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800th anniversary of the birth of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Belhi-Rumi
(Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi Rumi), poet and philosopher (1207-1273)

Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi"Eminent philosopher and mystical poet of Islam, Rumi advocated tolerance, reason and access to knowledge through love. His mystical relationship with Islam produced masterpieces that have marked Islamic culture and religious beliefs, well beyond the borders of Turkey. His work and thought remain universally relevant today."

Above text is taken from UNESCO's official website announcing that 2007 is declared as Rumi Year. 2007 is the 800th anniversary of Rumis birth and until today his thoughts and poems, written in the "Mesnevi" and "Divan-i Kebir" in Persian language, are for many humans, not only for muslim people very important.

Central topic of Mevlanas teachings is the love, which he understood as main power of the universe. Because of God´s love the universe exists at all, humans must learn to love God, so they will learn to love everything what is God´s creation, thus as humans, nature and all things.

"For the lovers of God is God alone the source of sorrow and joy. It is the wages of their work and to be really rich." (From the Mesnevi of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi)

In the last year 1,5 million visitors and pilgrims flowed to the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, which is today one of Turkeys most visited museums. 200000 visitors came from foreign countries, especiallay from Iran, where Mevlana is very famous. From every part of the world humans visited the mystical poet, many of them speaking "Dua" (asking prayers) at his tomb.

Konya Mevlana MosqueAfter Mevlanas death on December 17 in the year 1273 the mausoleum was established over which today rises up the "Kubbe-i-Hadra" (the Green dome), it became the symbol of Konya.

Rumi was buried near his father in the rose garden of the Seljuk palace. Later altogether 55 family members and companion or highranking Mevlevi-Derwishs like Selaheddin Zerkub and Husamedin Çelebi found their last peace at the mausoleum, beside Mevlana his son Sultan Veled. The "Tekke" was built, a building for meetings and studies, the Sema hall for mystical dance and small cells for meditation practice like "Zikr" (thinking of God).

Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi was born in the year 1207 in Balkh in the Persian region Horasan (today Afghanistan). His father was the respected scholar Bahaeddin Veled, who left the city with his familiy because of the forthcoming Mongol invasion.

After travelling through different areas and a longer stay in Karaman, finally they came 1228 to Konya, which was the capital of the Rum Seljuk under the powerful Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat. After the death of the father Rumi became also a respected theological scholar. But the meeting and special friendship with Shemseddin Tabrisi, a dervish of the calendar order he met 1244 in Konya, brought him on the mystic way.

The Sufi Derwishorder of the Mevlevis, which was founded after Mevlanas death, got large influence during the time of the Turkish Seljuk and later in the Ottoman empire. The order was closed, when the new Turkish Republic was established at the beginning of the 20. century. Today exists in many countries, even in Europe and America small private groups, which are following the thoughts of Mevlana and partly continuing mystic practices.

Sema, Whirling Dervishes CeremonyThe ritual of "Sema", the mystic dance of turning Mevlevi dervishs found its origin in an inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, but received its form after his death. Accompanied by the sounds of the flute "Ney" and other instruments, the whirling dervish is turning like in trance around his own axis, the right hand upward to be ready to receice God´s beneficence and the left hand downward to the earth. It symbols the mankind with their connection between heaven and earth.

The day of death Mevlana Celaleddin Rumis on December 17 in the year 1273 is named as "Seb-i-Arus", what means literally translated "wedding night". For the inhabitants of Konya at that time Mevlanas death was a drastic event. Sheikh Sadreddin Konevi, another mystic master from Konya, who should speak the last prayer for Mevlana, fell in faint because of sadness. To Rumis funeral came numerous representatives of all groups and religions, also Christians and Jews. Despite of the muslim funeral they were reading from the old and new testament and described the character of Mevlana as equal with Moses and Jesus. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi had designated the death as typical for the sufis as "wedding", a kind of still more intensive mental combination with God. In the Divan the following statement is contained: "When you see my funeral don´t say: What for a separation. It is time for me to meet the lover…"

There is every year a festival week in Konya in December with exhibitans, concerts and performance of the whirling dervish dance "Sema" at the Mevlana cultural center (Mevlana Kültür Merkezi).

In 2006 more than 70000 visitors from many different countries came to see the performances. Like every year December 17 was a special day, where hundreds of people came together in the afternoon at the tomb of Mevlana to speak "Dua".

In the Mevlana year 2007, which was declared by UNESCO after an initiative of the countries Turkey, Egypt and Afghanistan, will be world-wide cultural and informative events about Mevlans philosophy.

Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi will be for every time a good example, because of his tolerance, love and good relation to his fellows.

Information about Rumi is written by Jens Helmstedt

Please visit our "Whirling Dervishes" page for further information

Please send us an email ( for further information Rumi and tours to Konya
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