The Book Five of the Masnavi must be read in order to understand the other first Four volumes. It also includes popular stories from the local bazaar to fables, tales from Rumi’s time:
- Story 1: The Prophet and his Infidel Guest
- Story 2: The Arab and his Dog
- Story 3: The Sage and the Peacock
- Story 4: Muhammad Khwarazm Shah and the Rafizis of Sabzawar
- Story 5: The Man who claimed to be a Prophet
- Story 6: The Disciple who blindly imitated his Shaikh
- Story 7: How Adam was created out of a handful of earth brought by an Angel
- Story 8: Mahmud and Ayaz
- Story 9: The sincere repentance of Nasuh
- Story 10: Lion, the Fox, and the Ass
- Story 11: The Mosalman who tried to convert a Magian
- Story 12: The Devotee who broke the noble`s wine-jar..
The Masnavi is divided into six books, and Rumi wrote prefaces for each book. The earliestcomplete manuscript (the "Konya manuscript") was completed in December, 1278 (five years after Rumi`s death).
• Books 1 and 2: They “are principally concerned with the nafs, the lower carnal self, and its self-deception and evil tendencies.”
• Books 3 and 4: These books share the principal themes of Reason and Knowledge. These two themes are personified by Rumi in the Biblical and Quranic figure of the Prophet Moses.
• Books 5 and 6: These last two books are joined by the universal ideal that man must deny his physical earthly existence to understand God’s existence.