Although one would normally expect Mevlevi terms to be spelled in the modern Turkish way (since the Mevlevi tradition has been passed on for many centuries in the Turkish language), in this glossary preference has been given to spelling words and phrases according to a transliteration of Persian (which also contains a large vocabulary of Arabic words). This is because most of the key terms in the Mevlevi tradition are derived from Persian -- the original language of the Mevlevis. And many important terms weree used in the early Arabic period of sufism, then adopted into Persian sufism and, later, into Turkish sufism. Therefore, Persian words are transliterated first in a Persian way, then spelled in the modern Turkish way; Arabic words are transliterated first in a mixture of Persian and Arabic ways, then spelled in the modern Turkish way. By this method, it is hoped that there may be greater understanding about the meaning of the terms used in the Mevlevi tradition.
An example of a term that has not changed since the early Arabic period of sufism is "(spiritual) Path" [Tarîqat]: it was retained in Persian sufism [Tarîqat] and later on in Turkish sufism [tarikat]. An example of a (plural) term that did change since the early period of Arabic sufism is "(true) men (of God)" [rijâl]: it changed to a Persian word in Persian sufism [mard-ân], and later changed to a Turkish word in Turkish sufism [erenler].
The Translator is indebted to the scholarly work of the Mevlevi Shaykh, Abdülbâki GölpInarlI, specifically to the glossary (Mevlevi Terimleri) in his book (in Turkish, 1963), "Mevlevi Refinements of Courtesy and Principles" ("Mevlevi âdâb ve ErkânI"); the version of his definitions in the book (in Turkish, 2001) by the Mevlevi Shaykh, H. Hüseyin Top, "Mevlevi Essentials and Refinements of Courtesy" ("Mevlevî Usûl ve âdâbI"); the translation of his other book (with glossary, in Turkish, 1953), "The Mevlevi Way After Mevlana" ("Mevlâna'dan sonra Mevlevilik") into Persian by Tôfîq SobHânî ("Môlaviyya ba`d az Mawlânâ"); and a new version of GölpInarlI's glossary (in Turkish and English translation [influenced by I. Gamard's original version of "Mevlevi Terms and Definitions," 2002]), "YüzyIllar Boyu Mevlâna ve Mevlevîlik, Mevlana and Mevlevi Order Throughout Centuries" (published in Turkey, 2008, by the International Mevlana Foundation, Istanbul, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism; edited by Esin Çelebi Bayru and Bekir Reha Saghbash; the English translation was done by a company in Istanbul, Design Management, and the name(s) of the translator(s) of the entire book are not listed).
In his glossary of terms in "The Mevlevi Way After Mevlana," GölpInarlI stated that most of the terms were used in common with other sufi orders [A, turuq, plural of Tarîqat; in T, tarikatlar], but that some terms were exclusively used by Mevlevis, some were mainly used by Mevlevis, and some were associated with Mevlevis.
Suggestions for corrections of these definitions, additional information about them, or requests for additions to the list.
Yak muHibb (bir mühip),
A = Arabic
P = Persian
T = Turkish
Arabic-Persian transliterated letters: H = the letter he-jîmî (he-HuTTî], as in "Hâl"; S = thâ, as in "maSnavî", "mathnawî"; S = Sâd, as in "Sûfî"; T = Tâ, as in "Tarîqat"; Z = dhâl, as in "Zikr", "dhikr"; Z = Dâd, as in "HaZrat", "HaDrat"; Z = Zâ, as in "naZar."
Turkish letters: ç = ch, as in "çille"; c = j, as in "icazet"; sh = the letter "s" with a cedilla underneath, as in the letter ç; gh = the Arabic letter ghayn (rarely pronounced in Turkish), as in "estaghfurullâh"; k = both Arabic letters q and k, as in tarikat [from Tarîqat]; p = often a transformation of "b," as in "edep" [from adab]; t = often a transformation of "d," as in "aptes" [from âb-dast]; I = the Turkish "undotted i" (tends to have a "uh" sound), as in "hIrka" [for A, khirqa]. Typically, the "a" vowels in Arabic and Persian are often changed to "e" vowels in Turkish, as in "sema" [from samâ`]. There is no "w" consonant in Turkish, so such consonants in Arabic and classical Persian are all spelled as "v's."
It should be noted that there were no spelling differences in Turkish compared to Arabic and Persian until about 90 years ago when Turkey adopted the Western Roman alphabet and abandoned the traditional Arabo-Persian script.
`abâ (A; spelling in T, abâ): A type of long cloak or overcoat without a neck band, open in front, made from coarse cloth, and worn by all kinds of dervishes. The Mevlevi khirqa [T, hIrka] is a type of `abâ with very long sleeves. "AbayI yakmak" (T): lit., "to burn the cloak"; "abasI yanIk" (T): lit., "his cloak is burned"--these are idioms meaning a dervish whose heart is burning with love for God. "Bir abam var, atarIm nerde olsam yatarIm" (T): lit., "I have a cloak; if I am anywhere, I cast (it down and) I lie down (and sleep there)"--this means living very detached from worldly needs.
abdas (spelling in T; from P): see âb-dast.
âb-dast (P [lit., "water (in) hand"]; spelling in T: abdas, aptes; A, wuDû; pronunciation: in P: wuZû): washing the hands, face, arms, and feet with water, according to the Islamic requirement for ritual purification before the five daily prayers.
`âbid Chalabî: Mawlânâ's grandson. Son of Sultân Walad (by his wife NuSrat Khâtûn), died 1338.
âbrizci (P-T; [derived from P, âb, "water"; derived from P, rêz, "pouring"]): in the Mevlevi tradition, the person whose job it was to clean the latrines.
adab (A [derivation: 'aDuBa, to be well-mannered]; spelling in T: edeb, edep): refined manners, proper conduct, courtesy and respect, self-discipline. Meaning in sufism: the modes of conduct and discipline of the dervishes toward their spiritual guide [shaykh], toward each other, and toward other people in general. See the article, "Adab in the Mevlevi Tradition," on this website.
Affandî (pronunciation in P; derived from T; derived from Greek): see efendi.
Aflâkî (A-P [derivation: FaLaK, orbit, circle; heavenly]): Shamsu 'd-dîn AHmad-é Aflâkî-yé `ârifî, the author of "Manâqibu 'l-`ârifîn" (The Glorious Talents and Abilities of the Knowers of God); spelling in T, Menakibülarifin). Aflâkî was a disciple of Mawlânâ's grandson, Chalabî Amîr `ârif, who requested he collect information and stories about the lives and miracles about the major figures in the Mevlevi tradition up to that time (Bahâ'u 'ddîn-é Walad, Sayyid Burhânu 'd-dîn MuHaqqiq Termezî, Mawlânâ Jalâlu 'd-dîn, Shamsu 'd-dîn-é Tabrîzî; Shaykh SalâHu 'd-dîn-é Zarkûb, Chalabî Husâmu 'd-dîn, Bahâ'u 'd-dîn SulTân Walad, Chalabî Amîr `ârif, and Chalabî Amîr `âbid). He began writing his book in 1318 (45 years after the death of Mawlânâ). He died in 1360.
âgâh bâsh (P; lit., "Be aware!"; spelling in T, âgâh ol!): a Mevlevi term meaning, "Be aware, be awake, come to yourself, arrive to the Truth, wake from sleep and get up (for the pre-dawn prayer)!" Also, bîdâr bâsh, darwêsh! (P; in T, âgâh ol, erenler!): lit, "Wake up, dervish!" The polite custom of waking a fellow Mevlevi, said in a soft voice while tapping the pillow or mattress.
ahl-é del (A-P; lit., "people of heart"; spelling in A-P-T, ehl-i dil; also in T, ehl-i gönül): in sufism, it means those who have a true heart and follow the way of the heart; men, or people, of heart.
`Alâ'u 'd-dîn MuHammad: Mawlânâ's older brother, died 1229, when Mawlânâ was about 22 years old. `Alâ'u 'd-dîn MuHammad: Mawlânâ's older son (ca. 1225 - 1262), whom he named after his brother.
al-FâtiHa (A): see FâtiHa.
al-Hamdu li-llâh (A [derivation: HaMiDa, to give praise]; spelling in T: elhamdülillâh): lit., "(All) praise be to God!"
alifî-yé namad (A-P [derived from A, the long thin letter "alif" (equivalent to the letter "a"); derived from P, namad: felt]; spelling in T, elifinemed; also called alîf-é lâmad [from the Arabic ligature, lâm-alif, which signifies "no [lâ] god but God"-- see shaHâda]): In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], a wide belt made of felt which is worn by the semazens. When stretched out, it looks like the first letter of the Arabic alphabet [alif], and if the string tied to it is stretched out at an angle, it appears as the Arabic word "lâ." It is also called kamar-band (P; spelling in T, kemerbend; spelled in English, cummerbund).
Allâh (A; related to Hebrew, elôha; related to Aramaic, alâha): The One God; the Creator of all the worlds; the One Divinity has no equal, partner, sons, or daughters; the Lord of all beings, who sent messengers, known and unknown, to all peoples.
Allâh derdeni artIrsIn (T): see Khodâ dard-at afzûn kon-ad.
Allâhu akbar (A); spelling in T, Allahuekber): lit., "God is Most Great!" A phrase repeated in the call to prayer [aZân], and on other occasions by Muslims.
Allahüekber (spelling in T; derived from A): see Allâhu akbar.
ana bacI, bacI anne (T): lit., "mother-wife". A title of respect used to refer to the Shaykh's wife. The Shaykh's wife sometimes led women's meetings that included prayer chanting [Zikr, zikir] (with or without whirling) and study. There have been a few cases in earlier Mevlevi history in which a woman became a spiritual guide [murshida] of both women and men disciples [murîds], however, the role of being a woman shaykh [shaykha, sheyha] was never established in the Mevlevi tradition.
Anqaravi: Ismâ`îl b. AHmad Rusûkhu 'd-dîn Bayrâmî, Mevlevî, Anqaravî (known also as "Rusûkhî," the pen name he used in his poetry), died 1631, was the author of the most famous Ottoman Turkish commentary on the Masnavî. He named his commentary "Majmû`atu 'l-laTâ'if wa maTmûrâtu 'l-mu`ârif" (Collected Subtleties and Stored Mystic Knowledge). It is published in six volumes (15 in Persian translation). See the article, "About Anqaravi," in the "Masnavi" section of this website.
aptes (spelling in T; from P): see âb-dast.
arakiyye (spelling in T; derived from A): see `araqiyya.
`araqiyya (A; lit., "used for sweat"; spelling in T, arakiyye, arakiye; also called (in A-P) `araq-chîn [lit., "folded sweat (cap)" [spelling in T, arakçin]): a flattish skull cap, worn initially by Mevlevi novices, also worn as a night cap by Mevlevis. Also worn under a turban (in the Mevlevi tradition, the tall conical hat [sikke]).
âsetâna (P; spelling in T, âsitâne): lit., "threshold"; also means a saint's tomb. This word is related to âsetân (P), "threshold," which also means a royal court. In Turkish sufism, this term is used to mean a large dervish center. Among the Mevlevi centers [tekkeler] the âsetânes were the only centers where new Mevlevis could udergo the 1001 day retreat and training. The major centers were often built around the tombs of exceptionally great Mevlevi shaykhs (some ofthe most important major centers were in Konya, Istanbul, Gelibolu [Gallipoli], Manisa, Bursa, Eskishehir, Kütahya, Afyon, and Halep [Allepo, Syria].) In the Mevlevi tradition, the threshold or door way or entry way (called in T, eshik) is viewed as sacred, so Mevlevis always step over it (as is the custom when entering and exiting mosques).
ashçIbashI (T, pronounced: "aash-chuh-baashuh"; [derived from P, âsh, "soup"; derived from T, bashI, "chief"]; also called in T, ashçidede; also called in P, sar- é Tabbâkh, "chief cook"; in T, ser-i tabbah, sertabbah): in the Mevlevi tradition, the "chief cook" [P, âsh-paz] was the chief trainer of dervishes; he was also responsible for collecting revenues, managing expenses, and hosting guests.
ashçidede (T, pronounced: "aash-chee-dede"; from P: âsh [soup]; T, dede [elder, shaykh]: see ashçIbashI.
`âshiq (A; spelling in T, ashik; lit., "passionate lover"): in the Mevlevi tradition, this refers to a Mevlevi dervish, who is a passionate and ecstatic lover of God.
ashik (spelling in T; derived from A): see `âshiq.
ashk (spelling in T; derived from A): see `ishq.
ashk olsun (A-T; derived from A, `ishq, "love"; also pronounced "`ashq" in Persian): see `ishq-at bâd.
ashk u niyâz (T, derived from A-P): see `ishq-o neyâz.
asmâ'u 'l-Husnà (A; lit., "beautiful names"; spelling in T, esma-yI hüsna, Esmâ-ûl Hüsnâ): In Islam there is a tradition that God has ninety-nine beautiful Names and Attributes. "To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names" (Qur'ân 20:8; see also 7: 180). These names are often chanted by sufi Muslims. Most of these are in the Qur'ân; others are derived from verbs and nouns in the Qur'ân.
As-salâmu `alaykum (A [derived from SaLiMa, to be safe]; spelling in T, selâmünaleyküm): lit., "(May) the peace (of God) be upon you (all)." The reply is: "Wa `alaykuma 's-salâm" ["And may the peace (of God) be upon you (also)"; or with a further wish of blessing, "Wa `alaykuma 's-salâm wa raHmatu 'llâh ["And may the peace (of God) be upon you (also), and the Mercy of God"]; or with a further wish of blessing, "Wa `alaykuma 's-salâm wa barakatu-h(u)" ["And may the peace (of God) be upon you (also), and the Mercy of God and His blessing"]. "And when those who believe in Our signs come to you, say, "Peace be upon you" [salâm-un `alaykum]" (Qur'ân 6: 54; see also 28:55; 7:46; 13:24; 16:32; 39:73).
astaghfiru 'llâh (A; spelling in T, estaghfurullâh [pronounced: "esta'furullah"-- the Turkish letter for the letter "ghayn" is not pronounced]: lit., "I seek the forgiveness of God." (See Qur'ân 9:114; 4: 106; 47:19, 40:55, 110:3, 14:42; 3: 147; 23:109; 66:8, 2:286.)
âtesh-Bâz (P [lit., "fire-risker"]; spelling in T: Atesh Bas): Mawlânâ's cook, who, according to a Mevlevi legend (not in Aflâkî's book that includes many miracles, but not this one), "sealed" (muhur) his (burned) left big toe (to keep the fire burning to finish cooking something for Mawlânâ) by covering it with his right (in order to hide the burned toe). When Mawlânâ found out about this, he called his cook (P, âsh-paz, lit., "soup-cooker"; T, ashchi) "fire-risker", "or "one playing with fire" (âtesh-bâz). (Golpinarli was of the opinion that this name was a corruption of the Persian word for cook, "âsh-paz").This man (whose tombstone states that his name was Shamsuddîn Yûsuf bin `Izzu 'd-dîn), and died in 1285), has been known since as "Ateshbas Veli" (from A, waliyy: "friend (of God)," "saint"). His humble sacrifice was so exceptional that Mevlevis ever since stand in this position (called "muhur") during a variety of ritual occasions. "Ateshbas" is also a title for the second highest ranking level in a Mevlevi center (after the Shaykh), usually called (in T) the ashçIbashI or ashçI dede, the Chief of the Cooks.
Awrâd-é Sharîf (A-P; spelling in T, Evrâd-I Sherîf; from the plural of A, wird [T, vird], practice, continual use, daily task; from A, sharîf, noble): "Noble Daily Litanies." This term, in the singular, means a portion of the Qur'ân that is recited daily, a common Muslim practice. In many sufi orders, the wird of the order is assigned to members by a shaykh. In the Mevlevi tradition, the word is in the plural [awrâd, evrâd] because, in addition to the selections from the Qur'ân, there are other sections such as prayers [du`â] said by the Prophet Muhammad and recitation of the Beautiful Names of God [asmâ al-Husnà].
ayak mühürlemek (T-A; lit., "sealing the feet"): see muhur.
ayin (spelling in T; from P): see âyîn.
ayin-i cem (spelling in T; from P-A): see âyîn-é jam`.
âyîn (P [lit., "custom," "ceremony"]; spelling in T, ayin): the ritual of a sufi order [Tarîqat, tarikat], performed on certain days. In the Mevlevi tradition, it is also the name for a musical composition (plural in T: ayinler) which is played and sung for the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema]; the sung parts are usually from Mawlânâ's Dîvân: verses from ghazals or rubâ`îs. In the Mevlevi tradition there are 66 extant compositions (and more are said to have been found), the oldest (from the 15-16th century) of which are called bast-é qadîm (P; spelling in T, best-i kadim): Panj-gâh (P; lit., "five-time"; spelling in T, Pencügeh), Dô-gâh (P; lit., "two-time"; spelling in T, Dögah), and Husaynî (A-P; spelling in T, Hüseyni). Other compositions: from the 17th century, one; from the 18th century, twelve; from the 19th century, forty-two; from the 20th century, eight. Some other modes [maqâm]: râst (P; lit., "right," the name of a musical note; spelling in T, rast), chahar-gâh (P; lit., "four-time"; spelling in T, Çargah), `ushshaq (A; lit., "lovers," the plural of `âshiq; spelling in T, ushshak), Hijâz (A; spelling in T, Hicaz), Irâq (A; spelling in T, Irak), se-gâh (P; lit., "three-time"; spelling in T, segah).
âyîn-é jam` (P-A; spelling in T, ayin-i cem): means, "Ceremony of Gathering Together." Originally, an informal all-night Mevlevi ritual in Konya to commemorate the anniversary of Mawlânâ's death [`urs, shab-é `arûs]. Following the Muslim lunar calendar, when the anniversary occurred during warmer months, the gathering was held around the hexagonal pool next to the mausoleum, or on the nearby `Alâ'uddîn hill; during colder months, the gathering was held inside the maydân room. A banquet with sweet desserts was given in which hierarchical formalities were relaxed. An abbreviated version of the Whirling Prayer [samâ`, sema] was done in which the dervishes turned slowly wearing the black cloak [khirqa; spelling in T, hIrka] (no tanûra or opening the arms), without stopping between the salâms. The Na`t-é Sharîf and the Dawr-é Waladî were not done. This informal ceremony could also be done at other times and occasons, in which a monetary gift was usually provided for the special meal and desserts.
âyîn-é sharîf (P-A; spelling in T, ayin-i Sherif): means, "Noble Ceremony," and is part of the title of the musical compositions (in four sections) for the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`]. See âyîn.
âyin-khwân (P; spelling in T, ayinhan): lit., "âyin-reciter." This means a musician who sings the vocal parts of the composition, which consists of verses chosen by the composer (mainly from Mawlânâ's Dîvân). The singers should know the meaning of the verses they are singing (which are mainly in Persian, but sometimes in Arabic).
ay wa 'llâh (P-A; spelling in T, eyvallah, iyvallah, iyi vallah); lit., "Oh, by God!" In the Mevlevi tradition this has an affirmative meaning, expressing agreeable consent, and grateful acceptance of the current situation. In common usage it means "yes," "all right," or "so be it" (such as in answer to a question or request); "thanks," "good-bye." According to Aflâkî (Manâqibu 'l-`ârifîn, Chapter 7, section 15), Mawlânâ said (in Persian), "Oh, by God, (this) city of Konya of ours is a great and fortunate city." This term is interpreted in Turkey as if the first part is the Turkish word, "iyi" (good)-- as if the phrase means, "By God it is good." However, the first term (ay) is not Turkish, but Persian and the phrase is the opposite of another Perso-Arabic phrase, "nê wa 'llâh" ("No, by God!"-- Aflâkî, Chapt. 7, section 28). This term also occurs in the Maqâlât-é Shams-é Tabrîzî (p. 88), translated by Prof. William Chittick as "Yes, by God" ("Me and Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi," 2004, p. 98). Another example: "Mawlânâ is saying something different: 'Yes, by God, (O) shaykh! And our eyes became opened by him'" (Maqâlât-é Shams-é Tabrîzî, p. 222).
aZân (A, adhân [derivation: âDHiNa, to inform]; spelling in T, ezan): the Islamic call to prayer, an announcement made in a loud voice (nowadays, electrically amplified) from a mosque [masjid] five times daily by the muezzin (A, mu'adhdhin). It begins, "God is Most Great!" (allâhu akbar) and ends with, "There is no divinity except (the One) God!" (lâ ilâha illâ 'llâh). In the middle is, "Come to the prayer!" (Hayya `alà 'S-SalâH).
Bahaüddin Veled: see Bahâ'u 'd-dîn Walad.
Bahâ'u 'd-dîn Walad, (A) known as Bahâ'u d-dîn MuHammad-é Walad (A-P [lit., "the Son (called) the Brightness of the Religion"]; pronounced in Iran, "Bahâ'oddîn Valad; spelling in T, Bahaüddin Veled, in T; known also as Mawlânâ Bahâ'u 'd-dîn-é Bozorg [A-P, lit., "our master the great Bahâ'uddîn"): Mawlânâ's father, presumably born in Balkh about 1152. According to Aflâkî, he died on 18 Râbi` II 628 on the Islamic lunar calendar ( = February 23, 1231). However, as Professor Franklin Lewis pointed out ("Rumi: Past and Present," p. 81), Aflâki said this day was "Friday" (the Muslim holy day of the week), but the date actually occurred on a Sunday.
Balkh (spelling in T, Belk): the city (located in present-day Afghanistan, just west of Mazâr-é Sharîf) where Mawlânâ's family originated. An ancient city in what was called Khorâsân (present- day eastern Iran stretching through Afghanistan). The language of the people was (and remains) Persian. It was a city famous for Islamic scholarship for centuries prior to Mawlânâ's time, and scholars were learned in reading, writing, and speaking Arabic. Mawlânâ himself was probably born and spent his first years in Wakhsh, the town where his father was employed as a teacher and scholar, about 155 miles to the north of Balkh, across the Amû- Daryâ River (located in present-day Tajikistan). (See Franklin Lewis, "Rumi: Past and Present," p. 47-49.)
barg-é sabz (P); spelling in T, berk-sebz): lit., "green leaf." This was brought as a minimally acceptable gift to avoid visiting a Mevlevi lodge [T, tekke] empty-handed, which was viewed as dishonorable, per the saying in T, "Dergâh bosh, gidenin bosh": lit., "(Going) to the dergâh empty (-handed), returning empty (-handed)."
basta-yé qadîm (P-A [derived from P, basta, "bound"; derived from A, qadîm, "ancient"]; spelling in T, beste-i kadim): means an ancient composition. In the Mevlevi tradition there are three ancient compositions (in T, beste-i kadimler) of unknown date, which were composed before the 17th century.
baqâ (A [lit., "continuance," "permanence"]; spelling in T, bekâ): a sufi term which refers to essential subsistence following the experience of "mystical death," or the passing away or "annihilation" of ego [fanâ]. See fanâ.
barakat (A [derivation: BaRRaKa, to make to kneel down, to bless], may also be spelled barakah, baraka); spelling in Turkish: bereket): blessing, Divine gift, abundance.
bash halife (T-A): see khalîfa.
bashI (T; lit., "head"; pronounciation: "baashuh," commonly mispronounced by Westerners as "baashee"): a Turkish suffix, indicating leadership positions, such as semazenbashI (head of the semazens).
bashmak (T; later, pashmak): shoes or slippers.
bashmakçI (T; later, pashmakçI): the caretaker of the shoes in the entry way of a mosque or other large buildings, including sufi centers. In the Mevlevi tradition, care was taken to line the shoes in such a way that the back of the shoes did not face the inside of the building, viewed as rude (because it gave the impression that the wearer turned his back to the host when taking the shoes off). In addition, if a Mevlevi deliberately turned someone's shoes so that the front of the shoes faces the door [T, bashmak çevirmek: lit., "to turn the shoes"], it meant, "Please leave and never return."
bash kesmek (T; in P, sar-shekastan): lit., "to cut off the head." An idiom meaning to bow the head. A term used in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] for a ritual bowing (in an attitude of respect and reverence for the spirit and spiritual light) toward another semazen, and when entering the semahane or maydân as a greeting toward the sacred space. During the bowing the posture of muhur is used: crossing the right arm over the left across the chest (or, on other occasions, the right hand on the heart and the left arm below and across the belly), with the big right toe over the left big toe.
bay`at (A [lit., "pledge of allegiance"], also spelled bay`a; spelling in T, bey'a, bey'at, biat): A term in sufism meaning to "take hand" with a spiritual teacher, guide, master [shaykh, murshid]. It usually means a formal pledge to accept the authority of the shaykh, to commit to being a faithful disciple, and to obey. There are different kinds of pledging and initiation ceremonies in sufism, depending on the intention of the aspirant and the agreement of the shaykh: either permanently, to join a particular sufi order (under the direction of a shaykh); or, more rarely, to receive blessing (baraka) only. During a sufi "initiation," the shaykh or murshid usually reads the verse, "Truly those who pledge their allegiance to you (O Muhammad) , certainly they pledge allegiance to God, (and) the Hand of God is over their hands" (Qur'ân 48:10).
bekâ (spelling in T; derived from A): see baqâ.
bereket (spelling in T; from A): see barakat.
beste-i kadim (spelling in T; derived from P-A): see basta-yé qadîm.
bey (T; formerly spelled as spelled begh, bek): originally lord or prince of a dominion. Later, an honorific added to someone's name, such as, "Hasan-Bey."
bey'a (spelling in T; derived from A): see bay`at.
bey'at (spelling in T; drived from A): see bay`at.
bîdâr bâsh, darwêsh (P; in T, uyanmak): a Mevlevi term meaning, "Be awake (alert, attentive), dervish!" See âgâh bâsh. Since it would be considered rude to say, "Light the lamp (or oven)," the Mevlevis said, instead, "Awaken the lamp (or fireplace)."
bihodluk (T; derived from P, bê-khwod, "without self"): the mystical state of being selfless. Also means selflessness.
birinci selâm (T-A): the first salâm in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], usually in a rhythm of 14 (or sometimes 8) beats, called dawr-é rawân (A-P., lit., "flowing cycle"; spelling in T, devr-i revan).
bismillâhirrahmanirrahim (spelling in T: derived from A): see bi-smi 'llâhi r-raHmâni 'r-raHîm.
bi-smi 'llâhi r-raHmâni 'r-raHîm (A [derived from: RaHiMa, to be merciful toward]; spelling in T, bismillâhirrahmanirrahim): In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. The most used phrase of blessing in Islam. It is often said at the beginning of any important action. It precedes all the chapters (but one) in the Qur'ân. It is also referred to as the basmallâh (in T, besmele).
çamashIr (T): in the Mevlevi tradition, the person whose job it was to do the laundry.
can (spelling in T; derived from P): see jân.
canlar (T, from P: jân-ân [lit., "(dear) souls"]): name of Mevlevi dervishes (plural form).
çarh (spelling in T; derives from P): see charkh.
Çelâleddin (spelling in T; derived from A): see Jalâlu 'd-dîn.
Celâleddin M. Bâkir Çelebi: 21st generation descendent of Mawlânâ, the 32nd holder of the rank of Çelebi [Makam-i Çelebi] which is the hereditary leader of the Mevlevi order. He was the grandson of the last "Grand Chelebi" of the Mevlevi order during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, `Abdu 'l-Halîm Chelebi II (died, 1925) and the son of the 31st Çelebi, Muhammad Bâqir Chelebi (died, 1944). He lived from 1926-1996, and was the founder of the International Hazret-i Mevlânâ Foundation. He was succeeded by his son, Faruk Hemdem Çelebi (for which, see listing).
Celalettin (spelling in T; derived from A): see Jalâlu 'd-dîn.
Çelebi (T, pronounced: "chelebee"; in P: pronounced chalabî): originally an honorific term for an educated, noble, elegant, kind, gracious, cultivated man. A title given to Mawlânâ's disciple and successor, Husâmu 'd-dîn Chalabî. It is also the surname of the family which has descended from Mawlânâ's grandson, Ulu `ârif Chalabî': the Chelebi family. In the Mevlevi tradition, in its capitalized form, it is the title of the hereditary leader of the Mevlevi Order, the direct male descendent of Mawlânâ: "Çelebi Efendi" -- "(the holder of) the rank of Chelebi" (in T, makam-I Çelebi), "Hazret-i Çelebi" -- "the (eminent) presence of the Chelebi."
cezbe (spelling in T; derived from A): see jaZba.
Chalabî (pronunciation in P; from T, Çelebi): see Çelebi.
charkh (P; lit., "wheel," also an idiom meaning the "wheeling heavens"; spelling in T, çarh, çark; verbal form of "to whirl" in T, çarh etmak): the (counter-clockwise) whirling motion of the semazens as well as the circular movements of all the participants in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema].
chella (P, from chehel, "forty"; spelling in T, çille, çile): a period of solitary spiritual retreat (A, khalwat; spelling in T: helvet). In sufism, it was traditionally for a period of forty days. In the Mevlevi tradition, it was not a solitary retreat, but a period of 1001 days of uninterrupted service, primarily in the Mevlevi kitchen. Whoever completed this and then invited to live in a cell [hujra; spelling in T, hücre] of a Mevlevi center became a "dede" [T, for "grandfather"] who could then be promoted to the various ranks of leadership within the Order.
chella-khâna (P; lit., "retreat house"; spelling in T, çillehane): another name for the Mevlevi kitchen, since novices would spend their 1001 day retreat working in the kitchen and learning to become dervishes-- humble servants of God.
chella-kash (P; spelling in T, çillekesh): lit., "enduring the forty (day retreat)." This is the name, in the Mevlevi tradition, for one who undergoes the 1001 day retreat.
çile (spelling in T; derived from P): see chella.
çillehane (spelling in T; derived from P): see chella-khâna.
çIraghcI (P-T; derived from P, cherâgh, "lamp"): in the Mevlevi tradition, the person responsible for lighting, extinguishing, and maintaining the lamps in the darg’h or tekke.
chivi (T): the nail used to train whirlers [semazens] to spin while rotating the left foot on the floor in the correct manner. The word for "nail" may have originally been P, mêkh (spelling in T, mih).
daf (P; spelling in T, def, tef): a round thin hand drum with a single skin, held in one hand and tapped with the fingers of the other hand. Some versions have a thumb hold for the holding hand, which allows the fingers of both to play. also be a tambourine with cymbals attached.
dâ'ira (A; lit., "circle"; spelling in T, daire, dâire): a large circular tambourine [daf], with small cymbals attached..
daire (spelling in T; derived from A): see dâ'ira.
darb-i celali (spelling in T): see Zarb-é jalâlî.
dal sikke (T-P): lit, "bare sikke." The plain Mevlevi conical hat [sikke] without the sash [dastâr] wrapped around it.
dal tennûre (T-P): lit., "bare (dervish) skirt." The Mevlevi whirling skirt [tanûra] without the jacket [dasta-gol].
dam (P; spelling in T, dem): lit., "breath". This has the idiomatic meaning of "moment (of a breath)" and "word"--as in the phrase from the Mevlevi gol-bâng: "dam-é HaZrat-é Mawlânâ": "(by) the words of Mawlânâ..."
dargâh (P, also spelled dargah [lit., "door-place," "gate-place"]; spelling in T, dergâh, dergeh: This word originally referred to the king's court. In sufism, it means the sufi teacher's "court," a place where dervishes would meet and do prayer-chanting [Zikr] and to receive spiritual instruction from the teacher. These were usually humble buildings, though some which were well-funded were large enough to contain separate cells for the dervishes to live in, a kitchen, and an attached mosque.
Dâru 'l-Mathnawî (A, lit., "house of the Mathnawi"; spelling in T, darülmesnevi; other spellings--Dar al-Masnavi, Daru 'l-Masnavi, Daaru 'l-MaSnavi, Daar ul-Masnavi): a building dedicated to the study and teaching of Mawlânâ Jalâlu 'd-dîn Rûmî's masterpiece, the Mathnawi (other spellings: Masnavi, Masnawi, Mathnavi, Matnawi, Mesnevi, Masnevi, Mesnavi). Such institutes were founded in order to make the wisdom of the Mathnawi available to the general public, while study of the Mathnawi continued privately within the Mevlevi centers, as it had for centuries.
darülmesnevi (spelling in T): see dâru 'l-Mathnawî.
darwêsh (P [lit., "beggar at the door" (dar)]; pronounced in Iran: "darvîsh"; spelling in T, dervish; other spellings: dervish, darvish): a translation of the Arabic word for a sufi-- "faqîr," or "poor one." The terms "darwêsh," "faqîr," and "Sûfî" are all synonyms for "Muslim mystic." This meaning is in the Holy Qur'ân: "O men, you are poor [fuqarâ] in relation to God, and God is the Rich [al-Ghanî], the Praiseworthy" (35:15).
dasta-gol (P [lit., "handful of roses," "rose-bouquet"]; spelling in T, destegül): a long-sleeved dervish garment. In the Mevlevi tradition, a short jacket with normal sleeves, which extends to the wrists and is worn over the "whirling skirt" [tanûra, tennûre].
dastâr (P; spelling in T, destar): the sash which is wrapped around a turban. In the Mevlevi tradition, it is primarily the shaykhs and Masnavi teachers [MaSnavî-khwân] who are permitted to wear the dastâr around their sikkes (called in T, destar-i sherif). Sometimes a Shaykh's deputy [khalîfa] was permitted to wear it in order to assume a leadership role under the direction of the Shaykh, such as teaching during the Shaykh's absence.
dastûr (P; spelling in T, destur): permission, such as given by Mevlevi leaders to those at a lower hierarchical level. This occurs in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] when the semazens bow (from the waist) in request of permission from the shaykh to whirl. This word is said out loud when visiting another Mevlevis room or cell, when standing at the door. The reply, "Hû", means to enter; if there is no reply, the visitor leaves. Similarly, if a guest has been visiting and wants to leave, he again asks permission by saying, "Dastûr."
dawr (A; pronunciation in Iran: davr; spelling in T, devir, devr; synonym in P, charkh): circling, revolving, spinning. The sufi practice of doing Zikr while whirling. In a number of Islamic cultures and sufi orders there have been dervishes who felt so moved by their love of God, that they began to whirl. The well- known verse of the Qur'ân, "Whichever way you turn, there is the Face of God (2:115) may have inspired the whirling prayer in sufism.
dawr-é kabîr (A-P; lit., "grand cycle"; spelling in T, devr-i kebir): a musical term in Mevlevi music for the Whirling Prayer Ceremony. See dawr-é Waladî.
Dawr-é Waladî (A-P [derived from A, dawr, "circle"]; spelling in T, devir-i Veledi, devr-i Velediyye: in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], a ritual circumambulation of three rounds, said to be in honor of Mawlânâ's son, SuTân Walad. It precedes the whirling prayer. Musically, it involves a grand cycle (spelling in T, devr-i kebir) of 56 rhythmic beats. The shaykh, semazenbashI, and semazens make three slow and dignified circlings, each wearing a black cloak [khirqa]. These three circumabulations may be interpreted variously: such as according to the traditional sufi understanding of three terms: `ilmu 'l-yaqîn (Qur'ân 102: 5), "knowledge of Certainty" (or, knowing something about Divine Reality); `aynu 'l-yaqîn (Qur'ân 102:7) "vision of Certainty" (or, having a glimpse of Divine Reality); Haqqu 'l-yaqîn [spelling in T, hak el-yakin] (Qur'ân 69: 51), "truth of Certainty" (or realization of the Truth of Divine Reality).
dede (T; lit., "old man," "elder"): equivalent to A, shaykh, and P, pîr. In the Mevlevi tradition, is a spiritual rank given to a dervish who has completed the 1001 day retreat [chelle] and has been accepted as worthy of being a dede; he may then live in a Mevlevi lodge [dargâh, tekke] in a dervish cell [hujra]. After becoming a dede, a Mevlevi could advance through a number of ranks, the highest of which would be the rank of shaykh.
def (spelling in T; derived from P): see daf.
del kardan (P): lit., "to do heartily" (in T, gönül etmek). This term was used to mean doing an action or making a prayer [du`â] whole heartedly.
dergâh (spelling in T; derived from P): see dargâh.
dergeh (spelling in T; derived from P): see dargâh.
dervish (spelling in T; derived from P): see darvêsh.
destar (spelling in T; derived from P): see dastâr.
destegül (spelling in T; derived from P): see dasta-gol.
destur (spelling in T; derived from P): see dastûr.
devir (spelling in T: derived from A): see dawr.
Devir-i Veledi (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Dawr-é Waladî.
Devr-i Velediyye (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Dawr-é Waladî.
devir (spelling in T: derived from A): see dawr.
devrani zikri (A-T): see Zikr-é dawrânî.
devr-i kebir (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see dawr-é kabîr.
dîdâr (P; lit., "seeing," "meeting"; spelling in T, didar; equivalent to T, görüshme, görüshmek): In the Mevlevi tradition, when two members of the brotherhood meet, they hold each other's right hand in their own right hand, pull the other's hand to their mouths, bend their postures forward for a moment, and then kiss the backs of each other's hands at the same time. Among the Mevlevis, they kiss objects that are grasped (such as a glass of water, a cup of coffee), the pillow and the bed clothing in which they go to sleep and from which they awaken, and clothing that they wear or take off (such as the cloak [khirqa], dervish skirt [tanûra] and the side of the conical hat [sikke]). Thus, for the Mevlevis, "meeting" [dîdâr] means, not only reverential respect toward fellow Mevlevis, but also reverential respect toward God as the Universal Spirit that pervades all things--the One Absolute Reality. This term is primarily associated with the Mevlevis.
didar (spelling in T; derived from P): see dîdâr.
dinlendirmek (T): lit, "to let rest." See râHat kardan.
direk tutmak (T; lit., "pillar-maintaining"): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony (samâ`, sama), when the semazens whirl in place, using the left leg as an axis -- especially during the fourth selam, when a left leg that does not shift from one spot, and with a heel that stays in contact with the floor, is called "a beautiful pillar" [T, direghi güzel].
disharI meydancIsI (T-P): in the Mevlevi tradition, the person who was sent by the chief cook [ashçidede] to go outside of the kitchen to relay messages.
divan (spelling in T; derived from A): see dîwân.
divân (spelling in T; derived from A): see dîwân.
dîwân (A [pronounced in Iran: "dîvân"]; spelling in T, divan, divân; also spelled Divan, Diwan): the collected works of a poet, arranged alphabetically, and usually includes ghazaliyyât (odes) and rubâ`iyyât (quatrains). Mawlânâ's collected works are called Dîvân-ê Kabîr, Dîvân-é Shams-é Tabrîzî, Kulliyât-é Shams, Kulliyât-é Shams-é Tabrîzî (also spelled Divan-i Kabir, Divan-i Shams, Kolliyat-i Shams-i Tabriz, Divan-i Shems, Külliyet-i Shems. See the article, "About the Divan," in the "Divan" section of this website.
dördüncü selâm (T-A): the fourth salâm in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], usually in a (slow) rhythm of 9 beats, called evfer (spelling in T; derived from A, awfar, lit., "more abundant").
dost (spelling in T; derived from P): see dôst.
dôst (P; lit., "friend"; pronounced in Iran, "dûst"; spelled in T, dost. In sufism this term means "spiritual friend," as when Mawlânâ is referred to as the "friend of God" [Haqq-dôst]. Otherwise, it refers to God as the Only Friend and Beloved. Another word (in P0 which means the same is yâr.
dua (spelling in T; derived from A): see du`â.
du`â (A, lit., "prayer," "supplication" [derived from Da`Wah, to call]; spelling in T, dua): a prayer which may be said in any language, silently or aloud (often verses in Arabic from the Qur'ân or prayers of the Prophet Muhammad), usually with the hands raised up facing the heavens. Often, at the conclusion, the fingers of both hands are gently wiped over the forehead or face of the person praying (in hopes of receiving blessing from the prayer).
du`â-yé du`â-gô (A-P; lit., "prayer-reciter's prayer"; in T: duagû duasI): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], following the recitation of verses from the Qur'ân and a silent praying by all participants of the FâtiHa, the semazenbashI (or in Konya, the tarikatçIdede; or in other lodges, the ashçIdede) would stand in front of the shaykh (and also facing the qibla toward Mecca), raise his hands, and offer aloud a prayer praising God and asking blessings upon the Prophet and his companions, Mawlânâ and his holy companions and descendants down to the current Chelebi, and the current Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
duagû duasI (T; derived from A-P): see du`â-yé du`â-gô. du`â-yé pôst (A-P; in T, post duasI): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema), following the Islamic ritual prayers [namâz, Salât], and sometimes a Masnavi lesson, the shaykh would sit on the pôst, kiss the floor (as would all other participants), raise his hands, and offer aloud a prayer praising God and asking blessings upon the Prophet and his companions, Mawlânâ and his holy companions and descendants down to the current Chelebi, and the current Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
dukhânî (A; lit., "smokey"; spelling in T, duhani): a very dark purple turban which Mawlânâ wore for the rest of his life after the final disappearance of Shams-é Tabrîzî.
edeb (spelling in T; from A): see adab.
edep (spelling in T; from P): see adab.
efendi (T; derived from Greek, aphentês, "master").
Eflaki (spelling in T; from A): see Aflâkî.
ehl-i dil (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see ahl-é del.
ehl-i gönül (A-T): see ahl-é del.
eksikli (T): lit., "with defect". For Mevlevis, this term means "sinner," "wrongdoer."
elhamdülillâh (spelling in T; from A): see al-Hamdu li-llâh.
elifinemed (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see alifî-yé namad.
elifî nemed (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see alifî-yé namad.
esma-yi hüsna (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see asmâ'u 'l-Husnà.
esmâ-ûl Hüsnâ (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see asmâ'u 'l-Husnà.
estaghfurullâh (A; spelling in T [pronounced: "esta'furullah"): see astaghfiru 'llâh.
Evrâd-I Sherîf. See Awrâd-é Sharîf.
eyvallah (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see ay wa 'llâh.
ezan (spelling in T; derived from A): see aZân.
fakhr (A; spelling in T, fahir): lit., "pride." A name used for the Mevlevi tall conical hat [kolâh, sikke]. The use of this term is related to a famous saying of the Prophet MuHammad: "Poverty is my pride" [al-faqru fakhr-î]. (For the spiritual meaning of "poverty," see faqîr.)
fakir (selling in T; derived from A): see faqîr.
fanâ (A [lit., "perishing"]; spelling in T, fena): In Sufism, it means "mystical death." The term derives from the sufi interpretation of a verse in the Qur'ân: "All that is upon (the earth) will pass away [fân-in), but the Face of your Lord will abide [yabqâ], full of Majesty and Glory" (55:26-27). See also "baqâ."
fanâ fî 'llâh (A [lit., "perishing in God"] spelling in T, fenafillâh, fenafillah): a term in sufism, meaning annihilation of the selfhood of the disciple in the Presence of God.
fanâ fî pîr (A-P [lit., "perishing in" (A) "the elder" (P)]; spelling in T, fenafipir): a term in sufism, meaning annihilation of the selfhood of the disciple in the spiritual state and presence of the founder of a particular sufi order.
fanâ fî 'r-rasûl (A [lit., "perishing in the Messenger"] spelling in T, fenafiresûl): a term in sufism, meaning annihilation of the selfhood of the disciple in the spiritual state and presence of the Prophet Muhammad.
fanâ fî 'sh-shaykh (A [lit., "perishing in the elder"] spelling in T, fenafi'sh-sheyh): a term in sufism, meaning annihilation of the selfhood of the disciple in the spiritual state and presence of the Shaykh, or spiritual master.
faqîr (A; lit., "poor person," "beggar"; spelling in T, fakir, fakIyr): the most common Arabic word meaning a Sûfî. It was translated into Persian as "darwêsh." It has the inward meaning of spiritual poverty [faqr] in sufism, as in the Qur'ânic verse, "O men, you are poor [fuqarâ] in relation to God, and God is the Rich" (Qur'ân 35:15). In Persian, it also came to mean "free from vanity," "self-effacing," and "retiring." In the Mevlevi tradition, it is used as part of the observance of spiritual courtesy [adab] to avoid sounding egotistic by using the words "I" or "me"-- by saying, instead, "we" [in P. mâ] or "this faqîr," meaning "this humble beggar who has nothing and is nothing." If a Mevlevi said "I" or "me" by mistake, it was customary to say, "Accursed egotism! [in T, benlighime lanet] (I mean) faqîr."
farajî (A; lit., "wide," "open" [derived from FaRaJ, happiness (after suffering); spelling in T, ferace): an open, collarless robe, with wide sleeves (similar to the current Mevlevi khirqa) which was worn by those who became Mawlânâ's disciples-- the first Mevlevis. It was originally a robe worn by the learned Islamic scholars [`ulamâ] on ceremonial occasions.
Faruk Hemdem Çelebi (A-P-T [derived from A, farûq, discriminating (between right and wrong); derived from P, ham-dam, lit., "breathing together," meaning "intimate companion"]): the 22nd generation descendent of Mawlânâ, son of Celâleddin M. Bâkir Çelebi, and the present holder of the rank of Çelebi [Makam-i Çelebi), the 33 member of the Çelebi family to hold this position, and therefore the current hereditary leader of Mevlevis world-wide. He was born in 1950.
FâtiHa (A [derived from FaTaHa, to open]; spelling in T, Fatiha): the first (or "opening") chapter in the Qur'ân: "In the Name of God the Most Merciful, the All-Compassionate [bi-smi 'llâhi r-raHmâni 'r-raHîm]. The praise is to God, the Sustaining Lord of (all) the worlds, the All-Merciful, the Most Compassionate, Owner of the Day of Judgment. (Only) You do we serve and (only) You do we ask for help. Guide us on the path (most) straight, the path of those upon whom You have given blessing; other than (the path) of those upon whom is (Your) condemnation, and not (the path of) those who go astray" (Qur'ân 1:1-7). Ameen (= "amen").
FâTima Khâtûn: Mawlânâ's sister, who married and remained in Khorâsân (Afghanistan) while the rest of Mawlânâ's family emigrated west.
FâTima Khâtûn, the daughter of SalâHu 'd-dîn Zarkûb, the wife of SulTân Walad--the son of Mawlânâ.
FâtiHa (A [lit., "opening"]; spelling in T, Fatiha): The first chapter of the Qur'ân, containing seven short lines. The most often recited prayer in Islam, said many times daily (especially during the standing position of the ritual prayer, prior to bowing and prostrating). Said (silently) a number of times during the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema].
fena (spelling in T; derived from A): see fanâ.
fenafillâh (spelling in T; derived from A): see fanâ fî 'llâh.
fenafillah (spelling in T; derived from A): see fanâ fî 'llâh.
fenafipir (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see fanâ fî pîr.
fenafiresûl (spelling in T; derived from A): see fanâ fî 'r-rasûl.
fena fi'sh-sheyh (spelling in T; derived from A): see fanâ fî 'sh-shaykh.
ferace (spelling in T; derived from A): see farajî.
Fihi Mafih (spelling in T; derived from A): see Fî-hi Mâ Fî-hi.
Fî-hi Mâ Fî-hi (A; lit., "what is in it (is) in it"; spelling in T, Fihi Mafih): a prose work in Persian (with two discourses in Arabic), consisting of excerpts from Mawlânâ's disciples, written down from memory. See the article, "The Discourses," in the "Prose Works" section of this website.
fikir (spelling in T; derived from A): see fikr.
fikr (A [lit., "thought," "thinking"]; spelling in T, fikir): In sufism, it means spiritual thinking, meditation, contemplation.
gani (T): lit, "wealthy." See ghaniy.
gazel (spelling in T; derived from A): see ghazal.
gazelhan (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see ghazal-khwân.
gazeliyat (spelling in T; derived from A): see ghazaliyyât.
Gawhar Khâtûn; spelling in T, Gevher Hatun: Mawlânâ's wife, whom he married at age 17. Her mother was a prominent disciple of Mawlânâ's father. She died about 1242-43, when Mawlânâ was about 35-36 years old.
ghaniy (A): lit, "wealthy." When offered something not desired, instead of saying, "I don't want it" (viewed as impolite), Mevlevis would say, "I am wealthy in (regard to) it"--meaning, "I have plenty of it already" [P: ghaniy-é ô-y-am; T: ganisiyim].
ghazal (spelling in T, gazel): a type of lyric poetry (sometimes called an ode), involving words of love, longing for the beloved, praises of the beauty of the beloved. In a sufi ghazal, ecstatic love for God is often expressed symbolically via descriptions of the beauty of the human beloved. Mawlânâ composed 3,229 ghazals. See the article, "About the Odes/Ghazaliyat," in the "Divan" section of this website.
ghazal-khwân (A-P [derived from A, ghazal "lyric poem"; derived from P, khwân, "reciter"]; spelling in T, gazelhan): in the Mevlevi tradition, this was the person who recited the ghazal's from Mawlânâ's Dîvân. The Mevlevis had a special edition of the Divan which was divided into 21 meters (instead of ordered alphabetically in the usual manner), so that the ghazal-khwân could recite at length numerous ghazal's in the same meter.
ghazaliyyât (spelling in T, gazeliyat): the plural of ghazal.
göçmek (T): lit, "to migrate." See naql.
gol-bâng (P, spelling in T, gülbang, gülbank, gülbeng): lit., "rose sound". This means "rose song," or "song for the rose." It refers, poetically, to the passionate singing of the nightingale for his beloved, the beautiful rose. In the Mevlevi tradition (and in other Turkish sufi orders), a short prayer blessing holy personages of the past who are part of the Mevlevi lineage, intoned in solemn Persian by a leader following a meal, the samâ` [sema], and on other occasions.
GölpInarlI (P-T [lit., "rose with fountain"; pronounced in P: Golpînârlî): a prominent Mevlevi scholar (and shaykh), who translated many of Mawlânâ's works into modern Turkish. He died in 1982.
gönül etmek (T): see del kardan.
görüshme, görüshmek (T): see dîdâr.
gostâkh (P; spelling in T, küstah): arrogant, rude, impudent, rash, overly bold. Anyone who behaved rudely was asked to leave the tekke; such behavior is in violation of the dedication of Mevlevis to cultivation of refined manners.
hadis (spelling in T; derived from A): see hadîS.
HadîS (A; pronounced in A, Hadîth [derived from HaDDaTHa, to narrate (about)]; spelling in T, hadis; plural in A, aHâdîS): a saying or doing of the Prophet Muhammad as related by his companions down though a "chain" of narrators until written down.
Hak dost (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Haqq-dôst.
hak el-yakin (spelling in T; derived from A): see Dawr-é Waladî.
hakikat (spelling in T; derived from A): see in the definition of salâm.
Hakta (A-T): lit., "It is in (the Will or Power of) God." This was said instead of, "No", "None", "There isn't any." A similar reply in T was, Hak vere: "God may give it" (in P, Haqq be-deh-ad). A similar way of avoiding the word "no" (such as saying "there is no money") in P is, "It is with God" [nazd-é Haqq-ast].
hal (spelling in T; derived from A): see Hâl.
Hâl (A; lit., "state," "condition"; spelling in T, hal): in sufism, a spiritual state, a transient spiritual or mystical experience such as peace, love, or awe of God's Majesty. Considered brief, compared to a "spiritual station" [maqâm].
halife (spelling in T; derived from A): see khalîfa.
halile (T; derived from A): a musical instrument for percussion, a type of cymbals.
halka (spelling in T; derived from A): see Halqa.
halka-i zikir (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Halqa.
Halqa (A; spelling in T, halka; lit., "circle"): in sufism, this term means the circle of dervishes who associate and follow a sufi teacher [shaykh, murshid]. It also means a circle of dervishes who chant the praises of God [Zikru 'llâh] together while sitting [A-P, Halqa-yé Zikr; spelling in T, halka-i zikir].
ham (spelling in T; derived from P): see khâm.
hanegâh (spelling in T): see khânaqâh.
hanekah (spelling in T): see khânaqâh.
hanekâh (spelling in T): see khânaqâh.
Haqq-dôst (A-P [derived from P, dôst (friend); derived from Haqq, lit., "Truth" but commonly used in sufism to mean God]: This is a Persian construction that means "friend of God" [= dôst-é Haqq; here, "Haqq" is not an adjective, so "Mevlânâ Haqq-Dost" cannnot mean "Mevlana is the true friend," as some interpret]. In the Na`t-é Sharîf by the composer `Itrî, this is one of the phrases praising Mawlânâ, added to the ghazal of six verses praising the Prophet Muhammad. In plural form [Haqq-dôst-ân; spelling in T, Hak dostlar], it means friends of God.
hamushan (spelling in T; derived from P: see khamûsh-ân.
Haydarî (A; spelling in T, hayderi, hayderiye): a type of jacket without a collar or sleeves worn by dervishes.
HaZrat (A; pronounced in A, HaDrat [derived from HaDaRa, to be present]; lit., "presence"; spelling in T, hazret): an honorific which precedes the names of holy personages, with a Persian connector [-i], as in "HaZrat-é Mawlânâ" [spelling in T, Hazret-i Mevlâna] and HaZrat-é Pîr". It means, "the venerable (so-and-so), his excellency (so-and-so)."
Hazret (spelling in T; derived from A): see HaZrat.
helvet (spelling in T; derived from A): see khalwat.
hIrka (spelling in T; derived from A): see khirqa.
himmat (A): means, in sufism, strong spiritual determination and aspiration. In Turkish sufism if more often has a secondary meaning of the spiritual grace and favor of the saints (living or passed away), viewed as "true men" (see mard-ân).
himmet (spelling in T; derived from A): see himmat.
hizmet tennûresi (T; derived from A, khidmat, "service"; derived from P, tanûra, "(dervish) dress"): a service shift, given to a Mevlevi novice to wear while working in the kitchen. See tanûra.
hû (A; lit., "He"): a Qur'ânic term [as in, "There is no divinity but He ("lâ ilâha illâ huwa," Qur'ân 2: 163)], interpreted by sufis to refer to the Essence [huwiyya] of God (and therefore far transcending human concepts of male or female). In this way, it is also viewed as the greatest Name of God [A: ismu 'l-a`Zam].
Hu (spelling in T; derived from A): see hû.
hücre (spelling in T; derived from A): see hujra.
hucrenishin (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see hujra-neshîn.
hujra (A, lit., "cell"; spelling in T, hücre): a dervish cell in a dargâh, or tekke.
hujra-neshîn (A-P [derived from A, hujra, "cell" and P, neshîn, "sitter"; spelling in T, hücrenishin): a cell given to a Mevlevi who has completed the 1001 day chella and who elects to become a resident, or dede, in a Mevlevi lodge [dargâh, tekke].
Husâmu 'd-dîn Chelebi (spelling in T, Hüsameddin Çelebi): Mawlânâ's favorite disciple, who became his closest spiritual companion after SalâHu 'd-dîn Zarkôb died (in 1258). He was appointed to teach and train the disciples. Husâmuddîn was the one who asked Mawlânâ to compose a mathnawî (book of rhymed couplets), and the one who wrote down the verses of the Mathnawi as they were dictated by Mawlânâ. He was first successor after Mawlânâ died in 1273, until he died in 1284.
Husayn Khâtibî: Mawlânâ's grandfather, the father of his father, who was a Muslim preacher and scholar, who according to Mevlevi tradition lived in Balkh.
HuZûr (A; lit., "presence"; spelling in T, huzur): in sufism, this means "spiritual presence," such as the spiritual atmosphere of a sufi shaykh as experienced by someone sitting nearby. It also means "presence of mind."
huzur (spelling in T; derived from A): see HuZûr.
içeri meydancIsI (T-P): in the Mevlevi tradition, the person whose job was to prepare coffee, which was then ground by the tahmisçi.
ijâzat (A; lit., "permission," "license"; spelling in T, icazet): A written document in which a teacher gives a student permission to teach something which has been mastered. The giving of a written "licence" [A-P, ijâzat-nâma; in T, icazetname] has been the practice in Islamic culturss for many centiries and applies to all fields of study that are judged as completed. In sufism, it is a written permit from a shaykh authorizing a disciple to teach in the same spiritual lineage or sufi order. There may be several given, ranging from one with restrictions or conditions to one which is unconditional. In the Mevlevi tradition, the shaykhhood document [A-P: mashîkhat-nâma; spelling in T, meshihatname] was originally written in Persian, then in Ottoman Turkish (and the latter practice has continued to the present day). This document can only be signed by the leader of the Mevlevi Order, the Maqâm-é Chalabî [T, Makam-I Çelebi]. In the Mevlevi centers [tekkes], the Shaykh could also make a written license for a Masnavi teacher and reciter [MaSnavî-khwân; spelling in T, Mesnevihan].
ihvan (spelling in T; derived from A): see ikhwân.
ikame (spelling in T; derived from A): see iqâmat.
ikhwân (A; lit., "brethren, friends, companions"; pronunciation in Iran: ekhvân; spelling in T, ihvan): all Mevlevis address each other as brethren. A related word occurs in a famous verse of the Qur'ân: "Truly, the believers are a brotherhood [ikhwat], so make peace between your brethren..." (49:10).
ikinci selâm (T-A): the second salâm in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], usually in a rhythm of 9 beats called evfer (spelling in T; derived from A, awfar, lit., "more abundant").
ilâhî (P; lit., "having to do with the Divine"; derived from A: ilâh, "divinity"; spelling in T, ilâhi, ilahi): hymns or sacred songs (based on sufi poems) in praise of God, the Prophet, and the sufi saints.
imâm (A [derivation: aMAMa, in front of]; spelling in T, imam): means leader, Islamic spiritual leader (if well-educated in Islam, equivalent to a rabbi in Judaism). In regards to the Islamic prayers, it is the one chosen by the participants to lead the ritual Islamic prayer (for having memorized the most verses from Qur'ân, being more learned in Islam, age and experience, and other criteria).
inshaallah (spelling in T; derived from A): see inshâ' 'llâh.
inshallah (spelling in T; derived from A): see inshâ' 'llâh.
inshâ' 'llâh [A; lit., "(if) God Wills"); spelling in T, inshaallah, inshallah): It is traditional for Muslims to add this phrase when speaking about the future (see Qur'ân 18: 23-24).
inziwâ (A; spelling in T, inziva): to seclude oneself in a corner or cell.
iqâmat (A [derivation: QAMa, to stand up]; spelling in T, ikame): the commencement of the Islamic ritual prayer, when participants stand up to begin praying.
iqrâr (spelling in T, ikrar) means a promise, agreement, pledge; acceptance, confirmation; attestation, declaration. This word is used to express the commitment to strive to become a true dervish.
`ishq (A; means passionate love; pronounced in P, `eshq, `ashq; spelling in T, ashk): in sufism, it means passionate, yearning, ecstatic love for God.
`ishq-at bâd (A-P; in T, ashk olsun): lit., "May there be love for you". A common saying between Mevlevis, used in a variety of situations, such as meaning "You are welcome," and as permission given to resume eating. The reply of a welcomed guest is "Eyvallah" ["So be it"], followed by the right hand placed on the heart (if equal in rank or superior) or kissing the ground (if of lower rank).
`ishq-o neyâz (A-P; in T, ashk u niyâz): lit., "love and (humble) neediness". An idiom meaning, "I humbly supplicate (God) for love." It is used in giving greetings [salâms], sending best regards, in writing a letter, when asked how one is or about one's health, and when questioned by a more senior dervish.
islâm (A [derivation SaLaMa, to be secure]; spelling in T, islam): means surrender, submission to the Will of God. It is the Qur'ânic term for the religious way of all the Prophets, from Adam and Noah to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad-- the way of submission to the Will of God. Since the word "salaam" means "peace and security," the word "islaam" can be understood to mean the way to peace and tranquility by submission to the Will of God. According to the Qur'ân, a "muslim" is "one whose heart God has opened to (the way of) submission [islâm] so that he is illumined by a light from his Sustaining Lord" (39:22). "God bears witness, and (so do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge, that there is no divinity except Him [lâ ilâha illâ hû].... Truly, the only religion in the sight of God is (the way of) submission [islam" (3:18-19).
ism el-celale (spelling in T; derived from A-P, ism-i celâl): see ismu 'l-jalâlî.
ism ez-zat (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see ismu 'Z-Zât.
ism-i celal zikri (A-P-T): a Zikr done while sitting on the knees and chanting the name, "Allâh, Allâh." This is the primary Zikr of the Mevlevi tradition.
ism-i zat (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see ismu 'Z-Zât.
ismu 'l-jalâlî (A-P [derived from A, ism, "name"; derived from A-P, jalâlî, "glorious"]; spelling in T, ism el-celale,, ism-i celâl): the glorious Name of God, "Allâh." The repetition of this Name is the primary Zikr of the Mevlevis.
ismu 'Z-Zât (A [derived from A, ism, "name"; derived from A, Zât, "essence"]; in P, ism-é Zât (spelling in T, ism-i zat); spellilng in T, ism ez-zat): lit., "name of the essence." In sufism the Name of God which indicates the Divine Essence of God is understood to be Hû.
istighfâr (A; lit., "seeking forgiveness"; spelling in T, istighfar): refers to the Islamic sufi practice of seeking the forgiveness of God. See the article, "Asking Forgiveness in the Qur'an and the Mathnawi" on this website.
istighfar (spelling in T; derived from A): see istighfâr.
istiva (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see khaTT-é istiwâ).
iyvallah (T-A): see eyvallah.
Jalâlu 'd-dîn (A; lit., "the glory of the Religion"; spelling in T, Celaladdin, Celaluddin, Celalattin; other spellings: Jalaluddin, Jalal al-Din, Jalaladdin, Jalalu 'ddin, Jalaloddin, Jalalo 'ddin, Jelaluddin, Djal al-Din, Djaluddin, Djaloddin): the nickname given to Mawlânâ Jalâlu 'd-dîn Rûmî (Jalaluddin Rumi) as a child by his father, Bahâ'u 'd-dîn Walad. His birth name was MuHammad, and "Jalâlu 'd-dîn" was the "nickname" [laqab] given to him by his father. Thus he was named Jalâlu 'd-dîn MuHammad.
Jâlâlu 'd-dîn Husayn: Mawlânâ's paternal grandfather.
jân (P; it., "(dear) soul"; spelling in T, can): it is an old Persian custom to attach this name to someone's name, such as "Hamîd- jân:-- "dear Hameed"; "Maryam-jân"-- "Maryam dear." This was also adopted by the Mevlevis as a way to greet each other.
jaZba (A, jaDba; lit., "attraction"; spelling in T, cezbe): means ecstatic attraction to God, an ecstatic state of consciousness; this may occur during a solitery prayer retreat [T, çille), during a gathering of prayer-chanting [A, dhikr; spelled in T, zikir], or while whirling in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`]. If a dervish becomes excessively ecstatic, he may become (briefly or permanently) similar to a crazy or insane person [majZûb; spelled in T, meczub].
Jelaluddin: see Jâlu 'd-dîn.
Jelaleddin Chelebi: see Celâleddin M. Bâkir Çelebi.
Ka`ba (A; lit., "cube"; spelling in T, Kâbe). The cube-shaped temple in Mecca, toward which all Muslims pray toward. It is not worshipped, but is an empty building (except for some lanterns and a ladder) which stands on the place where the Prophet Abraham is believed to have built the first temple to worship the One True God. A small sacred black stone is attached to one of the outside corners of the building. Worship at the site later degenerated into polytheism, and 360 idols were removed by the order of the Prophet Muhammad when he returned victoriously to Mecca. In Mecca, there are always pilgrims engaged in a ritual walking prayer around the Ka'ba, day and night, every day of the year. They walk in a counter-clockwise direction in sets of seven circlings.
Kâbe (spelling in T; derived from A): see Ka`ba.
kafes (A; derived from qafaS, a latticed bird cage): this refers to a room for women in the whirling hall [semahane], from which they could view the Whirling Prayer Ceremony (Sema) from behind laticed windows. It was customary that if one of the women was in need of support, she might collect gifts from the women in the room, gifts that were then sent to the Shaykh, who would accept something (or nothing) and grant the rest (or all) to the woman. Following that, another woman might do the same. Such a woman was called (in T), kafesçi bacI.
kamâncha (P; lit., "little bow"; spelling in T, kemançe): a type of violin.
kanInI içinde akItmak (T: lit., "to make his blood flow inside"; in P, khûn ba-darûn jârî kardan): Mevlevis were told to suppress and hide their states of ecstatic joy, since uttering ecstatic groans or shouts can be faked and done from dissimulation.
kanun (spelling in T; derived from A): see qânûn.
kapIdan geçme töreni (T): lit., "passing-through-the gate ceremony." A ceremony authorized by the Makam-I Çelebi by which a spiritually advanced and highly educated man could be initiated as a spiritual elder [T, dede] without having completed the (uninterrupted) 1001 day retreat.
kashkûl (P; spelling in T, keshkül): a beggar's cup that was used by dervishes, traditionally in the shape of a boat.
kazancI dede (T; lit., "elder kettle-maker"): this is the title (lit., "chief of the kettle or cauldron") of the Master of Service in a Mevlevi lodge [tekke], who assists the ashçibashI (also spelled, ashçi dede) in the training of dervishes, especially the novices.
kelime-i tevhit zikri (A-P-T): a type of Zikr done while sitting on the knees and chanting in Arabic, "There is no divinity except (the One) God" [lâ ilâha illâ 'llâh].
kemançe (spelling in T; derived from P): see kamâncha.
Kerrâ Khâtûn, (spelling in T, Kerra Hatun) the second wife of Mawlânâ, whom he married after his first wife (Gawhar Khâtûn) died. She died in 1292.
khalwat (A, also khalwa; lit., "solitude"; pronounced in Iran, "khalvat"; spelling in T, helvet): in sufism, a solitary retreat, traditionally for 40 days (see "chella"), during which a disciple does extensive spiritual exercises under the direction of a sufi master. In the Mevlevi tradition, this type of solitary retreat was forbidden as too severe and a risk to the health. Instead, there was a retreat period (also called "çille") of 1,001 days of doing service in the Mevlevi kitchen and learning how to be a dervish.
khalîfa (A [derivation: KHaLaFa, to succeed, follow after]; spelling in T, halife): in sufism, it has two meanings: a disciple who has been appointed by his spiritual master [shaykh, murshid] to be his spiritual successor, or a disciple who has been appointed to be his representative, or deputy. There may be a single successor or a small number of them, but usually there is one primary successor, the chief successor [in T, bash halife]. Those who are appointed to be deputies are entrusted to carry on the sufi lineage in their appointed cities or countries, usually under the continued authority of the Shaykh. A khalifa who lives in the same town as the Shaykh may be asked to do some or most of the training of disciples, as well as to lead and teach in the Shaykh's absence.
khâm (P; lit., "unripe," "uncooked" "immature," "inexperienced"; spelling in T, ham): A term in sufism which refers to someone who is immature on the spiritual path, equivalent to the term (in P), nâ-pokhta" (not cooked).
khâmûsh-ân (P; lit., "silent ones") spelling in T, hamushan): an idiom used for a Mevlevi cemetery [khâmûsh-khâna, hamushhane]. These were exclusvely Mevlevi terms.
khânaqâh (P; [derived from khâna-gâh]; lit,. "house-place]; spelling in T, hanekâh, hanekah, hankâh, hanegâ.
KhâSS (A; spelling in T, has): special, noble, elect. This means, in sufism, a very spiritual and even saintly person who is a sincere seeker of Truth, a true lover of God, and therefore the "elect of God." The opposite is (in A) `âm, a "commoner", who is overly attached to worldly desires and activities. Mevlevis also used the plural form, "commoners" [`awâmm; spelling in T, avâm], which could also include sufis if they were not "people of (Divine) realization" [ahl-é Haqîqat]. These two terms were used by both Mawlânâ and his son, SulTân Walad, in their poetry. Related terms are "ascetic" [zâhid] and externalist" [Zâhir]."
khaTT-é istiwâ (A-P; lit., "line (which is) straight"; pronounced in Iran: khaTT-é estevâ; spelling in T, hat-i istiva, hat-i üstüva; this word is related to A: sawâ', the middle; it apears as astawà in Qur'an 20:5 and 53:6 with the meaning of [sitting or standing firmly in] the middle]): In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], there is an invisible straight line conceived as extending from the Shaykh's sheepskin [pôst], which was traditionally placed in front of the miHrâb. Therefore, the invisible "straight line" is the line of qibla (the direction pointing toward Mecca), as well as the line pointing to the sheepskin representing Mawlânâ, the Shaykh standing or sitting there who is the representative of Mawlânâ. The semazens are to avoid stepping on this straight line, out of respect, and they bow (quickly from the waist) before stepping over it, during the Sultân Walad Circling, both in front of the pôst and on the opposite side of the circle. The Shaykh (or Pôst-neshîn), however, may walk directly on the the invisible line during the ceremony (as well as when entering and exiting the samâ`-khâna, or sema hall), which means that he is the guide [murshid] who understands the straight path [SirâTu 'l-mustaqîm] to Divine Reality for the dervishes. The left half of the circle is called the "arc of descent" and symbolizes going down to the material world; the right half is called the "arc of ascent" and symbolizes elevation into the spiritual world.
khâtûn (P; spelling in T, hatun): means "lady," "noble lady."
khirqa (A [derived from KHaRaQa, to tear]; lit., "rag," " tattered piece of cloth"]; spelling in T, hIrka [pronounced, "hurka," an approximation of the Turkish "undotted i"): a type of `abâ, or dervish's cloak. In the Mevlevi Whirling Prayer Ceremony, it is a long blackcloak with very long sleeves and no collar or buttons. The semazens keep their arms out of the sleeves (except when doing the Islamic ritual prayer [namâz, Salât]). During the Whirling Prayer Ceremony, the Shaykh (here caled pôstneshîn) keeps his arms in the sleeves. In addition to the ceremonial khirqa, Mevlevis wore khirqas for use outdoors, which were always worn together with their sikkas. Traditionally, the patched frock of the dervishes. In early sufism, the khirqa was bestowed upon a disciple by a sufi master, as part of initiation, as recognition of the attainment of a certain spiritual station [maqâm], at the completion of the master's sufi training, or as proof of being selected as the successor after the master's death.
Khodâ dard-at afzûn kon-ad (P; in T: Allâh derdeni artIrsIn: lit., "May God increase your pain!" Here, "pain" means the pain of longing love for God. This is said (as a prayer) by a shaykh or senior dervish to a disciple.
khworda (P; spelling in T, horde): lit., "(something) eaten or drunk." It means, idiomatically, "received with enjoyment and satisfaction."
kible (spelling in T; derived from A): see qibla.
kIyamI zikri (A-T): see Zikr-é qiyâmî.
kolâh (P; spelling in T, külâh): a conical hat worn by dervishes; in the Mevlevi tradition, it is a tall conical hat made of felt. The act of bowing with respect while wearing the tall conical hat was called (in T), külâh eylemek.
Konya (spelling in T; derived from Greek, "Iconium." See Qûniyâ.
kûchak (P; spelling in T, köçek (T): lit., "little, small." In T, it means a boy dancer. An idiom used for a new and young Mevlevi (especially one learning the whirling prayer), also called naw-neyâz [T, nevniyaz].
kudüm (spelling in T; derived from A): see qudûm.
kudümzenbashI (P-T): the chief drum player who, during the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], decides the tempo of the various musical sections.
kubbe-i hadra (spelling in T; derived from A-P: see qubba-yé khaZrâ.
külâh (spelling in T; derived from P): see kolâh.
kulhüvallahü ahad Allahüssamad
Kur'an (spelling in T; derived from A): see Qur'ân.
kutup noktasi (A-T; derived from A, "quTb," pole, pivot, axis; derived from A, nuqTa, point; this term has the Turkish possessive article, "-si," and means "the point belonging to the axis"): In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the axis point is the place where the Shaykh whirls in a slow and profound manner, holding his black cloak [khirqa] open a bit at the chest, while the other semazens whirl in place in a circle around him. Here, he represents Mawlânâ as the "Pole of the saints."
küud zikri (A-T; also spelled ku'ud zikri): see Zikr-é qu`ûdî.
lâ ilâha illâ 'llâh (A; lit., "There is no divinity except God"); spelling in T, lailaheillallah: The basic creed in Islam. This phrase is often chanted (silently or aloud, individually or in a group) by the sufis in remembrance [Zikr] of God. For them it has an endless depth of profound meanings. For example, that there is no power but the Power of God, no love but God's Love, no beauty but the Beauty of God, no true reality but God's Reality, no true existence but the Existence of God, etc.
Majâlis-é Sab`a (A; lit., "seven sessions"; spelling in T, Mecalis-i Seb'a): a collection of sermons by Mawlânâ, in Persian with introductory prayers in Arabic in each sermon. See the article, "The Sermons," in the "Prose Works" section of this website.
majZûb (A, majDûb; spelling in T, meczub): a sufi term meaning someone who is so attracted by Divine grace and enraptured by Divine love that he appears to be crazy.
maHwîyat (A; spelling in T, mahviyet): lit., "the state of being effaced or annihilated." This is a state of egolessness (for which see fanâ). It also is a term used for striving to be humble, modest, and viewing one's ego as of little worth.
makam (spelling in T; derived from A): see maqâm.
Maktûbât (A: lit., "writings"; spelling in T, Mektubat): a collection of 147 letters written by Mawlânâ. See the article, "The Letters," in the "Prose Works" section of this website.
Malika Khâtûn (A-P; spelling in T, Melika Hatun): Mawlânâ's daughter (by his second wife, Kerrâ Khâtûn), died between 1303- 06. According to Aflâkî, she was known as Affandî-bûla [derived from Greek, "aphentês", master, and the ending "pula," daughter], Daughter of the Master.
Mâmî: the name of Mawlânâ's paternal grandmother.
ma`nà (A; lit., "meaning," "significance"; spelling in T, manâ, ma'na): in sufism, it means spiritual meaning, spiritual reality. This word is in the title of Mawlânâ's mathnawî: Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî (rhymed couplets of spiritual meaning).
ma'na (spelling in T; derived from A): see ma`nà.
manâ (spelling in T; derived from A): see ma`nà.
manZûr-am (A-P; lit., "my object of vision"; in T, this word took the form of nazarIm [lit., "my sight"]): a term used in the Mevlevi way of spiritual courtesy [adab] to avoid using the familiar form of the word "you" [P, tû; T, sen] for the person addressed. It was also acceptable to address the person with the formal (and plural) form of the word "you" [P, shomâ; T, seniz]. Another use of this word is when, in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [Sema], the semazen viewed by another semazen (while gazing briefly at the place between the eyebrows of the other) during the mutual bowing in front of the Shaykh's red sheepskin [pôst] during the Devr-i Veledi ("Sultan Walad Circling").
maqâm (A [derivation: QAMa, to stand up]; lit., "resting place," "dwelling place"; spelling in T, makam): in sufism, a term meaning a spiritual "station" which is considered enduring (in contrast to a "Hâl," or spiritual state). It usually means a spiritual awareness that is lasting and which continues until the sufi is more fully purified, more deeply surrendered to God's Will, and is led to another spiritual station. It is also a term in music, meaning primary, secondary, or mixed musical modes in Middle Eastern music.
mard-ân (P; lit., "men"; originally an Arabic sufi term, rijâl; in T: erenler): in sufism, it means the manly men of God [mard-ân-é khodâ] who are true dervishes with spiritual powers to intercede, as well as holy men of heart [mard-ân-é del]. It means the fulfilment of what man was intended to be in regard to spiritual awareness, courage, self-sacrifice, and harmony with the Divine Will. The gol-bâng prayers often invoke God's grace manifested through "the spiritual grace and favor of true men [himmat-é mard-ân]". These are "...men [rijâl] who cannot be diverted from the remembrance of God [Zikri 'llâh] by trade, buying and selling..." (Qur'ân 24:37). This term is also used to refer to the Shaykh and the dervish elders [in T, dedeler].
marifet (spelling in T; derived from A): see ma`rifat.
ma`rifat (A; lit., "knowledge"; spelling in T, ma'rifet, marifet): in sufism, it means spiritual knowledge, intuitive knowing of higher meanings.
marji`u 'l-baHrayn (A; lit., "the returning place of the two seas"; selling in T, merc' al bahreyn): the site in Konya where it is believed that Mawlânâ met Shams-é Tabrîzî. It became a pilgrimage place for Mevlevis. The term is related to a phrase in the Qur'ân: majma`a 'l-baHrayn (A; "the junction of the two oceans," Qur'ân 18:60; spelling in T, mecmaülbahreyn).
mashaallah (spelling in T; derived from A): see mâ shâ' 'llâh.
mashallah (spelling in T; derived from A): see mâ shâ' 'llâh.
mâ shâ' 'llâh (A; lit., "what God has willed"; spelling in T, mashaallah, mashallah): usually said out of gladness, referring to what has occurred: "What (a wonderful thing) God willed to happen! Praise be to God!"
mashq (A; spelling in T, meshk): lit., "practice, exercise." This word is used to mean learnng and practicing devotional music, such as Mevlevi hymns [ilâhîs].
mâ siwâ (A; spelling in T, masiva): lit., "whatever is except." This is a term meaning everything other than God.
masjid (A; spelling in T, mescid, mescit; pronunciation in Egypt, masgid-- the origin of the French, "mosque"; lit., "place of (prayer) prostration"): an Islamic building dedicated to the performance of the five daily prayers, the weekly Friday congregational sermon and prayer, and other religious obligations and gatherings.
MaSnavî (pronunciation in Iran; derived from A): see Mathnawî.
MaSnavî-khwân (A-P [derived from A, mathnawi, "rhymed couplets"; derived from P, khwân, "reciter"]; spelling in T, Mesnevihan): a Mevlevi dervish who has become an expert on the recitation and interpretation of Mawlânâ's Mathnawi. In each Mevlevi lodge there used to be a MaSnavî-khwân who would recite passages in the original Persian, as requested by the Shaykh, who would then translate the passage into Turkish and explain its meaning.
matbah (spelling in T; derived from A): see maTbakh.
maTbakh (A; spelling in T, matbah): in the Mevlevi tradition, this is the kitchen where food was cooked and prepared with much spiritual concentration and remembrance of God [Zikru 'llâh].
maTbakh-é sharîf (A; spelling in T, matbah-I sherif): see maTbakh.
Mathnawî (A [lit., "couplets"]; pronunciation in Iran: Masnavi, Mathnavi; spellings in T, Mesnevî, Mesnevi, Mesnavi, Masnevi; other spellings: Masnawi, MaSnawi, MaSnavi, Mathnawi, Matnawi): the name of the poetic masterpiece of Mawlânâ's last years, composed in six books, consisting of 25,700 rhymed couplets. It is a compendium of sufi and ethical teachings, and is deeply permeated with Qur'ânic meanings and references, and many sayings [aHâdîth] of the Prophet Muhammad are mentioned and referred to as well. See the article, "About the Masnavi," in the "Masnavi" section of this website.
Mawlânâ (A; lit., "our master" [Mawlâ-nâ]; Turkish spelling, Mevlâna; other spellings, Maulana, Molana, Molânâ, Mawlana, Mowlana, Mavlana [he is called Molavi, Maulavi, Mowlavi in Iran]): Jalâlu 'd-dîn MuHammad al-Balkhî (known as "Rûmî), the author of the MaSnavi or Mathnawi, and many beautiful odes [ghazaliyyât] and quatrains [rubâ`iyyât], who lived from 1207 C.E. to 1273.
Mawlawî [A; lit, "having to do with the Master (Mawlâ"); spelling in T, Mevlevi; pronunciation in Iran, Mavlavî, or more commonly, Môlavî, Maulavi, Mowlavi, Molavi; other spellings: Mewlewi, Mewlevi, Mawlawi, Mawlawiyya): the Islamic sufi order which derives from the teachings and traditions of Mawlânâ (Mevlâna) Jalâlu 'd-dîn al-Balkhî, known as "Rûmî." It was first organized by Mawlânâ's son (SulTân Walad) and grandson [`Arif Chelebi] to carry on his teachings in the Seljuq Turkish Empire and, later on, for many centuries throughout the Ottoman Turkish Empire. As an organization, it has been illegal in secular Turkey, together with most sufi orders, since 1925. The tradition has long been famous in the West as the "Whirling Dervishes."
maydân (P; lit., "open field," "open area," "arena"; spelling in T, meydan): in the Mevlevi tradition, this is the room where devotional ceremonies occur, and where new dervishes were given lessons in such things as whirling for the samâ`, singing na`t-i sharîf, practice of singing hymns [A, mashq; spelling in T, meshk], and reciting Mawlânâ's poetry.
maydân-é sharîf (A-P; spelling in T, meydan-i sherif): see maydân.
Mecalis-i Seb'a (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Majâlis-é Sab`a.
meczub (spelling in T; derived from A): see majZûb.
mehmân (P; spelling in T, mihman): guest.
mehmân-dâr (P; spelling in T, mihmandar): one who is in charge of serving guests.
Mektubat (spelling in T; derived from A): see Maktûbât.
merc' al bahreyn (spelling in T; derived from A): see marji`u ' l-baHrayn.
mescid (spelling in T; derived from A): see masjid.
mescit (spelling in T; derived from A): see masjid.
Mesnevi (spelling in T; derived from A): see Mathnawî.
Mesnevihan (spelling in T; derived from A-P; not to be confused with the Mongolian word, "khân" (king, lord), spelling in modern Turkish, han): see Masnavi-khwân.
Mevlâna (spelling in T; derived from A): see Mawlânâ.
Mevlevi (spelling in T; from A): see Mawlawî.
Mevlevihane (spelling in T; from A-P, Mawlawî-khâna; lit., "Mevlevi house"): a building where Mevlevis engage in activities involving this sufi order.
Mevlevilik (A-T; equivalent to A, Mawlawiyyat): the state of being a Mevlevi.
meydan (spelling in T; derived from P): see maydân.
meydancI dede (P-T; derived from P, maydân, "field, open area, arena"): the dede responsible for the general organization of a Mevlevi lodge [tekke].
mihrab (spelling in T; derived from A) see MiHrâb.
miHrâb (A [originally a prayer chamber, Qur'ân 3:37]; spelling in T, mihrab, mihrap): the niche indented in a wall or pillar of a mosque [masjid] which indicates the direction of prayer toward Mecca, in Arabia. In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] it was traditional for the pôst, or red sheepskin upon which the Shaykh sits, to be placed in front of the miHrâb.
mihrap (spelling in T; derived from A): see MiHrâb.
minbar (A; spelling in T, minber): the pulpit in a mosque [masjid], with steps leading up to a seat, placed to the side of the miHrâb, or niche indicating the prayer-direction to Mecca. There were minbars in Mevlevi tekke's.
minber (spelling in T; derived from A): see minbar.
mubtadî (A; spelling in T, mübtedi): beginner, a new disciple.
mu'aZZin (A; spelling in T, müezzin): the one who calls Muslims to pray, by saying the Call to Prayer [aZân, ezan] in a loud voice, traditionally from the minaret of a mosque [masjid].
müezzinbashI (A-T): the chief caller to prayer.
müezzin (spelling in T; derived from A): see mu'aZZin.
MuHammad (A; literally, "the praised one"); spelling in T, Muhammed (in Turkey, this name is only applied to the Prophet, and everyone else with this name is called Mehmet): the messenger of God, who received the Revelation called the "Qur'ân" via the angel Gabriel. He was born in Mecca, according to tradition in the year 570, and died in Medina (another city in Arabia) in 632. The Holy Qur'an states clearly that "Muhammad is no more than a messenger"-- as were the Prophets who passed away before him (Qur'ân 3:144), that he is the "Messenger of God" [rasûlu 'llâh-- Qur'ân 48:29; 33:21, 40], that he is "His servant" [`abdu-Hu-- lit., "His slave," Qur'ân 17:1; 18:1; 25:1; 53:10; 57:9), that he is the final Messenger of God to be sent-- "the Seal of the Prophets." [Qur'ân 33:40], and that he is "a beautiful example for everyone who looks forward to God and the Last Day and remembers God often" (Qur'ân 33:21). The Qur'an also states that this final Revelation is essentially the same message to mankind as was sent down to the Prophets Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus (Qur'ân 2:136).
Muhammed (spelling in T; derived from A): see MuHammad.
muHibb (A: lit., "lover"; spelling in T, mühib, mühip): in sufism, a lover, patron, supporter of a particular sufi master or sufi order, as well as someone looslely affiliated. In the Mevlevi tradition, it is the entry level of a beginner who has had the first initiation.
mühib (spelling in T; derived from A): see MuHibb.
mühip (spelling in T [plural: mühipler]; derived from A): see muHibb.
muhur (A; lit., "sealed"; spelling in T, mühür): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], part of the humble standing position in front of the Shaykh in which the right toe is on top of the left toe (and thereby "seals" it; this sealing is called in T, ayak mühürlemek). The other parts are crossing the right arm over the left with hands on shoulders, head held downwards to the left, and eyes looking downward. This posture is used at other times when standing with reverence and respect in front of the Shaykh or other dervish elders. In addition, it means to accept orders from the Shaykh without objection. For this reason, it is also called in T, bash kesmek [in P, sar shekastan]: lit., "to cut off the head." This is an idiom meaning to eliminate self-will and ego-driven desires.
mühür mühürlemek (spelling in T; derived from A): see muhur.
mukabale (spelling in T; derived from A): see muqâbala.
Mû'mina Khâtûn: mother of Mawlânâ, called (in P-A) "Mâdar-é SulTân" (Mother of the King) by the Mevlevis. She died and was buried in Lârenda (now called Karaman) between 1222-29, when Mawlânâ was 15-22 years old.
muqâbala (A; lit., "facing another"; spelling in T, mukabale): another name for the Mevlevi Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, because the participants face and bow (from the waist) to each other during the first part of the ceremony ( the Devir-i Veledi or "SulTân Walad Circling"), and face God, the Only Beloved, during the whirling prayer.
murîd (A; lit., "desirous," "willing"; feminine form, murîda; spelling in T, mürid, mürit): In sufism, the disciple of a sufi master or guide.
mürid (spelling in T; derived from A): see murîd.
mûrit (spelling in T; derived from A): see murîd.
murshid (A; lit., "one who guides"; spelling in T, mürshid, mürshit): A term in sufism, the sufi master and spiritual guide of a sufi disciple [murîd]. The sufi spiritual guide. Also called a sufi "(wise) elder": shaykh (A), pîr (P), or dede (T).
mürshid (spelling in T; derived from A): see murshid.
mürshit (spelling in T; derived from A): see murshid.
Muslim (A; [derivation SaLaMa, to be secure] lit., "submitter"; spelling in T, Müslim): One who submits to the Will of God is a "muslim." More particularly, it means one who submits to the Divine Will by following the purified religious way that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the Qur'ân.
Müslim (spelling in T; derived from A): see Muslim.
MuSTafà (A; lit., "the Chosen"; spelling in T, Mustafa): an honorific name referring to the Prophet Muhammad because he was chosen to receive and teach the revelation of the Qur'ân, and was the Seal of the Prophets (Qur'ân 33:40-- the last prophet or messenger to be sent by God to mankind prior to the Day of Judgment, and because he was a model of saintly piety and virtuous action for those who followed in his way thereafter.
MuSTafà `ITrî (1640-1712): the Mevlevi composer who composed the most often sung Na`t-é Sharîf, which occurs at the beginning of the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema].
Müsülman (spelling in T; derived from A-P, mosolmân; also Müslüman): a Muslim.
mutasavvIf (spelling in T; derived from A, mutaSawwif): one who becomes a sufi.
mutlaq Haqîqat (A; spelling in T, mutlak hakikat): lit., "absolute Truth, Reality." A term meaning God.
mutrib (spelling in T; derived from A): see MuTrib.
muTrib (A; spelling in T, mutrib, mutrip [plural, mutribler, mutripler]): lit., "musician." In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], one of the instrumental musicians or singers.
mutribhane (spelling in T; derived from A-P, muTrib-khâna; lit., "musician house"); in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the balcony room in which the musicians play their instruments and sing. It was traditional for the musician's room to be opposite the miHrâb, in front of which the shaykh stands and sits on his sheepskin [pôst].
mutrip (spelling in T; derived from A): see muTrib.
MuZaffaru 'd-dîn Amîr `âlim, Mawlânâ's third son (by his second wife, Kerrâ Khâtûn), born in the 1240's.
na'at (spelling in T; derived from A): see na`t.
nabî (A; spelling in T, nebi): a human messenger (in contrast to an angel) who is sent by God with a message of guidance to a nation. According to the Qur'ân, God has sent messengers to all the nations of the world throughout human history and most of them are unknown. Those who are known are mentioned in previous scriptures, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (who preceded Muhammad).
nafs (A; lit., "breath," "self"; spelling in T, nefs): In sufism this refers to the sensual or bodily self, or ego. A major part of the spiritual work of sufism is in combatting and training the base self until it submits to the Divine Will and is pleasing to God.
namâz (P; equivalent to A, Salât; spelling in T, namaz): The Islamic ritual prayer, done by Muslims five times a day: (prior to sunrise [A, Salâtu 'l-fajr; P, namâz-é bâmdâd; T, sabah namazI], just past noon [A, Salâtu 'Z-Zuhr; P, namâz-é pêshîn, or namâz-é Zuhr; spelling in T, namaz-I pishin; T, öghle namazI], late afternoon [A, Salâtu 'l-`aSr; P, namâz-é dîgar; T, ikindi namazI], just after sunset [A, Salâtu 'l-maghrib; P, namâz-é shâm; spelling in T, namaz-i sham], and following the end of twilight [A, Salâtu 'l-`ishâ; P, namâz-é khoftan; T, yatsI namazI]). According to the Islamic tradition, the ritual prayer is based on the prayers of the angels, and includes the postures of standing, bowing, and prostrating. It is also one of the "five Pillars of Islam"-- together with the "witnessing" [shaHâda] or affirmation of the Oneness of God and the Prophethood of Muhammad); fasting [sawm; spelling in T, savm] during the daylight hours of the lunar month of RamaZân); charity [zakât] given to the poor annually); and pilgrimage [Hajj] to Mecca once in a lifetime for those who can afford it).
na`t (A; spelling in T, na'at, naat; lit., "praise"): a eulogy, usually in the form of a poem (often sung), especially in honor of the Prophet Muhammad.
na`t-é sharîf (A-P; lit., "the noble eulogy"): The Whirling Prayer Ceremony begins with the singing of the praises of the Prophet Muhammad. Traditionally a ghazal of six verses [which is said to be by Mawlânâ (but it is not in the earliest manuscripts of his Dîvân); GolpInarlI wrote that it was by Mawlânâ's grandson Ulû `ârif Chalabî (but it is not in his Dîvân either)], which begins, "O beloved of God, you are the Messenger of the Sole Creator" [yâ Habîbu 'llâh, rasûl-é khâliq-é yak-tâ tô'yî] and also contains the line, "O Prophet of God, you know that your community are weak. . ." In the traditional musical composition (by MuSTafà `Itrî, died 1712), praise of Rumi is intermixed with this ghazal and begins (prior to the first line in praise of the Prophet Muhammad), "O our sublime master, friend of God!" [yâ HaZrat-é mawlânâ], friend of God. The added lines addressed to Mawlânâ (following the end of the eulogy of the Prophet) are: O doctor of hearts [yâ Tabîbu 'l-qulûb], O saint of God [yâ waliyu 'llâh], O friend! " [dôst]. See the article, "The Na`t-i Sharif," in the "Divan" section of this website.
na`t-khwân (A-P [derived from A, na`t, "eulogy"; drived from P, khwân, "reciter"]; lit., "eulogy-reciter"; spelling in T, na'than, naathan [not to be confused with the Mongolian word, khân, "king," also spelled in modern Turkish han]): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the musician who sings the Na`t-é Sharîf, in praise of the Prophet Muhammad.
nadhr (A; spelling in T, nezir): means something offered as a vow or as a gift.
nadhr-é Mawlânâ (A-P; spelling in T, nezir-i Mevlana): this means a Mevlevi gift (such as when visiting a shaykh or dede) of 18 items (such as small coins), since the number 18 is sacred in the Mevlevi tradition (because it is the number of the first 18 verses of Masnavi). For this reason, the Mevlevis also had an attraction to the Name of God, the (Ever) Living [Hayy] because it has the value of 18 (in the numerological system of Arabic letters called "abjad": H = 8, y = 10). The number 9 and its multiples were also acceptable. A gift consisting of 6 items was called (in T) nezir-i Shems.
naql (A): Instead of saying, "He died," Mevlevis would say, "He transfered" [A-P: naql kard; in T, göçmek: lit., to migrate].
naw-neyâz (P; lit., "new supplicant"; spelling in T, nevniyaz): the name given to a Mevlevi novice during his 1001-day training; also the name given to someone newly initiated as a disciple [murîd] and beginning whirler [semazen].
nay (P; also spelled nây; lit., "reed"; spelling in T, ney): a reed flute, with nine holes (a thumb hole, six finger holes, and the top and bottom openings). In Turkey and some former countries which were part of the Ottoman Empire, it has a mouthpiece, called "head piece" [bâsh-pâra, T-P; spelling in T, bashpare]. It is played especially in Mevlevi ceremonies and gatherings, and is the main symbol in the first eighteen lines of the Mathnawi (Masnavi).
nay zadan (P; in T, ney üflemek): to play the reed-flute.
nay-zan (P [derived from P, nay, "reed-flute"; derived from P, -zan, a suffix lit. meaning "beater" (here, (finger) beater, or musical instrument player]; spelling in T, neyzen): a musician who plays the reed-flute.
nâz (P): the expected role of the "beautiful beloved" in classical Persian poetry which includes acting spoiled, aloof and coy, as well as engaging in amorous teasing and playfulness and uttering coquettish endearments. If the mystic lover takes on such a role as the "beloved" of God, then it may be viewed by others as overly familiar, wrong, and outrageous. See the story of Moses and the shepherd (Masnavi II: 1720).
naZar (A; lit., "look," "glance"; spelling in T, nazar): originally an idiom meaning the favor of a prominent person. In sufism, it means the "glance of grace" [naZar-é `inâyat] bestowed upon the disciple by the spiritual master. Among the Mevlevis this word was also used to mean manZûr, the object of view or the one looked at. See manZûr.
nefs (spelling in T; derived from A): see nafs.
nevniyaz (spelling in T; derived from P): see naw-neyâz.
ney (spelling in T; derived from P): see nay.
neyâz (P; lit., "neediness," "supplication," spelling in T, niyaz): means the neediness of a dervish before God. This is a major teaching of Mawlânâ's: that since Divine Mercy responds to true neediness, the dervish must increase his or her neediness in order to receive Divine blessings and greater nearness to God (see Masnavi II: 3274). In sufi orders, the word also is used to mean the humble physical postition called muhur, as well as the humble manner in which a dervish greets his superior. In the Mevlevi tradition, it was the term used to describe the humble manner in which one dervish would greet another: both would raise the right index finger to the lips (as a sign to be silent and not reveal mystical secrets), kiss the finger, place the right hand (with open fingers) on the heart, and bow slightly. This term was also used to mean a gift humbly offered by someone to a Mevlevi dervish, dede, shaykh or to the Mevlevi center [tekke]. Nowadays, the meaning of "neediness" has been largely forgotten in Turkey and the predominabt meaning is "gift."
neyzen (spelling in T; derived from P): see nay-zan.
neyzenbashI (P-T [derived from P, nay-zan "reed-flute player"; derived from T, bâshI, "head"]): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the chief nay player, who is also the chief of all the musicians.
Nicholson: Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1868-1945), was the greatest Rumi scholar in the English language. His monumental achievement was his work on Rumi's Masnavi (done in eight volumes, published between 1925-1940). He produced the first critical Persian edition of Rumi's Masnavi, the first full translation of it into English, and the first commentary on the entire work in English. See the article, "About Nicholson," in the "Masnavi" section of this website.
niyaz (spelling in T; derived from P): see neyâz.
niyaz ederim (P-T): lit., "I am humbly asking a favor." This term was used to mean, "Please excuse me."
niyaz penceresi (P-T): lit., "window of supplication." This refers to a window facing the tomb of a dervish, where people may stand, raise their hands and pray the Fâtiha, and ask for the departed holy person's intercession with God (granted by the permission of God). The window gives the people access to the tomb when the door of the building (that contains the tomb) is locked.
nur ol (A-T): lit., "Let there be Light!" This was said as an expression of thankfulness.
ocak (T): fireplace, oven, or stove. This was vewed as sacred by the Mevlevis, since in Persian the word "cooked" [pokhta] is an idiom in Persian for becoming mature--in other words, spiritually mature (the opposite of raw, uncooked, immature [P, khâm]). The place where food was cooked was where new Mevlevis were trained to become "cooked" as humble dervishes, always willing to serve in a selfless manner. The oven area was also revered because it was associated with the memory of Mawlânâ's cook, known as âtash-bâz Walî.
örtmek (T): lit., "to cover, to veil." Mevlevis used this word instead of T, kapamak: "to close, to shut", which was viewed as having a negative meaning (for example, to close the mouth has the idiomatic meaning "to die").
pêsh-raw (P; lit., "fore-going"; spelling in T, peshrev): a prelude, or first section in classical Turkish music. In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], it is the music composed for the SulTân Walad "Circling" [dawr, devir]. It is in a long rhythm of 56/4.
peshrev (spelling in T; derived from P): see pêsh-raw
pîr (P; lit., "old man," "elder"; spelling in T, pir): a translation into Persian of the Arabic word, "shaykh," which has the same literal meaning, but means a sufi elder-- a spiritual guide, teacher, master. This word is also used to mean the founder of a sufi order. For Mevlevis, their "pîr" in this sense is Mawlânâ Jalâlu 'd-dîn Rûmî. In the Mevlevi order the word pîr also means the current holder of rank of Makam-I Çelebi, the highest ranking member of the Çelebi family -- a direct (patrilineal) descendant of Mawlânâ's. Thus the pîr of the Mevlevis has been the chief Çelebi, who traditionally was in charge of the lodge [dargâh, dergah] in Konya, where Mawlânâ is buried.
post (spelling in T; derived from P): see pôst.
pôst (P; lit., "skin," "husk"; spelling in T, post, pösteki): In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], it is a red sheep skin upon which the shaykh stands and sits. It symbolizes his authority. It can be interpreted symbolically in a number of other ways, such as the sacrifice of the lower self or ego (nafs). In this respect, the blood- colored skin of a sacrificed sheep is a very humble "throne" upon which the dervish "king" (the shaykh) sits in his simple dervish "court" [dargâh]. The red color symbolizes the manifestation of God [tajallî] to the prophets and saints. And it also symbolizes the sunset (at the time of Mawlânâ's death), as well as a symbol of Shams (the Sun) of Tabriz. It is traditionally placed in front of the miHrâb, indicating the direction of Mecca. Therefore, when the shaykh, semazens and musicians bow (from the waist) toward the pôst at the beginning and end of the Ceremony, they are bowing (from the waist) in respect (obeisance) to Mawlânâ, as well as toward Mecca.
post duasI (P-A-T): see du`â-ye pôst.
pôst-nâkIb (P-A; in T, postnakib, lit., "skin-bower"): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the dervish who carries and spreads the sheepskins, especially the red sheepskin (for the pôstneshîn), which he kisses and bows toward after laying it down.
pôst-neshîn (P; lit., "skin-sitter" spelling in T, postneshin): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the Mevlevi shaykh who stands and sits on the red sheep skin [pôst] and who is the leader of the Ceremony. The term is also used for the Mevlevi shaykh who is the head of a lodge [dergah, tekke]. In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ, sema], the pôst-neshîn symbolizes the presence of Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn Rûmî.
postneshin (spelling in T; derived from P): see pôst-neshîn.
pûl (P; in T, mangIr): A small coin that has little value. This term was used instead of "money".
qânûn (A; spelling in T, kanun): a zither-like stringed instrument, played horizontally with the fingers.
qibla (A; spelling in T, kible): the direction, toward the Ka`ba in Mecca, that all Muslims face while doing the ritual prayers five times a day.
qidam (A; spelling in T, kidem): lit., "preceeding in time." Mevlevis (other than high ranking members such as shaykhs or dedes) were ranked according to how long ago they were initiated as Mevlevis (and not according to age), and they would sit accordingly in formal sitations. For example, in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony (Sema), the whirler (semazen) with the most seniority was the first in line to whirl.
qubba-yé khaZrâ (A-P [derived from A, qubba, "dome; derived from A, khaDrâ, "green"]; spelling in T, kubbe-yi hadra): the famous green dome built over Mawlânâ's tomb in the mausoleum part of the Konya Mevlevi lodge [dargâh, dergah].
qudûm (A; lit., "arrival"; spelling in T, kudüm): refers to a drum, since drums were beaten to signal the arrival of the king. In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], it is a small double drum played with small sticks named zahme [spelling in T; derived from P, zakhma (lit., "something used to beat or wound")].
qudûm-zan (A-P; lit., "drum beater"; spelling in T, kudümzen): a drum player in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema]. The chief drummer was called (in T) kudümzenbashI [lit., "head drummer"].
Qûniya (Arabo-Persian spelling; spelling in T, Konya [prior forms: in Greek, Iconium; earlier in Phrygian, Kowania; earliest in Hittite, Kuwanna]:the city in central Anatolia (called "Rûm", the former Eastern Roman Empire and then the Byzantine Empire, in present-day Turkey) which was the capital of the Seljuq Empire, where Mawlânâ's father was invited to come to live and teach. At the time, Islamic scholars were very prized and many arrived from Central Asia to escape the Mongol invasion. Their native literary language was Persian, and many were also fluent in Arabic as well.
Qur'ân (A; lit., "recitation"; spelling in T, Kur'an): The holy scripture revealed in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad from God, through the archangel Gabriel [Jibrîl]. The Qur'ân presents itself not as a completely new message, but as a fresh expression of the essential message given by God to all the previous prophets-- from Noah and Abraham to Moses and Jesus.
rabâb (P, also robâb; spelling in T, rebab, rebap; sometimes translated as "rebec" in English) a short-necked lute with two strings made of horse hair, played like a Chinese violin or spike fiddle.
râbiTa (A; lit., "connecting"; spelling in T, rabIta): in sufism, this involves cultivating a loving spiritual connection with one's spiritual master or guide [shaykh, murshid], such as by visualizing his face in one's heart or visualizing oneself as sitting in front of him.
rabIta (spelling in T; derived from A): see râbiTa.
râHat kardan (P): lit., "to make rest" (in T: dinlendirmek): Since it would be considered rude to say, "Put out the flame (in your lamp)," the Mevlevis said, "Let the flame (in your lamp) rest" (or "be quiet" [khâmûsh]).
raftan (P; in T, yürümek [lit., to walk]): to walk, go, depart; also to die. An idiom meaning to die.
RamaZân (A; pronounced in A: ramaDân; spelling in T, Ramazan): The Islamic month of fasting (from food, water, sex, tobacco, and anger or arguments). One of the Five Pillars of Islam, it lasts for a lunar month (of 29 or 30 days) each year. The morning meal must end by the first sign of dawn, and the daily fast lasts until sunset. The Prophet Muhammad first began to receive the Revelation of the Qur'ân during this month.
raqS (A; spelling in T, raks): dancing, dance. When this word is used for the spontaneous spiritual movements in the original sufi samâ` (during Mawlânâ's time and the several preceeding centuries), it is best translated as "dance-like movements." This is because the movements (which could include hand-waving and hand clapping while standing or sitting, whirling clockwise or counter-clockwise, etc.) were not planned movements; rather these were movements that were guided or impelled by a spiritul state of consciousness. Similarly, traditional Mevlevi whirling (in the whirling halls of Mevlevi centers) was derived from traditional sufi sammâ, and should not be called "dancing," This is because such whirling is intended to be a form of concentrated prayer. Whirling as a stage performance that emphasizes beauty of form is contrary to the intent of traditional samâ, and contrary to Mawlânâ's teachings about the precedencenc of inner meaning [ma`nà] in regard to external form [sûrat].
rasûl (A; lit., "messenger"; spelling in T, resûl): means a prophet of God who is given a message for mankind. According to the Qur'ân, God has sent messengers to all the nations of the world throughout human history and most of them are unknown. Those who are known are mentioned in previous scriptures, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (the predecessors of Muhammad).
rebab (spelling in T; derived from P): see rabâb.
rebap (spelling in T; derived from P): see rabâb.
resûl (spelling in T; derived from A): see rasûl.
riZâ (A, riDâ; spelling in T, rIzâ): lit., "contentment." This term is often used in Islam to mean contentment with whatever the Will of God brings. The Mevlevis used it frequently because it has value of 1001 (in the numerological system of Arabic letters called "abjad": r =200, D = 800, a = 1), the number of days in the Mevlevi retreat [T, çille].
rubâ`iyyât (A; spelling in T, rubaiyat [singular, rubâ`î; spelling in T, rubai, plural: rubailer]; other spellings: ruba'iyat, roba'iyat, rob'ai). See the article, "About the Quatrains," in the "Divan" section of this website.
ruhaniyet (spelling in T; derived from A): see rûHâniyyat.
rûHâniyyat (A; lit., "spirituality"; spelling in T, ruhaniyet): in sufism, the spirit or being of a sufi master (alive or departed), in contrast to his physical body.
Rumi (spelling in T): see Rûmî.
Rûmî (A; derived from Latin, Rome; lit, "Roman" or one who dwells in the Eastern Roman Byzantine land of Anatolia; spelling in T, Rumi; other spellings, Roumi): the name by which Mawlânâ Jalâlu 'd-dîn al-Balkhî is most often called in Europe and America. He is not called "Rumi" in Muslim countries, where he is referred to much more respectfully (in Turkey, Mevlâna; in Iran, Molavi; in Afghanistan, Mawlânâ or Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn-é Balkhî; in India and Pakistan, Mawlânâ-yé Rûm, Mawlânâ Rûm, Maulana Rum, Mawlana Rum, Molana Roum). He spent most of his life in Anatolia (now known as Turkey) and died on December 17, 1273, according to the Western solar calendar.
Safâ naZâr (A; spelling in T, safa nazar): lit., "pure glance or look." This meant the pure spiritual gaze of the spiritual master [A: shaykh, murshid] toward a disciple [A, sâlik], as well as the gaze of the disciple toward anyone or anything (that should include the intention of seeing the Divine Unity [A, tawHîd] and the Attributes of God reflected in all things.
sajda-yé neyâz (A-P): lit., "prostration of (humble) neediness." This is a single bowing and kissing of the floor of a ceremonial room (such as the semâ`-khâna or maydân) and facing the center prior to sitting, or prior to sitting when entering a room where the Shaykh is sitting (facing the Shaykh). This is not a prostration of prayer (although it resembles the sajda-yé shakûr) in that the floor is kissed (or the tops of the hands are kissed if there is no carpet or there is doubt about cleanliness), but the forehead does not touch the floor, as in ritual prayers [A, salât; P, namâz], nor is it intended to be done in the direction of prayer [qibla]. This practice was originally a ceremonial prostration of obeissance [not worship] before a king, then adopted by the sufis as a gesture of respect toward the sufi master [shaykh, murshid], viewed as a "spiritual king" who ruled a sufi center (often a simple, humble building) using the same word that meant a "royal court" [P, dar-gâh; spelling in T, dergah]. This bowing before a sufi shaykh was done in the time of Mawlânâ (according to Aflâkî).
sajda-yé shakûr (A-P): this is a single prostration done in the prayer direction [qibla] as an expression of gratitude to God. It is a form of prayer to God and is different from the sajda-yé neyâz, which is a type of bowing out of respect that is not a prostration of prayer.
SalâHu 'd-dîn-é Zar-kûb [derived from A, SalâHu' d-dîn, "the virtue of the (Islamic) Religion; derived from P, zar-kûb, "the gold-beater" or goldsmith); spelling in T, Selâhaddin): a fellow sufi disciple [murîd] of Mawlânâ's first sufi shaykh, Sayyid Burhânu 'd-dîn MuHaqqiq Termezî-- the chief disciple of Mawlânâ's father. After the death of Sayyid Burhânuddîn, SalâHuddîn became Mawlânâ's disciple. After the final disappearance of Shams-é Tabrîzî, he became Mawlânâ's closest spiritual companion. He was put in charge of teaching and training all the disciples, and died in 1254.
salâm (A [derivation SaLaMa, to be secure]; lit., "peace"; spelling in T; selam): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] this word refers to the four separate vocal musical sections, each of which has different music composed for it, as well as a different spiritual characteristic. The symbolism of these four "mystical journeys" may be interpreted variously: such as according to the traditional sufi understanding of four terms: sharî`at, the Law (established by God), Tarîqat , the Way (to God), Haqîqat [spelling in T, hakikat], the Truth (of God), ma`rifat, the Knowing (of God). It needs to be stressed that these are idealistc interpretations. While individual whirlers [semazens] may, or may not, experience ecstatic states during the whirling, descriptions of the Whirling Prayer Ceremony should not be exaggerated, such as by stating or implying that the whirlers are experiencing one glorious stage after another during the progression of the four selams.
salâm `alaykum (A): a contraction of "salâm-un `alaykum" (Peace be upon you). See as-salâmu `alaykum.
Salât (A): see namâz.
salavat (spelling in T; derived from A): see Salawât.
Salawât (A; lit., "blessings," "benedictions"; spelling in T, salavat): the Islamic practice of praying that God pour blessings upon the soul of the Prophet Muhammad. For example, "O God, pour blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family and followers of Muhammad" [allâhumma Sallî `alà muHammad-in wa `alà ahli muHammad-in wa sallim]. Such prayers are done by all Muslims during each of the five daily prayers, but are also done separately as a silent or group chant by Muslim sufis.
salik (spelling in T; derived from A): see sâlik.
sâlik (A; lit., "seeker"; spelling in T, salik): in sufism, it means a seeker of the way to God.
samâ` (A; lit., "hearing," "audition" [not related to the Arabic word, samâ, meaning "sky"]; spelling in T, sema, semâ): In sufism, it was originally a spiritual exercise done in sufi gatherings (beginning in Baghdad, several centuries before Mawlânâ's time), involving spontaneous physical movement and dance-like motions inspired by listening to recitations from the Qur'ân, sufi poetry, or sufi music and songs. The dervishes would listen as if hearing the voice of God, the "music" of the spheres, or the "sound" from the primordial state of Unity before the creation-- and they would enter ecstatic spiritual states of consciousness. In the Mevlevi tradition, this became formalized into a ritual of disciplined whirling called the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], accompanied by music composed by Mevlevi musicians over the centuries, during which Persian and Turkish poetry is sung (composed mainly by Rumi, his son, and grandson). Nowadays, the original meaning of the term has sbeen forgotten in Turkey, so that it only means "whirling." (For example: "There is Sema tonight" can mean the full or abbreviated Mevlevi Whirling Prayer Ceremony, or just semazens whirling in costume while musicians play hymns [illahis]; likewise, "He did Sema" can mean that a semazen whirled in the Ceremony, or that he whirled alone.)
samâ`-khâna (A-P; spelling in T, semahane): lit., "house of audition"): In the Mevlevi tradition, this is a building or hall designed for the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema].
samâ`-zan (A-P [derived from A, samâ`, "audition"; derived from P, -zan, a suffix meaning "beater," (here = (foot) beater, or "dancer"]; spelling in T, semazen; plural, semazenler): someone trained to be a "whirler" in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema]. The samâ`-zan whirls with the left foot solidly on the floor; the right foot touches the floor after a complete circle, pointing toward the center of the circle, and stepping according to the beat of the music; the arms are outstretched and held upward; the right hand is opened to the sky to receive Divine Grace, and the right hand turned downward to transmit and give it all away; the eyelids are narrowed and the gaze is upon the left thumb; the head is turned leftward (the direction of the heart), and bent toward the upheld right arm; the inward concentration has a spiritual focus on the heart, the mental repetition of the zikr, "Al-lâh, Al-lâh" with each step and rotation of the whirling, and an awareness that God is All-Present within the "Ka`ba of the heart" and in all directions: "Whichever way you turn, there is the Face of God" (Qur'ân 2: 115). During the Ceremony, the semazens also move around the hall in a circle while whirling and then whirl in place during the fourth section [salâm]. Although the whirling is dance-like, it should not be called a "dance" or "dancing" because it is a form of prayerful concentration on the Name of God [Allâh] and not a way of experiencing physical excitement or pleasure, nor is it a performance intended to impress viewers. (See samâ`.)
samâ`-yé samâwî (A-P [derived from A, samâ`, "audition"; derived from A, samâwî, "heavenly" (pronounced in Iran: samâvî)]; spelling in T, sema-i semavi): means "heavenly dance" and refers to the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema].
sakka postu (A-P-T [derived from A, saqqâ, "water carrier"; derived from P, pôst, "animal skin"]): the sheepskin (seat) for the "water-carrier." Means the place where a Mevlevi novice would sit for an initial three days at the kitchen entrance.
sar-pâ zadan (P; spelling in T, serpâ etmek): lit., "to strike with the top of the foot," and therefore to kick. This term was used when a Mevlevi was expelled (termporarily or permanently) for wrongdoing.
sar-ê Tabbâkh (A; spelling in T, ser-i tabbâh, sertabbah): lit., "head cook. Also called in T, ashchIbashI or ashchI dede. This was the second highest rank in a Mevlevi center [T, tekke], after the Shaykh, and was the one who trained new Mevlevis to become dervishes; he also collected revenues, managed expenses, and looked after guests.
sar-é Tarîqat (P-A; spelling in T, ser-i tarikat, sertarik; also called tarikatchI dede): lit., "head of the Path." This the name for the chief of all Mevlevi shaykhs and their spiritual director, who is appointed by the Maqâm-é Chalabî (in T, Makam-I Çelebi] as the second highest ranking member of the Mevlevi Order [tarîqat]. He assists the Maqâm-é Chalabî, such as by being his deputy and traveling to other Mevlevi centers to resolve conficts.
siyâhat (A; spelling in T, seyahat): travelling, going on a pilgrimage. Newly initiated Mevlevis were encouraged to visit the tomb of Mawlânâ in Konya, in hope of receiving guidance (from God, via the intercession of the Pîr) on traveling the path to God.
Sayyid Burhânu 'ddîn MuHaqiq Tirmizî, died 1240 or 1241, in the town of Kayseri; spelling in T, Seyyid Burhaneddin): Mawlânâ's first sufi master, who was the chief disciple of Mawlânâ's father. Following the death of his father, Mawlânâ studied with him for a period of nine years, prior to meeting Shams-é Tabrîzî. Sayyid Burhânuddîn sent him to Syria (in the cities of Allepo and Damascus) to study traditional Islamic learning (where Mawlânâ also lived with other former disciples of his father), and later ordered him to do a number of austere spiritual retreats.
selam (spelling in T; from A): see salâm.
selâmünaleyküm (spelling in T; from A): see as-salâmu `alaykum.
sema (spelling in T; derived from A): see samâ`.
semahane (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see samâ`-khâna.
sema meydanI (T; derived from A, samâ`, "concert"; derived from P, maydân, "open area"): the ceremonial hall, where the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] took place in a Mevlevi lodge [tekke].
semazen (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see samâ`-zan.
semazenbashI (A-P-T [derived from A, samâ`, "audition"; P, -zan, "(foot) beater," meaning "dancer"; T, bashI, "head" or "chief"]): the leader of the semazens, who, after receiving permission from the shaykh, silently guides the semazens during the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], in order to maintain a particular harmonious pattern and spacing in the Ceremony.
semazen tahtasI (A-P-T; derived from A-P, takhta-yé samâ`-zan; lit., "platform for concert dancers"): an octagonal platform used by the semazens in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony. There were as many as 365 such octagonal platforms throughout the Ottoman Empire.
sheriat (spelling in T; derived from A): see sharî`at.
shab-é `arûs (P; properly, shab-é `arûsî, but this term is not known or used in Iran; lit., "wedding night"; spelling in T, sheb-i arus): refers to the night when Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn Rûmî died (and became "wedded" to God, the Beloved). A special Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] is observed on the anniversary of this night (December 17 on the Western solar calendar, since 1953, when the Turkish government gave permission for the first time since organized sufism was made illegal in 1925). However, the event was celebrated in previous centuries according to the Islamic lunar calendar, 5 Jumâdî II (occurring, for example on the evening preceeding May 19, 2010, then on the evening preceeding May 9, 2011). It is traditional in sufism to celebrate the "wedding" [`urs] of a great sufi, on the (lunar calendar) anniversary of death. See the article, "Rumi's Wedding Night," on this website.
shab-kolâh (P; spelling in T, sheb-külâh): A short conical felt hat (shorter than a sikke) that the Mevlevi dervishes wore when asleep in bed.
shaHâda (A; lit., "witnessing"; spelling in T, shehadet): one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and means declaring the unity of God and that Muhammad was an authentic Prophet sent by God. It is also said as a ritual act by someone who make the intention to become a Muslim.
Shams-é Tabrîzî (A-P [derivation from A, shams, "sun"; derived from P, Tabrîz; derived from P, -é suffix connector meaning "of"]; spelling in T, Shems-i Tebriz, Shemseddin Mehmet-i Tebriz): Rumi's second spiritual teacher (after studying for nine years under Sayyid Burhânuddîn). His full name was Shamsu 'd-dîn (lit., "the Sun of the Religion") MuHammad-é Tabrîz (spelling in T, Shemseddin Mehmet-i Tebriz) originally from the city of Tabriz in Persia. He came to Konya in search of someone worthy of sharing his mystical wisdom. He met Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn Rûmî there in 1244 (but may have encountered him briefly in Damascus when Mawlânâ was a student there). He disappeared in 1248. According to Aflaki, he was murdered and thrown down a well by jealous disciples of Rumi (but there is no evidence of this, and there are problems with this story). His sayings (mostly in Persian, some in Arabic) were written down by his disciples and are known as the "Discourses" [Maqâlât-é Shams-é Tabrîzî]. A portion of this material was incorporated by Aflâkî (for which see his name).
sharî`at (A; lit., "road"; spelling in T, sheriat, sher'iyat, sher'iyet): an Islamic term referring to the religious law, which is intended to guide people to act in ways which will harmonize them with the Will of God. The religious law is based upon traditional interpretations of the Qur'ân and the behavior and practices (sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it includes the daily worship and the guidelines and boundaries of conduct in Islam [sharî`ah). In sufism, the later spiritual stages are based upon the foundation of sharî`ah: the path of spiritual purification and training in mystical disciplines [Tarâqah], mystical knowledge [ma`rîfah], and ultimate truth [Haqîqah].
shaikh: see shaykh.
shaykh (A; lit., "old man," "elder"; plural: mashâ'ikh, mashâyikh, shuyûkh; other spellings: shaikh, sheikh; spelling in T, sheyh): In sufism, it generally means a spiritual leader, teacher, guide, master (equivalent to P, pîr). In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ, sema], the Shaykh symbolizes the presence of Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn Rûmî. In a Mevlevi center [tekke], the Shaykh is the highest authority. He is addressed (in T) as "Efendi" or "Efendi Hazretleri" (example: "Mehmet Efendi," "Sheyh Mehmet Efendi").
sheikh: see shaykh.
Sifât (A; lit., "qualities," "attributes"; spelling in T, sIfat): In sufism, this refers to the Attributes of God, such as Mercy, Wisdom, Guidance, Love, Peace, etc. These qualities are often invoked in Arabic by Sufis as ways to praise and glorify God [Zikru 'llâh]. See asmâ'u 'l-Husnà.
sIfat (spelling in T; derived from A): see Sifât.
sikka (A; lit., "stamped," "coined"; spelling in T, sikke): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the tall conical or cylindrical hat worn by the semazens. It is usually made from camel's hair and colored brown, honey, or white-- about 40-45 centimeters in length. It is worn by the "whirlers" [samâ`-zan-ân, semazenler] and symbolizes the dervish's tombstone. The Mevlevi sikke was not supposed to be worn in public places such as theaters and cafes. Mevlevis were buried with their sikkas.
silsilah (A; lit., "chain"; spelling in T, silsile): in sufism, a particular lineage of spiritual transmission from initiating sufi to disciple through the generations going back to the Prophet Muhammad. Generally these lineages are through particular sufi "orders" [Turuq, the plural of "Tarîqa"], their predecessors and their later branches.
sirr shodan (A-P; spelling in T, sIr olmak): lit., "to become secret, hidden." This meant to become hidden, lost, or "silent" (= dead).
somatçI (A-T, derived from A, simâT, a leathern table mat placed on the floor and filled with food): in the Mevlevi tradition, the person whose job it was to unroll and later to clear the table mat (also called in A-P, alif-é somaT; spelling in T, elif-i somat).
somathane (A-P, from simâT-khâna): this means, table mat room. This was the area of the kitchen where Mevlevis ate, sitting in front of a leathern table mat on the floor.
son peshrev (T-P; lit., "final prelude"): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] it is in a rhythmic pattern of 4 beats and is the instrumental musical section which follows the end of the fourth selam (the singing of Mawlânâ's verse, "You are my king" [sulTân-é man-î . . . "]). It is followed by a section called "son yuruk semâî" just prior to the final instrumental solo and the recitation of the Holy Qur'ân.
subHânu 'llâh (A; lit., "Glory be to God"; spelling in T, subhanullâh): a much used Islamic phrase of praise of God. Secondarily, in the Qur'ân it also means "God transcends any association of partners."
suHbat (A; lit., "companionship," "conversation"; spelling in T, sobhet): In sufism, it is the company, speech, and conversation of a spiritual master as experienced by disciples, followers, or guests. In sufism, such contact is believed to be a primary means of transmission of the grace [barakat] of the spiritual master. Secondarily, it means spiritual companionship with the shaykh and fellow disciples.
Sûfî (A; lit., "wollen one"); spelling in T, sofi, sofu: the term for practitioners of the mystical dimension of Islam, who apparently adopted (scratchy) woolen garments very early in, as did Christian ascetics (the word is not related to "purity" [Safw], which is a different Arabic word). The word covers a wide range of types of mystics engaged in a variety of spiritual practices and attitudes.
SulTân Walad (A; lit., "king (who is the) son"; pronunciation in Iran: Soltân Valad; spelling in T, Sultan Veled): Mawlânâ's son, named after his father: Bahâ'u 'd-dîn MuHammad SulTân Walad. After Mawlânâ's death, his first successor was his closest disciple, Husâmuddîn Chelebî. Sultan Walad was the second successor after Husamuddin's death. Sultan Walad may have been the first to begin organizing the whirling prayer [samâ`, sema]) into a structured ceremony, based on the essentials of his father's practice. See the article, "About Sultan Walad's Poetry," on this website.
sulûk (A; lit., "travelling"; spelling in T, sülûk): in sufism, it means travelling on the Islamic mystical path to God, especially under the guidance of a guide [shaykh, murshid]. It also means following certain (spiritual) conduct and rules.
sülûk (spelling in T; derived from A): see sulûk.
sunnat (A; spelling in T, sünnet): the practices of the Prophet Muhammad, which if done repeatedly by him, are considered confirmed for Muslims to follow (some of which are considered obligatory and others voluntary).
sünnet (spelling in T; derived from A): see sunnat.
Sûratu 'l-FâtiHa (A): see FâtiHa.
Sûratu 't-TawHîd: begins, "qul howa 'llâhu aHad" (spelling in T, kul hüvallahü ahad).
takya (A; lit., "place of repose"; spelling in T, tekke; other spellings: tekyê, tekiyê, takiyya): a sufi gathering place, usually separate from mosques. A place (also called a "dargâh") where dervishes would meet and do prayer-chanting [Zikr] and to receive spiritual instruction from the teacher. These were usually humble buildings, though some which were well-funded were large enough to contain separate cells for the dervishes to live in, a kitchen, and an attached mosque.
Tâlib (A; spelling in T, tâlip): lit., "seeker." A newly initited Mevlevi, who aspired to undergo the 1,000 day retreat [çille].
tambur (spelling in T; derived from A): see Tanbûr.
tanbur (spelling in T; derived from A): see Tanbûr.
Tanbûr (A; pronounced in A: "tamboor"; spelling in T, tanbur, tambur): a long-necked lute.
TanrI erler (T; lit., "men of God"): see mard-ân.
tanûra (P [derived from tanûr (oven); derived from ancient Persian: tanûra, "oven"; occurs in Qur'ân 11:40 and 23:27, tannûr, meaning "oven"]; spelling in T, tennûre: a dervish garment, perhaps derived from a type of kitchen garment which gave protection to the lower body from oven heat and sparks. In the Mevlevi tradition, the tanûra-yé samâ` is a white dress-like garment worn by semazens during the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], which hangs from the shoulders and which floats upwards in a circle as the dervishes spin faster. The white color of this garment is the same color as the burial cloth for all Muslims. Historically, another garment called a service skirt [tanûra-yé khidmat; spelling in T, hizmet tennûresi] was shorter (ankle length), black or dark brown in color, and was worn by novices who were completing their 1001 day retreat [chella] in the kitchen. It was also the tanûra worn by all Mevlevis every day.
taqsîm (A; lit., "section"; spelling in T, taksim): a musical solo improvised on a particular musical instrument. During the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], a reed-flute [nay, ney] solo always precedes the Sultan Veled Circling. Then, following the Fourth Selam, or vocal musical section, two instrumental sections are played (son peshrev and yürük semâî), followed by the final instrumental solo. During this solo, the shaykh, or pôst-neshîn, slowly begins to return to the pôst-- at which time a passage from the Qur'ân is recited and the semazens stop whirling.
tarikat (spelling in T; derived from A): see Tarîqat.
tarikatçI dede (T; derived from A, Tarîqat, "path way"): the chief spiritual guide of the Mevlevis, who assisted the Çelebi or pîr of the Order, the chief authority of the order. Also called sertarik (spelling in T; derived from P-A, sar-é Tarîq [derived from P, sar, "head" and A, Tarîqa, "path"; with P, -é, suffix connector, meaning "of"]).
tarikat dede (A-T): see tarikatçI dede.
Tarîqat (A; also, Tarîqa; lit., "road," "path," "way"; spelling in T, tarikat): the sufi path of spiritual purification and training in mystical disciplines. Its foundation is the daily worship and the guidelines and boundaries of conduct in Islam [sharî`ah). Generally, the more advanced levels are mystical knowledge [ma`rîfah], and ultimate truth [Haqîqah]. The word also means one of the traditional lineages of sufism [taSawwuf] which is the mystical dimension of Islam. Well-known orders are the Mevlevi, Qadrî (spelling in T, Kadiri), Naqshbandî (spelling in T, Nakshibendi), Rifa`î (also spelled Rufai), Khalwatî (spelling in T, Helveti), and Shâdhdhilî (spelling in T, Shazeli).
tarji`-band (A-P [derived from A, tarji` ("returning") and P, -band (bound); plural in A, "tarji`ât]; spelling in T, tercibend): a long poem with a repeating couplet at the end of each stanza. See the article, "About the Tarji-bands," in the "Divan" section of this website.
taSarruf (A; lit., "power," "control," "influence"; spelling in T, tasarruf): in sufism this term means the spiritual power or ability of the shaykh to use his spiritual concentration to effect spiritual changes in the consciousness of a disciple.
tasarruf (spelling in T; derived from A): see taSarruf.
tasavvuf (spelling in T; derived from A): see taSawwuf.
taSawwuf (A; derived from Sûf, "woolen"; pronounced in Iran and spelling in T, tasavvuf): The mystical dimension of Islam. It is the mystical science of spiritual purification and seeking nearness to God. Its foundation is the daily worship and the guidelines and boundaries of conduct in Islam [sharî`ah), and its branches are the path tarîqah], mystical knowledge [ma`rîfah], and ultimate truth [Haqîqah].
tasbîH (A; lit., "glorification"; spelling in T, tesbih): a circular string of prayer beads, usually thirty-three or ninety-nine in number. It is used to chant (usually privately and silently) the praises of God, using sacred Arabic words and phrases derived from the Qur'ân. A common tasbîH following each of the five daily prayers is "glory be to God" [subHânu 'llâh], "(all) praise is to God" [al-Hamdu li-llâh], "God is Most Great " [Allâhu Akbar]-- 33 times each.
tavaf (spelling in T; derived from A): see Tawâf.
Tawâf (A; spelling in T, tavaf): the counter-clockwise circumambulation around the Ka`ba during the Hajj, or Pilgrimage to Mecca. The circumambilation ritual involves seven circlings, and there is a Tradition [HadîS] according to which the first three circumambulations are to be done more rapidly, with the dignified attitude of a warrior who fears only God. In the Whirling Prayer Ceremony, the dervishes circumambulate counter-clockwise three times with dignity; this is followed by four salâm's which involve more circlings.
TawHîd (A; lit., "making one"; spelling in T, tevhid, tevhit): the Unity of God. In sufism, this also refers to the practice of reciting the Islamic creed in Arabic, "There is no divinity but (the One) God" [lâ ilâha illâ 'llâh].
tef (spelling in T; derived from P): see daf.
tekke (spelling in T; derived from A; pronounced "tek-kye"): see takya.
tennûre (spelling in T; derived from P): see tanûra.
tennûre açmak (P-T): opening of the tanûra during the Whirling Prayer Ceremony by spinning.
tennûre çarpmak (P-T; from T, çaparmak, to hit or knock against, to collide with). During the Whirling Prayer Ceremony, the whirlers [semazens] are trained to be in a concentrted state of prayer [Zikru 'llâh] while being alert to their positions in the whirling circle; this includes being careful not to let one's whirling skirt [tanûra] knock against the whirling skirt of another semazen. If this occurred, an apology was due (after the Ceremony), said in T, "Huzuruna mani oldum, affet" ("I interfered with your peace of mind [lit., presence], (please) give pardon") .
tennûre salâ (P-A; from A, Salâ, lit., "invitation," such as to call out an invitation for people to come together to do the ritual prayer): the call to the dervishes in the tekke to come for the Sema, and for the whirlers to put on their whirling clothes.
tercibend (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see tarji`-band.
tesbih (spelling in T; derived from A): see tasbîH.
tîgh-band (P; spelling in T, tig-bend): lit., sword belt. A belt made of wool that formerly was used by the whirlers [semazens] during the Devr-i Veledi, or "Sultân Walad Circling" (of three circumambulations wearing the black cloak [khirqa] over the white whirling skirt [tanûra, tennûre]. It used to be the custom that the whirling skirt should not touch the floor during this part of the Ceremony. The woolen belt held the skirt up from the floor. Just prior to the whirling part of the Ceremony, the whirlers took off their black cloaks and removed the woolen belts. This custom has been abandoned in the "Sema Revival" period since 1953.
turba-khâna (A-P; lit., "tomb house"): in regard to Mawlânâ, this is the name of his mausoleum at the Mevlevi lodge [tekke] in Konya. It was made into a national museum in 1927, after organized sufism was made illegal (in 1925).
turba-dâr (A-P): lit., "tomb-keeper." This was a highly esteemed position of senior dervishes. In Konya, the tomb-keepers of the tombs of Mawlânâ, Shams-é Tabrîzî, and âtash-Bâz stood to the left of the Pôst-neshîn during the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`]. The tomb-keeper of Mawlânâ's tomb (called Bash Türbedar, "Head Tomb-Keeper") was also responsible for the upkeep of the other 64 tombs within the same mausoleum.
türbedar (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see turba-dâr.
türbehane (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see turba-khâna.
üçüncü selâm (T-A): the third salâm in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], the longest of the four: it begins with a rhythmic pattern of 28 beats, called dawr-é kabîr (A-P, lit., "grand cycle"; spelling in T, devr-i kebir); then a transitional pattern of 10 beats, called aksak semaî (T-A, lit., "limping audition"); then a pattern of 6 beats, called yürük semaî (T-A, lit., "fast audition").
ûlû `ârif Chalabî: Mawlânâ's grandson, the son of SulTân Walad (by his wife FâTima Khâtûn), died 1320.
`urs (A, `urs; lit., "wedding"; spelling in T, urs): the anniversary of a sufi master's death, normally according to the Islamic lunar calendar. Mawlânâ's `urs, however, has been celebrated according to the solar calendar (on December 17) ever since the Turkish government began allowing the Whirling Prayer Ceremony to be performed again in Turkey in the 1950's. See "Shab-ê `Arûs."
uyanmak (T): to waken. See bîdâr bâsh.
vasIl (spelling in T): see waSl.
vasl (spelling in T): see waSl.
vecd (spelling in T; derived from A): see wajd.
wajd (A; spelling in T, vecd): in sufism, it means a state of spiritual ecstasy.
waHdat (A; spelling in T, vahdet); lit., unique, single, soltary. This was used as an idiom for sleep or being asleep.
Wakhsh (pronounced in Iran: Vakhsh): the town where Mawlânâ's father was employed as a teacher and scholar at the time when Mawlânâ may have been born, about 155 miles to the north of Balkh, across the Amû-Daryâ River (located in present-day Tajikistan). (See Franklin Lewis, "Rumi: Past and Present," p. 47-49.)
walî (A [derived from WaLiYa, "to be near to"]; lit., "protector," guardian"; spelling in T, veli) (of God); plural, awliyâ (spelling in T, evliya): in sufism, this means means a friend of God, a sufi saint. "Truly, for the friends of God [awliyâ'u 'llâh] there is no fear (in this world or the next), nor shall they grieve." (Qur'ân 10:62).
waSl (A [derived from WaSaLa, to arrive at, to attain]; lit., connection, joining; spelling in T, vasIl, vasl; often translated into English as "union"): although the belief of unification [ittiHâd] with God is not accepted in Islam, some sufis have spoken of "union with the beloved" to symbolize a kind of spiritual union with the soul of a sufi master and to mean a spiritual state of nearness to God [in A, qurbatu bi-llâh; in P, nazdîkî-yé Haqq], which is likened to union.
wâSil (A; spelling in T, vâsIl): lit., "one who has arrived, joined." The plural was also used: those who have attained "union" with God [in P, wâSil-ân-é Haqq].
waZîfa (A; lit., "duty," "obligation," "task" [plural: waZâ'if]; spelling in T, vazife): in sufism, a spiritual practice (usually done every morning) of repeating a sacred phrase or Name of God in Arabic a certain number of times. Usually assigned by a shaykh to a student, and chosen specifically to aid that persons spiritual development for a particular time.
wird (A; plural: awrâd; pronounced in Iran, verd; spelling in T, vird; spelling in T of the Arabic plural, evrad, evrat): selections from the Qur'ân, read daily together with other prayers [du'â]. Different sufi orders have particular selections which are to be recited.
wuDû (A; pronunciation in A): see wuZû.
wuZû (A; pronounced in Arabic, "wuDû" [derivation: WaDDA, to wash]; spelling in T, vuzu; related to P, âb-dast; T, abdas, aptes): washing the hands, face, arms, and feet with water, according to the Islamic requirement for ritual purification before the five daily prayers.
yürük semâî (T-A [derived from T, meaning going "fast"; derived from A-P, samâ`î, lit., "something listened to"]): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema] it is a section played by musical instruments in a rhythmic pattern of 6 beats. At the end of the Ceremony, following the Fourth Salâm there is an instrumental section called the the final yürük semâî [son yürük semâî], which follows the instrumental section called the "last prelude," or [son peshrev]. After these two sections is the final instrumental solo [taqsîm, taksim], during which the semazens continue to whirl until they hear the recitation of the Holy Qur'ân.
yürümek (T): to walk. See raftan.
ZâbiT-ân (A-P; spelling in T, Zabitan; derived from A, DâbiT: one who keeps in order, who manages, regulates; manager. There were 18 managers in a Mevlevi center [tekke], not counting the Shaykh. All of them were spiritual elders [dedes]. The chief manager of the dedes, in these 18 areas of service in the tekke, was the "Head Cook," the AshçI Dede. (1) KazancI Dede (from T, qâzqân or qâzghân, a large kettle): manager of the tekke. (2) Halîfe Dede (from A, khalîfa, deputy): helper of new initiates in the kitchen. (3) DIsharI MeydancIsI, or MeydancI (from T, dIsharI, outside; from P, maydân, field of battle or gamesmanship--meaning the training room in the tekke): communicator of the orders of the AshçI Dede (or in the Konya tekke, the TarikatçI) to the dedes who lived in cells and other dervishes. Also acted as secretary to the Shaykh. (4) ÇamashIrcI Dede (in A-P: libâs-shûy): the washerman of the clothes of the dedes and others in the tekke. (5) âbrizci (from P, âb-rêz, sprinkling water): cleaner of the area of ritual washing before prayer [namâz], plus other duties. 6) Sherbetçi (from A, sharbat, medicinal drink; later, a sweet fruit drink): bringer of fruit drinks to the dedes, such as when they returned to their cells from a meal in the kitchen. (7) BulashIkçI (in P, Zaraf--shûy): cleaner of dirty dishes. (8) DolapçI (from P, dol-âb, waterwheel, also a revolving cabinet or cupboard): receiver of the clean dishes and utensils. who placed them in the cupboard (9) PazarcI (from P, bâzâr, market): the daily purchaser of whatever was needed forthe tekke. (10) SomatçI (from A, simâT, a leathern mat used on the floor, like a table mat, for food [the word for tablecloths and mats in P, sofra]): the unroller of the table mat, who cleaned it after the meal. (11) Îch meydancIsI (from T, îç, "inside"; in P-T, maydânçI-yI darûn): the server of coffee to the spiritual elders [dedes] and dervishes. (12) Îçeri kandilcisi; in P, qandîl-afrûz-é darûn; from A, qindîl, candle, candlestick, lamp): the lighter of candles inside the kitchen, who also cleaned them. (13) Tahmisçi (from T, tahmis, roasting and grinding; in P, qahva-kûb): the roaster and grinder of coffee for the dedes and dervishes in the kitchen. (14) YatakçI (from T, yatak, bed, mattress): the preparer of bedding for the dedes and dervishes. (15) DIsharI kandilcisi (from T, dIsharI, outside; in P, qandîl-afrûz-é bîrûn): the lighter and extinguisher of candles or lamps outside of the tekke. (16) Süpürgeci (in P, jârû-kash): the sweeper of the garden and its surroundings. (17) ÇeraghI (in P-T, cerâghçI; from P, cherâgh, lamp, candlewick): inspector of the candles that were brought to the kitchen. (18) AyakçI (from T, ayak, leg; in P, pâ-dô: lit., "two-legs"): one who went on errands inside and outside the tekke.
zarb-i celali (spelling in T): see Zarb-é jalâlî.
Zarb-é jalâlî (A-P [lit., "blow of glory"; from Arabic: Darb (beating, striking), jalâl (glory, majesty); spelling in T: zarb-i celali, darb-i celali): in the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`], when the semazens strike the floor with their hands simultaneously and stand up after sitting on their sheepskins, to begin the Sultan Walad Circling. It symbolizes the blast of the angelic trumpet which ends worldly time and history and innaugurates the Day of Resurrection [A, yawmu 'l-qiyâmat (lit., "Day of Standing")]. It is also interpreted to mean the power of God to decree and manifest anything He Wills instantly: "And when He decrees a matter, he says to it, 'Be!' And it is." (Qur'ân 2:117).
Zikr (A; pronounced in A, dhikr; lit., "remembrance," "mentioning"; spelling in T, zikir, zikr): Means the remembrance of God [Zikru 'llâh) and refers to the Islamic sufi practice of repeating sacred words and phrases in Arabic, either out loud or silently, individually or in a group. Common Zikr's are "lâ illâha illâ 'llâh" (there is no divinity but God) and "Allâh, Allâh! (the traditional Mevlevi Zikr)." In a group, individual sufis make simple movements (usually with the head) following the rhythm of the chant, when sitting or standing. Others follow the movements made by the shaykh who leads the Zikr. In Turkish sufism, following the latter is especially emphasized. "Recollect your God often: (Qur'ân 33:41; see also 3:41); "Remember your Lord within your soul with humility and in reverence (Qur'ân 7:205): "Remember the name of your Lord" (Qur'ân 73:8); "Recollect God standing, sitting down, and (lying down) on your sides" (Qur'ân 4:103); "... those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the recollection of God [bi-dhikri 'llaah]-- for truly in the recollection of God do hearts find satisfaction" (Qur'ân 13:28).
Zikr-é dawrânî (A-P; lit., "circular remembrance"; spelling in T, zikir-i devranI; also in T, devranI zikri): In sufism, this is a type of Zikr done while the dervishes are moving in a circle. In the Mevlevi tradition, this is done during the first three selams of the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], since the semazens are not only whirling, but moving around the circle from place to place.
zikir-i devranI (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Zikr-é dawrânî.
zikir-i kIyamI (spelling in T; derived from A-P): see Zikr-é qiyâmî.
zikir-i küudî (spelling in T, derived from A-P; also in T, küud zikri, ku'ud zikri): see Zikr-é qu`ûdî. Zikr-é qiyâmî (A-P; lit., "standing straight remembrance"; spelling in T, zikir-i kIyamI; also kIyamI zikri): in sufism, a Zikr done while standing in a circle. During the Whirling Prayer Ceremony [samâ`, sema], this is done while the semazens are whirling in place during the Fourth Salâm (Selam) while chanting together ("Allâh, Allâh") silently.
Zikr-é qu`ûdî (A-P; lit., "sitting remembrance (of God)"; spelling in T, zikir-i küudî): in the Mevlevi tradition, the sitting Zikr involves the chanting of "Allâh, Allâh. . ." while sitting in a circle on the knees. Sometimes they sit in a circle (A, dawrân; spelling in T, devran) and individuals do the whirling prayer in place in the middle, one at a time. Among the Mevlevis the Zikr-é qiyâmî, or standing Zikr (spelling in T, zikr-i kIyamI) is the whirling prayer ceremony [samâ`, sema], also done as a circular Zikr (spelling in T, devranI zikri).
zûwwâr (A; spelling in T, züvvar): visitors. Visitors who were invited to view the Whirling Prayer Ceremony were taken to the outer part of the Sema hall [semahane] behind a low fence, if they were men, and if women, to the women's viewing room [qafaS, kafes]. Visitors were welcome as long as they obeyed the rules and had good manners.