A Rumi Recital

With Some of Turkey's Master Musicians
Joined by Kabir & Camille Helminski

San Francisco, February 22nd, 2002 Friday at 8:00 PM at The Noe Valley Ministry

Well known Sufi writers and translators, Kabir and Camille Helminski will join with three of Turkey's most outstanding Sufi musicians: Hakan Talu, tanbur; Salih Bilgin, ney; Cengiz Onural, kemence, and Daud Jerrahi, bendir in an exploration of the subtleties of Mevlevi Sufi music and Rumi's poetry. The Mevlevi tradition of Sufism has for seven centuries integrated spiritual practice with artistic expression. Join us for an intimate evening, an immersion in the music and poetry of Sufism. Performance will include examples of ilahis (hymns), ayins (ceremonial music), taksims (improvisations), and zikr (chant).

Hakan Talu has been co-director of the Mevlana Culture and Art Foundation, which has done four national tours as The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey. Talu is also the founder of Istanbul Music and Sema Ensemble. Salih Bilgin, one of the foremost ney musicians of Turkey, plays for the Chamber Orchestra of Istanbul. Cengiz Onural is an accomplished musician and one of Turkey's leading film music composers. Kabir and Camille Helminski are well-know translators of Rumi and authors of numerous books on Sufism. Kabir is a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order.

February 22nd, 2002 Friday at 8:00 PM
at The Noe Valley Ministry
1021 Sanchez St, San Francisco, California
Tickets: $ 15 general, $ 12 students & seniors, $ 20 at the door
For reservations, tickets, information:
Golden Horn Productions - Telephone: 1-925-930-7184
E-mail: info@goldenhorn.com
A presentation by Golden Horn Productions and The Threshold Society

Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi

(30 September 1207 Belh - 17 December 1273 Konya)

Mevlana was born in Balkh, Afghanistan, and lived most of his life in Konya, Turkey. His family moved to Konya in 1228 after a long journey because of the wars in Balkh. He was educated by his father Bahaeddin Veled and later Seyyid Burhaneddin for 9 years. He also attended Halaviye School in Aleppo and the religious Makdisiye School in Damascus. He first married Gevher Hatun and had 2 sons named Sultan Veled and Alaaddin Çelebi. He later married Kerra Hatun and had one daughter named Melike and a son named Emir Alim Çelebi.

There is no doubt that the most important person in Mevlana's life was Semseddin-i Tabrizi who opened many new spiritual doors to him and led him to write all his works. He approached Mevlana at the Maksidisiye School in Damascus and disappeared after saying, " understand me, the knower of secrets". He found Mevlana again in Konya on the 23rd of October 1244. It was he who taught Mevlana the depth of mysticism and the secrets of the world during their initial 468 days spent together in isolation. He was a man of the heart and holder of the secrets. As Mevlana got mature with Tabrizi, he acquired two other friends of the heart named Selahaddin Zerkübi and Hüsamettin Çelebi.

From the period when he was alive, Mevlana has been one of the most prominent names to influence man with his thoughts. All opinions and thoughts are based on the principles of knowing the existence of God. It is believed that all beings in the universe have a "spirit" and as a result we must pay utmost attention not to injure anything. The essence of "Mevlevi" philosophy is the supremacy of tolerance. This approach, far from fanaticism, is the world foundation for humanity and human virtue.

One of his most eloquent couplets proclaims:

Whatever you think of war, I am far, far from it;
Whatever you think of love, I am that, only that, all that.

He saw God in people and all living creatures and didn't separate them from each other, in the same manner as God did. For Mevlana, Man is the exalted in all creation, because only Man can reach God through love and thus Man realizes the truth in the saying "I am Man's secret and Man is my secret."

Mevlana had a humanist, universalistic, humanitarian vision: "I am, " he declared, " temple for all humankind." His mystic spirit can and must be claimed not by one country, one culture, one religion, but by all humanity.

His philosophy and works have been embraced since his death in 1273. This philosophy has guided many people including names such Spinoza, Goethe, Novali, Kierkegaard, Nietzche, Dostoyevski, Gabriel Marcel.

"Come, come by, come again!
Whoever you are,
Whether an infidel, or a worshipper of fire or idol,
Whether you have repented for a hundred times,
Whether you have turned back from your repentance for a hundred times.
This gate is not a gate for despair;
Come as you are!"

This famous rubai of Mevlana invites all human beings, regardless of creed, ethnic background, social status, or nationality, to his shrine. This was clearly visible at his funeral where he was sent on his journey to the spiritual world of Islam with Christians reading the Bible and Jews reading the Old Testament.

Works of Mevlana

Mesnevi (Mathnawi) is the first of the works of Mevlana who became immortal as one of the biggest philosophers of his age. The Mesnevi is made up of 25,632 couplets.

The Divan-i Kebir is his other important work, which is made up of 2073 gazels and 1791 rubais, 21366 couplets and 7 volumes.

The Fihi Ma-Fih is his words brought together by the people around him during conversations, which finally symbolize his views, ideas and chats.

The Mektubat consists of the 147 letters that he has written to his family, people around him and to dignitaries of the government.

The speeches that Mevlana made in the seven meetings are published under the name Mecalis-i Seba.

Written by R. Hakan Talu

For more information, to set up interviews and to request review copies of artists' recordings please contact Golden Horn Productions at 1-925-930-7184 or send an e-mail to info@goldenhorn.com.