Symbolic Elements in the Mawlawī Order
Mawlawiyya is one of the most important of the sects that emerged in Anatolia. This order was established in the
name of Mawlānā D̲ j̲ alal al-Dīn Rūmī. But in fact this sect was established after the death of Mawlānā. As an original
establisment, Mawlawiyya traditions and rituals were not immediately established because Mawlānā had not singled out
specific rules. For example, he did not organized any entrance ceremony for those who declare their commitment and he did
not apply any specific dhikr. Mawlānā Rūmī’s favourite pupil, Sulṭān Walad, had systematized his father’s thoughts, turning
Mawlawiyya into a sect with its own rules and ceremonies. Therefore, Sulṭān Walad is accepted as the founder of
Mawlawiyya. Symbols are of great importance in the Mawlawī order. Reflecting deep philosophical ideas, symbols are of
great importance in the Mawlawiyya and the Mawlawī people often express their deep metaphysical thoughts in symbols.
For example the purpose of the symbolic dhikr semāʿ of that Mawlawī is ascends on the way to God. The spinning
movement in semāʿ unifies with the musicals. The semāʿ expresses the formation of the universe, the resurrection of man in
the world, the transition of love and motion to the Supreme Creator, and the turning towards the “İnsân-ı Kâmil (Perfect
Mawlawī dervish is like dead in soul. For this reason cap symbolizes tombstone and clothes symbolize shroud. Dervish
cardigan is like a grave. Similarly, in the Mawlawiyya, the place where the ceremony held, symbolizes the universe. The
right side of this venue represents the material World whereas the left side symbolizes the spiritual realm. The fame of
Mawlawī cult had spread all over the world owing to both the ideas of Mawlānā and the sacraments of the order. The
analysis of symbols of Mawlawiyya sect is the main theme of this paper.
Keywords - Mawlānā Rūmī, Mawlawiyya, Dervish, Ritual, Symbol.