The beauty and mystery of the Whirling Dervishes have captured the
mythic imagination of the Western world for centuries. Rumi, the
great Sufi saint of 13th-century Turkey, taught both male and
female students this whirling dance, but in the centuries after his
death, women were excluded from participation. Not until the late
1970s, when Shaikh Suleyman Dede brought the turn ritual to
America, was this practice again opened to women. Women Called to
the Path of Rumi is the first English-language book of its kind.
* outlines the history of the women who have followed this way
since Rumi's time.
* illuminates the transmission of this work from Turkey to
* highlights the first 20 years of the order's life in a new
country and culture
* describes the viewpoint of the participant rather than the
At the heart of the book are personal interviews with more than
two dozen American initiates -- from adolescents to wise
eldersNmany of whom have practiced on this path for over 15 years.
The brilliant illustrations and photographs present dynamic images
of women turning in Sema (the formal Mevlevi ritual) and whirling
spontaneously in Zikr, the Sufi gathering of prayer and music.
Quatrains of Rumi from many modern translators are interspersed
throughout the text.
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