Sema Ritual Rumi Revival

What does the Sema Ritual Symbolise? Part 2

From The Second Salam to The Third Salam

With the second salam, there isa transition from the cruelty of darkness to the luminous dimensions. The second salam refers to the Nafs al-Levvame (The Self Accusing Soul). 

Whirling dervishes divide their bodies in half with a belt called “elifi nemed”. With this distinction, the traits that are common to animals remain in the bottom portion of the belt, and the characterisitics that distiguish human beings such as heart, soul and intellect remain in the upper part of the belt. 

The whirling of the dervish around their own axis is in a spiritual rotation. The dervish ascends on each rotation, indicating that the soul is in a state of growth. It refers to the verse of the Quran “Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides” (Al ‘Imran, 191). 

The sheikh’s bowing down by leaving his maqam (stage) and heading towards the centre, indicates his full obedience to the path. Dervishes welcome him in the same manner to demonstrate their approval.  

Clasping the hands on the shoulders indicates devotion to serving on the path of the Truth according to Allah’s will.