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"Sufi" redirects here. Sufism_sentence_0

For other uses, see Sufi (disambiguation). Sufism_sentence_1

"Tasawuf" redirects here. Sufism_sentence_2

For the idea of sanctification in Islam, see Tazkiah. Sufism_sentence_3

Not to be confused with Sophism or Salafism. Sufism_sentence_4

Sufism (Arabic: ٱلصُّوفِيَّة‎), also known as Tasawwuf (Arabic: ٱلتَّصَوُّف‎), variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions" which began very early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Sufism_sentence_5

Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis" (from صُوفِيّ‎, ṣūfīy). Sufism_sentence_6

Historically, Sufis have often belonged to different ṭuruq or "orders" – congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a wali who traces a direct chain of successive teachers back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Sufism_sentence_7

These orders meet for spiritual sessions (majalis) in meeting places known as zawiyas, khanqahs or tekke. Sufism_sentence_8

They strive for ihsan (perfection of worship), as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him; if you can't see Him, surely He sees you." Sufism_sentence_9

Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, and see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide. Sufism_sentence_10

Sufi orders (tariqa) trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through Ali ibn Abi Talib, with the notable exception of the Naqshbandi order, who trace their original precepts to Muhammad through Abu Bakr. Sufism_sentence_11

Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern, were and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there also developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period, particularly after the conversion of Iran from majority Sunni to Shia. Sufism_sentence_12

Traditional Sufi orders during the first five centuries of Islam were all based in Sunni Islam. Sufism_sentence_13

Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they strictly observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Sufism_sentence_14

Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism, especially by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God, often performed after prayers. Sufism_sentence_15

They gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, initially expressing their beliefs in Arabic and later expanding into Persian, Turkish, Punjabi and Urdu, among others. Sufism_sentence_16

Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. Sufism_sentence_17

According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, and intensification of Islamic faith and practice." Sufism_sentence_18

Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and criticism of some aspects of Sufism by modernist thinkers and conservative Salafists, Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, and has also influenced various forms of spirituality in the West. Sufism_sentence_19

Definitions Sufism_section_0

The Arabic word tasawwuf (lit. Sufism_sentence_20

being or becoming a Sufi), generally translated as Sufism, is commonly defined by Western authors as Islamic mysticism. Sufism_sentence_21

The Arabic term sufi has been used in Islamic literature with a wide range of meanings, by both proponents and opponents of Sufism. Sufism_sentence_22

Classical Sufi texts, which stressed certain teachings and practices of the Quran and the sunnah (exemplary teachings and practices of the Islamic prophet Muhammad), gave definitions of tasawwuf that described ethical and spiritual goals and functioned as teaching tools for their attainment. Sufism_sentence_23

Many other terms that described particular spiritual qualities and roles were used instead in more practical contexts. Sufism_sentence_24

Some modern scholars have used other definitions of Sufism such as "intensification of Islamic faith and practice" and "process of realizing ethical and spiritual ideals". Sufism_sentence_25

The term Sufism was originally introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it mainly as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam. Sufism_sentence_26

In modern scholarly usage the term serves to describe a wide range of social, cultural, political and religious phenomena associated with Sufis. Sufism_sentence_27

Etymology Sufism_section_1

The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool (ṣūf)", and the Encyclopaedia of Islam calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Sufism_sentence_28

Woolen clothes were traditionally associated with ascetics and mystics. Sufism_sentence_29

Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic grounds. Sufism_sentence_30

Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā (صفاء), which in Arabic means "purity", and in this context another similar idea of tasawwuf as considered in Islam is tazkiyah (تزكية, meaning: self-purification), which is also widely used in Sufism. Sufism_sentence_31

These two explanations were combined by the Sufi al-Rudhabari (d. 322 AH), who said, "The Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity". Sufism_sentence_32

Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl aṣ-ṣuffah ("the people of the suffah or the bench"), who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad who held regular gatherings of dhikr, one of the most prominent companion among them was Abu Huraira. Sufism_sentence_33

These men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis. Sufism_sentence_34

History Sufism_section_2

Main article: History of Sufism Sufism_sentence_35

Origins Sufism_section_3

Sufism existed as an individual inner practice of Muslims since early Islamic history. Sufism_sentence_36

According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad himself and his companions (Sahabah). Sufism_sentence_37

Sufi orders are based on the "bay‘ah" (بَيْعَة bay‘ah, مُبَايَعَة mubāya‘ah "pledge, allegiance") that was given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. Sufism_sentence_38

By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God. Sufism_sentence_39

Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah (pledging allegiance) to a legitimate Sufi Shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad; therefore, a spiritual connection between the seeker and Muhammad is established. Sufism_sentence_40

It is through Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about, understand and connect with God. Sufism_sentence_41

Ali is regarded as one of the major figures amongst the Sahaba who have directly pledged allegiance to Muhammad, and Sufis maintain that through Ali, knowledge about Muhammad and a connection with Muhammad may be attained. Sufism_sentence_42

Such a concept may be understood by the hadith, which Sufis regard to be authentic, in which Muhammad said, "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate". Sufism_sentence_43

Eminent Sufis such as Ali Hujwiri refer to Ali as having a very high ranking in Tasawwuf. Sufism_sentence_44

Furthermore, Junayd of Baghdad regarded Ali as Sheikh of the principals and practices of Tasawwuf. Sufism_sentence_45

Historian Jonathan A.C. Brown notes that during the lifetime of Muhammad, some companions were more inclined than others to "intensive devotion, pious abstemiousness and pondering the divine mysteries" more than Islam required, such as Abu Dharr al-Ghifari. Sufism_sentence_46

Hasan al-Basri, a tabi', is considered a "founding figure" in the "science of purifying the heart". Sufism_sentence_47

Practitioners of Sufism hold that in its early stages of development Sufism effectively referred to nothing more than the internalization of Islam. Sufism_sentence_48

According to one perspective, it is directly from the Qur'an, constantly recited, meditated, and experienced, that Sufism proceeded, in its origin and its development. Sufism_sentence_49

Other practitioners have held that Sufism is the strict emulation of the way of Muhammad, through which the heart's connection to the Divine is strengthened. Sufism_sentence_50

Modern academics and scholars have rejected early Orientalist theories asserting a non-Islamic origin of Sufism, The consensus is that it emerged in Western Asia. Sufism_sentence_51

Many have asserted Sufism to be unique within the confines of the Islamic religion, and contend that Sufism developed from people like Bayazid Bastami, who, in his utmost reverence to the sunnah, refused to eat a watermelon because he did not find any proof that Muhammad ever ate it. Sufism_sentence_52

According to the late medieval mystic, the Persian poet Jami, Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (died c. 716) was the first person to be called a "Sufi". Sufism_sentence_53

Important contributions in writing are attributed to Uwais al-Qarani, Hasan of Basra, Harith al-Muhasibi, Abu Nasr as-Sarraj and Said ibn al-Musayyib. Sufism_sentence_54

Ruwaym, from the second generation of Sufis in Baghdad, was also an influential early figure, as was Junayd of Baghdad; a number of early practitioners of Sufism were disciples of one of the two. Sufism_sentence_55

Sufism had a long history already before the subsequent institutionalization of Sufi teachings into devotional orders (tarîqât) in the early Middle Ages. Sufism_sentence_56

The Naqshbandi order is a notable exception to general rule of orders tracing their spiritual lineage through Muhammad's grandsons, as it traces the origin of its teachings from Muhammad to the first Islamic Caliph, Abu Bakr. Sufism_sentence_57

Over the years, Sufi orders have influenced and been adopted by various Shi'i movements, especially Isma'ilism, which led to the Safaviyya order's conversion to Shia Islam from Sunni Islam and the spread of Twelverism throughout Iran. Sufism_sentence_58

The Nizari Ismaili tradition in particular has long had a strong connection to Sufism. Sufism_sentence_59

Sufi orders include Ba 'Alawiyya, Badawiyya, Bektashi, Burhaniyya, Chishti, Khalwati, Mevlevi, Naqshbandi, Ni'matullāhī, Uwaisi, Qadiriyya, Qalandariyya, Rifa'i, Sarwari Qadiri, Shadhiliyya, Suhrawardiyya, Tijaniyyah, Zinda Shah Madariya, and others. Sufism_sentence_60

As an Islamic discipline Sufism_section_4

Existing in both Sunni and Shia Islam, Sufism is not a distinct sect, as is sometimes erroneously assumed, but a method of approaching or a way of understanding the religion, which strives to take the regular practice of the religion to the "supererogatory level" through simultaneously "fulfilling ... [the obligatory] religious duties" and finding a "way and a means of striking a root through the 'narrow gate' in the depth of the soul out into the domain of the pure arid unimprisonable Spirit which itself opens out on to the Divinity." Sufism_sentence_61

Academic studies of Sufism confirm that Sufism, as a separate tradition from Islam apart from so-called pure Islam, is frequently a product of Western orientalism and modern Islamic fundamentalists. Sufism_sentence_62

As a mystic and ascetic aspect of Islam, it is considered as the part of Islamic teaching that deals with the purification of the inner self. Sufism_sentence_63

By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use. Sufism_sentence_64

Tasawwuf is regarded as a science of the soul that has always been an integral part of Orthodox Islam. Sufism_sentence_65

In his Al-Risala al-Safadiyya, ibn Taymiyyah describes the Sufis as those who belong to the path of the Sunna and represent it in their teachings and writings. Sufism_sentence_66

Ibn Taymiyya's Sufi inclinations and his reverence for Sufis like Abdul-Qadir Gilani can also be seen in his hundred-page commentary on Futuh al-ghayb, covering only five of the seventy-eight sermons of the book, but showing that he considered tasawwuf essential within the life of the Islamic community. Sufism_sentence_67

In his commentary, Ibn Taymiyya stresses that the primacy of the sharia forms the soundest tradition in tasawwuf, and to argue this point he lists over a dozen early masters, as well as more contemporary shaykhs like his fellow Hanbalis, al-Ansari al-Harawi and Abdul-Qadir, and the latter's own shaykh, Hammad al-Dabbas the upright. Sufism_sentence_68

He cites the early shaykhs (shuyukh al-salaf) such as Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ, Ibrahim ibn Adham, Ma`ruf al-Karkhi, Sirri Saqti, Junayd of Baghdad, and others of the early teachers, as well as Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Hammad, Abu al-Bayan and others of the later masters— that they do not permit the followers of the Sufi path to depart from the divinely legislated command and prohibition. Sufism_sentence_69

Al-Ghazali narrates in Al-Munqidh min al-dalal: Sufism_sentence_70

Formalization of doctrine Sufism_section_5

In the eleventh-century, Sufism, which had previously been a less "codified" trend in Islamic piety, began to be "ordered and crystallized" into orders which have continued until the present day. Sufism_sentence_71

All these orders were founded by a major Islamic scholar, and some of the largest and most widespread included the Suhrawardiyya (after Abu al-Najib Suhrawardi [d. 1168), Qadiriyya (after Abdul-Qadir Gilani [d. 1166]), the Rifa'iyya (after Ahmed al-Rifa'i [d. 1182]), the Chishtiyya (after Moinuddin Chishti [d. 1236]), the Shadiliyya (after Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili [d. 1258]), the Hamadaniyyah (after Sayyid Ali Hamadani [d. 1384], the Naqshbandiyya (after Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari [d. 1389]). Sufism_sentence_72

Contrary to popular perception in the West, however, neither the founders of these orders nor their followers ever considered themselves to be anything other than orthodox Sunni Muslims, and in fact all of these orders were attached to one of the four orthodox legal schools of Sunni Islam. Sufism_sentence_73

Thus, the Qadiriyya order was Hanbali, with its founder, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, being a renowned jurist; the Chishtiyya was Hanafi; the Shadiliyya order was Maliki; and the Naqshbandiyya order was Hanafi. Sufism_sentence_74

Thus, it is precisely because it is historically proven that "many of the most eminent defenders of Islamic orthodoxy, such as Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Ghazali, and the Sultan Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn (Saladin) were connected with Sufism" that the popular studies of writers like Idries Shah are continuously disregarded by scholars as conveying the fallacious image that "Sufism" is somehow distinct from "Islam." Sufism_sentence_75

Towards the end of the first millennium, a number of manuals began to be written summarizing the doctrines of Sufism and describing some typical Sufi practices. Sufism_sentence_76

Two of the most famous of these are now available in English translation: the Kashf al-Mahjûb of Ali Hujwiri and the Risâla of Al-Qushayri. Sufism_sentence_77

Two of al-Ghazali's greatest treatises are the Revival of Religious Sciences and what he termed "its essence", the Kimiya-yi sa'ādat. Sufism_sentence_78

He argued that Sufism originated from the Qur'an and thus was compatible with mainstream Islamic thought and did not in any way contradict Islamic Law—being instead necessary to its complete fulfillment. Sufism_sentence_79

Ongoing efforts by both traditionally trained Muslim scholars and Western academics are making al-Ghazali's works more widely available in English translation, allowing English-speaking readers to judge for themselves the compatibility of Islamic Law and Sufi doctrine. Sufism_sentence_80

Several sections of the Revival of Religious Sciences have been published in translation by the Islamic Texts Society. Sufism_sentence_81

An abridged translation (from an Urdu translation) of The Alchemy of Happiness was published by Claud Field in 1910. Sufism_sentence_82

It has been translated in full by Muhammad Asim Bilal (2001). Sufism_sentence_83

Growth of influence Sufism_section_6

Historically, Sufism became “an incredibly important part of Islam” and "one of the most widespread and omnipresent aspects of Muslim life" in Islamic civilization from the early medieval period onwards, when it began to permeate nearly all major aspects of Sunni Islamic life in regions stretching from India and Iraq to the Balkans and Senegal. Sufism_sentence_84

The rise of Islamic civilization coincides strongly with the spread of Sufi philosophy in Islam. Sufism_sentence_85

The spread of Sufism has been considered a definitive factor in the spread of Islam, and in the creation of integrally Islamic cultures, especially in Africa and Asia. Sufism_sentence_86

The Senussi tribes of Libya and the Sudan are one of the strongest adherents of Sufism. Sufism_sentence_87

Sufi poets and philosophers such as Khoja Akhmet Yassawi, Rumi, and Attar of Nishapur (c. 1145 – c. 1221) greatly enhanced the spread of Islamic culture in Anatolia, Central Asia, and South Asia. Sufism_sentence_88

Sufism also played a role in creating and propagating the culture of the Ottoman world, and in resisting European imperialism in North Africa and South Asia. Sufism_sentence_89

Between the 13th and 16th centuries, Sufism produced a flourishing intellectual culture throughout the Islamic world, a “Renaissance” whose physical artifacts survive. Sufism_sentence_90

In many places a person or group would endow a waqf to maintain a lodge (known variously as a zawiya, khanqah, or tekke) to provide a gathering place for Sufi adepts, as well as lodging for itinerant seekers of knowledge. Sufism_sentence_91

The same system of endowments could also pay for a complex of buildings, such as that surrounding the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, including a lodge for Sufi seekers, a hospice with kitchens where these seekers could serve the poor and/or complete a period of initiation, a library, and other structures. Sufism_sentence_92

No important domain in the civilization of Islam remained unaffected by Sufism in this period. Sufism_sentence_93

Modern era Sufism_section_7

Opposition to Sufi teachers and orders from more literalist and legalist strains of Islam existed in various forms throughout Islamic history. Sufism_sentence_94

It took on a particularly violent form in the 18th century with the emergence of the Wahhabi movement. Sufism_sentence_95

Around the turn of the 20th century, Sufi rituals and doctrines also came under sustained criticism from modernist Islamic reformers, liberal nationalists, and, some decades later, socialist movements in the Muslim world. Sufism_sentence_96

Sufi orders were accused of fostering popular superstitions, resisting modern intellectual attitudes, and standing in the way of progressive reforms. Sufism_sentence_97

Ideological attacks on Sufism were reinforced by agrarian and educational reforms, as well as new forms of taxation, which were instituted by Westernizing national governments, undermining the economic foundations of Sufi orders. Sufism_sentence_98

The extent to which Sufi orders declined in the first half of the 20th century varied from country to country, but by the middle of the century the very survival of the orders and traditional Sufi lifestyle appeared doubtful to many observers. Sufism_sentence_99

However, defying these predictions, Sufism and Sufi orders have continued to play a major role in the Muslim world, also expanding into Muslim-minority countries. Sufism_sentence_100

Its ability to articulate an inclusive Islamic identity with greater emphasis on personal and small-group piety has made Sufism especially well-suited for contexts characterized by religious pluralism and secularist perspectives. Sufism_sentence_101

In the modern world, the classical interpretation of Sunni orthodoxy, which sees in Sufism an essential dimension of Islam alongside the disciplines of jurisprudence and theology, is represented by institutions such as Egypt's Al-Azhar University and Zaytuna College, with Al-Azhar's current Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb recently defining "Sunni orthodoxy" as being a follower "of any of the four schools of [legal] thought (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki or Hanbali) and ... [also] of the Sufism of Imam Junayd of Baghdad in doctrines, manners and [spiritual] purification." Sufism_sentence_102

Current Sufi orders include Alians, Bektashi Order, Mevlevi Order, Ba 'Alawiyya, Chishti Order, Jerrahi, Naqshbandi, Mujaddidi, Ni'matullāhī, Qadiriyya, Qalandariyya, Sarwari Qadiriyya, Shadhiliyya, Suhrawardiyya, Saifiah (Naqshbandiah), and Uwaisi. Sufism_sentence_103

The relationship of Sufi orders to modern societies is usually defined by their relationship to governments. Sufism_sentence_104

Turkey and Persia together have been a center for many Sufi lineages and orders. Sufism_sentence_105

The Bektashi were closely affiliated with the Ottoman Janissaries and are the heart of Turkey's large and mostly liberal Alevi population. Sufism_sentence_106

They have spread westwards to Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and, more recently, to the United States, via Albania. Sufism_sentence_107

Sufism is popular in such African countries as Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Senegal, where it is seen as a mystical expression of Islam. Sufism_sentence_108

Sufism is traditional in Morocco, but has seen a growing revival with the renewal of Sufism under contemporary spiritual teachers such as Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi. Sufism_sentence_109

Mbacke suggests that one reason Sufism has taken hold in Senegal is because it can accommodate local beliefs and customs, which tend toward the mystical. Sufism_sentence_110

The life of the Algerian Sufi master Abdelkader El Djezairi is instructive in this regard. Sufism_sentence_111

Notable as well are the lives of Amadou Bamba and El Hadj Umar Tall in West Africa, and Sheikh Mansur and Imam Shamil in the Caucasus. Sufism_sentence_112

In the twentieth century, some Muslims have called Sufism a superstitious religion which holds back Islamic achievement in the fields of science and technology. Sufism_sentence_113

A number of Westerners have embarked with varying degrees of success on the path of Sufism. Sufism_sentence_114

One of the first to return to Europe as an official representative of a Sufi order, and with the specific purpose to spread Sufism in Western Europe, was the Swedish-born wandering Sufi Ivan Aguéli. Sufism_sentence_115

René Guénon, the French scholar, became a Sufi in the early twentieth century and was known as Sheikh Abdul Wahid Yahya. Sufism_sentence_116

His manifold writings defined the practice of Sufism as the essence of Islam, but also pointed to the universality of its message. Sufism_sentence_117

Other spiritualists, such as George Gurdjieff, may or may not conform to the tenets of Sufism as understood by orthodox Muslims. Sufism_sentence_118

Other noteworthy Sufi teachers who have been active in the West in recent years include Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Inayat Khan, Nazim Al-Haqqani, Muhammad Alauddin Siddiqui, Javad Nurbakhsh, Bulent Rauf, Irina Tweedie, Idries Shah, Muzaffer Ozak, Nahid Angha, and Ali Kianfar. Sufism_sentence_119

Currently active Sufi academics and publishers include Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee, Waheed Ashraf, Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir, Omer Tarin, Ahmed Abdur Rashid and Timothy Winter. Sufism_sentence_120

Aims & objectives Sufism_section_8

While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to Allah and hope to become close to God in Paradise—after death and after the Last Judgment—Sufis also believe that it is possible to draw closer to God and to more fully embrace the divine presence in this life. Sufism_sentence_121

The chief aim of all Sufis is to seek the pleasing of God by working to restore within themselves the primordial state of fitra. Sufism_sentence_122

To Sufis, the outer law consists of rules pertaining to worship, transactions, marriage, judicial rulings, and criminal law—what is often referred to, broadly, as "qanun". Sufism_sentence_123

The inner law of Sufism consists of rules about repentance from sin, the purging of contemptible qualities and evil traits of character, and adornment with virtues and good character. Sufism_sentence_124

Teachings Sufism_section_9

To the Sufi, it is the transmission of divine light from the teacher's heart to the heart of the student, rather than worldly knowledge, that allows the adept to progress. Sufism_sentence_125

They further believe that the teacher should attempt inerrantly to follow the Divine Law. Sufism_sentence_126

According to Moojan Momen "one of the most important doctrines of Sufism is the concept of al-Insan al-Kamil "the Perfect Man". Sufism_sentence_127

This doctrine states that there will always exist upon the earth a "Qutb" (Pole or Axis of the Universe)—a man who is the perfect channel of grace from God to man and in a state of wilayah (sanctity, being under the protection of Allah). Sufism_sentence_128

The concept of the Sufi Qutb is similar to that of the Shi'i Imam. Sufism_sentence_129

However, this belief puts Sufism in "direct conflict" with Shia Islam, since both the Qutb (who for most Sufi orders is the head of the order) and the Imam fulfill the role of "the purveyor of spiritual guidance and of Allah's grace to mankind". Sufism_sentence_130

The vow of obedience to the Shaykh or Qutb which is taken by Sufis is considered incompatible with devotion to the Imam". Sufism_sentence_131

As a further example, the prospective adherent of the Mevlevi Order would have been ordered to serve in the kitchens of a hospice for the poor for 1001 days prior to being accepted for spiritual instruction, and a further 1,001 days in solitary retreat as a precondition of completing that instruction. Sufism_sentence_132

Some teachers, especially when addressing more general audiences, or mixed groups of Muslims and non-Muslims, make extensive use of parable, allegory, and metaphor. Sufism_sentence_133

Although approaches to teaching vary among different Sufi orders, Sufism as a whole is primarily concerned with direct personal experience, and as such has sometimes been compared to other, non-Islamic forms of mysticism (e.g., as in the books of Hossein Nasr). Sufism_sentence_134

Many Sufi believe that to reach the highest levels of success in Sufism typically requires that the disciple live with and serve the teacher for a long period of time. Sufism_sentence_135

An example is the folk story about Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, who gave his name to the Naqshbandi Order. Sufism_sentence_136

He is believed to have served his first teacher, Sayyid Muhammad Baba As-Samasi, for 20 years, until as-Samasi died. Sufism_sentence_137

He is said to then have served several other teachers for lengthy periods of time. Sufism_sentence_138

He is said to have helped the poorer members of the community for many years and after this concluded his teacher directed him to care for animals cleaning their wounds, and assisting them. Sufism_sentence_139

Muhammad Sufism_section_10

Devotion to Muhammad is an exceptionally strong practice within Sufism. Sufism_sentence_140

Sufis have historically revered Muhammad as the prime personality of spiritual greatness. Sufism_sentence_141

The Sufi poet Saadi Shirazi stated, "He who chooses a path contrary to that of the prophet, shall never reach the destination. Sufism_sentence_142

O Saadi, do not think that one can treat that way of purity except in the wake of the chosen one." Sufism_sentence_143

Rumi attributes his self-control and abstinence from worldly desires as qualities attained by him through the guidance of Muhammad. Sufism_sentence_144

Rumi states, "I 'sewed' my two eyes shut from [desires for] this world and the next – this I learned from Muhammad." Sufism_sentence_145

Ibn Arabi regards Muhammad as the greatest man and states, "Muhammad's wisdom is uniqueness (fardiya) because he is the most perfect existent creature of this human species. Sufism_sentence_146

For this reason, the command began with him and was sealed with him. Sufism_sentence_147

He was a Prophet while Adam was between water and clay, and his elemental structure is the Seal of the Prophets." Sufism_sentence_148

Attar of Nishapur claimed that he praised Muhammad in such a manner that was not done before by any poet, in his book the Ilahi-nama. Sufism_sentence_149

Fariduddin Attar stated, "Muhammad is the exemplar to both worlds, the guide of the descendants of Adam. Sufism_sentence_150

He is the sun of creation, the moon of the celestial spheres, the all-seeing eye...The seven heavens and the eight gardens of paradise were created for him, he is both the eye and the light in the light of our eyes." Sufism_sentence_151

Sufis have historically stressed the importance of Muhammad's perfection and his ability to intercede. Sufism_sentence_152

The persona of Muhammad has historically been and remains an integral and critical aspect of Sufi belief and practice. Sufism_sentence_153

Bayazid Bastami is recorded to have been so devoted to the sunnah of Muhammad that he refused to eat a watermelon because he could not establish that Muhammad ever ate one. Sufism_sentence_154

In the 13th century, a Sufi poet from Egypt, Al-Busiri, wrote the al-Kawākib ad-Durrīya fī Madḥ Khayr al-Barīya (The Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation) commonly referred to as Qaṣīdat al-Burda ("Poem of the Mantle"), in which he extensively praised Muhammad. Sufism_sentence_155

This poem is still widely recited and sung amongst Sufi groups and lay Muslims alike all over the world. Sufism_sentence_156

Sufi beliefs about Muhammad Sufism_section_11

According to Ibn Arabi, Islam is the best religion because of Muhammad. Sufism_sentence_157

Ibn Arabi regards that the first entity that was brought into existence is the reality or essence of Muhammad (al-ḥaqīqa al-Muhammadiyya). Sufism_sentence_158

Ibn Arabi regards Muhammad as the supreme human being and master of all creatures. Sufism_sentence_159

Muhammad is therefore the primary role model for human beings to aspire to emulate. Sufism_sentence_160

Ibn Arabi believes that God's attributes and names are manifested in this world and that the most complete and perfect display of these divine attributes and names are seen in Muhammad. Sufism_sentence_161

Ibn Arabi believes that one may see God in the mirror of Muhammad, meaning that the divine attributes of God are manifested through Muhammad. Sufism_sentence_162

Ibn Arabi maintains that Muhammad is the best proof of God and by knowing Muhammad one knows God. Sufism_sentence_163

Ibn Arabi also maintains that Muhammad is the master of all of humanity in both this world and the afterlife. Sufism_sentence_164

In this view, Islam is the best religion, because Muhammad is Islam. Sufism_sentence_165

Sufism and Islamic law Sufism_section_12

Sufis believe the sharia (exoteric "canon"), tariqa ("order") and haqiqa ("truth") are mutually interdependent. Sufism_sentence_166

Sufism leads the adept, called salik or "wayfarer", in his sulûk or "road" through different stations (maqaam) until he reaches his goal, the perfect tawhid, the existential confession that God is One. Sufism_sentence_167

Ibn Arabi says, "When we see someone in this Community who claims to be able to guide others to God, but is remiss in but one rule of the Sacred Law—even if he manifests miracles that stagger the mind—asserting that his shortcoming is a special dispensation for him, we do not even turn to look at him, for such a person is not a sheikh, nor is he speaking the truth, for no one is entrusted with the secrets of God Most High save one in whom the ordinances of the Sacred Law are preserved. Sufism_sentence_168

(Jamiʿ karamat al-awliyaʾ)". Sufism_sentence_169

The Amman Message, a detailed statement issued by 200 leading Islamic scholars in 2005 in Amman, specifically recognized the validity of Sufism as a part of Islam. Sufism_sentence_170

This was adopted by the Islamic world's political and temporal leaderships at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005, and by six other international Islamic scholarly assemblies including the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah, in July 2006. Sufism_sentence_171

The definition of Sufism can vary drastically between different traditions (what may be intended is simple tazkiah as opposed to the various manifestations of Sufism around the Islamic world). Sufism_sentence_172

Traditional Islamic thought and Sufism Sufism_section_13

The literature of Sufism emphasizes highly subjective matters that resist outside observation, such as the subtle states of the heart. Sufism_sentence_173

Often these resist direct reference or description, with the consequence that the authors of various Sufi treatises took recourse to allegorical language. Sufism_sentence_174

For instance, much Sufi poetry refers to intoxication, which Islam expressly forbids. Sufism_sentence_175

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. Sufism_sentence_176

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. Sufism_sentence_177

This was disapproved of by traditional scholars. Sufism_sentence_178

For these and other reasons, the relationship between traditional Islamic scholars and Sufism is complex and a range of scholarly opinion on Sufism in Islam has been the norm. Sufism_sentence_179

Some scholars, such as Al-Ghazali, helped its propagation while other scholars opposed it. Sufism_sentence_180

William Chittick explains the position of Sufism and Sufis this way: Sufism_sentence_181

Neo-Sufism Sufism_section_14

The term "neo-Sufism" was originally coined by Fazlur Rahman and used by other scholars to describe reformist currents among 18th century Sufi orders, whose goal was to remove some of the more ecstatic and pantheistic elements of the Sufi tradition and reassert the importance of Islamic law as the basis for inner spirituality and social activism. Sufism_sentence_182

In recent times, it has been increasingly used by scholars like Mark Sedgwick in another sense, to describe various forms of Sufi-influenced spirituality in the West, in particular the deconfessionalized spiritual movements which emphasize universal elements of the Sufi tradition and de-emphasize its Islamic context. Sufism_sentence_183

Such groups include The Sufi Order in the West, founded by Inayat Khan, which teaches the essential unity of all faiths, and accepts members of all creeds. Sufism_sentence_184

Sufism Reoriented is an offshoot of it charted by the syncretistic teacher Meher Baba. Sufism_sentence_185

The Golden Sufi Center exists in England, Switzerland and the United States. Sufism_sentence_186

It was founded by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee to continue the work of his teacher Irina Tweedie, herself a practitioner of both Hinduism and neo-Sufism. Sufism_sentence_187

Other Western Sufi organisations include the Sufi Foundation of America and the International Association of Sufism. Sufism_sentence_188

Theoretical perspectives Sufism_section_15

Traditional Islamic scholars have recognized two major branches within the practice of Sufism, and use this as one key to differentiating among the approaches of different masters and devotional lineages. Sufism_sentence_189

On the one hand there is the order from the signs to the Signifier (or from the arts to the Artisan). Sufism_sentence_190

In this branch, the seeker begins by purifying the lower self of every corrupting influence that stands in the way of recognizing all of creation as the work of God, as God's active self-disclosure or theophany. Sufism_sentence_191

This is the way of Imam Al-Ghazali and of the majority of the Sufi orders. Sufism_sentence_192

On the other hand, there is the order from the Signifier to his signs, from the Artisan to his works. Sufism_sentence_193

In this branch the seeker experiences divine attraction (jadhba), and is able to enter the order with a glimpse of its endpoint, of direct apprehension of the Divine Presence towards which all spiritual striving is directed. Sufism_sentence_194

This does not replace the striving to purify the heart, as in the other branch; it simply stems from a different point of entry into the path. Sufism_sentence_195

This is the way primarily of the masters of the Naqshbandi and Shadhili orders. Sufism_sentence_196

Contemporary scholars may also recognize a third branch, attributed to the late Ottoman scholar Said Nursi and explicated in his vast Qur'an commentary called the Risale-i Nur. Sufism_sentence_197

This approach entails strict adherence to the way of Muhammad, in the understanding that this wont, or sunnah, proposes a complete devotional spirituality adequate to those without access to a master of the Sufi way. Sufism_sentence_198

Contributions to other domains of scholarship Sufism_section_16

Sufism has contributed significantly to the elaboration of theoretical perspectives in many domains of intellectual endeavor. Sufism_sentence_199

For instance, the doctrine of "subtle centers" or centers of subtle cognition (known as Lataif-e-sitta) addresses the matter of the awakening of spiritual intuition. Sufism_sentence_200

In general, these subtle centers or latâ'if are thought of as faculties that are to be purified sequentially in order to bring the seeker's wayfaring to completion. Sufism_sentence_201

A concise and useful summary of this system from a living exponent of this tradition has been published by Muhammad Emin Er. Sufism_sentence_202

Sufi psychology has influenced many areas of thinking both within and outside of Islam, drawing primarily upon three concepts. Sufism_sentence_203

Ja'far al-Sadiq (both an imam in the Shia tradition and a respected scholar and link in chains of Sufi transmission in all Islamic sects) held that human beings are dominated by a lower self called the nafs (self, ego, person), a faculty of spiritual intuition called the qalb (heart), and ruh (soul). Sufism_sentence_204

These interact in various ways, producing the spiritual types of the tyrant (dominated by nafs), the person of faith and moderation (dominated by the spiritual heart), and the person lost in love for God (dominated by the ruh). Sufism_sentence_205

Of note with regard to the spread of Sufi psychology in the West is Robert Frager, a Sufi teacher authorized in the Khalwati Jerrahi order. Sufism_sentence_206

Frager was a trained psychologist, born in the United States, who converted to Islam in the course of his practice of Sufism and wrote extensively on Sufism and psychology. Sufism_sentence_207

Sufi cosmology and Sufi metaphysics are also noteworthy areas of intellectual accomplishment. Sufism_sentence_208

Devotional practices Sufism_section_17

The devotional practices of Sufis vary widely. Sufism_sentence_209

This is because an acknowledged and authorized master of the Sufi path is in effect a physician of the heart, able to diagnose the seeker's impediments to knowledge and pure intention in serving God, and to prescribe to the seeker a course of treatment appropriate to his or her maladies. Sufism_sentence_210

The consensus among Sufi scholars is that the seeker cannot self-diagnose, and that it can be extremely harmful to undertake any of these practices alone and without formal authorization. Sufism_sentence_211

Prerequisites to practice include rigorous adherence to Islamic norms (ritual prayer in its five prescribed times each day, the fast of Ramadan, and so forth). Sufism_sentence_212

Additionally, the seeker ought to be firmly grounded in supererogatory practices known from the life of Muhammad (such as the "sunnah prayers"). Sufism_sentence_213

This is in accordance with the words, attributed to God, of the following, a famous Hadith Qudsi: Sufism_sentence_214

It is also necessary for the seeker to have a correct creed (aqidah), and to embrace with certainty its tenets. Sufism_sentence_215

The seeker must also, of necessity, turn away from sins, love of this world, the love of company and renown, obedience to satanic impulse, and the promptings of the lower self. Sufism_sentence_216

(The way in which this purification of the heart is achieved is outlined in certain books, but must be prescribed in detail by a Sufi master.) Sufism_sentence_217

The seeker must also be trained to prevent the corruption of those good deeds which have accrued to his or her credit by overcoming the traps of ostentation, pride, arrogance, envy, and long hopes (meaning the hope for a long life allowing us to mend our ways later, rather than immediately, here and now). Sufism_sentence_218

Sufi practices, while attractive to some, are not a means for gaining knowledge. Sufism_sentence_219

The traditional scholars of Sufism hold it as absolutely axiomatic that knowledge of God is not a psychological state generated through breath control. Sufism_sentence_220

Thus, practice of "techniques" is not the cause, but instead the occasion for such knowledge to be obtained (if at all), given proper prerequisites and proper guidance by a master of the way. Sufism_sentence_221

Furthermore, the emphasis on practices may obscure a far more important fact: The seeker is, in a sense, to become a broken person, stripped of all habits through the practice of (in the words of Imam Al-Ghazali) solitude, silence, sleeplessness, and hunger. Sufism_sentence_222

Dhikr Sufism_section_18

Main article: Dhikr Sufism_sentence_223

Dhikr is the remembrance of Allah commanded in the Quran for all Muslims through a specific devotional act, such as the repetition of divine names, supplications and aphorisms from hadith literature and the Quran. Sufism_sentence_224

More generally, dhikr takes a wide range and various layers of meaning. Sufism_sentence_225

This includes dhikr as any activity in which the Muslim maintains awareness of Allah. Sufism_sentence_226

To engage in dhikr is to practice consciousness of the Divine Presence and love, or "to seek a state of godwariness". Sufism_sentence_227

The Quran refers to Muhammad as the very embodiment of dhikr of Allah (65:10–11). Sufism_sentence_228

Some types of dhikr are prescribed for all Muslims and do not require Sufi initiation or the prescription of a Sufi master because they are deemed to be good for every seeker under every circumstance. Sufism_sentence_229

The dhikr may slightly vary among each order. Sufism_sentence_230

Some Sufi orders engage in ritualized dhikr ceremonies, or sema. Sufism_sentence_231

Sema includes various forms of worship such as recitation, singing (the most well known being the Qawwali music of the Indian subcontinent), instrumental music, dance (most famously the Sufi whirling of the Mevlevi order), incense, meditation, ecstasy, and trance. Sufism_sentence_232

Some Sufi orders stress and place extensive reliance upon dhikr. Sufism_sentence_233

This practice of dhikr is called Dhikr-e-Qulb (invocation of Allah within the heartbeats). Sufism_sentence_234

The basic idea in this practice is to visualize the Allah as having been written on the disciple's heart. Sufism_sentence_235

Muraqaba Sufism_section_19

Main article: Muraqaba Sufism_sentence_236

The practice of muraqaba can be likened to the practices of meditation attested in many faith communities. Sufism_sentence_237

While variation exists, one description of the practice within a Naqshbandi lineage reads as follows: Sufism_sentence_238

Sufi whirling Sufism_section_20

Main article: Sufi whirling Sufism_sentence_239

The traditional view of the more orthodox Sunni Sufi orders, such as the Qadiriyya and the Chisti, as well as Sunni Muslim scholars in general, is that dancing with intent during dhikr or whilst listening to Sema is prohibited. Sufism_sentence_240

Sufi whirling (or Sufi spinning) is a form of Sama or physically active meditation which originated among some Sufis, and which is still practised by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. Sufism_sentence_241

It is a customary dance performed within the sema, through which dervishes (also called semazens, from Persian سماعزن) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. Sufism_sentence_242

This is sought through abandoning one's nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one's body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. Sufism_sentence_243

As explained by Mevlevi practitioners: Sufism_sentence_244

Singing Sufism_section_21

Musical instruments (except the duff) have traditionally been considered as prohibited by the four orthodox Sunni schools, and the more orthodox Sufi tariqas also continued to prohibit their use. Sufism_sentence_245

Throughout history Sufi saints have stressed that musical instruments are forbidden. Sufism_sentence_246

Qawwali was originally a form of Sufi devotional singing popular in South Asia, and is now usually performed at dargahs. Sufism_sentence_247

Sufi saint Amir Khusrau is said to have infused Persian, Arabic Turkish and Indian classical melodic styles to create the genre in the 13th century. Sufism_sentence_248

The songs are classified into hamd, na'at, manqabat, marsiya or ghazal, among others. Sufism_sentence_249

Historically, Sufi Saints permitted and encouraged it, whilst maintaining that musical instruments and female voices should not be introduced, although these are commonplace today. Sufism_sentence_250

Nowadays, the songs last for about 15 to 30 minutes, are performed by a group of singers, and instruments including the harmonium, tabla and dholak are used. Sufism_sentence_251

Pakistani singing maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is credited with popularizing qawwali all over the world. Sufism_sentence_252

Saints Sufism_section_22

Main article: Wali Sufism_sentence_253

Walī (Arabic: ولي‎, plural ʾawliyāʾ أولياء) is an Arabic word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector", "helper", and "friend." Sufism_sentence_254

In the vernacular, it is most commonly used by Muslims to indicate an Islamic saint, otherwise referred to by the more literal "friend of God." Sufism_sentence_255

In the traditional Islamic understanding of saints, the saint is portrayed as someone "marked by [special] divine favor ... [and] holiness", and who is specifically "chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles." Sufism_sentence_256

The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic scholars very early on in Muslim history, and particular verses of the Quran and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints. Sufism_sentence_257

Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period when Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who later came to be regarded as the major saints in Sunni Islam were the early Sufi mystics, like Hasan of Basra (d. 728), Farqad Sabakhi (d. 729), Dawud Tai (d. 777-81) Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya (d. 801), Maruf Karkhi (d. 815), and Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910). Sufism_sentence_258

From the twelfth to the fourteenth century, "the general veneration of saints, among both people and sovereigns, reached its definitive form with the organization of Sufism ... into orders or brotherhoods." Sufism_sentence_259

In the common expressions of Islamic piety of this period, the saint was understood to be "a contemplative whose state of spiritual perfection ... [found] permanent expression in the teaching bequeathed to his disciples." Sufism_sentence_260

Visitation Sufism_section_23

Main article: Ziyara Sufism_sentence_261

In popular Sufism (i.e. devotional practices that have achieved currency in world cultures through Sufi influence), one common practice is to visit or make pilgrimages to the tombs of saints, renowned scholars, and righteous people. Sufism_sentence_262

This is a particularly common practice in South Asia, where famous tombs include such saints as Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Kulob, Tajikistan; Afāq Khoja, near Kashgar, China; Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh; Ali Hujwari in Lahore, Pakistan; Bahauddin Zakariya in Multan Pakistan; Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India; Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi, India; and Shah Jalal in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Sufism_sentence_263

Likewise, in Fez, Morocco, a popular destination for such pious visitation is the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II and the yearly visitation to see the current Sheikh of the Qadiri Boutchichi Tariqah, Sheikh Sidi Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi to celebrate the Mawlid (which is usually televised on Moroccan National television). Sufism_sentence_264

Miracles Sufism_section_24

Main article: Karamat Sufism_sentence_265

In Islamic mysticism, karamat (Arabic: کرامات‎ karāmāt, pl. of کرامة karāmah, lit. Sufism_sentence_266

generosity, high-mindedness) refers to supernatural wonders performed by Muslim saints. Sufism_sentence_267

In the technical vocabulary of Islamic religious sciences, the singular form karama has a sense similar to charism, a favor or spiritual gift freely bestowed by God. Sufism_sentence_268

The marvels ascribed to Islamic saints have included supernatural physical actions, predictions of the future, and "interpretation of the secrets of hearts". Sufism_sentence_269

Historically, a "belief in the miracles of saints (karāmāt al-awliyāʾ, literally 'marvels of the friends [of God]')" has been "a requirement in Sunni Islam." Sufism_sentence_270

Persecution Sufism_section_25

Main article: Persecution of Sufis Sufism_sentence_271

See also: Sufi–Salafi relations Sufism_sentence_272

The persecution of Sufism and Sufi Muslims over the course of centuries has included acts of religious discrimination, persecution and violence both by Sunni and Shia Muslims, such as the destruction of Sufi shrines, tombs, and mosques, suppression of Sufi orders, and discrimination against adherents of Sufism in a number of Muslim-majority countries. Sufism_sentence_273

The Republic of Turkey banned all Sufi orders and abolished their institutions in 1925, after Sufis opposed the new secular order. Sufism_sentence_274

The Islamic Republic of Iran has harassed Shia Sufis, reportedly for their lack of support for the government doctrine of "governance of the jurist" (i.e., that the supreme Shiite jurist should be the nation's political leader). Sufism_sentence_275

In most other Muslim-majority countries, attacks on Sufis and especially their shrines have come from adherents of puritanical and revivalist Islamic movements (Salafis and Wahhabis), who believe that practices such as visitation to and veneration of the tombs of Sufi saints, celebration of the birthdays of Sufi saints, and dhikr ("remembrance" of God) ceremonies are bid‘ah (impure "innovation") and shirk ("polytheistic"). Sufism_sentence_276

In Egypt, at least 305 people were killed and more than 100 wounded during the November 2017 Islamic terrorist attack on a Sufi mosque located in Sinai; it is considered one of the worst terrorist attacks in the history of modern Egypt. Sufism_sentence_277

Most of the victims were Sufis. Sufism_sentence_278

Prominent Sufis Sufism_section_26

Abdul-Qadir Gilani Sufism_section_27

Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077–1166) was an Mesopotamian-born Hanbali jurist and prominent Sufi scholar based in Baghdad, with Persian roots. Sufism_sentence_279

Qadiriyya was his patronym. Sufism_sentence_280

Gilani spent his early life in Na'if, a town just East to Baghdad, also the town of his birth. Sufism_sentence_281

There, he pursued the study of Hanbali law. Sufism_sentence_282

Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi gave Gilani lessons in fiqh. Sufism_sentence_283

He was given lessons about hadith by Abu Bakr ibn Muzaffar. Sufism_sentence_284

He was given lessons about Tafsir by Abu Muhammad Ja'far, a commentator. Sufism_sentence_285

His Sufi spiritual instructor was Abu'l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas. Sufism_sentence_286

After completing his education, Gilani left Baghdad. Sufism_sentence_287

He spent twenty-five years as a reclusive wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq. Sufism_sentence_288

In 1127, Gilani returned to Baghdad and began to preach to the public. Sufism_sentence_289

He joined the teaching staff of the school belonging to his own teacher, Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi, and was popular with students. Sufism_sentence_290

In the morning he taught hadith and tafsir, and in the afternoon he held discourse on the science of the heart and the virtues of the Quran. Sufism_sentence_291

He is the forefather of all Sufi orders. Sufism_sentence_292

Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili Sufism_section_28

Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili (died 1258), the founder of the Shadhiliyya order, introduced dhikr jahri (the remembrance of God out loud, as opposed to the silent dhikr). Sufism_sentence_293

He taught that his followers need not abstain from what Islam has not forbidden, but to be grateful for what God has bestowed upon them, in contrast to the majority of Sufis, who preach to deny oneself and to destroy the ego-self (nafs) "Order of Patience" (Tariqus-Sabr), Shadhiliyya is formulated to be "Order of Gratitude" (Tariqush-Shukr). Sufism_sentence_294

Imam Shadhili also gave eighteen valuable hizbs (litanies) to his followers out of which the notable Hizb al-Bahr is recited worldwide even today. Sufism_sentence_295

Ahmad al-Tijani Sufism_section_29

Ahmed Tijani (1735–1815), in Arabic سيدي أحمد التجاني (Sidi Ahmed Tijani), is the founder of the Tijaniyya Sufi order. Sufism_sentence_296

He was born in a Berber family, in Aïn Madhi, present-day Algeria and died in Fez, Morocco at the age of 80. Sufism_sentence_297

Bayazid Bastami Sufism_section_30

Bayazid Bastami is a very well recognized and influential Sufi personality. Sufism_sentence_298

Bastami was born in 804 in Bastam. Sufism_sentence_299

Bayazid is regarded for his devout commitment to the Sunnah and his dedication to fundamental Islamic principals and practices. Sufism_sentence_300

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Sufism_section_31

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (died 1986) is a Sufi Sheikh from Sri Lanka. Sufism_sentence_301

He was first found by a group of religious pilgrims in the early 1900s meditating in the jungles of Kataragama in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Sufism_sentence_302

Awed and inspired by his personality and the depth of his wisdom, he was invited to a nearby village. Sufism_sentence_303

Since that time, people of all walks of life from paupers to prime ministers belonging to all religious and ethnic backgrounds have flocked to see Sheikh Bawa Muhaiyaddeen to seek comfort, guidance and help. Sufism_sentence_304

Sheikh Bawa Muhaiyaddeen tirelessly spent the rest of his life preaching, healing and comforting the many souls that came to see him. Sufism_sentence_305

Ibn Arabi Sufism_section_32

Ibn 'Arabi (or Ibn al-'Arabi) (AH 561 – AH 638; July 28, 1165 – November 10, 1240) is considered to be one of the most important Sufi masters, although he never founded any order (tariqa). Sufism_sentence_306

His writings, especially al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya and Fusus al-hikam, have been studied within all the Sufi orders as the clearest expression of tawhid (Divine Unity), though because of their recondite nature they were often only given to initiates. Sufism_sentence_307

Later those who followed his teaching became known as the school of wahdat al-wujud (the Oneness of Being). Sufism_sentence_308

He himself considered his writings to have been divinely inspired. Sufism_sentence_309

As he expressed the Way to one of his close disciples, his legacy is that 'you should never ever abandon your servant-hood (ʿubudiyya), and that there may never be in your soul a longing for any existing thing'. Sufism_sentence_310

Junayd of Baghdad Sufism_section_33

Junayd al-Baghdadi (830–910) was one of the great early Sufis. Sufism_sentence_311

His order was Junaidia, which links to the golden chain of many Sufi orders. Sufism_sentence_312

He laid the groundwork for sober mysticism in contrast to that of God-intoxicated Sufis like al-Hallaj, Bayazid Bastami and Abusaeid Abolkheir. Sufism_sentence_313

During the trial of al-Hallaj, his former disciple, the Caliph of the time demanded his fatwa. Sufism_sentence_314

In response, he issued this fatwa: "From the outward appearance he is to die and we judge according to the outward appearance and God knows better". Sufism_sentence_315

He is referred to by Sufis as Sayyid-ut Taifa—i.e., the leader of the group. Sufism_sentence_316

He lived and died in the city of Baghdad. Sufism_sentence_317

Mansur Al-Hallaj Sufism_section_34

Mansur Al-Hallaj (died 922) is renowned for his claim, Ana-l-Haqq ("I am The Truth"). Sufism_sentence_318

His refusal to recant this utterance, which was regarded as apostasy, led to a long trial. Sufism_sentence_319

He was imprisoned for 11 years in a Baghdad prison, before being tortured and publicly dismembered on March 26, 922. Sufism_sentence_320

He is still revered by Sufis for his willingness to embrace torture and death rather than recant. Sufism_sentence_321

It is said that during his prayers, he would say "O Lord! Sufism_sentence_322

You are the guide of those who are passing through the Valley of Bewilderment. Sufism_sentence_323

If I am a heretic, enlarge my heresy". Sufism_sentence_324

Moinuddin Chishti Sufism_section_35

Moinuddin Chishti was born in 1141 and died in 1236. Sufism_sentence_325

Also known as Gharīb Nawāz ("Benefactor of the Poor"), he is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order. Sufism_sentence_326

Moinuddin Chishti introduced and established the order in the Indian subcontinent. Sufism_sentence_327

The initial spiritual chain or silsila of the Chishti order in India, comprising Moinuddin Chishti, Bakhtiyar Kaki, Baba Farid, Nizamuddin Auliya (each successive person being the disciple of the previous one), constitutes the great Sufi saints of Indian history. Sufism_sentence_328

Moinuddin Chishtī turned towards India, reputedly after a dream in which Muhammad blessed him to do so. Sufism_sentence_329

After a brief stay at Lahore, he reached Ajmer along with Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori, and settled down there. Sufism_sentence_330

In Ajmer, he attracted a substantial following, acquiring a great deal of respect amongst the residents of the city. Sufism_sentence_331

Moinuddin Chishtī practiced the Sufi Sulh-e-Kul (peace to all) concept to promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. Sufism_sentence_332

Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya Sufism_section_36

Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya or Rabia of Basra (died 801) was a mystic who represents countercultural elements of Sufism, especially with regards to the status and power of women. Sufism_sentence_333

Prominent Sufi leader Hasan of Basra is said to have castigated himself before her superior merits and sincere virtues. Sufism_sentence_334

Rabi'a was born of very poor origin, but was captured by bandits at a later age and sold into slavery. Sufism_sentence_335

She was however released by her master when he awoke one night to see the light of sanctity shining above her head. Sufism_sentence_336

Rabi'a al-Adawiyya is known for her teachings and emphasis on the centrality of the love of God to a holy life. Sufism_sentence_337

She is said to have proclaimed, running down the streets of Basra, Iraq: Sufism_sentence_338

She died in Jerusalem and is thought to have been buried in the Chapel of the Ascension. Sufism_sentence_339

Shrines Sufism_section_37

A dargah (Persian: درگاه dargâh or درگه dargah, also in Punjabi and Urdu) is a shrine built over the grave of a revered religious figure, often a Sufi saint or dervish. Sufism_sentence_340

Sufis often visit the shrine for ziyarat, a term associated with religious visits and pilgrimages. Sufism_sentence_341

Dargahs are often associated with Sufi eating and meeting rooms and hostels, called khanqah or hospices. Sufism_sentence_342

They usually include a mosque, meeting rooms, Islamic religious schools (madrassas), residences for a teacher or caretaker, hospitals, and other buildings for community purposes. Sufism_sentence_343

Major Sufi orders Sufism_section_38

Main articles: Tariqa and List of Sufi orders Sufism_sentence_344

The term tariqa is used for a school or order of Sufism, or especially for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking ḥaqīqah (ultimate truth). Sufism_sentence_345

A tariqa has a murshid (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual director. Sufism_sentence_346

The members or followers of a tariqa are known as murīdīn (singular murīd), meaning "desirous", viz. "desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God". Sufism_sentence_347

Bektashi Sufism_section_39

Main article: Bektashi Sufism_sentence_348

The Bektashi Order was founded in the 13th century by the Islamic saint Haji Bektash Veli, and greatly influenced during its fomulative period by the Hurufi Ali al-'Ala in the 15th century and reorganized by Balım Sultan in the 16th century. Sufism_sentence_349

Chishti Sufism_section_40

Main article: Chishti Order Sufism_sentence_350

The Chishti Order (Persian: چشتیہ‎) was founded by (Khawaja) Abu Ishaq Shami ("the Syrian"; died 941) who brought Sufism to the town of Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day Afghanistan. Sufism_sentence_351

Before returning to the Levant, Shami initiated, trained and deputized the son of the local Emir (Khwaja) Abu Ahmad Abdal (died 966). Sufism_sentence_352

Under the leadership of Abu Ahmad's descendants, the Chishtiyya as they are also known, flourished as a regional mystical order. Sufism_sentence_353

Kubrawiya Sufism_section_41

Main article: Kubrawiya Sufism_sentence_354

The Kubrawiya order is a Sufi order ("tariqa") named after its 13th-century founder Najmuddin Kubra. Sufism_sentence_355

The Kubrawiya Sufi order was founded in the 13th century by Najmuddin Kubra in Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan. Sufism_sentence_356

The Mongols captured Bukhara in 1221, committed genocide and almost killed the city's entire population. Sufism_sentence_357

Sheikh Nadjm ed-Din Kubra was among those killed by the Mongols. Sufism_sentence_358

Mawlawiyya Sufism_section_42

The Mevlevi Order is better known in the West as the "whirling dervishes". Sufism_sentence_359

Muridiyya Sufism_section_43

Mouride is a large Islamic Sufi order most prominent in Senegal and The Gambia, with headquarters in the holy city of Touba, Senegal. Sufism_sentence_360

Naqshbandi Sufism_section_44

Main article: Naqshbandi Sufism_sentence_361

The Naqshbandi order is one of the major Sufi orders of Islam, previously known as Siddiqiyya as the order stems from Mohammad through Abū Bakr as-Șiddīq. Sufism_sentence_362

It is considered by some to be a "sober" order known for its silent dhikr (remembrance of God) rather than the vocalized forms of dhikr common in other orders. Sufism_sentence_363

The word "Naqshbandi" (نقشبندی) is Persian, taken from the name of the founder of the order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Sufism_sentence_364

Some have said that the translation means "related to the image-maker", some also consider it to mean "Pattern Maker" rather than "image maker", and interpret "Naqshbandi" to mean "Reformer of Patterns", and others consider it to mean "Way of the Chain" or "Silsilat al-dhahab". Sufism_sentence_365

Nimatullahi Sufism_section_45

Main article: Nimatullahi Sufism_sentence_366

The Ni'matullāhī order is the most widespread Sufi order of Persia today. Sufism_sentence_367

It was founded by Shah Ni'matullah Wali (died 1367), established and transformed from his inheritance of the Ma'rufiyyah circle. Sufism_sentence_368

There are several suborders in existence today, the most known and influential in the West following the lineage of Dr. Sufism_sentence_369 Javad Nurbakhsh who brought the order to the West following the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Sufism_sentence_370

Qadiri Sufism_section_46

Main article: Qadiriyya Sufism_sentence_371

The Qadiri Order is one of the oldest Sufi orders. Sufism_sentence_372

It derives its name from Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077–1166), a native of the Iranian province of Gīlān. Sufism_sentence_373

The order is one of the most widespread of the Sufi orders in the Islamic world, and has a huge presence in Central Asia, Pakistan, Turkey, Balkans and much of East and West Africa. Sufism_sentence_374

The Qadiriyyah have not developed any distinctive doctrines or teachings outside of mainstream Islam. Sufism_sentence_375

They believe in the fundamental principles of Islam, but interpreted through mystical experience. Sufism_sentence_376

Senussi Sufism_section_47

Main article: Senussi Sufism_sentence_377

Senussi is a religious-political Sufi order established by Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Sufism_sentence_378

Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi founded this movement due to his criticism of the Egyptian ulema. Sufism_sentence_379

Originally from Mecca, as-Senussi left due to pressure from Wahhabis to leave and settled in Cyrenaica where he was well received. Sufism_sentence_380

Idris bin Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi was later recognized as Emir of Cyrenaica and eventually became King of Libya. Sufism_sentence_381

The monarchy was abolished by Muammar Gaddafi but, a third of Libyan still claim to be Senussi. Sufism_sentence_382

Shadhili Sufism_section_48

Main article: Shadhili Sufism_sentence_383

The Shadhili is a Sufi order founded by Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili. Sufism_sentence_384

Ikhwans (Murids - followers) of the Shadhiliyya are often known as Shadhilis. Sufism_sentence_385

Fassiya a branch of Shadhiliyya founded by Imam al Fassi of Makkah is the widely practiced Sufi order in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Indonesia and other middle east countries. Sufism_sentence_386

Suhrawardiyya Sufism_section_49

Main article: Suhrawardiyya Sufism_sentence_387

The Suhrawardiyya order (Arabic: سهروردية‎) is a Sufi order founded by Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi (1097–1168). Sufism_sentence_388

The order was formalized by his nephew, Shahab al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi. Sufism_sentence_389

Tijaniyya Sufism_section_50

Main article: Tijaniyyah Sufism_sentence_390

The Tijaniyyah order attach a large importance to culture and education, and emphasize the individual adhesion of the disciple (murīd). Sufism_sentence_391

Symbols associated with the Sufi orders Sufism_section_51


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Reception Sufism_section_52

Perception outside Islam Sufism_section_53

Sufi mysticism has long exercised a fascination upon the Western world, and especially its Orientalist scholars. Sufism_sentence_392

Figures like Rumi have become well known in the United States, where Sufism is perceived as a peaceful and apolitical form of Islam. Sufism_sentence_393

Orientalists have proposed a variety of diverse theories pertaining to the nature of Sufism, such as it being influenced by Neoplatonism or as an Aryan historical reaction against "Semitic" cultural influence. Sufism_sentence_394

Hossein Nasr states that the preceding theories are false according to the point of view of Sufism. Sufism_sentence_395

The Islamic Institute in Mannheim, Germany, which works towards the integration of Europe and Muslims, sees Sufism as particularly suited for interreligious dialogue and intercultural harmonisation in democratic and pluralist societies; it has described Sufism as a symbol of tolerance and humanism—nondogmatic, flexible and non-violent. Sufism_sentence_396

According to Philip Jenkins, a Professor at Baylor University, "the Sufis are much more than tactical allies for the West: they are, potentially, the greatest hope for pluralism and democracy within Muslim nations." Sufism_sentence_397

Likewise, several governments and organisations have advocated the promotion of Sufism as a means of combating intolerant and violent strains of Islam. Sufism_sentence_398

For example, the Chinese and Russian governments openly favor Sufism as the best means of protecting against Islamist subversion. Sufism_sentence_399

The British government, especially following the 7 July 2005 London bombings, has favoured Sufi groups in its battle against Muslim extremist currents. Sufism_sentence_400

The influential RAND Corporation, an American think-tank, issued a major report titled "Building Moderate Muslim Networks," which urged the US government to form links with and bolster Muslim groups that opposed Islamist extremism. Sufism_sentence_401

The report stressed the Sufi role as moderate traditionalists open to change, and thus as allies against violence. Sufism_sentence_402

News organisations such as the BBC, Economist and Boston Globe have also seen Sufism as a means to deal with violent Muslim extremists. Sufism_sentence_403

Idries Shah states that Sufism is universal in nature, its roots predating the rise of Islam and Christianity. Sufism_sentence_404

He quotes Suhrawardi as saying that "this [Sufism] was a form of wisdom known to and practiced by a succession of sages including the mysterious ancient Hermes of Egypt. Sufism_sentence_405

", and that Ibn al-Farid "stresses that Sufism lies behind and before systematization; that 'our wine existed before what you call the grape and the vine' (the school and the system)..." Shah's views have however been rejected by modern scholars. Sufism_sentence_406

Such modern trends of neo-Sufis in Western countries allow non-Muslims to receive "instructions on following the Sufi path", not without opposition by Muslims who consider such instruction outside the sphere of Islam. Sufism_sentence_407

Influence on Judaism Sufism_section_54

Music Sufism_section_55

In 2005, Indian musician Rabbi Shergill released a Sufi rock song called "Bulla Ki Jaana", which became a chart-topper in India and Pakistan. Sufism_sentence_408

Literature Sufism_section_56

The 13th century Persian poet Rumi, is considered one of the most influential figures of Sufism, as well as one of the greatest poets of all time. Sufism_sentence_409

He has become one of the most widely read poets in the United States, thanks largely to the interpretative translations published by Coleman Barks. Sufism_sentence_410

Elif Şafak's novel The Forty Rules of Love is a fictionalized account of Rumi's encounter with the Persian dervish Shams Tabrizi. Sufism_sentence_411

Allama Iqbal, one of the greatest Urdu poets has discussed Sufism, philosophy and Islam in his English work The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Sufism_sentence_412

Visual art Sufism_section_57

Main article: Islamic art Sufism_sentence_413

Many painters and visual artists have explored the Sufi motif through various disciplines. Sufism_sentence_414

One of the outstanding pieces in the Brooklyn Museum's Islamic gallery has been the museum's associate curator of Islamic art, is a large 19th- or early-20th-century portrayal of the Battle of Karbala painted by Abbas Al-Musavi, which was a violent episode in the disagreement between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam; during this battle, Husayn ibn Ali, a pious grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, died and is considered a martyr in Islam. Sufism_sentence_415

In July 2016, at International Sufi Festival held in Noida Film City, UP, India, H.E. Sufism_sentence_416

Abdul Basit who was the High Commissioner of Pakistan to India at that time, while inaugurating the exhibition of Farkhananda Khan said, “There is no barrier of words or explanation about the paintings or rather there is a soothing message of brotherhood, peace in Sufism”. Sufism_sentence_417

See also Sufism_section_58


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