Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rumi and Peace

By Ahmet Kaan Akkaya

In my artwork, I chose to focus on calligraphy and 
 Rumi also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī Mawlānā is a very popular person in the history of Islam. He was a 13th century Sufi mystic, poet and an Islamic scholar. His works have been largely studied by many people throughout centuries all over the world. His spirituality has influenced many nations among which are the Turks, Greeks, Iranians and Muslims of South Asia. His works of poems have been studied and translated into various languages across the globe. He has originally written mostly in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Greek. His works have also influenced the literature in many cultures such has the Persian, Turkish, the Ottoman, Punjabi, Azerbaijani, Hindi and Urdu.

I chose to include in my artwork, the symbols of Sufi Dervishes which are practicing the active meditation commonly known as Sufi whirling. Sufi whirling is a form of meditation which is active or Sama that the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order still practice today. It is a part of a worship ceremony in which, the dervishes also known as the semazens, aim to reach perfection. During their ceremony they aim to get in touch by god and the music to let go of ones ego or selfish desires. It is done by spinning the body by going round and round in circles, imitating the movements of the planets and how they orbit the sun in our solar system. The semazens practice many different rituals and the most important and main one out of all of them is called the Dhikr. Dhikr means the remembering of Allah. In this practice the semazens recite some devotional Islamic prayers and some physical movements are then added to the practice. Mainly it’s the dancing and the whirling that takes part of the physical aspect of Dhikr to what is believed to be the ascension towards the meditative trance state of the Sufi Dervishes.
This practice has originated around the 12th century by the Sufi fraternities. It was a leadership in which every member would follow a specific discipline in service of a leader. These members were called Persian Dervishes. They were responsible for the organization of Islamic expression of life of religion. It is believed that the Prophet was the original creator of Sufism by whom the study of Sufism has been passed down from.

I had a wide range of colors to pick from in the beginning of my project. I chose to go by the color blue because of its appealing meaning to me. Blue is used in the Islamic tradition and history in many ways. It is a color that is mainly used in mosques. There are Blue Mosques in many countries in the Middle East, one of them being in my country, Turkey. The color blue gives the observer a feeling of freedom, hope and heavenly paradise. It is also a commonly used for protection purposes. In my country it is commonly used against what is called the “evil eye”. It is common belief that wearing at least one piece of blue item will keep the “evil eyes” away from a person. For these reasons I chose to include the color blue in my artwork as it adds to the meaning behind my artwork of Peace in Islam.

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