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Sama (Sufism)

Practice and Components of Sama in Sufism: – The Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi order practice Sama. – Alevi, Bektashi communities in Turkey, and in […]

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Practice and Components of Sama in Sufism:
– The Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi order practice Sama.
– Alevi, Bektashi communities in Turkey, and in Egypt, the Mevlevi form of Sama known as tannoura are prominent.
– Sama represents selfless expression and annihilation of the self.
– It is a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through love and perfection.
– Components of Sama include singing, symbolic instrument playing (tambourine, bells, flute), and poetry.
– Poetry aids in spiritual contemplation and should be pure-hearted.
– Quranic verses are not used in Sama ceremonies.

Purpose and Benefits of Sama in Sufism:
– Sama is a form of meditation focusing on melodies and dancing to find God.
– It purifies the soul, reveals inner emotions, and aims to reach a trance-like state.
– Sama helps in direct communication with God, unveiling spiritual mysteries, and gaining spiritual knowledge.
– Participants experience spiritual drunkenness and ecstasy.
– The ultimate goal is to reach a state of wajd (spiritual ecstasy).

Etiquette and Conduct in Sama Ceremonies:
– Participants are expected to remain silent and still.
– Controlled behavior is required unless reaching a state of wajd.
– Genuine trance-like experiences are essential in wajd.
– Proper intent and actions are necessary for positive effects.
– Participants restrain from movement until reaching a point of wajd.

Controversies Surrounding Sama in Sufism:
– Divergent views exist within the Muslim community regarding Sama and music.
– Advocates see chanting in Sama as essential for spiritual growth.
– Opponents, particularly within Salafi/Wahhabi sects, criticize the use of music in Sama.
– Al-Ghazzali emphasized the benefits of music and dance in religious life.
– Some scholars link Sama to altered states of consciousness.

Historical and Scholarly Perspectives on Sama in Sufism:
– Sama has roots in early Sufi tradition and Persian Sufi practices.
– It is considered a sacred meditation practice in Islam.
– Sama practices have been a subject of controversy.
– Scholars have written extensively on the Sama controversy.
– Sama gatherings foster a sense of community among Sufis and play a central role in their spiritual life.

Sama (Sufism) (Wikipedia)

Sama (Turkish: Sema; Persian, Urdu and Persian: سَماع, romanizedsamā‘un) is a Sufi ceremony performed as part of the meditation and prayer practice dhikr.[clarification needed] Sama means "listening", while dhikr means "remembrance". These performances often include singing, playing instruments, dancing, recitation of poetry and prayers, wearing symbolic attire, and other rituals. Sama is a particularly popular form of worship in Sufism.

MediumSinging, playing instruments, dancing, recitation of poetry and prayers
Originating cultureSufi
Mevlevi Sema Ceremony
RegionEurope and North America
Inscription history
Inscription2008 (3rd session)

In 2005, UNESCO confirmed the "Mevlevi Sama Ceremony" of Iran as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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