25 Eylül 2009 Cuma

Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi

Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi

Theologian and poet (b. 30 September 1207, Belh – d. 17 December 1273, Konya). The name Mevlânâ means “our master and president” and implies the love of people for him. The name Rûmî (pertaining to Anatolia) was given to him as he lived in Konya. His father Muhammed Bahaeddin Veled (1191 -1231), the scholar and theologian who was known as Sultanu'l Ulema (Sultan of Scholars) migrated to Anatolia via Damascus and Hejaz because of the Mogul invasion. After living in Malatya, Erzincan, Akşehir and Larende (Karaman) for a while, he settled in Konya (1229). Bahaeddin Veled was welcomed with respect by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat and here he preached and guided people for two years. The young scholar Celâleddin, who took his father’s place after his death (1231), tried to help the people of Konya through guidance and to improve his knowledge, which he had acquired in Belh and Damascus. He attended the lectures on theosophy given by Seyyid Burhaneddin, the successor to his father who arrived in Konya one year after his father’s death and, it is said, by Sadreddin Konevî. He went to Damascus and Aleppo to further improve his knowledge and met Şemsi Tebrizî (Şemseddin Muhammed Tebrizî). On his return to Konya, he continued preaching at mosques and giving lectures at Medreses (theological schools).

Şemsi Tebrizî’s visit to Konya (1244) was a turning point in Mevlânâ’s life. He established a close relationship with Şems, whom he loved and respected deeply. He spent all his time in discussion with Şems and cancelled all his lectures and sermons in order to learn more about theosophy. Şems suddenly disappeared when people began to envy his attachment to Mevlana and spread rumours about him (1246). However, his departure upset Mevlânâ deeply and he completely isolated himself into an inner world. He began to write his poems during this period. He heard that Şems was in Damascus and sent his son, Sultan Veled, to persuade him to come back to Konya. Şems returned to Konya upon the request of Mevlânâ. However people were again jealous of him and Şems left Konya, never to return (1247). It is said that, he was later killed by a group led by Alaeddin Çelebi, the son of Mevlânâ, and this was kept secret from Mevlânâ. Losing Şems again caused Mevlânâ great suffering. He went to Damascus twice in order to find him and came back to Konya with nothing. He appointed Selahaddin Zerkûb, a jeweler among his followers, as his successor (1254). Upon hearing that some of the people of Konya wanted to kill him, Selahaddin Zerkûb once said: “My life is in the hands of God; how can a man kill me?” When Zerkûb died (1263), Çelebi Hüsameddin became Mevlânâ’s caliph during his last years.

The principles of the Mevlevi order were determined within a system by his son, Sultan Veled. One of the proud men of reason and literature in Turkish history and one of the greatest poets and intellectuals in the world, Mevlânâ Celâleddin Rûmî is commemorated at a ceremony held in Konya in December every year. The works of Mevlânâ Celâleddin Rûmî, which include bilingual poems in Turkish and Persian, are each a classic of Eastern Islam and most of them are in Persian, as it was the literary language of the time. All of his works have been translated into Turkish by Abdülbaki Gölpınarlı. Most of his works, particularly his Mesnevi* and Divan*, have been translated into many languages around the world.

Mevlana Museum

Mevlana Dergahı (Dervish Lodge) which is presently used as a museum formerly the Rose Garden of the Seljuks Palace. It was given as a gift to Mevlana's father Sultanü'l-Ulema Bahaaeddin Veled by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat.

When Sultanü'l-Ulema died on 12 January 1231, he was buried in the present grave which is in the mausoleum. This was the first burial ever to take place in the Rose Garden.

After the death of Sultanü'l-Ulema, his friends and disciples approached Mevlana and expressed their wish to build a maussoleum over his grave. Mevlana refused this request remarking "How could there be a better mausoleum than the sky itself?). However, when he died on 17 December 1273, his son Sultan Veled accepted the request of those who wanted to build a mausoleum over Mevlana's grave.The mausoleum called "Kubbe-i Hadra" (Green mausoleum) was built by the architect Bedrettin from Tebriz for 130.000 Seljuk dirhem (currency) on four elephant feet (thick columns). After this date, the construction activities never ceased and continued in stages up to the end of the 19th century.

Mevlevi Dergahı (Dervish Lodge) and the mausoleum started to function as a museum in 1926 under the name of Konya Museum of Historical Works. In 1954 the display pattern of the museum was once more taken up and it was renamed as the Mevlevi Museum.

While the Museum originally covered an area of 6.500m² together with its garden, with the section expropriated later and designed as a rose garden, it has today reached a size of 18.000m² .

The courtyard of the museum is entered from "Dervişan Kapısı" (The gate of the Dervishes). There are dervish cells along the north and west sides of the courtyard. The south side, after Matbah and Hürrem Pasha Mausoleums, terminates with the gate of Hamuşan (Sealed Lips) which opens to Üçler cemetery. On the eastern side of the courtyard there are mausoleums of Sinan Pasha, Fatma Hatun and Hasan Pasha, the Semahane (Ritual Prayer Hall) next to them and the small mosque (mesjid) section and the main building where the graves of Mevlana and his family members are also housed.

The courtyard is given a special flavor with the roofed washing fountain (şadırvan) built by Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1512 and the "Şeb-i Arus" (means nuptial night or the night Mevlana passed away) pool and the fountain which is located in the northern part of the court and called Selsebil.

"Tilavet" Chamber (Koran Reading and Chanting)

"Tilavet" is an Arabic word which means reading the Koran with a beautiful voice and the correct rhythm. The room takes its name from its function in the past. At present it is used as the Calligraphy Department.

The calligraphy section contains the framed works of famous calligraphers of their time such as Mahmud Celaleddin, Mustafa Rakım, Hulusi, Yesarizade as well as a gilt relief frame done by Sultan Mahmut II. The couplet in Farsi engraved on the silver door with the calligraphy of Yesarizade Mustafa İzzet Efendi says:

Kabetü'l-uşşâk bâşed in mekam

Her ki nakıs amed incâ şod temam

(Let this be the Kaaba of the minstrels. Who ever enters here in half, finds himself whole)

Huzur-ı Pir (Mausoleum)

The hall of the mausoleum is entered from a silver door which was donated in 1599 by Hasan Pasha, who is the son of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha. Here, the oldest copies of the famous works of Mevlana the "Mesnevi" and "Divan-ı Kebir" are displayed in two glass fronted cabinets. The mausoleum hall is roofed with three small domes. The third dome which is also called the skin dome joins, the green dome in the north.

The hall is bordered with a platform on its east, south and north sides. In the north where there is a two level platform, the sarcophagi of 6 Sacred horasan men are placed. Right at the feet of these, the Target Stone, made for İlhanlı King Ebu said Bahadır Khan.

There are also two framed inscriptions which are important as they reflect the thoughts and philosophy of Mevlana. The first frame is in Turkish and says:

"Either seem as you are
Or be as you seem" (Hz. Mevlana)

Second frame is a quatrain of Mevlana in Persian. In translation it reads:

"Come, Come who or whatever you are
Should you be an unbeliever, a Magian or a pagan still come
Our lodge is not a lodge of despair
With hundred repentances unheeded you may be, still, come" (Hz. Mevlana )

On the high platform bordering the mausoleum hall on the east and south there are 55 graves, ten of which belong to ladies and the whole group belongs to the family members of Mevlana, and his father. There are ten other graves which belong to people such as Hüsameddin Çelebi, Selahaddin Zerkubi and Sheyh Kerimüddin who had reached high ranks in the sect of Mevlevi.

Right under the Green Dome there are the graves of Mevlana and his son Sultan Veled. The double hunched marble sarcophagus over the graves was donated in 1565 by Süleyman the Magnificent. The quilt embroidered with gold thread placed over the sarcophagus is a Seljuk masterpiece and was made for Mevlana in 1274. When Süleyman the Magnificent had a new marble sarcophagus made over the graves of Mevlana and son, the original wood one was removed and put over the grave of Mevlana's father.

Semahane (Ritual Hall)

The Semahane section together with the small mosque was built by Süleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century. Sema ceremonies were continued at this ritual hall until 1926, when the Dergah (Dervish lodge) was converted to a museum. The Naat Pew in the Hall, the place where the musicians set (Mutrib cells) and the sections for men and women are preserved in their original state, while metal and glass objects and musical instruments of the Mevlevi are displayed in glassed cabinets and rugs of historical value are hung on appropriate walls of the Semahane.


The small mosque or the mesjid is entered from the Çerağ (apprentice) Gate. There are additional small entrances from the Semahane and the Huzur - Pir, the cemetery. The place for the müezzin and the Mesnevihan Pew are kept in their original state.
Extremely valuable rug and wooden door samples are displayed on the south wall of the mosque and in 10 glassed cabinets put around this space, significant examples of binding, calligraphy and gilding are exhibited.

Rug and Fabric Section - Dervish Cells

There are 17 small cells, each with a small dome and chimney around the west and north sides of the front court of the Mevlana Lodge. These cells were built in 1584 by Sultan Murat III to house the dervishes.

Four cells to the right of the entrance gate are at present used as a ticket window and administration offices. The first two of the 13 cells to the left of the gate used as "Postnişin" and "Mesnevi-han" cells are kept in their original form and presented to the public.
The last two cells at the end are allocated to the very valuable book collections donated by Abdülbaki Gölpınarlı and Dr. Mehmed Önder, and they are used as a library.
The partition walls of the remaining 9 cells were removed providing two interconnected large corridors. In one of these corridors old rugs of historical value from regions famous for their rugs such as Kula, Gördes, Uşak and Kırşehir are displayed while the other has old rugs from districts of Konya such as Ladik, Karaman, Karapınar and Sille which are centres of rug weaving. Display windows built in the window and door sills of these cells display artefacts of Mevlevi ethnography such as "Pazarcı maşası", "Mütteka", "Nefir" which were transferred to the museum from the Lodge, and the extremely valuable Bursa fabrics from the museum collection

Matbah (Kitchen) Section

The kitchen is on the south west corner of the museum. It was built by Sultan Murat II in 1548. Until the lodge was converted to a museum in 1926 the meals were being provided from here.

This section was restored in 1990 and the display was rearranged with mannequins. Cooking, the basic function of the kitchen and the "somat" the special table routine is demonstrated with mannequins. Another such illustration was attempted, to show the other function of the kitchen which is related to the initiations of the novice, called "Nev-ni-yaz", and involves practice of Sema.

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