Friday, June 23, 2006
Mawlawis ( The Whirling Dervish )
The Whirling Dervish order was founded by the mystical Sufi poet Jelalauddin Rumi in the 13th Century in both Turkey and Syria. Their dance is said to have derived from his spontaneous poetic outpourings, which would occur while he spun around the pillars of mosques. The turning is also described as a kinesthetic representation of the greater cosmic whirling of the universe. The participants continuously spin to the left, hands raised in prayerful gesture, often with the right elevated towards heaven and the left curved towards the earth. The trance state that is reached through the spinning is a type of meditation that is said to create a direct and complete union with the divine.
Traditional Sufi Dervish may be seen chanting a dhikr, which is the repetition of "la illaha illa'llah" (there is no god but God). However, some Dervish may only repeat "Allah" because they know man can die at any moment, and they want only the name of God on their lips and in their hearts. The left foot of the whirle should never be raised, but sometimes is in a fit of ecstasy.
I’ve always been an admirer of this mystic spiritual and esoteric dance... What’s so amazing about it is the meeting of art and faith and the simplicity of the presentation.