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This is the website of the Swiss Branch of the Mevlevi Order. The main language here is German, however we offer on it also some space for interested persons of other languages. This part of our Website offers some limited information in English. For a complete information please consult the websites of our brothers and sisters in English speaking regions. Their addresses are listed under “Links”. May our doing be of service to all human beings striving for the real purpose of their existence! May we be allowed to do this in the light and under the protection of our Pir Hazreti Mevlana! May Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate protect us!

Mevlana's Mausoleum in Konya
Mevlana’s Mausoleum in Konya

The awareness of Islam and the Prophet (December 2016)

Peter Hüseyin Cunz, Congress in Konya, 15.12.2016 

 

Bismillahi ar-Rahmani ar-Rahim, assalamo aleikum, 

 

Praise be to our Prophet Muhammad, he who serves as our reference! Peace and Blessings of Allah may accompany him and his relatives! 

 

I express my sincere thanks to the Authorities of Konya and to the organizers for having invited me to this event. And I thank the family Çelebi for being the custodians of Mevlana’s heritage, making it possible for us in Europe and elsewhere in the world to understand the Prophet and his light! 

 

If Islam started in the 7th century, what then does this mean for the science of evolution, for the modern physics and psychology? Or, was Islam since ever? 

If Muhammad is the seal of the Prophets, what then does this mean for 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Christians, 1 billion Hindus and several billions of rationalists? Or, is Allah also to them  “closer than the jugular vein”? (ayat 50.16) 

Muslims go into war against Muslims, intelligent theologians fight with the tongue against other intelligent theologians because of differences in the interpretation of holy scripts. Muslims build walls instead of reaching hands. What does this mean for today’s Islam who should guide us on a way beyond the boarders of comprehension? 

These are questions to which I have to be able to answer in a comprehensive way when I wish to convince Europeans about the universality of Islam. 

 

With the internet the world has become very little: ethical values and rules of society are completely different than in the 7th century on the Arabian Peninsula. Today slavery is rejected as unethical, and today it is not tolerated anymore to have the men ruling over women. I have to consider this if I want to convince Europeans about the universality of Islam. 

 

Dear brothers and sisters, time is relative. Time is bound to gravitation, and it changes according to the condition of matter. Time disappears if we get close to the divine. Saints such as Hz. Mevlana knew this very well. By reducing Islam to its historical context we rob it the universality. 

 

May we have the courage to testify a universal view of Islam! Allah is not only close to Muslims. Let us stop to reduce Allah to the limited comprehension of the medieval theologians! Let us recognise the Light of Muhammad also in the Christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu and the rationalist! Let us reach hands, be it with Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus or rationalists! Let us be amazed in gratitude, let us look into the heart of each other, and let us together with the non-Muslims bow in front of the incomprehensible cryptic Ultimate that we Muslims call Allah! 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I’m a thankful guest here in Konya, and therefore I wish to close with a verse of my Pir. It is to be found in the first book of his Mesnevi: 

 

You are an idol worshipper when you remain in bondage to forms. Leave the idol’s form and look at the reality.

If you are a man for the Pilgrimage, seek a pilgrim as your companion, whether he be a Hindu or a Turk or an Arab.

Do not look at his figure and colour, look at his purpose and intention.

If he is black, yet he is in accord with you: call him white, for spiritually his complexion is the same as yours.

                                                                                                    (Mesnevi 1:2893-2896) 

 

 

Amen 

Introduction to Sema, October 2015 in Canada and USA

By Peter Hüseyin Cunz, Toronto and NY State, October 13th – 20th 2015

Good evening dear ladies and gentlemen! 

Let me start with the first four verses of the well-known masterpiece of poetry, the Masnawi, containing over 25’000 mystical verses dictated by Celaleddin Rumi and recorded in writing by his pupils in the 13th century. The teaching within our Sufi-Order – the Mevlevi-Order – is based on the messages of this saint and spiritual master. His interpretation of the Koran and of the Islamic tradition is highly humanistic and modern. Also traditional Muslims consider him to be one of the greatest saints in Islam. Today he is also much appreciated and loved by non-Muslims. Books with scientific translations and interpretations as well as with romantically adapted translations of his poems are nowadays much in demand. 

Listen to the reed-flute, how it is complaining!
It is telling about separations, saying,
“Ever since I was parted from the reed field,
men and women have lamented in my cries.

I want a heart which is torn, torn from separation,
so that I may unfold the pain of yearning.
Anyone who has remained far from his root,
seeks a return to the time of his union.

(Masnawi 1:1-4)

What did Rumi express in these verses? Please allow me to give some guidance:

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A Still Point in a Turning World (December 2000)

Speech of Hüseyin Peter Cunz in Ankara on 15./16.12.2000 

Bismillah 

Honourable Minister, your Excellencies,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I’m thankful to be allowed to be among you, and I congratulate the organisers for this well-done event. Please allow me to outline – in other words – a few points from the paper I offered for this occasion. I begin with a verse from T.S.Eliot:

At the still point of the turning world
Neither flesh nor fleshless
Neither from or towards
At the still point, there the dance is
But neither arrest nor movement

Let us acknowledge that everything in this world is subject to change and movement! And it is not alone the environment, politics and social co-operation that are subject to change. Also religion is confronted with the changes of our time. If we accept that Hz Mohammed was the last Prophet and that Islam was revealed for all people for all time, then we may not simultaneously demand that the culturally conditioned forms of religious expression should never change.

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Sufism and freedom (H. Nur ARTIRAN, July 2009)

Speech by H. Nur Artıran at a conference of the Tariqa Alawyyia in Mostaganem, July 2009 

Distinguished guests, my friends, firstly I would like to express how happy it makes me to be here amongst you, in your esteemed presence. May I pay my deepest respects to every one of you and pray that this meeting at this time reaches all of its objectives and is instrumental in bringing beneficence to the World. 

‘Spirituality and challenges of our time‘ which is perhaps the most important item on our agenda, immediately brings to our memory some couplets from Mevlâna Celaleddin Rumi: 

‘You have not come to this World to feed your body which will eventually be prey for the worms in your grave1. You have learned a certain craft or art; you do have a certain profession to nourish your body, to meet its needs. And what have you done about nourishing your soul? Learn the Art of Religion to nourish that.2 Turn to ‘meaning’ (mana) for a change. Do not be attached to the transient delights of the world to live as a ‘free man’ so that you do not become a prisoner of possessions, position, food and drink and suchlike.’ 3

These precious words of Celaleddin Rumi enable us to widen our horizon and look at the notion of freedom from a different angle.

The first clause of the Declaration of Human Rights following the French Revolution of 1789 states that a human being is born free and lives a free life. Although this clause seems to be quite reasonable and acceptable, one believes that certain questions have to be raised regarding this notion of freedom.

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WOMEN FROM MAWLAWI PERSPECTIVE (Nur Artıran, Istanbul 2005)

Since the creation of Adam and Eve, the value of women in society has always been a long discussed issue for all religions and civilizations.  Every prevailing society, notion and civilization has presented various opinions regarding women, and based on these opinions, valued and placed them in the society. 

In this context, value of women in society has also been an issue for Muslim nations; however Islam’s true view of women has not been fully understood.  It was a common belief that Islam did not grant the value that women deserved and tried to keep women out of social life.  Certainly, this is not true, but merely an outcome of a prejudiced perspective. 

I believe that if we look at the beginning of Islam and the value of women in numerous societies, then we can better appreciate the value given to women by Islam, by the prophet Mohammed -the supreme announcer of Islam-, and consequently by Mawlana. Therefore, I would like to shortly mention how different societies viewed women. 

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What I learned from Şefik Can Efendi (January 2015)

Speech by Peter Hüseyin Cunz

10th Commemoration of Honourable Şefik Can Dede
Konya, 23rd and 24th of January 2015

Dear Chair-Lady, dear Maqam Çelebi, dear Ms President of Şefik Can International Mevlânâ Education and Cultural Association, dear Governor of Konya, dear Mayor of Konya, honourable Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for inviting me to this event and allowing me to address a few words in remembrance of Şefik Can Efendi. It means a lot to me for the simple reason that I learned a lot from this remarkable man. I met him first in 1996 and many other times in Istanbul and in Switzerland. I thank Allah for these opportunities.

Next to Şefik Can Efendi I always felt a balance of authority and gentleness. With the time I understood that these qualities originated from his authenticity and not from being bound with his nafs. Şefik Can Efendi went through an academic and military career, and until his old age he had clear opinions on political, social and cultural questions. But it was certainly through his engagement with Hz. Mevlana’s messages that his opinions ceased to be an expression of his nafs. In his argumentation I recognized an immense knowledge with free and clear reasoning.

From time to time we invited Şefik Can Efendi to visit us in Switzerland. His sohbets were always heart-warming and elevating, and we were left with a treasure of remembrance and knowledge. Once we celebrated Sema, and of course I asked him to be Postnişin by using my destar. And we had to smile because the destar was too big for him, and we had to find a way of fixing it on his head. Şefik Can Efendi had a great sense of humour also about himself. Vanity was non-existent.

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Public Sema in Zurich, Switzerland

Date: Sunday, 22nd of September 2019
Time: 14:00 Introduction to the Ritual
14:30 Dhikr and Sema-Ritual
15:30 Encounter with tea and cake
Place: City-Church ‘Open St. Jakob’ in Zürich
(at the tram-stop “Stauffacher”)
Date: Sunday, 15th of Dezember 2019
Time: 15:00 Door opening
15:30 Welcome and Introduction
16:00 Sufi concert and Dhikr
16:30 Sema-Ritual
17:30 Encounter with tea and cake
Place: City-Church ‘Open St. Jakob’ in Zürich
(at the tram-stop “Stauffacher”)
Date: Sunday, 19th of April 2020
Time: 14:00 Introduction to the Ritual
14:30 Dhikr and Sema-Ritual
15:30 Encounter with tea and cake
Place: City-Church ‘Open St. Jakob’ in Zürich
(at the tram-stop “Stauffacher”)
Date : Sunday, 5th of July 2020
Time: 14:00 Introduction to the Ritual
14:30 Dhikr and Sema-Ritual
15:30 Encounter with tea and cake
Place: City-Church ‘Open St. Jakob’ in Zürich
(at the tram-stop “Stauffacher”)
Date : Sunday, 20th of September 2020
Time: 14:00 Introduction to the Ritual
14:30 Dhikr and Sema-Ritual
15:30 Encounter with tea and cake
Place: City-Church ‘Open St. Jakob’ in Zürich
(at the tram-stop “Stauffacher”)
Date: Saturday, 12th of Dezember 2020
Time: 15:00 Door opening
15:30 Welcome and Introduction
16:00 Sufi concert and Dhikr
16:30 Sema-Ritual
17:30 Encounter with tea and cake
Place: City-Church ‘Open St. Jakob’ in Zürich
(at the tram-stop “Stauffacher”)

Speech of Celal Çelebi at the Vatican (September 2014)

Your Eminence, Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen.

Since Turkey is a part of Anatolia we know that we are also former citizens of the Great Roman Empire. We are aware that, Tutte le strade portano a Roma. Tonight, as the 23rd generation descendant of Jelaleddin Rumi and a representative of the 800 year old tradition, I am glad to be with the distinguished and honoured members of your great society.

In his book On Heaven and Earth, His Holiness Pope Francis underlined the importance of dialogue and said: “In order to establish dialogue it is necessary to know how to lower the defences, open the doors of the house, and offer human warmth.” First of all, we have come here to build a better dialogue between East and West. Rumi says “I am neither of the East nor of the West; no boundaries exist in my heart.”

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A Mevlevi view on Chivalry (Futuwwah) in modern times (December 2014)

Symposium in Kars on 16-18 December 2014

By Peter Hüseyin Cunz

The idealization of the noble behaviour of the knights who formed the chivalry in the European Middle-Age of the 13th to the 16th century was shaped by historical events such as the power game of the Church, the crusades to the Middle East and wars among European rulers. The knights were soldiers of the aristocracy. They had to follow certain rules of obedience and bravery. For the aristocrats it was essential that their subordinates remained loyal also in difficult times. Therefore they developed and propagated an idealistic view on serving as knights. The idealisation of the noble behaviour of knights polished the reputation of the aristocrats who then were named “The Nobles”. The cult around nobility and chivalry helped the persons in power and wealth to safeguard their position. Knights were “knighted” with a sword, a ritual of initiation to a higher level (maqam). Even a king had to be knighted before he was accepted as a king. This cultural element was reflected in poetry and music. Values from Christian monasteries, such as service, chastity and asceticism also found their places in this culture.

In modern times, after the aristocracy had lost their status and gave way to the bourgeoisie, the noble virtues of chivalry remained as an ideal in movements such as the scouts, the freemasonry and various secret orders. The Christian virtue of compassionate service as described in the story of the good Samaritan told by Hz. Jesus (see Luke 10:25-37) remains as a religious duty until today. Cowboy-films and video games incorporate heroes that are powerful and represent values of chivalry. “The strong shall protect and care for the weak, and the powerful shall live an exemplary life”.

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Acting with and in relation to Hz. Mevlânâ’s message in Europe (December 2010)

Workshop in Konya, 16 December 2010

Peter Hüseyin Cunz,

 

1. Our organization and purpose

We are acting as the official Mevlevi Order (tarîqah) in Switzerland, following its tradition and purpose under the auspices of the International Mevlânâ Foundation. The members meet every Thursday evening in Zurich for ritual prayer (salâh, nâmâz), the remembrance of God (Dhikr Allâh), the whirling (Semâ) and teaching (sohbet). 4 times per year a full Semâ is celebrated in a church with access to friends and newcomers who wish to celebrate with us. In spring we organize a 3-days workshop together with members of the Mevlevi Order from Germany and the Netherlands. In summer we organize a hike in the mountains for our families and children.

2. Assertion of challenges and experiences

We are embedded in a European cultural environment with its strong and advanced academia in theology, philosophy, orientalistic and social science, and – as contrast – a public with limited knowledge on Islam. Animated by populist parties Europe faces political debates on social problems with immigration also from Islamic countries, leading to strong and negative emotions about Islam. These debates give prominence to the European values of secularization, democracy, the right for free expression, citizenship and laic ethical values with equal rights for men and women. Any claim contradicting such values are rejected, and therefore concepts of Islamic Law (sharî’ah, Sunnî schools of law) contradicting to these values are heavily criticized.

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