Mevlevi Sema Ceremony

The origination of Sama is credited to Rumi (full name Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi), the 13th-century Sunni Muslim poet, theologian, Sufi mystic and founder of of the Mevlevi Order.

Legend has it that Rumi was walking through the marketplace one day when he overheard the rhythmic hammering of the gold beaters.

He is said to have interpreted this as the dhikr (devotional act in Islam) "la ilaha illallah” - in English, "There is no god but Allah” and became so entranced that he stretched out both of his arms and started spinning in a circle (sufi whirling). It is then that the practice of Sama and the dervishes of the Mevlevi Order were born.