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Rumi’s Shrine: The Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey (In Turkish)

Today’s The World Around Us will be presented in Turkish, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Also known as the Green Mausoleum or Green Dome, the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey is the shrine of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, a Sufi mystic and poet widely known as Mevlana or Rumi. Mevlana’s poetry composed in Persian is celebrated worldwide for their beauty and deep spirituality.

This museum was also a dervish (Sufi practitioner) lodge of the Mevlevi order. Mevlana (Rumi) inspired the founding of the Mevlevi order of dervishes, or the Whirling Dervishes, named so because of their ceremony called Sema, in which they remember Allah through whirling movements.

Mevlana Museum, with its blue dome, is a site across from Mount Aleaddin encircled by mosques and sepulchers. Every year, thousands of people, regardless of what day it is, come to visit him to get something, to get inspiration to try to learn the mysteries of humanity.

Today, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is a light of hope in this pessimistic world not only for Muslims but for all humanity. When you enter, to the right of the door, you see the sepulchers on a platform. It is said that in he sepulchers, Mevlana’s children’s grandchildren and his father rest.

The mausoleum room is highly ornamented with beautiful calligraphy and enameled reliefs. The room honors the dervishes who accompanied Mevlana and his family in his journey to Turkey. There are also monuments to remember some high-ranking members of the Mevlevi order on a raised platform.

The believers who come, those who love him, made wonderful works of art and donated those art works to the museum. Most of the works of art that you see in the museum are creations of faith. For example, as far as I remember, engravings on the round marble orbs suspended from the ceiling, as an artist is not a work of art that a person can make for money or anything. Hundreds of works of art, paintings, calligraphy, verses from the Qur’an, passages from the Great Qur’an are exhibited there artistically.

The sarcophagus of the mystic Mevlana, covered with brocade, is embroidered in gold with verses from the Qur’an. The actual burial chamber is below it. His epitaph reads: “Do not seek our tombs on this earth – our tombs are in the hearts of the enlightened.”

Besides Mevlana’s sarcophagus are the sarcophagi of his esteemed father, the scholar Baha ud-Din Walad, and his pious son Sultan Walad. The Ritual Hall beyond Mevlana’s tomb was used by the dervishes to perform the Sema, the ritual dance. The Sema was accompanied by music played with instruments, such as the kemence, which is a kind of small violin with three strings; the halile, a small cymbal; the daire, a kind of tambourine; and others. Mevlana himself, a lover of music, used to play these instruments.

Music held a great place in his life. One day as he was roaming around the streets of Konya, he hears sounds of hammering. He was passing by a jeweler. When he hears the sound of hammering, he enters. The sound of the jeweler’s hammer working on gold was like a musical melody. He cannot leave his side; he befriends him, they become friends.

Mevlana was so entranced by the sound of the hammering that it is said that he blissfully stretched out both of his arms and started spinning in circles. This is how the Mevlevi tradition of Sema began. The whirling is a practice of turning inward and of spiritual ascent toward the Divine Perfect One.

His whirling ceremonies are rituals that express with music and movement what people should do, it is a rite. Therefore, whirling dervishes have committed themselves to humanity. A whirling dervish seeks a way to be a perfect person and tries to show the way. During their whirling rituals, when they whirl in the light of the sound of a reed flute, they teach and express both that the world turns, and that in this world, a human should give what he has taken from God to the people whom God created, in other words, to God.

Mevlana was born on September 30, 1207 in Belkh (Balkh) of present-day Afghanistan. His father Baha ud-Din Walad was a scholar. Mevlana’s father, together with his whole family and a group of disciples, moved and settled in Karaman in south central Turkey for seven years. There, the governing administrator showed great respect and welcome for Mevlana’s father and Mevlana. Then, as a result of the insistent invitation of the Seljuk sultan, Ala’ al-Din Kayqubad, Mevlana’s family moved to Konya, Turkey, and finally settled there.

The Seljuk sovereign also knows that they came there and enthusiastically thinks of means to attract them here. He even threatens the administrator there. He (the administrator) says, “They are guests,” he says, “guests of God, I cannot send them away.”

“I, in line with my upbringing, must show them respect, this is in line with my religion, in line with my humanity, this is my duty.” Eventually, they come here to Konya. Of course, when they come to Konya, high state officials, as it is, go out to welcome them with a ceremony.

It was the Seljuk sultan who offered to provide a resting place for Mevlana’s father in his rose garden, which would become the site of Mevlana’s family shrine. In life, Mevlana’s father became the head of a madrassa (religious school). When his father passed on, Mevlana inherited the position as the teacher at age 25 while continuing his Sufi training.

During the Seljuk rule, he made great efforts to establish Konya as a center of arts and religion, love of humans. He did whatever he could with his writing, and teachings so that people would live in peace and harmony, with commitment of people to one another. And his light that started in Konya spread out in the world.

Mevlana met many of the great Sufi poets who had significantly shaped his thoughts. For example, he met the Sufi Master, Attar. Attar saw the father walking ahead of the son and said, “Here comes a sea followed by an ocean.”

He gave the Mevlana his book about the soul’s entanglement in the mundane world, and their meeting left a deep impression on Mevlana and his poetic works. However, the most important turning point in Mevlana’s life was when he met the wandering dervish Şems-i Tebrizi (Shams-e Tabrizi) in 1244, which completely changed his life.

Then, coming from Central Asia, in particular from Tebriz, he has a friend in order to converse with him on religious matters. There are times he doesn’t go out in the streets for days, worrying the folk. His name is Şems-i Tebrizi. Şems-i Tebrizi is a very close friend. In fact, he became his pupil, should I say his Master, should I say the one to whom he pours his heart out.

The following is a brief account of the meeting of Mevlana and his cherished spiritual mentor Şems-i Tebrizi.

They lean on a place, like this, they stay side by side and lean, they do not speak a word. Folks look on excitedly, await something from them, but they do not speak at all. In the end, that person (Şems-i Tebrizi) excuses himself and leaves.

Now, the Hodja (respected Muslim) there asks, “Master, you have been expecting a guest for days, was this the guest?” “Yes. You did not talk at all.” “My son,” he says, “those who understand the language of words need words.” Meaning, “People who can speak with the heart have no need with the language,” he says. The one who came is Illustrious Şems.

Mevlana lived most of his life in Konya and produced his works there. His major masterpiece is the six-volume “Masnavi.” It contains approximately 27,000 lines of Persian poetry, containing tales from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations, hadith (sayings of the Prophet), and metaphysics. Mevlana’s main theme in his works was his longing for, and bliss in, the union with the Divine Beloved. “Masnavi,” according to the poet himself, means “the roots of the roots of the roots of the Religion.”

As for Muslims, Mevlana’s works have been spoken of as a sort of second Great Qur’an, that is, like the Turk’s holy book, the Great Qur’an, and became a book to guide humans to the way of Masnavi.

Mevlana's work has been translated into many languages and studied by people of many religions.

Today, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi has become a universal person visited by people of every language, every nation. He no longer belongs to Turkey, to Konya, he belongs to the world.

In today’s complicated world, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who gives hope to people, contributes to their development, living in peace and harmony, with his writings, teachings, actions and whirling rituals, instilling in people both love of Allah and love of humans. Continuously, this has become his manifesto to humanity. He tried to instill into people the feeling of love for humanity, peace and living together.

In Konya, from time to time, people came to Mevlana’s ceremonies from the four corners of the world, they visited him. To visit him does not mean only to watch the show. Those who come to him, come because they see a light of hope for humanity that will find a remedy, his thoughts. When they visit him, they have a feeling that they will be sort of inspired by him, it seems to me.

Today, Mevlana’s example of all-embracing love is still a great inspiration to the world.

Since he radiates light to humanity, some of that light should reflect on our faces like a mirror so that we too can share out that light around us, we too can radiate. What does that mean? Let’s love these humans, let’s be friends with them, let’s be a remedy to their sufferings.

Human salvation depends on all kinds of people understanding one another, loving one another, no matter what their thoughts, no matter how they act, this should be the principle.

We thank Mr. Aslan and Mr. Ateşöz for being our guides about the brilliant Mevlana and the museum in Konya, Turkey which honors him. May Mevlana’s legacy of peace and constant remembrance of Allah be awakened in our own hearts today.

Thank you for joining us today on The World Around Us. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May your life be blessed and happy.

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