Secrets of the Sufi Whirling Dervish's
of Heart of Quran and Surah Ya Seen
God Almighty: I am no where to
be found not in the
Heavens nor on Earth but, you
may Find Me in the Heart of My Lover
From The Teachings of
Mawlana Shaykh Hisham al Qabbani
36:83 So glory
to Him in
is the dominion
of all things..
One day when Prophet (s) was giving a
Friday sermon, a Bedouin came and said, “Ya RasulAllah (s), when will the
Day of Judgement occur?” Prophet (s) did not answer the Bedouin and remained
silent for some time. So the Bedouin asked again, but again Prophet (s) did
not answer. After a period of time the Bedouin asked his question for a
third time. Immediately, the Angel Gabriel
appeared before the
(s) and said, “Ask him what has he prepared for that day?’
The Bedouin replied “Nothing except my
love for you, oh beloved Prophet of God (s)!!” Prophet (s) then answered,
“you will be with those whom you love.” Upon hearing this conversation,
Abu Bakr as-Siddiq asked the
Holy Prophet (s),
Will love alone suffice?”
Prophet (s) then said, “Yes. The main
thing is love!” Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was so happy with this answer that he
began to whirl. [ The Opening of the Siddiqia Secret of Love ]
According to the teachings of our
Master, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani (may God bless him and raise his spiritual
station higher), the Sufi whirling technique which was taught by the
famous Sufi Master Muhammad Jalal ad-Din Rumi (qs) contains tremendous realities. The
first interaction that many Western people have with Sufism is often through
the poetry of Rumi, a poetry which sought to explain a Heavenly love which
flowered in his soul, and what our Master wants us to realize is that while
this poetry is nice to read, the “sema” or the practice of whirling is a
technique which can actually open that love, which is what Rumi is trying to
encourage people to do through his poetry. Rumi was saying in his poetry,
“seek the beloved!” and the question comes to us, “how do I seek Him?” It
means that the poetry of love and Divine attraction is first rooted in the
whirling and what was trying to be taught by the whirling. We are a micro
version of this greater galaxy. Therefore, in order to understand this
greater reality we are taught to look within and understand ourselves. As
God says in the Holy Quran:
show them our signs on the horizon and within themselves, until it will be
manifest to them that it is the truth.” (41: 53)
Your Body to the Light within the Heart
Everything in this
creation is spinning counter-clockwise, from our atoms and the electrons
that spin around the nucleus to the earth which spins around itself and
moves counter-clockwise around the sun. As everything is spinning in that
love of the Divine and in submission to the Divine power that is powering
all of creation, Sufi Masters were teaching us to mimic that reality.
Therefore, in Sufi whirling the body represents the
earth and the heart represents the sun.
As the earth rotates around the sun, the Divine is showing you that when you
are moving towards that process of enlightenment you will find God present
in your heart because God says “I cannot be found in Heaven or on earth, but
I can be found in the heart of my believer.”
Body = Earth
Heart = Sun
It means we govern our life by our
heart and not our head. Our physicality should follow what our heart wants,
but most of our lives we actually do the reverse. We are making the heart to
follow the body and its desires. The heart wants to sit and meditate but the
body wants to go to Las Vegas. To reach towards those realities of light,
however, Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi [Q] was teaching us that all of our
physicality and all of our desires must submit to the light, must submit to
the heart. It is the same reality that Jesus was teaching because all
Prophets taught the same reality, just as all Sufi Orders are teaching the
same reality in different ways.
Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Thy will be done, not my will
So then the secret of whirling is that
the physicality is being crushed in its whirling, grounded in its whirling,
and all of the contemplation is now focused on the emanation of the Divine
light that is coming to the heart.
The focus in Sufism is always on the
Other systems focus on different chakras and different endocrine, but these
are all of secondary importance in comparison to the heart chakra. If the
heart is sick, the whole body will be sick because the heart is the source
of all power and energy in the body.
That is why many people who are
clinically brain-dead live for many years in a coma because the heart is
real source of power. If the heart is purified, it will send that energy
throughout the body and the entire body will become purified and the other
chakras will activate. But if you focus on activating particular chakras
while the heart remains in a contaminated state, then as you play with these
chakras the heart is continuing to send its negative energy throughout the
body, and the result is that you will be unable to reach the spiritual
stations that the Saints want you to reach. So Sufism comes to teach us that
as you begin to seek that light, forget about these distractions and focus
your energies on purifying and perfecting the heart. It means that you must
stop making your heart follow your body and instead make your body to whirl
around your heart and follow the desires of your heart.
Then the Seeker
begins to turn on their left foot, which is the axis of their
earth, and begins the process of spinning, which means that you are
beginning the process of busying yourself with knowing yourself.
Who knows themselves will know their
Lord, and this is the process of self-realization. You are spinning around
yourself in the process of trying to understand yourself and wanting to know
“what is my purpose in life? What am I supposed to do and why am I
here?” With the Sufi whirling we are trying to unlock that reality and
understand ourselves and our Creator.
As the whirler spins on their left
foot, he/she is making their body spin around the heart, which is the source
of Divine love and Divine grace. The whirling is, therefore, a reflection of
a spiritual reality; that what deserves to be worshipped and respected is
the Light – not the egoistic desires of the lower self. It is this
understanding that is most important because whirling is not about speed, it
is about understanding that my body must submit to my heart. When we realize
this, then the physical movement of the whirling is now making that
understanding manifest, because there has to be an action involved in our
Positioning of the Hands when Whirling
to Him in whose hands is the dominion over all things” (Ya Seen 36:83)
are many phrases in English which express the relationship between the hands
and a charitable act, such as phrase “to give a helping hand”. When someone
falls down they request help by extending their hand, saying “I am in a
difficult situation, could you please help lift me up?”
In everything we do
in life, we need such support. To graduate from college, for example,
requires the support of many people other than ourselves. It requires the
support of family, friends, teachers and councillors, all of whom contribute
to guiding us on our path to graduation. If this is true of the material
world, it is truer of the spiritual realm. When a person seeks the path they
need Heavenly support. It is not a path that can be walked alone – even
Prophets were supported by the Angel Gabriel – so what about regular people?
Therefore, as the whirler begins to spin, he/she raises their
asking for Heavenly support and guidance.
Then, Mawlana’s teaching for us is
that our way is of personal sacrifice; to want more for your brother and
sister than what you want for yourself ,this is to be selfless.
Sayedena Muhammad (s) taught his
companions that when you give of charity, the right hand shouldn’t know
what the left hand gave, and the left hand shouldn’t know what the
right hand gave.
In the Naqshbandia teachings of
whirling, this understanding is represented by the left hand, which faces
down in service to creation so that the flow of angelic energy which
begins to dress the individual actually flows right through them and is
distributed throughout the room.
In doing so, the whirler makes the
Lord, whatever you send me I am freely
and openly giving that back to creation"
because that energy, that emanation
and Divine blessing is coming, but coming for whom? For the benefit of all
Then we find our whirling to be
physically balanced by outstretched arms, and our spiritual growth to be
spiritually balanced by the understanding that everything which comes to you
is for the benefit of other people.
Sursh Mulk 67:1
Blessed be He in Whose
hands is Dominion;
and He over all things
right hand has another major importance - it symbolizes the reality of the
moon in our creation. Recall that the sun is represented by the heart, so
the whirler looks to their right hand because it’s showing you that you
can’t look directly into the sun or it will blind you. It is the source
of power for our creation, and you can’t look at the source,
you can only
look to its reflection – the moon - which is represented by the right hand.
It means that as we are trying to reach enlightenment, and we begin to
ignite the power and the energy of the heart, the heart is actually
energizing and reflecting its light to the moon. That light and that power
is in the hands, so as the whirler is whirling and ascending towards the
Heavens, the focus is on the hand. The energy is opening in the heart and
shining onto the hand, and the hand is reflecting that light to the holy
and The Fardani Reality
The Moon is the Light and Perfect
representative of The Source of Light emanating from the Sun or Shams. The
Sun is the Fire and The Moon is The resulting Light.
You look to the right hand because the
moon is a symbol of guidance. The moon has no light of its own, but
it has no ego so it is able to perfectly reflect the light of the sun. The
moon has polished itself and effaced itself to such a degree that it is able
to reflect that light. Similarly, the perfected guide has lost their ego and
reached annihilation serves only as a vehicle for the Divine light to guide
seekers back to God. They never claim to be a source of that light. You
cannot say you have become “one” with the Divine, but you can witness the light of Divine Presence.
Then the whirler will quickly realize
that looking to the right hand provides balance and guidance. If we take the
focus off the hand and tries to look around the room, we become dizzy and
The Imam of
the Naqshbandi Order said, Tariqatuna as-suhbah wa 'l-khayru fi 'l-
jam`iyyah" - “Our way is fellowship, and the goodness is in the gathering”.
Companionship with the Guide.
Keep the fellowship of the guide and
learning the way of the spiritual path.
"Obey God, obey
the Prophet (s) and obey those in authority."
Because the Divine is showing you the importance of
maintaining your focus on your spiritual guide and on your path, rather than
on the material world. If you keep your focus on the guide you
will find yourself in that ascension, quickly moving towards the Divine
Presence. However, if you become distracted by the allurements of the
material world, you will lose your connection with the teacher and fall away
from the path. It is a constant battle against the ego, symbolized in the
hunger of the eyes to see what is happening in the room instead of focusing
on their hand.
Then we move into the numerology of the hands, because each hand is
filled with codes. For
example, there are three prominent lines on the palm
of each hand.
On the right hand, those three
lines are “18” in Arabic, while on the left hand, those lines are
reversed, showing “81” in Arabic. These codes point us to the names of God
and of Prophet (s). For example, on the right hand, the 18th
name of God is Al-Fattah, meaning “The Opener”, while the 18th
name of Prophet (s) is Rasul ur-Rahman, which means “the
Messenger of Mercy”. So the whirler is raising their right hand asking God
to open that mercy and dress the whirler in that attribute of mercy, which
is then given freely back to creation.
Then the left hand is 81, and the
81st name of God is Al-Muntaqim, “The Avenger”, while
the 81st name of Prophet (s) is Dhul Fadil, “the Source
of Virtue”. When we ask for God to dress us with mercy, what does that
mean? It doesn't mean that God should give us money and a new car. True
mercy is to be saved from evilness, especially from the evilness which lies
hidden within the self. So the right hand is opening mercy by asking God to
avenge us against all evilness – to destroy that evilness within
ourselves. That energy is known as Al-Muntaqim and flows through the
left hand. When that evilness has been destroyed, what is left is dhul
fadil, a source of virtue, because the soul has been empowered.
Shams Tabriz [ Means The Suns
Highest Point of Heat ] The Muhammadan Representative
Attraction, Centrifugal Force & Upward Thrust
All of this is dealing with the secret
of ascension, which is to ground the physicality and park the desires of the
physicality so that the soul can begin its ascension. The secret of the soul`s ascension is found in the three forces that are working in our
It means that by our nature and our
atomic reality, our
electrons and all of our form are attracted to the
Divine – the mass attraction. The electrons are wishing to collide with
the nucleus, which is the source of Divine light and nourishment. It wants
to come in and it`s looking for an opening, but it can`t find one. It never
stops in its search, however, because when you truly love something you
don’t walk away. So that love is making the electron to want to collide
with the nucleus, but there is no permission for this to occur and that
creates the spin around the nucleus, the centrifugal force. As the
electron is trying to come in, there is no opening, but there is no giving
up so it is constantly looking, looking, looking for the Divine opening to
collide with that reality, to reach back towards that reality and what we
call the fana, the annihilation; to be annihilated in that Divine
Presence. So we have the attraction, which is the love. We have the
searching for the opening, which is the spin, and as a result, the third
energy which is the upward thrust.
All Life is in
This Hologram of Love
Our whole existence is based on
All of our electrons are in love
with the Divine nucleus; searching and searching and searching for a way to
penetrate and collide into the center of power, but because it can't it has
upward thrust. So we are holograms of that love, and science proves that
this form is not real – this life is but an illusion. Your form is
just a hologram of all your atoms spinning at a high rate of speed and
giving you an illusion of form. If we were to slow down that spin, this
hologram would no longer exist. It is a proof for those who contemplate
about the magnificence of God’s creation, that if just one atom were to
collide with another it would cause a catastrophic explosion, and yet atoms
don’t collide. Glory be to the Creator that
everything stays in its own assigned orbit – there is nothing random because
if it were random you could walk into this room and randomly explode.
36:40 It is not for the sun to
overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day.
They float each in an orbit.
everything is based on love, based on this upward thrust and looking for an
entry to come in. The process of annihilation is to realize that the form is
an illusion and all that is real is this huge mass of energy that is moving
based on love and its desire to return home to the Divine Presence. So the
spin that we practice is mimicking that reality. And we see this throughout
nature, whether we break something down and look at its microcosm or look at
the macrocosm, the reality is the same. It means that as your
spinning counter clockwise around the nucleus, as the
earth is spinning
counter clockwise on its axis, as the planets spin counter clockwise around
the sun, as galaxy are also spinning counter clockwise, as everything in
creation is spinning and making that circumbulation around the light,
you are spinning around the Divine light that is in your heart.
All of creation is
making that spin, but our ego is refusing.
In fact, we even went so far as to
invent time and make it spin “clockwise” while God’s creation spins counter
clockwise. So Jalal ad-Din Rumi was teaching us to mimic this reality that
is found throughout creation, and submit the desires of the physicality to
the desires of the heart because the only way we are going to find that
Divine love is to open the heart.
of Whirling and Surah Ya Seen
All of the realities of whirling are
based on the heart and opening the heart, which is why all of the secrets of
the sama can be found in Surah Yā Sin (Surah 36), which is the heart of the
Holy Quran. As the Messenger of God said,
Everything has a heart and the heart of the Qur'ān is Yā Sin.2
Seen” is the 11th name of Sayedena Muhammad (s). It means that if
you want to move towards the Divine heart, you must come through the heart
of the Messenger of the Divine (s). When you come through the heart of
Prophet (s), your soul will be dressed with a secret. That secret is found
in Surah Yā Sin:
from a Merciful Lord (for them) is: Peace!” (36:58)
It means that the secret of whirling
is to receive that peace. When you truly submit, and begin to follow Allah /
God’s will instead of your will; when you begin to live a spiritual life and
leave the distractions of the material world, God’s attribute of mercy will
dress your soul with a feeling of peacefulness that cannot be conveyed with
words. And what happens when you receive peace?
The answer is found at the end of Yā
command, when He intendeth a thing,
that he saith unto it: Be! And it is.
glory be to Him in Whose hand is the dominion over all things!
ye will be brought back” (Surah 36:82-83).
God is praising the hand that will
reach that reality. In that hand is dominion over all things, and if we
reach to that reality, we will be dressed with those secrets. That is why
Saints have Heavenly power. Because they opened their hearts to that
reality, they were dressed from the Divine heart with the secrets of Surah
Yā Sin, and were given the power of kun fayakuun. If they intend
something, they need only say “be” and it is, because they have a direct
line to Divine Presence.
So Mawlana is teaching that all of the
secrets of whirling can be found in Yā Sin. That surah is also describing
the relationship of the sun and the moon, which is the relationship of the
right hand to the heart:
“It is not for
the Sun to catch up to the Moon nor for the Night to outstrip the Day: each
is swimming in its (assigned) orbit” (36:40).
The Divine is describing that one
doesn't overtake the other. You will not find the Divine Presence on your
hand because each has an assigned location. The right hand is only for the
moon, and in that relationship you are able to approach the Divine in a way
that would not otherwise be possible.
The moon also represents the station
of maqāmu 'l-fardānī, the “unique station”.
with the Divine, the whirler is pleading, “O my Lord, do not reject me
until I reach the unique station.” That station is manifesting in Mawlana.
The Sultan of all Saints .
This is another manifestation of
Muraqabah. Keeping Vigilance of the Guide.
Therefore, the right hand represents the need
to reach to Mawlana Shaykh's presence to unlock the power of the heart,
because when we find that Divine love and nourish that Divine love within
the heart, it nourishes all of the organs and brings spiritual healing to
all of the physicality. That has to do with Sufi healing. We don't need to focus on
different chakras and different endocrine, different points on the body. The
most essential point to fix is the heart. If we fix the heart and energize
the heart and bring the Divine Presence into the heart, then all of the
being will be fixed; all of the being will be nourished and filled with the
light of that Divine love.