Sema: Human in the Universal Movement

On invitation of the Bazm Literary Forum at the COMSATS IIT Islamabad, Mr. Suat Erguvan, Vice President Rumi Forum, gave a Rumi talk lecture on Sema: Human Being in Universal Movement on March 3, 2014.

Speaking on the occasion, the convener of the Bazm Literary Forum, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal of the COMSATS IIT introduced the prospects of the Bazm and presented excerpts from Jalaluddin Rumi’s Mathnawi. Narrating an account of the life and works of Jalaluddin Rumi, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal voiced that prominent problems posed by the current age may be provided solutions by Rumi’s message.

During his lecture, Mr. Suat Erguvan explained the symbolism embedded in the Sema (the Whirling) of the dervishes. Emphasizing that sema is not a dance, but a representation of a solemn Islamic concept, he added that, turning around their hearts and from right to left, the semazens (whirling dervishes) symbolize the motion that was initiated with the divine commandment of “Be” and which encompasses the microcosm and the macrocosm. Mr. Erguvan also explained about the garb of the semazens and the symbolism behind it. Tall fell caps symbolizing tombstones, white shirts as shrouds and black cloaks removed as if the rebirth of a human being, the way dervishes are dressed complement the solemnity of the Sema. In addition, the Qur’anic verses recited during the segments of the Sema emphasize the journey of humanity from the instance of “Belaa” – saying Yes to Allah Almighty at the convention of souls until the  “Reunion with the Beloved,” which is marked by one’s death.

Along with the lecture by Mr. Suat Erguvan, the Bazm function was elegantly embedded with poetry readings in Urdu, Persian and English.