Public Mukabele

Whirling Dervish


Shebi ARUS, December 15th, 19:30 (doors at 19.00)

Top Studio @ Colet House, London (W14 9DA)

Please note – Mukabeles are subject to enough Dervishes being available and may be cancelled at very short notice!

Tickets are available on the door for a suggested donation of £10 per person

Join us at Colet House for our Whirling Dervish ceremony (Mukabele) at 19:30. If you would like to stay for the tea party in the refectory afterward please bring a little food to share. Please note that you must be seated by 19.30 and late arrivals may not be admitted. No filing or photography is permitted during the Mukabele


The Mukabele or turning ceremony of the Mevlevi Order of Dervishes from Turkey was founded by the 13th century Persian poet and mystic Jalal-uddin Rumi. Originally it is said that he went into a spontaneous whirling dance and then the ceremony was formalised by his immediate family virtually into the form that we see today. So it has continued as an unbroken tradition for over 700 years.

The Mukabele represents the soul’s journey towards union with God, and the whole of the Mevlevi teaching is expressed within the symbolism of the ceremony.

Nik playing kirtan Colet house


The mukabele, a ritual of the rebirth of the spirit, is concerned with the transformation of substance. In essence and structure it is a further development of the zikr practice… In the mukabele, the participant is put directly in touch with the world of spirit through the impact of rhythm, music and poetry, bypassing laborious verbal definition of abstract speculation. Anyone who wishes to fathom the mystery of the mukabele need not, initially, ask for an explanation of the symbolism of the various parts of the ritual. Reverence for its disciplined form alone, laid down to the last detail, leads the novice to an experience of its profound content. The mukabele reveals itself through itself. Mukabele means “face to face”, which goes back to a verse in the Koran which says “wherever you turn, you see the face of God”. The experience of the mukabele is of a state where religious power, in the true sense of religio, becomes effective; the transcendence of duality makes ethical considerations superfluous. In order to attain this experience of ‘at-one-ment’, there is asked of one a complete surrender of all one clings to — this is the sacrifice the mukabele asks of the dervish.

(Marie-Gabriele Wosien, The Mukabele of the Mevlevi Order of Dervishes, 1982)