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THE SUFIS

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Author Topic: THE SUFIS  (Read 5542 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 07:48:44 am »

                                             







Sama



Sama or Sema' (Arabic "listening") refers to Sufi worship practices involving music and dance (see Sufi whirling). In Uyghur culture, this includes a dance form also originally associated with Sufi ritual. See Qawwali origins and Origin and History of the Qawwali, Adam Nayyar, Lok Virsa Research Centre, Islamabad, 1988.
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2007, 07:50:02 am »








Sufi poetry



Sufism has produced a large body of poetry in Arabic, Kurdish, Persian, Punjabi, Sindhi, Turkish, Pashto language and Urdu languages which notably includes the works of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, al-Hallaj, Ibn al-Farid, Hafez, Jami, Ibn Arabi, Farid Ud-Din Attar, Abdul Qader Bedil, Bulleh Shah, Amir Khusro, Yunus Emre, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, Sultan Bahu, Muhammad Iqbal, Hussain Baksh Malang as well as numerous traditions of devotional dance, such as Sufi whirling, and music, such as Qawwali.
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2007, 07:51:29 am »








Langar



Langar is a fundamental element of Indian Sufism, especially the Chishti Order. Langar is served in the precincts of a Sufi Dergah, and is served out of a massive pot called a "Deg," and is not necessarily vegetarian. Langar is not only available for all but is actively distributed to the poor.
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2007, 07:54:54 am »







                                                O R D E R S   O F   S U F I S M





Traditional orders


Keşkls (grant bowls) Bektashi dervishes. Dervishes used these bowl during begging, which was a process of overcoming personal vanity and arrogance for dervishes in Sufi culture of the time.

The traditional Sufi orders emphasise the role of Sufism within Islam. Therefore, the Sharia (traditional Islamic law) and the Sunnah (customs of the Prophet) are seen as crucial for any Sufi aspirant. Among the oldest and most well known of the Sufi orders are the Qadiri, Chisti, Oveyssi, Shadhili, Jerrahi, Naqshbandi, Ashrafi,Bektashi , Nimatullahi and Mevlevi.

One proof traditional orders assert is that almost all the famous Sufi masters of the past Caliphates were also experts in Sharia and were renowned as people with great Iman (faith) and excellent practice.

Many were also Qadis (Sharia law judges) in courts. They held that Sufism was never distinct from Islam and to fully comprehend and live correct with Sufism one must be a practicing Muslim obeying the Sharia.
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2007, 07:58:24 am »








Non-traditional Sufi groups



In recent decades there has been a growth of non-traditional Sufi movements in the West. Some examples are Universal Sufism movement, the Mevlevi Order of America, the Golden Sufi Center, the Sufi Foundation of America, and Sufism Reoriented.
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2007, 08:00:14 am »

                         





Universal Sufism



Mainstream Sufism is seen by its scholars and supporters as a part of traditional Islam. However, there is a major line of non-Islamic or offshoot-Islamic Sufi thought that sees Sufism as predating Islam and being a universal philosophy, that is independent of the Qur'an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. This view of Sufism has been popular in the Western world.

Universal Sufism tends to be opposed by traditional Sufis, who argue that Sufism has always been practiced from within an Islamic framework and can never be separated from it. Inayat Khan founded Universal Sufism whilst also maintaining his lineage in Chisti Sufism, and Idries Shah advocated similar concepts. Irina Tweedie and Abdullah Dougan also taught outside the Islamic context while maintaining the connection to their Naqshbandi heritage.

There is also an attempt to reconsider Sufism in contemporary Muslim thought from within. According to this view, Sufism represents the core sense of Islam that gives insight to God and His creation.
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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2007, 08:01:50 am »








Traditional Islamic schools of thought and Sufism



Islam traditionally consists of a number of groups. The two main divisions are the Sunnis and the Shia. Shia and Sunni Islam consist of a number of schools of legal jurisprudence (called Madhabs). Sufis do not define Sufism as a madhhab what distinguishes a person as a Sufi is practicing Sufism, usually through association with a Sufi order. In this sense, traditional practitioners of Sufism don't see it as an exclusive group but just as a form of training necessary to cultivate spirituality and Ihsan in their lives.

W. Chittick explains the position of Sufism and Sufis this way:

In short, Muslim scholars who focused their energies on understanding the normative guidelines for the body came to be known as jurists, and those who held that the most important task was to train the mind in achieving correct understanding came to be divided into three main schools of thought: theology, philosophy, and Sufism. This leaves us with the third domain of human existence, the spirit. Most Muslims who devoted their major efforts to developing the spiritual dimensions of the human person came to be known as Sufis.

The relationship between traditional Islamic scholars and Sufism is complicated due to the variety views held among them. Many traditional scholars, such as Al-Ghazali, helped it's propogation while there are also many traditional scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah whom opposed it as an innovation.
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2007, 08:03:17 am »







                                                CONTROVERSY AND CRITICISM OF SUFISM





Sufism is a somewhat controversial subject today. For didactic convenience, the perspectives on Sufism as a part of Islam will be mentioned first and after that, the non Muslim groups who claim to be Sufi adherents.






Classic position on Sufism



Sufism emphasises non quantifiable matters (like states of the heart). The authors of various Sufi treatises often used allegorical language which couldn't be read by an unknowledgeable person to describe these states (eg. likened some states to intoxication, which is forbidden in Islam). This usage of indirect language and the existence of interpretations by people who had no training in Islam or Sufism led to doubts being cast over the validity of Sufism as a part of Islam. Also, some groups emerged that considered themselves above the Sharia and discussed Sufism as a method of bypassing the rules of Islam in order to attain salvation directly. This was disapproved of by traditional scholars. An example of such a deviant sufi was Abu Hilman.[5] One of the most vocal critics of such deviations from the Islamic creed was Ibn Taymiya.
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2007, 08:07:19 am »








Criticism of Sufism



Sufi masters have introduced many special prayers and devotional acts into their schools.

The allegorical and often abstruse language used by Sufis in their texts when interpreted by unqualified people opens avenues for many misunderstandings. eg. The concept of divine unity Wahdat-ul-wujood which critics consider equivalent to pantheism and therefore incompatible with Islam. 

Sufi masters in many of their introductory texts caution aspirants from reading and interpreting texts by themselves. They hold that the subject can only be taught by a master to a student under strict guidance and supervision owing to its delicate nature
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2007, 08:09:24 am »








Islamic positions on non-Islamic Sufi groups



The use of the title Sufi by many groups to refer to themselves and their use of traditional Sufi masters (notably Jalaluddin Rumi) as sources of inspiration as well as the existence of interpretations of classical Sufis texts by people who have no grounding in traditional Islamic sciences has created a group of non-Islamic Sufis. These are considered by certain conventional Islamic scholars as "beyond the pale" of the religion.  However, Sufis are often encouraged to observe a higher degree of forebearance.

Some Sufi Sheikhs, although having been initiated in an Islamic setting themselves, have gone on to teach more widely and to make it clear that students of Sufism need not formally embrace Islam.
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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2007, 09:15:21 am »







Sufism has been defined in many ways. Some see it as God's annihilating the individual's ego, will, and self-centredness and then reviving him spiritually with the lights of His Essence so that he may live according to His will. Others view it as a continuous striving to cleanse one's self of all that is bad or evil in order to acquire virtue. Junayd al-Baghdadi, a famous Sufi master, defines Sufism as a method of recollecting "self-annihilation in God" and "permanence or subsistence with God." Shibli summarizes it as always being together with God or in His presence, so that no worldly or other-worldly aim is even entertained. Abu Muhammad Jarir describes it as resisting the temptations of the carnal self and bad qualities and acquiring laudable moral qualities.

There are some who describe Sufism as seeing behind the "outer" or surface appearance of things and events and interpreting whatever happens in the world in relation to God. This means that a person regards every act of God as a window to "see" Him, lives his life as a continuous effort to view or "see" Him with a profound, spiritual "seeing" indescribable in physical terms, and with a profound awareness of being continually overseen by Him.

All of these definitions can be summarized as follows: Sufism is the path followed by an individual who is seeking to free himself or herself from human vices and weaknesses in order to acquire angelic qualities and conduct pleasing to God. Such a goal can be realized by living in accordance with the requirements of God's knowledge and love, and in the resulting spiritual delights that ensue. Sufism is based on observing even the most "trivial" rule of Shari'a in order to penetrate their inner meaning.

An initiate or traveler on the path (salik) never separates the outer observance of the Shari'a from its inner dimension, and therefore observes all of the requirements of both the outer and the inner dimensions of Islam. Through such observance, he or she travels toward the goal in utmost humility and submission.

Sufism, being a demanding path leading to knowledge of God, has no room for negligence or frivolity. It requires that the initiate should strive continuously, like a honeybee flying from the hive to flowers and from flowers to the hive, to acquire this knowledge. He should purify his heart from all other attachments, and resist all carnal inclinations, desires, and appetites. He should lead his life in a spiritual manner, always be ready to receive divine blessing and inspiration, and in strict observance of the example left behind by Prophet Muhammad. Convinced that attachment and adherence to God is the greatest merit and honor, he should renounce his own desires for the demands of God, the Truth.

After these [preliminary] definitions, we should discuss the aim, benefits, and principles of Sufism. Sufism requires the strict observance of all religious obligations, an austere lifestyle, and the renunciation of carnal desires. Through this method of spiritual self-discipline, the individual's heart is purified and his senses and faculties are employed in the way of God, which means that he can now begin to live on a spiritual level.

Sufism also enables man, through the constant worship of God, to deepen his awareness of himself as a devotee of God. It enables him to renounce this transient world and the desires and emotions that it engenders, and awakens him to the reality of the other world that is turned toward God's Divine Beautiful Names. Sufism allows the individual to make this transition, for it develops the angelic dimension of one's existence and enables the acquisition of a strong, heart-felt, and personally experienced conviction of the articles of faith that he had accepted only superficially.

The principles of Sufism may be listed as follows:

1. Reaching true belief in God's Divine Oneness and living in accordance with its demands.

2. Heeding the Divine Speech (the Qur'an), and discerning and then obeying the commands of the Divine Power and Will as they relate to the universe (the laws of creation and life).

3. Overflowing with Divine Love and getting along with all other beings in the realization (originating from Divine Love) that the universe is a cradle of brotherhood.

4. Giving preference or precedence to the well-being and happiness of others.

5. Acting in accord with the demands of the Divine Will-not with the demands of our own will-and living in a manner that reflects our self-annihilation in God and subsistence with Him.

6. Being open to love, spiritual yearning, delight, and ecstasy.

7. Being able to discern what is in hearts or minds through facial expressions and the inner, Divine mysteries and meanings of surface events.

8. Visiting spiritual places and associating with people who encourage the avoidance of sin and striving in the way of God.

9. Being content with permitted pleasures, and not to taking even a single step toward that which is not permitted.

10. Continuously struggling against worldly ambitions and illusions that lead us to believe in the eternal nature of this world.

11. Never forgetting that salvation is possible only through certainty or conviction of the truth of religious beliefs and conduct, sincerity or purity of intention, and the sole desire to please God.

Two other elements may be added: acquiring knowledge and understanding of the religious and gnostic sciences, and following the guidance of a perfected, spiritual master. Both of these are of considerable significance the Naqshbandiyah Sufi order.

It may be useful to discuss Sufism according to the following basic concepts, which often form the core of books written on good morals, manners, and asceticism, and which are regarded as the sites of the "Muhammadan Truth" in one's heart. They can also be considered lights by which to know and follow the spiritual path leading to God. The first and foremost of these concepts is wakefulness (yaqaza), which is alluded to in several Prophetic sayings (hadiths): "My eyes sleep but my heart does not," and "Men are asleep. They wake up when they die."


http://www.whirlingdervishes.org/sufizm.htm
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« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2007, 12:26:32 pm »

 Smiley    IN regard to Re: THE SUFIS
Reply #13 on: Today at 07:45:52 am
 
QUOTE FROM #13

Quote
Sufi worship practices involving music and dance (see Sufi whirling). 


Okay B if this is a stupid question, its because Im skimming what youve posted here.  (which is almost a requirement just to keep pace with what you post, LOL. Im considering taking a course with Evelyn Wood just so I can, LOL). 

Is this the same whirling as in the Whirling Dervishes?  I know that their dance is a kind of prayer.  But like the rest of us Westerners, the East all sounds the same to me, LOL.  So pardon my ignorance.
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Bianca
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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2007, 04:32:42 pm »






Sure is, Sunshine!

I'll get to that next.   Have been too busy to complete this today.

Love and Peace,
b
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Bianca
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2007, 05:25:57 pm »

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« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2007, 05:43:29 pm »








                                                    D E R V I S H





The word Dervish, especially in European languages, refers to members of Sufi Muslim ascetic religious fraternities, known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars.

The term comes from the Persian word Darwīsh [1] (درویش), which usually refers to a mendicant ascetic. This latter word is also used to refer to an unflappable or ascetic temperament (as in the Urdu phrase darwaishana thabiyath for an ascetic temperament); that is, for an attitude that is indifferent to material possessions and the like.

As Sufi practitioners, dervishes were known as a source of wisdom, medicine, poetry, enlightenment, and witticisms. For example, Mollah Nasr-ad-Din (Mulla Nasrudin, Hoja Nasrudin) had become a legend in the Near East and the Indian subcontinent, not only among the Muslims.


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