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Reflection on November’s theme: Wash your hands of the cheap metals of existence like the mature, so that you may find the philosopher’s Stone of love and become gold yourself.

alchemy-circle-goldReflecting on this month’s theme is quite a painful experience for this one. Though it is my deep longing and aspiration to be in this world but not of it, this traveller has to admit that the cheap metals of existence are still clinging to his hands after all these years of trying to practise the Path of Mevlana. Becoming mature and pure seems to be a goal almost unattainable.

Acknowledging this state of affairs, the nafs is even playing another trick on me: ‘Do you really think you can travel on the dervish path while you’re still craving non-disturbance, paralyzed by all kinds of anxieties and distracted by the body’s ailments?’ Alhamdullilah, at that moment some comforting words from the Unseen entered my heart.

A saying of our tradition goes: ‘Our chille never comes to an end — in the end is our beginning.’ So our endeavour to free ourselves from the attachments and stains of the dunya is a long and exhausting journey, no matter how long we may be on the path. To keep to our intention and to cultivate the art of perseverance seem to be of the greatest importance. As is acceptance. The trials, falling back and suffering are an integral part of this journey. As Hz. Mevlana says:

…learn to accept and even benefit from the sufferings of life, and to meet the inevitable test of life with courage and trust. How will bread be baked if the wheat is not milled? How can uncrushed grapes yield wine? Only He has the right to destroy who knows how to rebuild better than before.”

I’ve come to realise more and more that the hindrances and tests on the path are part of His willing and guidance. The remedy for my agony seems to be acceptance and patience. As the Holy Qur’an tells us: And if you are patient — certainly

[He] is better for those who are capable of being patient. [16:126]

Amir Abd-Al-Kader elucidates this ayat: ‘Allah consoles His patient servants in their trials by announcing that He Himself is the substitute and the replacement of that which they have lost and was pleasing to their natural predisposition.’

Forever being a beginner, may perseverance, trust and patience be our companions on this journey without an end. May the prayer of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) come true for us all: Make me die as one who has surrendered himself to You, and grant me to join the righteous. [12:101]

~ Muhammad Rob Dijkstra, Holland

December’s theme is: Freewill is the effort to thank God for His gifts. ~Mevlana

We welcome your reflections on this theme. Please email

Rumi’s Urs Celebration


Rumi’s Circle with whirling dervishes from The Threshold Society are pleased to announce a three city celebration of Mevlana Rumi’s Urs, the anniversary of his union with the Beloved. We will have world-renowed musician and composer, Latif Bolat, joining us for an evening of music, whirling and poetry. Please book your tickets now — especially for London as seating is limited! More details and booking information here.

Recent Podcasts

Hope, Activity and Awe
Reflections on October’s theme: “The interpretation of a sacred text is true if it stirs you to hope, activity, and awe.”

Be Gold Yourself
Reflections on November’s theme, two lines from a Ghazel of Hafiz: “Wash your hands of the cheap metals of existence like the mature, so that you may find the philosopher’s Stone of love and become gold yourself.”

View all podcasts.

Responsibilities of Dervishhood

dervish salamThis paper is intended both for people who are considering an affiliation with The Threshold Society, as well as for those who are already committed to this path. To be a Mevlevi dervish is to enter into a web of relationships designed to maximize spiritual possibilities through creating an atmosphere of solidarity, loyalty, service, trust, and affection. It involves taking hand with a shaikh and committing oneself to the program of training and service offered by the Mevlevi spiritual community. Some of the details of this relationship and its adab are described both online and in The Knowing Heart. If people aren’t clear about the principles of these relationships, it weakens the bonds with the shaikh and with the community as a whole. Read the full paper here.


Dec 6th: Threshold London Monthly Open Group, 7pm, Library room, Westminster Quaker Meeting House, 8 Hop Gardens, off St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4EH. Newcomers to the group are asked to seek a telephone introduction and briefing with the host/facilitator before attending.  Please phone Sadat on 07710 511517, or e-mail Mahmoud on with your phone number so he can call you back — please do this at least two days in advance.

Dec 6th: Threshold Bradford zhikr, 3:30pm, Bradford Quaker Meeting House, Russell Street, Bradford BD5 0JB. Open to all. Contact Noor for more details:

Dec 12: Manchester Urs celebration with Latif Bolat, buy tickets.

Dec 13: Bradford Urs celebration with Latif Bolat, buy tickets.

Dec 20: London Urs celebration with Latif Bolat, buy tickets.

Dec 27: Family zhikr and meal in Harrow from 7pm hosted by Sania and Amer. For more details and address please contact Sania at

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you — a favourite piece from Mevlana, your own poetry, reflections on the path… please do contribute. We learn so much from each other, may this space be an opportunity for community, connection and companionship.


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Birth Pains

Man has a guide at hand for every endeavor. Nothing can be undertaken until a pain—a yearning and love for a thing—is awakened inside him. Without pain one’s endeavor will not be easy, no matter whether it be this-worldly, other-worldly, commercial, regal, scholarly, astrological or anything else. Mary did not go to the blessed tree until she experienced the pangs of birth: and the pains of childbirth came upon her near the trunk of a palm tree [19:23]. Pain brought her to the tree, and the dry tree bore fruit. Our body is like Mary, and each of us bears a Jesus. If we experience birth pains, our Jesus will be born; but if there is no pain, our Jesus will return to his origin by that hidden road whence he came, and we will remain deprived.

[Fihi ma Fihi: Discourse 5, The Rumi Daybook]

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

dervish and tree