With this audio guide you will discover the most important Sufi sights in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu, Üsküdar, and Beşiktaş neighborhoods. With the help of our map, you will always know where you are.
Since you will certainly want to take a closer look at some of the sights without any time pressure, you should take full day for the tour.
Of course, it's entirely up to you to skip any of the points if you don't have the time or inclination to see a certain point. On this tour you are the boss and determine the duration, so you can pace yourself!
Throughout the history of Istanbul, Sufism has been woven in the very fabric Ottoman and Turkish culture. This tour will take you to some of the important locations for Sufism as well as mosques, because in Ottoman times Sufism and Islam are intrinsically intertwined. In recent times Sufism has spread across the world and takes many different forms that are not all connected directly with Islam. Some embrace a more universal approach to spirituality. Rumi, one of the most famous Sufis, said “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
In Sufism, practitioners say prayers at tombs of Sufi Masters of the past as a special part of worship. This is done to give blessings to those that walked the path before and receive blessings from these past saints. Each tomb has its on flavor and knowing or being familiar with the life and the stories of the Master buried in the tomb helps Sufis to gain a taste of the the beauty that that Sufi Master lived. When a dervish sets off on their spiritual journey they must first find a master to guide them along the path. On this tour you will visit the tombs of Galip Dede in the Galata Mevlevihane and learn about the Mevlevi Sufi Order and the Whirling Dervishes as well as see relics from other Sufi orders in the museum. You will stop by the Yeraltı or Underground Mosque where some companions of the Prophet Muhammad are buried. You will see another Mevlevi Sufi lodge in Üsküdar as well as the Özbekler Sufi Lodge where pilgrims could stop on their way to Mecca. Also a visit to the largest and oldest Alevi-Bektaşi Cemevi at Karacaahmet is on the tour.
As we take you along to the most interesting sites, you may also pass some places whose admission is not free of charge. It is best to listen to the informative audio commentary beforehand and decide for yourself whether a stroll from the outside will satisfy your curiosity or whether you would like to take a closer peek inside.
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