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Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes Paperback – May 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The popularity of the legendary Sufi poet and mystic Mevlana Jalalu'ddin Rumi (1207-1273) continues to grow in the West even as Islam has come under critical scrutiny because of radical Islamic terrorism. Much is known about Rumi, of course, as well as about the Mevlevis, the Sufi order he founded. So the essays here, while useful to a beginner and of interest to cognoscenti for their pedigree (Schimmel, who died earlier this year, and Nasr are arguably the world's two foremost scholars of Islam, while Friedlander, himself a Mevlevi dervish, is a senior lecturer at the American University in Cairo) carry less import than what really sets this book apart from others on Rumi and the Mevlevis: the illustrations. Myriad b&w photographs by Friedlander, numerous additional historical illustrations and the splendid color cover photo of whirling dancers capture the longing, the rapture and the God-graced mindfulness of the Sufis in contemplation, at prayer and at dance. The text itself is popular yet authoritative, detailing the life of Rumi, the evolution of his thought and poetry, the history of the Sufis and of Rumi's legacy, and-in the rarer contribution by Uzel-the history of and thinking behind dervish music. Words plus photos work together to make for an unusual, informed and remarkably appealing introduction to Rumi and his astonishing celebrations of the Divine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Shems Friedlander is a senior lecturer at the American University in Cairo and the author of Rumi: The Hidden Treasure, Ninety-Nine Names of Allah, and Submission: Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. He has had several photography and painting exhibitions and received more than 30 awards, including the Silver Award of the New York Art Directors' Club annual exhibition of graphic design.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Morning Light Press; Rev Sub edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930407598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930407599
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dust on the Path on August 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
There is no shortage of books on Rumi and his poetry. I highly recommend books written by Prof. Annemarie Schimmel on Rumi and his great mystical poetry which is deeply rooted in Islamic mystical tradition. Friedlander deserves special thanks on making accessible to the reader the day-to-day life of Mevlevi dervishes. Photographs of Whirling dervishes are very appealing and appropriately placed throughout this book. This book also provides a short walk through the historical development of Mevlevi order through centuries. Various practices and forms that the Mevlevi order has taken and described in this book makes Rumi's figure more holistic, real, and accessible for any Western reader.

There is also an implied view in this book for the one who want to "know" and "see" on the diversity and variety of views within Islamic tradition. Sufism is one of the main mystical traditions within Islamic currents. Mevlevi order is one of the threads in Sufism. The universality of Sufis in their practices and communication with other traditions outside Islam is an example of the actuality and essence of Islam (glimpsed in this book) which goes very contrary to what we all hear from media (which, now-a-days is exclusively focused on the negative elements of the world). We need more of these types of books (to fill the gap that exists in the popular media) on all faith based traditions of this world.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By FOX FALL on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book presents the ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes in pictures and in words. Beautiful pictures and interesting text.
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By Curtis K. Sather on July 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a truly beautiful book. Wonderful photos, great collection of history, spirituality and poetry. It is something I have already re-read several times.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fabill69 on July 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All the pictures are in b/w that is good for the human figures, but not for the paints and the miniatures.
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