Mevlana Moseleum

Whirling Dervishes, Sema   Seb-i Arus, The Wedding Day
Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture. It is what we do as a form of remembrance of God.

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, desert his ego, find the truth and arrive to the "Perfect", then he return 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.

Below you may watch a short excerpt from a Sema ceremony.

Sema consists of seven parts:

Unto God belong the East and the West, and whither over ye turn, you are faced with Him.
He is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.

International Mevlana FoundationThroughout the year International Mevlana Foundation arranges Sema ceromonies in Istanbul. More information can be found here.

arms crossed

Part 1: Testifiying to God's unity


Part 2: Drums; God order to the Creation


Part 3: Ney; The Divine Breath

hirka cikar

Part 4: Greeting


Part 5: Sema, The Whirling

kiss hand

Part 5: Salutes


Part 6: Reading of Quran

Illustrations by Ingrid Schaar

Text by Dr. Celaleddin Çelebi

© The Çelebi Family

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