Mevlana was walking one day in the marketplace in Konya, where he lived, when he heard the hammering of the goldbeaters in the marketplace.
These were the apprentices of the Sufi Sheikh Salahuddin Zerkub (the Gold-beater) and, in that rhythmic sound, Mevlana heard the Remembrance of God, the recitation of the heart calling for its beloved, "Allah, Allah, Allah ..." As he heard this, Mevlana suddenly stopped, outstretched his arms and began to whirl in an ecstasy of the heart.
From this beginning, Mevlana and his followers expressed their joy in worship of the Unity of God through the music and song of the mystical whirling dance. This is the Sema, a celebration of the human soul's participation in the dance of creation and ascent to the Divine.
Mevlana always remained, like all Sufis, a devout Muslim and follower of the way of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him. His message, however, like the Holy Prophet's, is universal, for all men and women, who seek to travel the path to inner meaning and spiritual understanding.