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Dervishes are members of Sufi Muslim wandering ascetic religious fraternities, known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars.

As sufists, they were known as source of wisdom, medicine, poetry, enlightment, and witticisms. For example, Mollah Nasr-ad-Din (Mulla Nasrudin, Hoja Nasrudin) had become a legend among Muslims (and not only Muslims).

Some of dervishes are noted for practice of bodily movements to induce a trance state; often this involves fast spinning in place, thus leading to the colloquialism "whirling dervish." Today whirling dervishes have become a tourist attration.