Konya & Mevlana Celalettin Rumi

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving, it doesn’t matter…”

This unique Turkish city, Konya, features irrigated gardens, several mosques, and the Monastery of the Mawlawiyah of whirling dervishes. The city is most famous for being the home of the famous Sufi mystic philosopher Mevlâna.

Under the Persian Empire, Konya was the frontier city of Phryra. It was also the capital of the Sultanate of Rum established in the 12th and 13th Centuries by the Seljuks. It then became an important city with its commercial and cultural influence during the Ottoman Empire. However, despite its rich imperial heritage, Konya is today mostly identified with Mevlâna Celâleddin-i Rűmî and his traditions which have influenced philosophies all over the world.

Mevlâna is a 13th century Muslim saint and Anatolian mystic known throughout the world for his exquisite poems and words of wisdom. Translated into many languages, his doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity, and awareness through love. To him all religions were more or less truth. His peaceful and tolerant teachings have appealed to all sects and creeds. Following Mevlâna’s death, his son and followers founded the Mawlawiyah Sufi Order, a type of Sufism, also known as the order of the whirling dervishes. The ‘dance’ of the whirling dervishes is called sema and is a part of Mevlâna tradition as the worshiping method of dervishes, who have devoted themselves to God. This has since become a part of Turkish custom, belief, and culture.

Sema represents the mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to ‘perfection.’ It symbolizes the different meanings of a mystic cycle of perfection, coming from the Earth and returning to it, encompassing all creatures with no discrimination of belief, race, class, or nation. Having become a place of pilgrimage, today the Mevlâna Mauseloum is a museum visited by thousands every year. Whirling dervishes perform their ritual structured whirling dances annually on the day Mevlâna died. The green dome of the Mevlâna Mauseloum houses the remains of Mevlâna and his successors. The hall of the dervishes and the mosque were both rebuilt in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent. The United Nations declared 2007 as “the Year of Rumi,” and celebrations were held worldwide.