Whirling dervishes perform at the Galata Whirling Dervish Hall, founded in 1491 by Ottomans, in Istanbul, Turkey, on the second day of Muslims' holy month of Ramadan, late Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. Sufi whirling performance of the Mevlevi order is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sama. The order was founded by the Persian-Turkish poet Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi, one of the greatest mystic poets of Sufism in Islam, born in 1207 in Balkh, then in the Persian province of Khorasan and now in Afghanistan, and died in 1273 in Konya, Turkey. His Sufism being a mysticism within Islam where devotees sought a mystical union with God. Rumi advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love for all regardless their faiths.(AP Photo)
The Mawlawi 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 Mawlâna, and then Mawlâna’s son, Baha al-Din. He was an accomplished Sufi mystic with great organizing talents. His personal efforts were continued by his successor. “dance” and musical ceremony known as the Sama, which involves the whirling, from which the order acquired its nickname. The Sema 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.