The Sufi ritual of sama was initiated in the 13th century by the mystic poet Jalaleddin Muhammad Rumi. The legend narrates that he was going toward a goldsmith and came away dancing to the melodic sound of a hammer. He felt harmony in the work; he sang love poems with loud, melodic sounds. He carried out a whirling dance and got giddy, his soul went into a trance (wajd), and he became elated. As a result, the sound of the gold vanished, and he became united with God. Since then, the dervishes have whirled. The place of sama is the heart of the dancer (dervish). To fully discern the sama, we must know the meaning of ‘Sufi’ and ‘Rumi’ which makes a logical triangle of worship, creator, and ritual performance. The sama means “hearing”.Now, we want to review the Rumi Dance’s benefits.
The process of Rumi dance
Via this ritual, performers make a connection between Rumi’s poetry and the significance of love, particularly mystical love. Rumi requests readers to view with the heart, via instrumental music and whirling dances. These performances convey emotion and edify participants on the wisdom and love of God. This ritual is deeply rooted in Islamic culture, but its transcendental features honor the divine, act as a kind of healing, and relate all people from different cultures together in love. In Sufism, the humans’ action and the way they discern the processes of time and space is dependent on nature, and this dependence is harmonious with the cosmic order. All life requires other elements – people are in need of plants, plants need sun, etc.
The dancing shapes are not circular, which means they do not rotate and repeat, but instead spiral; they develop and extend in a way that radiates from the center out. Rumi, the founder of the sama ritual, believes that spiraling the human body dissolves into, rhythm, and the soul unexplainably segregates from the physical and merges with the origin for a short time to create joy. The ceremony starts with dervishes praying in a circle, the global symbol of unity and wholeness. To Rumi and Sufis, God’s names have a power that goes beyond time and space. Also, historically, in Islam, God’s names have power and supernatural impacts on physical and emotional issues as a remedy. In the center of the circle of Rumi dance, a group of either seven, twenty–nine, or forty dancers (sacred numbers in Islam, which stand for the number of days in which the Earth was created, the number of names of Allah, and the number for numerous important religious events, respectively.
They kneel to display their esteem to their elder leader, their hands indicate that they are encircled by the power of God, and they understand that whatever comes from Him is for their greater good. The dervishes make a large circle they believe turns in unison with everything in the world. Rumi believed sadness makes humans ready to connect with pure happiness in enlightenment. Sufi’s music is the essential point in the openness of the heart, not just with circles of dancers, but also with non-dancers who just view this ritual, the calling of God’s names and reading Rumi’s love poetry by melodious voices of a remarkable part of the ceremony. All those rhythmic acts in sama have meaning because of the songs they sing; all the words, gestures, and movements are meaningful.
They move gradually counterclockwise – to pay respect to medieval blood biology – around themselves and the center, and finally start whirling, bearing in mind the wisdom behind this act. This portion segregates the mind from the body, denoting the soul’s freedom from physicality.
In this transition, the dancers move so quickly even their eyes cannot see them. With whirling, they go into the world of wajd (or ecstasy), which literally does mean “finding.” Inebriated by divine love, they stay in a state of selflessness. Without any interference of their wishes, their feet may be brought down heavily on the ground and hands clapping; this state is referred to as “The Unity Dance.” The ritual dance unifies people with the heavenly powers and eternity. It believes that the revolving of the Rumi dance is associated with three movements within the body that show a connection to various spiritual approaches of the self, feelings, intelligence, and physicality.
The sama undergoes four different stages. The meaning of the first phase (zehkir) is bewilderment about humanity: who am I? In the second phase, the dervish finds out he is human and living. In the third phase, the dervish figures out there are spiritual power in his body and thought, so by compelling his body and mind to the quick pace of words and movement, his body segregates from them and his soul and his heart link with God for a few moments. Music is the exhibition of beauty and grace of the invisible world beyond and the extension of that thought brings the deity of the world’s beauty into visible and perceptible clarity.
The Rumi Dance’s benefits
Rumi set up an ecstatic dance as part of teaching to forget the present and unify with the lover. For him, the sama was nutriment for the soul, as “sama” means to pass away to this world and to be revived in the everlasting dance of the free spirits. The unity created for the sojourner via love makes one forget the multiple distractions in life, so it boosts the concentration power to become more courageous, more creative, and more active.
Sufism is a process of understanding and insight that moves the basic truth forward through time, but it has a vivacious and dynamic sense. In fact, its expression must not stay restricted to the religious or cultural forms of the past, because the truth of Sufism needs reformulation and new expression in every age. Each person must find enlightenment via a loving association with others, after traveling through seven steps and seeing how mixed they are inside, sometimes feeling love, peace, or closeness to God, and sometimes being overwhelmed by doubt, judgment, or pique.
To Rumi, humans all act in the religion of love. Love is essential to unity because Rumi believed all religions stemmed from the same source for the same cause. People of various religions believe in love as he believed their veins were of the same fruit with skins of various colors and shapes, but the pulp was precisely the same. When one learns the “Art of Loving”, one understands that humans, irrespective of sex, race, and ethnic background, are all the results of love and have a strong willingness to move toward the source of it, but from multiple different trajectories that offer spice and variety.
When love takes root in the heart, one forgets the self in a process of viewing herself as one with the world, where responsibility and innovation begin. The lover forgets him/herself, since she/he is now part of a much bigger body, so this new belief injects perfect hope to the lover’s life. This individual no longer considers the self a disappointing weak being or frail mortal continuously at the mercy of nature, but an undying being as part of nature, hence undying and all-giving, the result of which is the responsibility, innovation, and hope brought through love. However, the required factor is unity with the world and self-forgetting.
In this article, we examined the Rumi dance’s benefits. We also examined Rumi Dance’s benefits and its history and process.