Mevlevi Order of America

Hayati Dede

This is the web site of the Mevlevi Order of America (MOA), also known as the Whirling Dervishes. Our site honors Suleyman Hayati Dede, Sheikh of Konya, who was inspired to bring the Mevlevi traditions to the west, where his son and successor, Makam Postneshin Jelaleddin Loras continued his work.

The Mevlevi traditions come to us in an unbroken chain from Sufi mystic poet Hz. Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, who lived in 13th century Turkey, then the Seljuk Empire. He is also widely known today as a best-selling poet, inspiring many with his overflowing devotion to and love of God.

The Mevlevi are mystics, believing that one’s path is to God. Mysticism is concerned with developing one’s abilities and capacity through emotional, intellectual, and physical practices. We greatly respect all genuine traditions of belief and faith which seek to accept the responsibility of humanity to care for each other and our world. We firmly reject the actions of those who pervert the words of God to justify violence for political ends.

We are sincere seekers on a perennially modern, and centuries old path into the Divine Mystery. We offer cultural programs, open workshops, and public presentations in the spirit of inclusion, equality and love.

Over three hundred Semazen (one who turns) have been trained to participate in the traditional Sema ceremony, and thousands have witnessed Sema and participated in zikr events sponsored by Mevlevi Order of America. The MOA presented its first public traditional Sema Ceremony in 1982 at the College of Marin in California. Since then, every year, MOA has presented at least one Sema and many gatherings and workshops across the U.S.

One of the goals of MOA is to encourage cultural interchange, awareness, and appreciation. We have hosted master Mevlevi musicians to the West to share the uniqueness of classical Turkish music, and to encourage the learning of our Western MOA musicians. Together, traditional Turkish musicians, and Western musicians and Semazen tour American cities and present the rich Mevlevi Classical Turkish musical tradition.

If you find resonance with this or other spiritual traditions follow your inspiration and spend some time within these mystic schools.

The Mevlevi Order of America is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization.

Our Lineage

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Our transmission and tradition comes to us in an unbroken chain from the Sufi mystic and poet Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. Rumi lived in 13th century Konya, Turkey, which was the capital of the Seljuk Empire. He was recognized as a scholar and a major religious and spiritual leader. He was already a renowned scholar and teacher when his encounters with the mystic, Shems-i-Tabriz, led to the blossoming of his full spiritual light. It was because of Shems that he started writing poetry.

His written legacy is contained in six texts. Three are poetry: the Divan-i Shams-i-Tabrizi – a collection of lyric poems, the Mathnawi Ma’nawi — “Spiritual Couplets”, and the Rubaiyyat. Three are prose: Fihi ma Fihi “It is what it is” — his discourses, Makatib — collected letters, and Maialis-i sablah — seven sermons or lectures.

Rumi, a Muslim, respected all traditions. At his funeral in 1273, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Arabs, Persians, Turks and Romans honored him. His students and followers have maintained his teachings and practices from that time to the present day. The Mevlevi Order of America is part of that living tradition.

Now, over seven hundred years later, he is America’s best-selling poet, inspiring many with his devotion, love and instruction in human ripening.

Suleyman Hayati Dede

      Suleyman Hayati Dede

Our Dede was appointed Sheikh of Konya by Celaleddin Bakir Celebi, head of the Order and the 21st lineal descendant of Rumi.

Dede visited Europe and America many times, planting the seeds of Mevlana wherever he went. He brought inspiration, compassion, and love to those who met him. In 1978 he sent his son, Jelaleddin Loras, to America to continue the Mevlevi Tradition in the west.
Click here to learn more about Suleyman Hayati Dede…

Jelaleddin Loras

      Jelaleddin Loras

Makam Postneshin Jelaleddin Loras was raised and trained in the Mevlevi community of Konya. Under his father’s instruction he came to America with the tasks of creating centers and training western students. He spent more than forty years in this service, exploring and refining how to present the Mevlevi path to the western heart. Today there are Mevlevi Order of America centers across the United States and in Europe.

“We are drawing on tradition, but we are at the same time bringing something brand new for our time here in America, for our community now, yet still preserving the transmission, tradition and form of understanding.”

“May this message of Love, Beauty and Unity inspire our hearts, minds and spirits. And may the Mevlevi tradition continue to bless humanity in our time.”

Click here to learn more about Jelaleddin Dede…

Click here to see our practices.