Salonica - Group of Whirling Dervishes with ney player
Salonica - Group of Whirling Dervishes with ney player and Koranic reciter (reader). The Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes of Konya (Konia). This Dervish order was founded in memory of Jelaluddin Rumi (1207 - 1273) - mystic and poet. When the great Andalusian mystic Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi met Rumi (as a boy) with his Father in Baghdad - he commented when he saw him walking away behind his Father " How strange, there goes a Sea followed by an Ocean". The advancing Mongol hordes forced Rumis Family to leave Balkh - arriving finally in Konya (Turkey). In Konya in 1244, a wandering Dervish met Rumi (Shamsuddin of Tabriz). After three years of friendship, Shamsuddin vanished mysteriously - some think he was murdered by Rumis followers out of jealousy. Rumi wrote the Mathnawi - his most important work - called by some the Persian Koran. Rumis primary concern was not to found a Dervish order - it was his son, who after his Fathers death instituted the formality of a Tariqah in his memory, hence the Mevlevi Dervishes today. The actual act of whirling is known as the Sema ( The Hearing ). The Sema is formed of various cycles. The spiritual seeker (Salik) must have personal freedom, in all aspects of life. The Saliks development is totally borne out of the culture of the place (personal development through trade apprenticeships etc.), moulding the individual in physical ad spiritual knowledge."
© Mary Evans Picture Library/Grenville Collins
Media ID 4429345
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