A Comparative Study of Martin Buber and Rumi on God-Man Relation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Student in Philosophy of Religion and Modern Theology, Azad Islamic University, Sciences and Researches Branch, Tehran, I.R.I

2 Associate professor in Philosophy of Religion, University of Tehran


The issue of relation, particularly that of human relation to God stands for one of the most significant concerns by all men of faith. To realize such a relation Martin Buber and Rumi, two globally acclaimed thinkers, have appropriated independent existences for both God and man to make them eligible for having a relation to each other, and they have brought this relationship to the fore in their works. By studying the ideas of these two thinkers we will come to be familiar with a God who has allowed His servants to have a relation with Him and address Him as “Thou” in communication with Him. Man can touch the factors and causes involved in relation-developing and the types of relations with God by introducing himself into the possibility of engaging in such a relation.

 According to both thinkers, getting oneself related to God features the highest levels of relations. One of the most crucial factors in arriving at God is developing a relation with the “other.” The other is in fact a radiation of God or the eternal “Thou.” Hence the basic condition for realization of such a relation is developing a relationship with the “other,” and in Martin Buber's words, entering the “I-Thou” dynamic. According to Buber, what obstructs one in entering this relation is the “I-It” relation and getting stuck with it. In their works, both Buber and Rumi have clearly explained the levels of relation and unveiled the possibility and realization of such a relation by articulating how one can touch that relation for the people of spiritual path. 


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