but the face of God
And once I’m sacrificed from angel form
I’m what imagination can’t contain.
So let me be naught! Naughtness, like a fugue
sings to me: We verily return to him. – Rumi
Life is a struggle. Remembering his 7 principles gives me strength.
1. In generosity and helping others be like a river.
2. In compassion and grace be like the sun.
3. In concealing others’ faults be like the night.
4. In anger and fury be like the dead.
5. In modesty and humility be like earth.
6. In tolerance be like the sea.
7. Either appear as you are or be as you look.