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The Mawlaw'īyya / Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
(Turkish: Mevlevilik or Mevleviyye Persian: طریقت مولویه‎) is a Sufi
Sufi
order in Konya
Konya
(modern day Turkey) (capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate) founded by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic theologian and Sufi
Sufi
mystic. [1] The Mevlevi are also known as the Whirling
Whirling
Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God). Dervish
Dervish
is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi
Sufi
path; the whirling is part of the formal Sama ceremony and the participants are properly known as semazen-s.[2] In 2008, UNESCO
UNESCO
confirmed "The Mevlevi Sema
Sema
Ceremony" as amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.[3]

Contents

1 Principles 2 Origin of Sama 3 Sama 4 History

4.1 The Mevlevi Regiment 4.2 Since 1925

5 See also 6 Notes 7 External links

Principles[edit]

Model of a dervish studying

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The Mevlevi order was founded in 1273 by Rumi's followers after his death, particularly by his successor Hüsamettin Çelebi who decided to build a mausoleum for their master, and then their master's son, Baha al-Din Muhammad-i Walad (or Çelebi, Chelebi, meaning "fully initiated"). He was an accomplished Sufi
Sufi
mystic with great organising talents. His personal efforts were continued by his successor Ulu Arif Çelebi. The Mevlevi believe in performing their dhikr in the form of a "dance" and musical ceremony known as the Sama, which involves the whirling, from which the order acquired its nickname. The Sama represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to the "Perfect". Turning towards the truth, the follower grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the "Perfect". He then returns from this spiritual journey as a man who has reached maturity and a greater perfection, able to love and to be of service to the whole of creation. Rumi
Rumi
has said in reference to Sama:

For them it is the Sama of this world and the other. Even more for the circle of dancers within the Sama Who turn and have, in their midst, their own Ka'aba.[4] Origin of Sama[edit]

Mevlevi dervishes, 1887

The origin of Sama is credited to Rumi, Sufi
Sufi
master and in whose name the Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
was founded. The story of the creation of this unique form of dhikr tells that Rumi
Rumi
was walking through the town marketplace one day, when he heard the rhythmic hammering of the goldbeaters. It is believed that Rumi
Rumi
heard the dhikr, "la elaha ella'llah" in Arabic "لا اله الا الله", or in English, "There is no god but Allah (The God)", spoken by the apprentices beating the gold, and was so filled with happiness that he stretched out both of his arms and started spinning in a circle. With that, the practice of Sama and the dervishes of the Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
were born. Sama[edit] The Sama was practised in the samahane (ritual hall) according to a precisely prescribed symbolic ritual with the dervishes whirling in a circle around their sheikh, who is the only one whirling around his axis. The Sama is performed by spinning on the Left foot.[5] The dervishes wear a white gown (tennure) (symbol of death), a wide black cloak (hırka) (symbol of the grave) and a tall brown hat (kûlah or sikke), symbol of the tombstone. Sama ceremonies are broken up into four parts which all have their own meanings. Naat and Taksim – Naat is the beginning of the ceremony where a solo singer offers praise for the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The first part is finished with taksim (improvisation in free rhythm) of the ney reed flute which symbolises our separation from God. Devr-i Veled – During the following Devr-i Veled, the dervishes bow to each other and make a stately procession in single file around the hall. The bow is said to represent the acknowledgement of the Divine breath which has been breathed into all of us. After all the dervishes have done this they kneel and remove their black cloaks. The Four Salams – The Four Salams are the central part of Sama. The samazens or whirling dervishes are representative of the moon and they spin on the outside (sufi whirling) of the Sheikh who is representative of the sun. They, as previously mentioned, spin on their left foot and additionally, they have their right palm facing upwards towards Heaven and their left hand pointing at the ground. The four salams themselves are representative of the spiritual journey that every believer goes through. The first one is representative of recognition of God, the second one is recognition of the existence in his unity, the third one represents the ecstasy one experiences with total surrender and the fourth one, where the Sheikh joins in the dance, is symbolic of peace of the heart due to Divine unity. After the four salams, this part of the ceremony is concluded with another solo Taksim. Concluding Prayer – The fourth part of the ceremony is a recitation from the Qu'ran and a prayer by the Sheikh and then the Sama is complete.[6][7] History[edit]

Mevlevi dervishes whirling in Pera by Jean-Baptiste van Mour

The Mevlevi became a well-established Sufi
Sufi
order in the Ottoman Empire by realising a blood relationship with the Ottoman sultans when Devlet Hatun, a descendant of Sultan Veled
Sultan Veled
married the sultan Bayezid I. Their son Mehmed I
Mehmed I
Çelebi became the next sultan, endowing the order, as did his successors, with many gifts.

Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
in Konya

Many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The centre for the Mevlevi order was in Konya, where their 13th century guiding spirit, Jelaleddin al- Rumi
Rumi
is buried. There is also a Mevlevi monastery or dergah in Istanbul, in the Beyoğlu district, where the sama is performed and accessible to the public. During the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
era, the Mevlevi order produced a number of famous poets and musicians such as Sheikh Ghalib, Ismail Ankaravi (both buried at the Galata Mevlevihanesi and Abdullah Sari. Vocal and instrumental music, especially the ney, plays an important role in the Mevlevi ceremony and famous composers such as Dede Efendi wrote music for the ayin (cycle of Mevlevi ceremonial music). The ayin text is normally a selection from the poetry of Rumi. If one buys a CD of Turkish Sufi
Sufi
music, chances are it will be a Mevlevi ayin. During the Ottoman period, the Mevlevi order spread into the Balkans, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt
Egypt
and Palestine, especially in Jerusalem. The Bosnian writer Meša Selimović
Meša Selimović
wrote the book "The Dervish
Dervish
and Death" about a Mevlevi dergah in Sarajevo. The Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
has some similarities to other Dervish
Dervish
orders such as the Qadiri
Qadiri
(founded in 1165), the Rifa'i
Rifa'i
(founded in 1182), and the Kalenderis. The Mevlevi Regiment[edit] During World War I, the Mevlevi Regiment served in Syria
Syria
and Palestine under the command of 4th Army. A battalion of some 800 dervishes was formed December 1914 in Konya
Konya
(the Mucahidin-i Mevleviyye) and was sent to Damascus. Another battalion of regular recruits was added at the end of August 1916, and together they formed the Mevlevi Regiment. This unit did not fight until the end of the Palestine campaign and was disbanded at the end of September 1918. Mustafa Kemal met with members of the Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
in 1923 before its institutional expression became illegal.[8] Since 1925[edit]

Part of a series on Islam Sufism
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and Tariqat

Ideas

Abdal Al-Insān al-Kāmil Baqaa Dervish Dhawq Fakir Fanaa Haal Haqiqa Ihsan Irfan Ishq Keramat Kashf Lataif Manzil Marifa Nafs Nūr Qalandar Qutb Silsila Sufi
Sufi
cosmology Sufi
Sufi
metaphysics Sufi
Sufi
philosophy Sufi
Sufi
poetry Sufi
Sufi
psychology Salik Tazkiah Wali Yaqeen

Practices

Anasheed Dhikr Haḍra Muraqaba Qawwali Sama Whirling Ziyarat

Sufi
Sufi
orders

Akbari Alians Ashrafia Azeemia Ba 'Alawi Bayrami Bektashi Burhaniyya Chishti Galibi Gulshani Haqqani Anjuman Hurufi Idrisi Issawiyya Jelveti Jerrahi Khalidi

İskenderpaşa İsmailağa

Khalwati Kubrawi Madari Meivazhi Malamati Mevlevi Mouridi Noorbakshia Naqshbandi Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Haqqani Nasuhi Ni'matullāhī Nuqtavi Qadiri Qalandari Rifa'i Safavi Saifia Shadhili Shattari Suhrawardi Sunbuli Sülaymaniyya Tijani Ussaki Uwaisi Zahedi Zikris

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The Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
was outlawed in Turkey
Turkey
in September 1925 by the new Turkish Republic. The Dervish
Dervish
lodge in Konya[9][10] eventually became the Mevlana Museum.[clarification needed] It is believed that since 1925, Rumi's descendants still practiced their unique form of dancing zikr, called "sama" by the Mevlevi. In 1953, the Mevlevi were given partial rights to perform sama in public but primarily because it was important as a tourist attraction for Turkey, but as a Sufi
Sufi
order they are currently still banned.[11] In 1971, they performed in London with Kâni Karaca as lead singer. In 1972, they toured North America for the first time with Kâni Karaca, Ulvi Erguner, and Akagündüz Kutbay among the musicians. They performed in France, for Pope
Pope
Paul VI, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and other venues in the United States
United States
and Canada
Canada
- under the direction of the late Mevlevi Shaikh Suleyman Hayati Dede. In 2007 and 2012 the order initiated tours of the U.S. where they performed to sold-out crowds in places such as Denver, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The order is still active in Turkey, currently led by the 20th great-grandson (22nd generation descendant) of Rumî, Faruk Hemdem Çelebi.[12] Tourists can attend ceremonies in Istanbul
Istanbul
and Konya.[13] See also[edit]

François Pétis de la Croix Mysticism Persian literature Six Kalimas Sufi
Sufi
whirling Sufism Turkish literature Whirling

Notes[edit]

^ Julia Scott Meisami, Forward to Franklin Lewis, Rumi
Rumi
Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition) ^ "The Sema
Sema
of the Mevlevi". Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
of America. Archived from the original on 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2009-03-26.  ^ "The Mevlevi Sema
Sema
Ceremony". UNESCO. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ Sheikh Abdul Azziz (1 Apr 2014). " Sufism
Sufism
Journal: Sufi
Sufi
History: Schools of Sufism: Rumi
Rumi
and the Whirling
Whirling
Dervishes". Sufism
Sufism
Journal and the International Association of Sufism. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ "Mevlevi - LookLex Encyclopaedia". Looklex. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ "Mevlevi Australia". Mevlevi Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. "Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi
Rumi
- The Whirling Dervishes, Sema". The Rumi
Rumi
Family. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ See Omer Tarin, 'The Turkish Mevlevi Sufis and their Retrenchment in Modern Turkey
Turkey
from the time of Ataturk onwards', in Anderoon: A Journal of the Inner Self, 1999, Vol 32, No 2, p. 42 ^ Galata Mevlevihanesi ^ Yavuz Özedmir (2013-11-18). "T.C. Galata Mevlevihanesi Müzesi Resmi Web Sitesi". Galata Mevlevihanesi Müzesi Müdürlüğü. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ "About the Mevlevi Order". International Mevlana Foundation. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  ^ "Mevlana Celaddiin-i Rumi, 13th century Muslim saint and Anatolian mystic". The Rumi
Rumi
Family. Retrieved 8 May 2014.  Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, the great Anatolian philosopher and the father of the Mevlevi sect ^ Koentges, Chris. "13 Things The Whirling
Whirling
Dervishes Can Teach You About Spinning". The Very Ethnic Project. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dervishes.

Galata Mevlevi Ensemble Mevlevi Order
Mevlevi Order
of America

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