At the Culture Center in central Istanbul, a magnificent, fascinating 1-hour show of the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony will impress you deeply. You will witness the miracles of the whirling dancers and dervishes who take their name from Jalaluddin Rumi(1207-1273) the mystical poet and great Sufi master, called Mevlana by his disciplines. Dating back 800 years, Sema shows, mean actually ‘’to hear’’. Hearing the music, feeling it inside your heart and reflecting the inner thoughts with the help of dancing is just a symbol. Sufis seek a close relationship with God, and for Mevlana, it was through charts, prayers, music a whirling dance. The show’s itself assumes the idea that everything in the universe, from atoms to the solar system, to the blood that circulates in every living beings’ body revolves, revolves with the love of God. Our soul makes a spiritual and mystical journey to God with Sema, as it becomes wise and attains unity. After the journey, the human soul returns to its own life and to serve mankind again. As you see, it may look a bit like a performance, it is still a religious ceremony. This mesmerising performance starts with a classical Turkish music concert, followed by the Sema ceremony, including 7 parts. Watch curiously as the whirling dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet, Mohammed. Following the chant, a drum voice is heard and all 7 parts unfold, – the ceremony climaxes when the extraordinary whirling dervishes revolve to represent the birth of humanity. The Sema ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs, and believers, and a prayer for the salvation of the country. Chosen as the best authentic local event in 2010 by the Federation of Tourist Guides in Turkey, this unique traditional ritual had been proclaimed as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2005, too.
Actually, the best place to witness the Whirling Dervishes is of course in Konya, where The Mesnevi Tarikat was founded in the 13th century but also in Istanbul you have the same opportunity in the fantastic Culture Center,
‘ Travel brings power and love back into your life’’ as Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi’ said