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Ta Ha—Our Cosmic Journey continues through the Spiritual Dance of the Whirling Dervish

By Mother Tynnetta Muhammad | Last updated: Dec 4, 2019 - 10:31:02 AM

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[Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from May 18, 2004 online, and The Final call will continue to reprint articles written by our late and dear Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.]

“And when We said to the angels: Be submissive to Adam, they submitted except Iblis; he refused. We said: O Adam, this is an enemy to thee and thy wife; so let him not drive you both out of the garden so that thou art unhappy. Surely it is granted to thee therein that thou art not hungry, nor naked, And that thou art not thirsty therein, nor exposed to the sun’s heat. But the devil made an evil suggestion to him; he said; O Adam, shall I lead thee to the tree of immortality and a kingdom which decays not? So they both ate of it, then their evil inclinations became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden. And Adam disobeyed his Lord, and was disappointed.” -Holy Qur’an, Surah 20, verses 116-121

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Artist Marcos Miranda (Sufi name Abdul Azim) playing the flute from Laos, South East Asia. Photos: Kenneth Muhammad
When we open to the Holy Qur’an, we begin with the recital of the seven oft repeated verses of a prayer, the key to the opening of God’s Revelation from the Mother of the Book, which is the universe itself. The underlying mathematical code of its divine message also contains an inner language of musical scales as expressed in a whole note of music.

The Divine Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad guides us through an evolutionary process to the love of God and his mercy to all humanity. When we separate the word “Oneness” into syllables, it reads one, which is the “1” in mathematics. The syllable ness or nas in the Arabic language means people or nations. This translates into the oneness of God and humanity. Through the expression of music, color and medicine (in its natural essence), according to the Divine Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we come to the essence or inner expression of God’s true religion.

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The Mystical Dance of the Dervish composed by Mother Tynnetta Muhammad was accompanied by the Whirling Dervishes as part of Ta Ha, The Final Call Symphonic Suite.
We read in Surah 20, verses 116-128, a description of the root cause of man’s fall or present condition of evil through the devil’s misleading of men and nations. Through the evil suggestion of the devil, Adam was led to believe in the false promise of immortality and a kingdom which decays not. This evil suggestion of the devil led to Adam’s fall and the manifestation of his evil inclinations and shame, which ultimately separated him from God. This account of Iblis is a description of our own natures’ inclination toward evil if not contained, which leads to disobedience of God’s commands. To understand the history of Iblis and his rebellion to God, we would have to begin with the reading of Surah 2, entitled “Al Baqarah” (The Cow) in the 30th verse, which describes Iblis’ opposition to God as it manifested in the garden.

To understand the meditation movement of the Dervish, one would have to study his own movements and experiences in life within the context of a self-studied journey of the soul as the observer and the witness of good or evil within self, which brings its punishment and rewards. Sufism is a term difficult to define because it is neither the name of a religion or a sect, but it is a body of knowledge that reflects a way of life defined by the principles of action and faith and of the unconscious unfolding itself like the pages of a book, describing the soul’s mystical ascent and return to God. This evolving principle is perhaps most perfectly revealed in the 89th Surah, or Chapter, of the Holy Qur’an, entitled “Al-Fajr” (The Daybreak). This chapter contains 30 verses which reveal a prophecy, an oath for men of understanding and a prayer with the proper actions that lead to the ultimate fulfillment of the goal of the righteous which is to be reunited with God in perfect peace and harmony.

According to the Dervish, their waltz-like dance movements with whirling skirts called Sema, or the Universal Movement, correspond to the fundamental condition of our existence which is in a constant state of revolution from one state of spiritual consciousness to another. Quoting from a Sufi Text written by Dr. Celaleddin B. Celebi, the grandson to the founder of this Sema, Mevlana Celaleddin’i Rumi, “There is no object, no being which does not revolve, and the shared similarity among beings is the revolution of the electrons and protons in the atoms which constitute the structure of the smallest particles of the stars far in the sky. As a consequence of this similarity, everything revolves and man carries on his life, his very existence by means of the revolution of the atoms, structural elements in his body by the circulation of his blood by his coming from the earth and return to it, by revolving within the earth itself.”

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Abdul Azim playing the Turkish Nay as an accompaniment to the Whirling Dervish.
From these words, we are able to connect to the Divine Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, which takes us to the Root and Foundation knowledge and science of everything in the divine creation from revolving spheres in the structure and evolution of the atom itself and its kind. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has stated that God created the law of self-generation from the origin of His own self-creation revolving in the darkness of space until He made a light of Himself. He then caused all created things to revolve and evolve as Himself being the Original Architect and Divine Creator of all life on our planet and in the universe.

In the musical presentation of Ta Ha: The Final Call Symphonic Suites, I included the Mystical Dance of the Dervish to honor the Sema and the public Zikr in the remembrance of Allah. This was a tantamount ingredient in the revelation of this dynamic truth in unlocking the inner meanings of the Holy Qur’an chapters and verses thorough the universal language of music. This is part of the meaning of the Cultural Revolution, expressing the love and beauty of Allah, The Originator of all life on earth and in the heavens above.

“So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praise of thy Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and glorify (Him) during the hours of the night and parts of the day, that thou mayest be well pleased.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 20, verse 130