Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Is the following poem wrongfully attributed to Rumi Rahmatullahialay “Come, Come, Whoever you are Our is not a caravan of despair Come, Come, Whoever you are This caravan has no despair. Even though you have broken your vow perhaps ten thousand times Yet come again, come again, whoever you are whoever you are, come Wander, worshiper, lover of leaving, come Wander, worshiper, lover of leaving” ?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the next.
This verse is not authentically ascribed to Mawlana Rumi. The meaning is sound, if we understand the “coming” mentioned as the coming of repentance, for repentance is a return to Allah Most High. Allah has called all His creation to ever-return to Him, from whatever state they are in to a higher state through repentance
Ibn Ajiba explains that,
“Repentance is returning from all reprehensible actions to all praiseworthy actions; or from all lowly traits to all radiant traits; or from beholding creation to being drowned in beholding the True God [Allah]. Its conditions are remorse; leaving; and negating returning…” [Ibn Ajiba, Mi`raj al-Tashawwuf, 8-9]
The scholars mention that repentance has three levels:
 Repentance from disbelief through returning to belief;
 Repentance from disobedience through returning to obedience;
 Repentance from heedlessness through true turning to Allah Most High.
According to Sidi Ibrahim Gamart (of the very useful Dar al-Masnavi site),
“This is one of the most frequently quoted poems attributed to Rumi, but is not authenticated as his (and it is also not in the earliest manuscripts of the quatrains attributed to him). It is found in the same form in the quatrains of Bb Afzaluddn Kshn (died 1274– Rumi died
1273) and is related to a similar quatrain attributed to Abu Sa`d ibn Abi ‘l-Khayr, died 1048 (see “Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir,” renditions by Vraje Abramian, 2001, p. 4, c). It is one among the most frequently quoted poems
by Turkish Mevlevis (the “Whirling Dervishes”) themselves (who have long assumed it to be a Rumi poem), from a Turkish translation of the original Persian.” [ref]
Further he offers a sounder translation, noting that:
“Come again, please, come again,
Whoever you are.
Religious, infidel, heretic or pagan.
Even if you promised a hundred times
And a hundred times you broke your promise,
This door is not the door
Of hopelessness and frustration.
This door is open for everybody.
Come, come as you are.”84
[accurate translation: “Return (in repentance), return! Whatever
you are, return! Even if you are an unbeliever or a Magian or an
idol worshipper, return! This court of ours is not a court of despair.
Even if you have broken your repentance a hundred times,
With this understanding, this poem is another expression of what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) affirmed when He said, “Allah accepts a person’s repentance till their very last breath.” [Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja; with a sound chain]
And Allah alone gives success.