Mevlana, Mawlana Celaleddin Rumi, the great Sufi and inspiring founder of the Mawlavi religious order, is one of the most renowned Muslim scholars in the world. For centuries, he has been inviting mankind to peace, serving as a light of enlightenment and a great philosopher of the medieval age. He is inextricably linked to the city of Konya; it is impossible to distinguish one from the other. Mawlana’s impact on people, daily life, and the cultural aspects of Konya are highly commendable. His influence is not only evident in the city’s cultural landscape, but also in its economic life, even after being around for 740 years. As a result, Konya holds immense economic, cultural, social, and historical power due to Mawlana Celaleddin Rumi.
Visitors from Turkey come to Konya to pay their respects at the Mauseloum of Jalaluddin Rumi before they embark on the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as part of fulfilling one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Upon hearing Rumi’s invitation, “Come, come, whoever you are: heathen, fire-worshipper, or idolator; come even if you have broken your penitence a hundred times, for here is the port of hope; come as you are,” people are drawn to the Mauseloum for forgiveness, with the chance to start anew, as if reborn. Throughout the world, there are many sacred places of great significance where people can come to experience a spiritual atmosphere and find peace. Rumi’s Mauseloum is one such place, where lovers of his teachings can be close to his spirit and bear witness to the grand ceremony of the whirling dervishes, which is held each December on the anniversary of his death, known as the “Sufi Wedding Night.”
Mawlana Celaleddin was born on September 30th, 1207 in Balkh, located within the borders of what is now called the Khorasan region of Afghanistan. His father, Bahaeddin Veled, was famed as the Sultan of the scholars and his mother was the daughter of Sultan Rukneddin of Balkh. Bahaeddin Veled was forced to leave Balkh due to political events and the approaching Mongol invasion, so in 1213 A.D. he emigrated with his family to Nishaphur, Baghdad, before moving on to Kaaba to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. After the pilgrimage, they spent some time in Damascus before eventually arriving in Karaman. By this time, a large part of Asia Minor was under the rule of the Seljuk Empire, with Konya as its capital. Konya was adorned with works of art, madrasahs, palaces, and scholars, scientists, and artists from all over the Moslem world. Sultan Alaeddin Kaykubat, recognizing the golden age of the Empire in all aspects, invited Bahaeddin Veled to settle down in Konya. Bahaeddin Veled accepted the invitation, and the family settled in Konya in 1228.
The sultan welcomed the family with a grand ceremony and they were given one of the great madrasahs as their accommodation. Bahaddin Veled, Mawlana’s father, passed away in 1231 A.D. and was buried in the rose garden of the Seljuk Palace, now known as the Green Dome or the Mawlana Museum. After Bahaddin Veled’s death, all of his students, assistants, admirers, and close friends gathered around Mawlana, recognizing him as the rightful heir. At this time, Mawlana became a renowned scholar and young teacher known as “Rumi.” He taught Islamic principles to the large crowd of Konya’s inhabitants every day, and the madrasah where he gave speeches was always full of his devotees due to his great fame.
The most important period of Rumi’s life began on November 15th, 1244 in the bazaar of Konya when he encountered Shams Tabrizi. Upon seeing Shams, Rumi experienced “the existence of absolute perfection” and “light of God”. Unfortunately, their friendship and time together did not last long. Shams was forced to leave Konya and Rumi was left weeping and waiting for weeks and months. When Shams eventually returned, he was murdered by a group of his lovers under the leadership of his son, Alaeddin. After Shams’ death, Rumi went into seclusion for many years in mourning. Later, Saladin Zerkub and Hüsameddin Chalabi tried to fill Shams’ place in the rest of Rumi’s life. Rumi described his experience with these words: “I was raw, I was cooked and I was burnt.” He passed away on December 17th, 1273 in Konya, a day now celebrated as the wedding night of Sufi lovers. His funeral was attended by not only Muslims, but also Christians, Jews, and even non-believers.
Outline of his life: From my beginnings to the point of being enlightened, I was exposed to many experiences.
The path of knowing yourself: Everything in the universe can be found within. Ask yourself the questions you have.
Never afraid to try again and again: If you become disheartened with every obstacle, you will never be able to reach your potential.
The well-known invitation to all human beings without any discrimination: Everyone, come to me! No matter if you are a heathen, a fire worshipper, or an idolater. Come even if you have broken your promises a hundred times. Our door is the portal of hope; come as you are.
Rumi’s will to his lovers and followers centuries after his death: Do not search for my burial on the earth; my remains lie within the hearts of the wise.
Rumi used to compose poems, chant, dance, and hold religious conversations with his close friends while he was alive. Over time, these meetings became a ceremonial must with specific rules, ideas, and views. Small drums and other musical instruments were used, and the ceremonies became more orderly and dignified. After Rumi’s death, his son Sultan Walad made the ritual ceremonies, sema dancing, chanting, and musical performances the main components of the Mawlavi order, with certain regulations. He also enlarged the meeting hall and madrasah where Rumi taught, so the place became known as the main lodge of the Mawlavi sect. Initially, these ceremonies were exclusive to Konya, but later Mawlavi lodges and dancing halls were established, with Konya as the headquarters, in Anatolia, the Balkans, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
The Mawlavi Order, one of the largest religious sects in Sunni Islam, is based on the belief of the unity of Allah in the universe. According to Sufis, Allah is visible in the world He created and being in the universe is the manifestation of Allah. They believe that Allah is the only true existence and that everything comes from Him and will eventually return to Him. Allah is seen as encompassing the universe in its entirety, with no other gods but Him. The only thing that will take humans to Allah is love, not reason, so people try to reach Him with love. Sema is the path to Allah, which is symbolized by people whirling around Him as they chant and sing in rhythm to Sufi music.
The Whirling Dervishes wear white robes and tall hats to show respect, with their right hands raised to the sky to receive something from Allah and their left hands facing the earth to transmit it to humans. In the Mawlavi sect, it is believed that if you love humans, you love Allah, as He has given each person a divine spark that is unique to them. Human beings are seen as the most valuable creatures and are equipped with divine properties, one of which is the ability to create fine art such as music. Mawlavi is the first Islamic sect to combine worship with music. That is why musical ceremonies with dancing, known as Sema, are at the core of the Mawlavi sect.
Mawlana, or Mevlana, is a historic figure in the Islamic world, often referred to as the founder of the Mevlevi Order. Born in the 13th century in Balkh, modern-day Afghanistan, Mawlana is known for his philosophical teachings and his love of music, poetry and dance. He is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of Sufism, a spiritual tradition within Islam. His teachings focused on the love of God and the unity of humanity, and he considered his message to be for everyone, regardless of religion or background.
Mawlana’s remains are buried in the city of Konya, in modern-day Turkey, and it has become the center of pilgrimage for Mawlana’s followers. Every year, pilgrims from all over the world come to Konya to pay homage to the legacy of Mawlana and to experience the beauty of the city. There are several monuments and museums dedicated to Mawlana and his teachings, as well as the famous Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, or “Whirling Dervishes” ceremony, which has become a symbol of the city.
Konya is a beautiful city, full of history and culture, and it is the perfect destination for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Mawlana and Sufism. Tour Maker Turkey offers guided tours to Konya, which include visits to some of the most important monuments, museums and sites related to Mawlana. Our tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will provide you with an in-depth look at the history, culture and spirituality of Konya.
We also offer a number of activities and experiences that will help you get the most out of your visit, such as meditation, traditional music and dance performances, and more. So, come and join us on an unforgettable journey to Konya, the city of Mawlana!
Our tours offer you the opportunity to explore the city and its spiritual sites, learn more about the life and teachings of Mawlana, and experience the beauty and culture of Konya. You can also take part in the famous Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, or “Whirling Dervishes” ceremony, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city.
So, don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn more about the life and legacy of Mawlana – book your tour with Tour Maker Turkey today!