Mainly accepted to be the mystical dimension of Islam, Sufism has been defined as a means by which a person makes his personality free from bad habits, cleanses his soul and attains maturity with his love for God. Sufism is a lifestyle; it is a different attitude to life. On the other hand, order is institutionalized phenomenon arising from Sufism. It resembles to the relationship between ice and water. Ice is made up from water but a solid state of water. The metaphor “the ocean and a jug of water” explains the relationship between Sufizm and Orders very well. Even if you take water from the ocean and fill it into jug, to what extent can the water in the jug preserve its oceanic nature. (Hazreti Inayat Han, Hazreti Mevlana).
In the Islamic world, there are many orders known. The most known all around the world is the Mevlevi Order, or the Mevleviyye in Ottoman Turkish. The Mevlevi order had been established by Sultan Veled, the son of Mevlana, after his death in 1273 within framework of his father’s ideas. Because of he had systematized and organized his father’s ideas as an order, Hz. Mevlana’s son, Sultan Veled has been regarded as the real founder and the second father of the Mevlevi order . The Mevlevi Order has been an institution founded totally on the base of love and tolerance.
The Mevlevi order continued its existence as the most institutionalized order during the time of the Ottoman Empire until 1923 when Ataturk closed up all orders and hermitages. Today, the Mevlevi Order culture and Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, the most significant ritual of this culture, have been regarded as a cultural heritage and taught for the purpose of transferring to the next generation by universities, foundations and associations and continue their existence by means of various activities. In 2005, the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony was proclaimed as a part of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intengible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It is one of the most important richness of the Turkish Culture as a tradition of 800 years.