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Whirling Dervishes

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Religious Figure

The Resume

    (circa 1270- )
    Born in Turkey
    A formal term is The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi
    The Mevelevi order of Turkey practicing the art of Sufi whirling (counterclockwise, rotating on the left foot and using the right foot as a driver) as part of a Sema ceremony
    Semazens (practitioners of the ritual) wear a sikke (tall camel hair hat) to signify the tombstone of their egos and a tennure (wide sleeveless white frock) to represent the shrouding of the ego
    The khirqa (black cloak) is removed to indicate spiritual renaissance toward the truth
    Other garments include a destegul (long sleeve jacket)
    Arms are held crosswise to indicate God’s unity: right arm upward for His beneficence and left arm downward to indicate the earth
    Primary ritual is the dhikr (where a devotional prayer is recited)

Why they might be annoying:

    Their little ritual clearly was not meant to be considered a dance.
    They do not practice your traditional form of meditation.
    Many Western tourists refer to the (multiple-staged) ritual as ‘barking, howling, dancing.’
    As governments took control of their monasteries, their orders shrank considerably — and to the brink of extinction.
    ‘All loves are a bridge to Divine love, yet those who have not had a taste of it do not know.’

Why they might not be annoying:

    It involves nearly three years of reclusive training – including prayer and ethics – within the cloister (or mevlevihane).
    The whirl is likened to an imitation of planetary orbit (Qur’an 64:1: ‘Whatever is in the skies or on Earth invokes God’). It is not done to seek ecstasy or become dizzy.
    Applause is considered inappropriate for the ritual until they are off the stage completely.
    Having survived a decree to dissolve all Sufi fraternities (1925), they were granted a special annual two-week permission to present their ritual practices to tourists (1954).
    They obviously won’t reach perfection, as is the aim of their ritual — but it emphasizes the need to forget about ego or personal desires and focus on God (hence the whirl).

Credit: Cool It All Right?


Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    In 2022, Out of 8 Votes: 87.50% Annoying
    In 2021, Out of 17 Votes: 64.71% Annoying
    In 2020, Out of 3 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 3 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 4 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 8 Votes: 87.50% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 22 Votes: 50.0% Annoying