Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Search: whirling dervish
Why: My dad taught my niece to call herself that when she was twirling around in her crib.
Answer: A Dervish (from Persian درویش, Darvīsh) is a member of the Sufi Muslim ascetic sect called the Tariqah, known for their extreme poverty and austerity. In Persian, Dar means "door," so Dervish/Darvash/Darvish literally means "one who goes from door to door."
The term "Whirling Dervishes" refers to the Mevlevi, a Sufi order founded in Konya (in present-day Turkey). They are famous for their practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God) as they aim to reach kemal (the perfect).
The More You Know: Maybe you would like to watch some Dervishes whirl: