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Turkish Poetry and Literature

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AYNI CEM
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 18 Feb 2007 Sun 05:05 pm

Ayni Cem (Ayni Jem) is a gathering of musicians and semazens (turners) for sacred music and dance. The dance is the moving meditation and prayer of the Whirling Dervishes, the Sufi Mystics who follow the teachings of Hz. Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi.

Rumi was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam. He was born in 1207 to a family of learned theologians. When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences. He was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shamsuddin of Tabriz. His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems, `Divani Shamsi Tabrizi'. Rumi is the author of six volume didactic epic work, the `Mathnawi', called as the 'Koran in Persian' by Jami, and discourses, `Fihi ma Fihi', written to introduce his disciples into metaphysics. If there is any general idea underlying Rumi's poetry, it is the absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic expression in the world of Islam cannot be overrated.

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died on December 17, 1273. Men of five faiths followed his bier. That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever since, the Mevlevi dervishes have kept that date as a festival. The Ashland performance is part of a tour from San Francisco to Seattle undertaken by the Mevlevi Order of America under the spiritual direction of Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras.

Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras trained from birth as a dervish and semazen. With his father Suleyman Dede, he travelled to Europe and England teaching the Mevlevi tradition in the West. In the mid-1970’s, Dede brought the Mevlevi teachings to North America, then sent Jelaluddin as his successor to found the Mevlevi Order of America. In 1994 and 1999, with Mustafa Yilmaz as Semazenbashi, Postneshin Loras led historic sema ceremonies in the courtyard and semahane of Rumi’s tomb in Konya, with male and female semazens turning together again for the first time in centuries.



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