Rumi, the wings of love. Viewed in several international film festivals, as well as the Musee de L'Homme in Paris, this film takes viewers into a secret world rarely seen by outsiders. Nearly eight centuries after his death, Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, Surfi master and mystical poet, is ever-present in the whirling of today's Mevlevi dervishes. The Halveti zikr, Mevlevi semas, and the Gharib, or secret, sema - not seen for over 100 years - were filmed in Cairo, Istanbul, and the Garden of Rumi in Konya. This unique footage set to Mevlevi music is enhanced by interviews with Sheikh Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din (Martin Lings), Islamic philosopher and author of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and Sheikh Omer Tugrul Inancer, who reveals the hidden meaning of the reed flute.
Come to life, al-Mahya. Once a year in the middle of the month of Shaban "mureeds" of the Demerdache Khalwati Sufi Order of Cairo go into small cells and make a spiritual retreat which has been a tradition in this order for over five hundred years. Shems Friedlander is the first person to be allowed to film this secret and sacred ceremony. During the "khalwa" the mureed prays, fasts (as in the month of Ramada), is silent, remains in seclusion, invokes the Name of Allah, meditates, and maintains a state of ritual purity.