It is someone living a Sufi Muslim ascetic way or "Tariqah". They are poor, and live simply. In this respect, dervishes are most similar to mendicant friars in Christianity, or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.
The whirling dance that is associated with dervishes is best known in the West by the performances of the Mevlevi order in Turkey. It is part of a ceremony known as the Sema. It is also done by other orders. The Sema is only one of many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana).
- "Darvesh - Dictionary of Islam". Answering-islam.org. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- from Persian درویش, Darvīsh "Dervish - definition and more from the FreeMerriam - Webster Dictionary". M-w.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19. via Turkish
- "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19. Somali: Daraawiish, Arabic: درويش, Darwīš.
- Mendicant friars depend on charity
- Afroukhteh, Youness (2003) . Memories of nine years in 'Akká. Oxford: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-477-8.
- Koentges, Chris. "13 things the whirling dervishes can teach you about spinning until you're dizzy enough to puke". The Very Ethnic Project.
- B. Ghafurov, "Todjikon", 2 vols., Dushanbe 1983-5
- Rumi Britannica.com