"Come, come again, whoever you are, come! Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come! Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times, Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are." Mevlana Rumi
Who is Mevlana?
Mevlana who is also known as Rumi, was a philosopher and mystic of Islam,
but not a Muslim of the orthodox type. His doctrine advocates unlimited
tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through
love. Here is one way in which he described himself: My Mother is Love
My Father is Love
My Prophet is Love
My God is Love
I am a child of Love
I have come only to speak of Love. Hz. Mevlâna
"In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art." - Rumi
To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth.
Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to men of all sects and creeds. Mevlana was born on 30 September 1207 in Balkh in present day Afghanistan. Mevlana, who summarized his life with the words, "I WAS RAW, COOKED and then BURNED" died on Sunday, 17 December 1273 in Konya in present day Turkey. He was
laid to rest beside his father and over his remains a splendid shrine
was erected. The 13th century Mevlana Museloum with its mosque, dance
hall, dervish living quarters, school and tombs of some leaders of the
Mevlevi Order continues to this day to draw pilgrims from all parts of
the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
The "dance" of the Whirling Dervishes is called Sema. Sema is
a part of the inspiration of Mevlana as well as part of the Turkish custom,
history, beliefs and culture.
Sema represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind
and love to "Perfect." Turning towards the truth, his growth
through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth and arrives to the "Perfect,"
then he returns from this spiritual journey as a man who reached maturity
and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole
of creation, to all creatures without discrimination of believes, races,
classes and nations.
Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi (1207- 1273)
as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture.
From a scientific viewpoint we witness that contemporary science definitely
confirms that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve.
There is no object, no being which does not revolve and the shared similarity
among beings is the revolution of the electrons, protons and neutrons
in the atoms, which constitute the structure of each of them. As a consequence
of this similarity, everything revolves and man carries on his live, his
very existence by means of the revolution in the atoms, structural stones
of his body, by the revolution of his blood, by his coming from the earth
and return to it, by his revolving with earth itself. However, all of these
are natural, unconscious revolutions. But man is the possessor of a mind
and intelligence which distinguishes him from and makes him superior to
other beings. Thus the "whirling dervish" or Semazen causes
the mind to participate in the shared similarity and revolution of all
other beings… Otherwise, the Sema ceremony represents a mystical
journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to "Perfect."
Turning towards the truth, his growth through love, deserts his ego, finds
the truth and arrives to the "Perfect," then he returns from this
spiritual journey as a man who reached maturity and a greater perfection,
so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation, to all creatures
without discrimination of believes, races, classes and nations.
The Sufi Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul
"There are hundreds of ways to kiss the ground." -Mevlana Rumi
Sema consists of seven parts. The first part:
The dervish with his headdress (his ego's tombstone), his white skirt
(his ego's shroud) is by removing his black cloak spiritually born to
the truth, he journeys and advances there. At the onset and each stop
of the Sema, holding his arms crosswise he represent the number one, and
testifies to God's unity. While whirling his arms are open, his right
hand directed to the skies ready to receive God's beneficence, looking
to his left hand turned toward the earth, he turn from right to left around
the heart. This is his way of conveying God's spiritual gift to the people
upon whom he looks with the eyes of God. Revolving around the heart, from
right to left, he embraces all the mankind, all the creation with affection
and love… It starts with an eulogy "Nat-I Serif" to the
Prophet, who represents love, and all Prophets before him. To praise them
is praising God, who created all of them. The second part is a drum voice,
symbolizing God order to the Creation: "Be." The third part is an instrumental improvisation "taksim" with
a reed "ney." It represents the first breath which gives life
to everything. The Divine Breath. The fourth part is the "dervishes" greetings to each other and
their thrice repeated circular walk "Devr-i Veled," with the
accompaniment of a music called "peshrev." It symbolize the
salutation of soul to soul concealed by shapes and bodies. The fifth part is the Sema (whirling). It consists of four salutes or
"Selam"s. At the end of each as in the onset, the dervish testifies
by his appearance to God's unity.
• The first salute is man's birth to truth by feeling and mind.
His complete conception of the existence of God as Creator and his state
• The second salute expresses the rapture of man witnessing the
splendor of creation, in front of God's greatness and omnipotence.
• The third salute is the transformation of rapture into love and
thereby the sacrifice of mind to love. It is a complete submission, it
is annihilation of self with in the loved one, it is unity. This state
of ecstasy is the highest grade in Buddhism, defined as "Nirvana"
and in Islam "Fenafillah." However, the highest rank in Islam
is the rank of the Prophet, he is called God's servant first and his messenger
afterwards. The aim of Sema is not unbroken ecstasy and loss of conscious
thought. At the termination of this salute, he approves again by his appearance,
arms crosswise the Unity of God, consciously and feelingly.
• The forth salute Just as the Prophet ascends till the "Throne"
and then returns to his task on earth, the whirling dervish reaching the
state of "Fenafillah," return to his task in creation, to his
state of subservience following the termination of his spiritual journey
and his ascent. He is a servant of God, of his Books, of his Prophets
and all his creation.
At the sixth part Sema ends with a reading of the Quran and specially
of the verse from sura Bakara 2, verse 115, "Unto God belong the
East and the West, and whither over ye turn, you are faced with Him. He
is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." The seventh part is a prayer for the repose of the souls of all Prophets
and all believers.
"Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place." -Mevlana Rumi
"Let the beauty we love be what we do." -Mevlana Rumi
Mevlana Dergahi (Dervish Lodge) which is presently used as a museum formerly
the Rose Garden of the Seljuks Palace and it was given as a gift to Mevlana's
father Sultanü'l-Ulema Bahaaeddin Veled by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad
When Sultanü'l-Ulema died on 12 January 1231, he was buried the present
grave which is in the mausoleum. This was the first burial ever take place
in the Rose Garden. After the death of Sultanü'l-Ulema, his friends
and disciples approached Mevlana and told of their wish to build a maussoleum
over his grave. Mevlana refused this request remarking "How could
there be a better mausoleum than the sky itself?" However when he died
on 17 December 1273, his son Sultan Veled accepted the request of those
who wanted to build a maussoleum over Mevlana's grave. The mausoleum called
"Kubbe-i Hadra" (Green mausoleum) was built by the architect
Bedrettin from Tebriz for 130,000 Seljuk dirhem (currency) on four elephant
feet (thick columns). After this date, the construction activities never
ceased and continued in stages up to the end of the 19th century.
Mevlevi Derhgahi (Dervish Lodge) and the mausoleum started to function
as a museum in 1926 under the name of Konya Museum of Historical Works.
In 1954 the display pattern of the museum was once more taken up and it
was renamed as the Mevlevi Museum.
While the Museum originally covered an area of 6,500m² together with
its garden, with the section expropriated later and designed as a rose
garden, it has today reached a size of 18,000m²
The courtyard of the museum is entered from "Dervisan Kapisi"
(The gate of the Dervishes). There are dervish cells along the north and
west sides of the courtyard. The south side, after Matbah and Hürrem
Pasha mausoleums, terminates with the gate of Hamusan (Sealed Lips) which
opens to Üçler cemetery. On the eastern side of the courtyard
there is the mausoleums of Sinan Pasha, Fatma Hatun and Hasan Pasha, the
Samahane (Ritual Prayer Hall) next to them and the small mosque (mesjidt)
section and the main building where the graves of Mevlana and his family
members are also housed.
The courtyard is given a special flavor with the roofed washing fountain
(sadirvan) built by Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1512 and the "Seb-i
Arus" (means nuptial night or the night Mevlana passed away) pool
and the fountain which is located in the northern part of the court and
"You are the fearless Rose that grows admist the freezing wind." -Mevlana Rumi
In tolerance be like the Sea
In compassion and grace be like the Sun
In modesty and humility be like the Earth
In generosity and helping others be like a river
In concealing others faults be like the night
In anger and fury be like the dead -Mevlana Rumi
" Tilavet " Chamber (Quran Reading And Chanting)
Tilavet" is an Arabic word which means reading the quran with a beautiful
voice and the correct rythim. The room takes its name from its function
in the past. At present it is used as the Calligraphy Department.
The calligraphy section contains the framed works of famous calliagraphs
of their time such as Mahmud Celaleddin, Mustafa Rakim, Hulusi, Yesarizade
as well as a gilt relief frame done by Sultan Mahmut II. The couplet in
Farsi engraved on the silver door with the calligraphy of Yesarizade Mustafa
Izzet Efendi says:
Kabetü'l-ussâk bâsed in mekam
Her ki nakis amed incâ sod temam
(Let this be the Kaaba of the minstrels. Who ever enters here in half,
finds himself whole)
Huzur-i Pir (Mausoleum)
The hall of the mausoleum is entered from a silver door which was donated
in 1599 by Hasan Pasha, who is the son of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha. Here,
the oldest copies of the famous works of Mevlana the "Mesnevi"
and "Divan-i Kebir" are displayed in two glass fronted cabinets.
The mausoleum hall is roofed with three small domes The third dome which
is also called the skin dome joins, the green dome in the north.
The hall is bordered with a platform on its east, south and north sides.
In the north where there is a two level platform, the sarcophaguses of
6 Sacred horasan men are placed. Right at the feet of these, the Target
Stone, made for Ilhanli King Ebu said Bahadir Khan.
There are also two framed inscriptions which are important as they reflect
the thoughts and philosophy Mevlana. The first frame is in Turkish and
"Either seem as you are
Or be as you seem"
Second frame is a quatrain of Mevlana in Persian. In translation it reads:
"Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are."
On the high platform bordering the mausoleum hall on the east and south
there are 55 graves, ten of which belong to ladies and the whole group
belongs to the family members of Mevlana, and his father. There are ten
other graves which belong to people such as Hüsameddin Çelebi,
Selahaddin Zerkubi and Sheyh Kerimüddin who had reached high ranks
in the sect of Mevlevi.
Right under the Green Dome there are the graves of Mevlana and his son
Sultan Veled. The double hunched marble sarcophagus over the graves was
donated 1565 by Süleyman the Magnificant. The quilt embrodieried
with gold thread placed over the sarcophagus is a Seljuk masterpiece and
was made for Mevlana in 1274. When Süleyman the Magnificent had a
new marble sarcophagus made over the graves of Mevlana and son, the original
wood one was removed and put over the grave of Mevlana's father.
Semâ-Hâne (Ritual Hall)
The Semahane section together with the small mosque was built by Süleyman
the Magnificent in the XVIth century.
Semah ceromonies were continued at this ritual hall until 1926, when the
Dergah (Dervish lodge) was converted to a museum. The Naat Pew in the
Hall, the place where the musicians set (Mutrib cells) and the sections
for men and women are preserved in their original state, while metal and
glass objects and musical instruments of the Mevlevi are displayed in
glassed cabinets and rugs of historical value are hung on appropriate
walls of the Semahane.
The small mosque, or the mesjidt is entered from the Çerag (apprentice)
Gate. There are additional small entrances from the Semahane and the Huzur
- Pir, the cemetery. The place for the müezzin and the Mesnevihan
Pew are kept in their original state.
Extremely valuable rug and wooden door samples are displayed on the south
wall of the mosque and in 10 glassed cabinets put around this space, significant
examples of binding, calligraphy and gilding are exhibited.
There are 17 small cells, each with a small dome and chimney around
the west and north sides of the front court of the Mevlana Lodge. These
cells were built in 1584 by Sultan Murat III to house the dervishes.
Four cells to the right of the entrance gate are at present used as a
ticket window and administration offices . The first two of the 13 cells
to the left of the gate used as "Postnisin" and "Mesnevi-han"
cells are kept in their origanal form and presented to the public.
The last two cells at the end are allocated to the very valuable book
collections donated by Abdülbaki Gölpinarli and Dr. Mehmed Önder,
and they are used as a library.
The partition walls of the remaining 9 cells were removed providing two
interconnected large corridors. In one of these corridors old rugs of
historical value from regions famous for their rugs such as Kula, Gördes,
Usak and Kirsehir are displayed while the other has old rugs from districts
of Konya such as Ladik, Karaman, Karapinar and Sille which are centers
of rug weaving. Display windows built in the window and door sills of
these cells display artifacts of Mevlevi ethnography such as "Pazarci
masasi", "Mütteka", "Nefir" which were transferred
to the museum from the Lodge, and the extremely valuable Bursa fabrics
from the museum collection.
Matbah (Kitchen) Section
The kitchen is on the south west corner of the museum. It was built by
Sultan Murat II in 1548. Until the lodge was converted to a museum in
1926 the meals were being provided from here.
This section was restored in 1990 and the display was rearranged with
mannequins. Cooking, the basic function of the kitchen and the "somat"
the special table routine, is demonstrated with mannequins. Another such
illustration was attempted, to show the other function of the kitchen
which is related to the initiations of the novice, called "Nev-ni-yaz",
and involves practice of Semah. Finally, a poem by Mevlâna Celaleddin-i Rumi:
POEM OF THE WEEK
Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase, each other doesn't make any sense.