1,000 Years of Sufism Explained in One Evening

Published: November 13, 2012 | Read Time: 1 minutes

A Sufi Mystic isn’t your traditional guest speaker, nor is Sufism itself commonplace in rural southern Utah. But on Tuesday night, November 13, SUU will be welcoming Turkish Sufi Mystic Latif Bolat for the University's Convocation Series in a performance you will not want to miss.

According to Sufism, the mystical path within Islam that is more concerned with the inner experience of religion rather than with its external forms and codes, “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” For Bolat and many others within Sufism, that is accomplished through the religion’s long tradition of mystical and lyrical poetry. He will present this music and poetry, along with Sufi mystic stories and images of ancient Turkey, in a public lecture and musical performance.

One of the best-known Turkish musicians in North America, Bolat has performed and taught at Carnegie Hall in New York City, performed on the soundtrack of “Young Indiana Jones” for George Lucas Studios, and also performed on the PBS documentary “Mohammad: Legacy of a Prophet.”

Beyond the music, Bolat will bring to SUU’s campus a unique philosophy and approach to the performance of traditional music. Through music and verse, he explains Turkish folk and mystic music and its sociopolitical and cultural elements.

“These songs, or hymns, have been passed down from each generation for hundreds of years and each recognizes the Divine Being found within the hearts of everyone that will accept the Beloved,” he explained.

The program will also include sacred ballads composed by Bolat, using lyrics from the greatest mystic poets and troubadours.

After his public performance, Bolat will be addressing audience questions. Tuesday's convocation will be held in the Sterling Church Auditorium, within the Student Center, at 6 p.m.

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