Naturally, there is no one who has never heard of globally admired Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. The followers of Maulana, known as “Rumi” by the western peoples, will meet us not only in Konya but also in Galata, the center of Istanbul. Let’s go to Galata to know the most important Mawlawi Lodge, which has survived to the present day, and the Mawlawi.
FROM AFGHANISTAN TO KONYA AND FROM KONYA TO ISTANBUL
Born in Balkh in the year 1207, the famous philosopher Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi has advised people to renounce their worldly pleasures and ambitions and turn towards spirituality in full to find themselves. The followers of this philosophy, i.e. the Mawlawi, used to come together and pray in venues called Mawlawi Lodge.
And Galata Mawlawi Lodge in Tunnel, Istanbul is one of the most important venues for these believers, which has survived to the present day.
This Mawlawi Lodge was launched in 1491. Demolished and rebuilt due to various fires throughout centuries, this building harbors the tomb of Sheikh Galip, one of the most important names of the Mawlawi order, in its courtyard.
DIVAN LITERATURE MUSEUM
Inspired by the poet and musician Mawlawi who were engaged in music and literature for ages, the Divan Literature Museum in the Mawlawi Lodge exhibits the instruments of Turkish Classical Music and works of art from the Mawlawi culture. The museum is open for visits every day except Monday.
SEMA (WHIRLING) RITUAL EVERY SUNDAY
The sema ritual, during which the Mawlawi renounce worldly ambitions and get ready to ascend a divine step in company with prayers, Sufi music and hymns pursuant to their philosophy, can also be watched as a visual feast.
Before the sema rituals, texts describing the philosophy of Maulana are read, the musicians perform Sufi music, and then sema ritual begins. Sema represents a spiritual round travel. This whirl from right to left around the heart means embracing all creatures with love. During the ritual, the spirit leaves the world and unites with God freely and joyfully. In this rotation, the right palm looks at the sky while the left palm looks at the ground. With this, the whirling dervishes “give the people what they receive from God”, representatively.
WHEN TO WATCH?
Sema rituals are performed in Galata Mawlawi Lodge at 17:00 o’clock every Sunday, and also every Saturday in summer. Besides, Istanbul Historical Turkish Classical Music Ensemble also performs sema ritual and Sufi music concert at 13:30 o’clock on the second Tuesday of each month. The shows the visitors may watch with their museum tickets are limited to 150 spectators only.