Talk:Alevism/Archive index

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  • 05:21, 19 Oct 2004 — Name
  • 14:43, 29 Jul 2004 — Alevi
  • 21:21, 11 November 2007 — Shia

Alevi in Iran[edit]

Hi I am originally from South Azerbaijan, and thought to contribute to this discussion, as to my surprise there is no refrence to Alevi communities in South Azerbaican.

Alevi communities within Iran spread through out the north western and western region of the country. These large communities are more concentrated in small towns or villages of South Azerbaijan (Iranian Azerbaijan) and Kurdistan province of Iran.

The term Alevi was used till early twenty century for these communities and by themselves but at the present they are called with various names such as Ali Allahi,Ahl i Hag or Goran. The preferred name by the community is Ahl i Hag (literally meaning People of The Truth, or People of The Justice).

Ethnically they are either Azerbaijani Turks or Kurds. Azerbaijani of Ilkhichi (Ilxıçı), near Sahand mountain is mainly populated by Alevi, there also large vilages around , the Miandab (Miandoab) and Urmia within the western side of the Azerbaijan province.

The annual gatherings around the Shand (Sultan Dagi) in Azerbaijan province is one of the open rituals. At the peak of Sultan Dagi there is a small seasonal spring, which its water are considered to be blessed, by Alevi community. At the present there is a rather small Jamkhana (Cemxana) at the eastern foots of the Sahand.

There should be a clearification here, Ahl-e-Haqq(Yarsan) is not the same as Alevism, however they are ralated. The official term might be that they are Ahl-e-Haqq(Yarsan) but it should be more clear that Alevism and Ahl-e-haqq(Yarsanism) is not the same.

Turkish Society and Alevilik[edit]

A view from Istanbul[edit]

The Turkish Alevi community is, as the article correctly points out, merely tolerated (at best) by the wider Sunni majority. Alevilik is generally viewed as deviant, abberant and corrupted by Shamanism, Christianity and other "alien" influences. Faced by widespread ignorance and prejudice, few Alevis in majority-Sunni areas (and more particularly those in public life or the professions) feel able to openly reveal their identity let alone promote or celebrate it. That is to Turkey's loss.

Furthermore, it cannot be emphasized enough the degree to which Turkish Alevis overwhelmingly support Turkey's European Union accession process. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:39, October 25, 2005 (UTC)


This article includes much wrong information. Using the views of Irene Melikoff and other subjective writers is not recommended. Alevism is the true path of Allah, Muhammad and Ali. There is no such thing as Shamanistic elements in Alevism. If there was, then there was a need to change ALL articles about beliefs in wikipedia! Then there should be added, that Sunnism was a mix of Judaism, Christianity etc.! As an Alevi I will not accept this discrimination. Alevism should be described as Alevism sees itself, and not as foreigners observ it! A great part of this article is useless! Where's Shah Ismail Safawi, and his ancestor Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili? Where's the 12 imams, Haci Bektas?

I advice the admins of wikipedia to add a note that explains the wrong/discussable containings of this article!

Please, you are more than welcome to contribute to the article. If you are Alevi, well, even better! Wikipedia is made to be corrected by YOU! Chop up the article, re-write it, add or remove stuff. Wikipedia is here for YOU! You seem to sit on alot of information: ADD IT! If you feel something are wrong, change it! You had enought energy to read the article, go in here at the discussion page and vent youre opinion, so focus that energy and contribute......This is youre chance to do so, whereelse whould that be possible....YOU are needed! Thats all!

Update needed[edit]

Dear contributors, as a interested reader, here is my comment: this article has many interesting elements in it. However it shows that several strongly biased sentences were added/modified (in bad English too); so I would like to advise that someone takes care of amending this article, which I think has the potential to be very good.

Also, may I point out a "reputable" source of information on Alevism: the Turkish Daily News, who published a series on Alevism very recently, on Nov 12, 2006. Unfortunately, I could only read it in Google's cache, not on the newspaper's site: here is part 1:

To access the other parts, google for

Alevism: A faith in search of freedom "part X"

with X running from 2 to 5.

Thank you!


Hello, I am interested in Alevism, but am not an Alevi. According to what I have read, Alevis classically did not accept converts (in contrast to other forms of Islam, if the Alevis are in fact to be classified as a form of Islam), but that a number of outsiders have recently "converted" or otherwise affiliated with Alevism. Could anyone give details (or even better, contact suggestions)? For example,

  • What types of people have been converting? Are they mostly former Sunni Turks?
  • Which dedes or other authorities (if any) have been supervising these conversions? I suppose there must have been some intra-Alevi debate on the propriety of this...
  • Am I right in assuming that converts are drawn primarily to Turkish-speaking Alevi communities rather than Kurdish-, Arabic-, or Azerbaijani-speaking ones?
  • What forms and requirements are observed? For example, is conversion (to the extent that it is accepted) understood primarily as acceptance of a master/disciple relationship with a dede, or as an expression of allegiance to Shi'i Islam, or as adoption into an ethnic group?

Thank you very much! --Dawud

No actually it's quite the opposite. Many Alevis are converting to Islam. In my local mesjid there are many converted alevis. Some also convert to Shi'a islam(the true form i.e. practiced in Iran- Jefari) because it suits their Shi'a identity.IsaKazimi (talk) 16:20, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Origin of the word "Cem--behmod talk 20:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)"[edit]

Someone needs to add more information about the word "Cem"/"Jem". This particular Alevi cult is very interesting, because it is not only unique to Anatolian Alevism, but also unites rituals and names of different origins. Bsed on the information given in the respected Encyclopaedia of Islam, it should be noted that the Turkish word "Cem" has three different etymological origins:

  • the Arabic word jam (جمع) which means "gathering" or "to gather"
  • the Persian word jām (جام) which means "cup"
  • the Persian name jam (جم) which is a shorter form of the Persian kings-name Jamshid

Because of the lack of certain sounds in Turkish and because of the Turkic vocalic harmony, all three words are pronounced "cem" and all three words are essential in understanding the Anatolian "Cem" ritual.

The first meaning of the word "cem" is "gathering", exactly as in Arabic. The "Cem" ritual has the same meaning to Alevis as mosques to traditional Muslims. The second meaning of the word is taken from the Persian words "cup" and "Jamshid". This may sound strange to people who are not familiar with Persian mythology and Persian poetry, but the theme of "Jām-e Jam" ("The cup of King Jamshid") is an improtant element of Persian Sufi poetry and mythology. According to Persian mythology and Persian Sufi traditions, the ancient/mythological Iranian king Jamshid had an enchanted cup which allowed him to communicate with the gods. Whenever he drank wine from the cup, his soul was transcended to heaven where he communicated with the Gods. This ancient Persian legend is in fact connected to the ancient Soma cult of the early Indo-Iranian tribes. After the conquest of Islam, the ancient Aryan cults vanished in Iran, but Persian poets continued to use these metaphors in their poems (for example the Persian Sufi poets Hafiz and Khayyam who use the consumption of "wine", and the use of a "divine cup" in their poems). This ancient Aryan cult is known in Persian as "Āyīn-e Jam", "The ritual of King Jamshid", and this is ultimately the origin of the Turkish expression "Cem Ayni". Just as in Persian Sufi poetry, the Anatolian Alevis drink wine out of a cup during their "Cem" rituals, and they preform the "Semah" - both rituals have their origins in the pre-Islamic cults of Persia and Mesopotamia and were in part heavily mixed with Arab-Islamic beliefs.

So, in their "Cem" ritual, the Anatolian Alevis unite not only the Islamic concept of "Jam'" ("gathering", "mosque"), but also the Persian Sufi cult known as "Āyīn-e Jam". The Persian cults were brought to Anatolia by Persian Sufi saints (known in Turkish as Horasan erleri, "the saints of Khorasan"), especially by Hajji Bektash Wali who was himself a native of Khorasan. Other important Persian Sufis were Rumi and Shams-e Tabrizi. Also important are Shah Ismail and the entire Safavid Sufi family who were also steeped in ancient Persian culture and cults. In fact, according to Turkish scholar and expert on Sufism, Dr. A. Gölpinarli, the Kizilbash are - without doubt - connected to the Persian Khurramit movement (who were spiritual descendants of a mysterious Zoroastrian secret brotherhood known as "Mazdakites") cult during the rea of Sassanid rule. The Khurramites were a mixed Shia-Zoroastrian militant group who fought the Sunni caliphate of the Abbasides.

Although some people claim that "Cem" is derived from the ancient Turkic word "Kam" (meaning shamanism), this claim is rejected by all mainstream schollars. First of all, the Turkic word is itself ultimately derived from the Sanskrit word "cramana" (this word is also the root of the Pali word samana" which has become the root of the modern English word "shaman"). Secondly, there are no specific similarities between ancient Turkic cults, as reported by Mahmud al-Kashgari or al-Tabari, and modern Alevi "Cem" rituals. See also the good article in the German Wikipedia: de:Cem (Religion).

  • These information are really interesting. If you have reliable references such as Encyclopaedia of Islam why do not you add them. Also, it would be great if somebody here can translate useful information from the German Wikipedia to here--behmod talk 20:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
1. 'Semah' comes from pre-Islamic Turkic Shaman dances. 2. Kam means Shaman not Shamanism. 3. Cem is not related to Kam. 4. There are even similarities between old Turkic cults reported by Zemarkhos and modern Alevi. Tengriteg 11:02, 06 August 2007 (UTC)
"Sema" ist not Turkish, it's Arabic and means hearing. The word Shaman ist not Turkish either, it is Tunguskic and has Sanskrit origins (it is taken from Chinese 沙门,沙弥 sha man, which itself is borrowed from Sanskrit śamana, meaning "ascetic"). Identifying Alevi traditions with ancient cults of Turkic nomads is a phenomenon within Turkish nationalist communities, but it is not supported by any serious historian or scholar. Alevism, as part of the Shia movement, has its origins in Western Persia and Iraq, and ultimately goes back to the struggles of anti-caliphal Shia movements as well as Persian-nationalist Zoroastrian revolts (see Babak Khorramdin, Abu Muslim, Khurramites, Shahrbanu, Qizilbash, etc etc). -- 10:15, 28 August 2007 (UTC)