The Turkish mystic Mevlana was the founder of the brotherhood of the dancing dervish. With the help of their dances they tried to get into contact with God. As a symbol of neatness, the dervish wear white capes while dancing and, while spinning round, they always point to the sky with one hand and to the centre of the earth with the other.
This symbolises their belief in the connection between heaven and earth and also shows the close relationship with God.
Celaleddin Rumi Mevlana was born in what is now Afghanistan, but needed to escape together with his family to Konya (in the centre of Turkey) because of the hordes from Mongolia. His father was a well known priest and was working for the Seldjuk king. After the death of his father Mevlana took his position and continued working in his name.
Later Mevlana came to know the poet Semseddin and they became close friends. Inspired by Semseddin, Mevlana started to write poems about the love God can, and will, give to the people. Because he got more and more well-known as a poet, philosopher, mystic and founder of the brotherhood of the dervish, his influence on the people constantly grew.
Mevlana prayed for the freedom to introduce oneself into society, no matter what your gender, age, race or religion may be. Because of his ideas and how he practised them, he was given the name Mevlana, which means Big Master. Each year, on 17th December, the date of Mevlana?s death, thousands of pilgrims and followers of his beliefs come from all over the world to Konya to celebrate the life of their master.
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