Sufism or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized... values, ritual practices and institutions" which began early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis". Sufis have 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; these orders meet for spiritual sessions in meeting places known as khanqahs or tekke. They strive for ihsan, as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him. Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide. All Sufi orders trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, with the notable exception of one.
Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period. Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God performed after prayers, they gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium expressing their beliefs in Arabic and expanding into Persian and Urdu, among others. Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, intensification of Islamic faith and practice."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, has influenced various forms of spirituality in the West.
The Arabic word tasawwuf translated as Sufism, is defined by Western authors as Islamic mysticism. The Arabic term sufi has been used in Islamic literature with a wide range of meanings, by both proponents and opponents of Sufism. Classical Sufi texts, which stressed certain teachings and practices of the Quran and the sunnah, gave definitions of tasawwuf that described ethical and spiritual goals and functioned as teaching tools for their attainment. Many other terms that described particular spiritual qualities and roles were used instead in more practical contexts; 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". The term Sufism was introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam. In modern scholarly usage the term serves to describe a wide range of social, cultural and religious phenomena associated with Sufis.
The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool", the Encyclopaedia of Islam calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally associated with mystics. Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic grounds. Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā, which in Arabic means "purity"; these two explanations were combined by the Sufi al-Rudhabari, who said, "The Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity". Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl aṣ-ṣuffah, who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad who held regular gatherings of dhikr; these men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis. According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad his companions. Sufi orders are based on the "bay‘ah", given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God.
Verily, those who give Bai'âh to you they are giving Bai'âh to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their hands. Whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm, whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He will bestow on him a great reward. — Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah to a legitimate Sufi shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad. It is through Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about and connect with God. Ali is regarded as one of the
The Alian Kızılbaşī community, are a Shi`a order, similar to the Sufi Mevlevi, who live in several regions of Bulgaria. Alians revere the name "Ali" carried by their circle of 12 Ministers, which they consider an emanation of God, they follow the mystical rituals of the wandering dervishes. Their exact origin is not certain, since few relevant historical records have been preserved, but according to the prevailing theory they fled to Bulgaria from Central Anatolia after the 1512 victory by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, a Sunni, over the first Turcoman Safavid shah of the Persians, Ismail I. Alians appear to be descendants of a Sufi-dervish-like group of priests but they themselves believe about 10% are the descendants of the earliest Christians of Asia Minor who fled the Sunni invasion of Anatolia, they believe. Ali for them is not one single historical person but the ineffable name kept by God's Ministers, it has been suggested that they first came to the Balkans during the 15th century, in order to keep up the morale of Ottoman soldiers and to help integrate the newly conquered peoples into the empire.
However, it is not since the Ottomans were Sunnis while the Alians are viewed as ghulat by other Muslims for their heterodox views concerning Muhammad and Ali. However, the reverse accusation is returned that their attackers are Munafiqun for abandoning the articles of Imaan that concerning belief in the 4 books which Alians believe and for adopting ibn Hazm's doctrine of Tahrif instead which Alians reject; the Alians have similar beliefs and practices to the Alevis and along with Alevis are surviving examples of pre-Sunni Islam because the Alians are believed to be descendants of a member of the Banu Eli tribe, called Abbas ibn Ali and Umm ul-Banin so their 12 imams has nothing to do with Twelver Shiism. They believe the Quran was compiled by an Alian ex-convert to Monophysitism from Zoroastrianism called Salman e Fars whom they hold in high esteem, their tafsir of the Quran based on syncretic harmony between the 4 books places them within the Judeo-Christian tradition. They are a closed society and zealously hide their rituals.
Circumcision, reserved for the priests, is done. At the age of 13 years his pubic hair may be trimmed in a special ceremony where only male Elders are present, they should only marry other Alians. Marriages may be arranged years in advance by the families but the couple are only married together as young men and women because, contrary to general Islamic practice, child marriages are abhorred by Alians, it is known that Alians are mysticists and believe in personal communication with God through a near-trance state during Zikr. They do not use the Sunni Islamic rituals, but the Persian calendar, an Old Rite-style breviary and use candles and wine during their Mass which they call Dzhem on Thursday nights to achieve the Haqq–Muhammad–Ali communion, they celebrate Christmas and Easter while revering Christian saints Saint Nicholas as well as Sufi saints using icons and crosses alongside tasbih. Along with other Alevis, they are considered crypto-Jews for sharing many practices and traditions in common with Judaism.
They placed a great role among themselves for converting Christians in Bulgaria. A tradition is performed among Alians and other Alevis after the 3rd week of December until the first week of January where St Nicholas and his bride Fadike and a character known as the Arab will visit the homes in the community to perform a play and collect gifts go on to distribute them to others in the community Zeyi and distribute nuts, sweets and dried fruits to children. Alian shrines are visited by Balkan Christians and do themselves sometimes attend Christian Churches and frequent Balkan Christian Shrines. However, Alians have always refused to visit madrassahs in the Ottoman Empire, because orthodox Sunni Islam was taught there; as a consequence, they educated their children only within the bounds of their society, that has led to a decline among them. The situation, along with the reticence of their esoteric culture, the urbanization, doomed them to gradual assimilation into Orthodox Christianity or secularism.
By the Second World War and the following communism in Bulgaria, many Alians fled in the European part of Turkey. In recent decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has pushed an agenda to assimilate them into Sunni Islam but have failed miserably. In fact, Alians have converted thousands of Sunnis to their form of Islam since World War 2. Demir Baba teke is a sacred place to Alians and other Islamic sects because Demir Baba, a famous dervish who lived during the 16th century, is buried there in the lands of northeastern Bulgaria; the tekke of Otman Baba, located in the Haskovo-region village of Teketo, is another Alian holy site. In Bulgaria, Alians inhabit predominantly the villages of Yablanovo and Malko Selo in Sliven Province.
Qawwali is a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music originating from South Asia, notably popular in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan. It is part of a musical tradition. Performed at Sufi shrines or dargahs throughout South Asia, it gained mainstream popularity and an international audience in late 20th century. Qawwali music received international exposure through the work of the late Pakistani singers Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sabri Brothers, Aziz Mian due to several releases on the Real World label, followed by live appearances at WOMAD festivals. Other famous Qawwali singers include Pakistan's Fareed Ayyaz & Abu Muhammad, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Badar Maindad, Rizwan & Moazzam Duo, the late Amjad Sabri and Bahauddin Qutbuddin. Delhi's Sufi saint Amir Khusrow of the Chisti order of Sufis is credited with fusing the Persian, Arabic and Indian musical traditions in the late 13th century in India to create Qawwali as we know it today; the word Sama is still used in Central Asia and Turkey to refer to forms similar to Qawwali, in India and Bangladesh, the formal name used for a session of Qawwali is Mehfil-e-Sama.
Qaul is an "utterance", Qawwāl is someone who repeats a Qaul, Qawwāli is what a Qawwāl sings. The songs which constitute the qawwali repertoire are in Persian, Hindi and Punjabi. There are some in Persian from the Mughal era, a smattering in Saraiki and dialects of north India like Brajbhasha and Awadhi. There is qawwali in some regional languages but the regional language tradition is obscure; the sound of the regional language qawwali can be different from that of mainstream qawwali. This is true of Chhote Babu Qawwal, whose style of singing is much closer to the Bengali Baul music than to the qawwali of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, for example; the poetry is implicitly understood to be spiritual in its meaning though the lyrics can sometimes sound wildly secular, or outright hedonistic. The central themes of qawwali are love and longing. Qawwalis are classified by their content into several categories: A hamd, Arabic for praise, is a song in praise of Allah. Traditionally, a qawwali performance starts with a hamd.
A na`at, Arabic for description, is a song in praise of Muhammad. The opening hamd is traditionally followed by a naat. A manqabat is a song in one of the Sufi saints. Manaqib in praise of Ali are sung at both Shi'a gatherings. If one is sung, it will follow right after the naat. There is at least one manqabat in a traditional programme. A marsiya, Arabic for lamentation for a dead person, is a lamentation over the death of much of Imam Husayn's family in the Battle of Karbala; this would be sung only at a Shi'a gathering. A ghazal, Arabic for love song, is a song. There are two extended metaphors that run through ghazals—the joys of drinking and the agony of separation from the beloved; these songs feature exquisite poetry, can be taken at face value, enjoyed at that level. In fact, in Pakistan and India, ghazal is a separate, distinct musical genre in which many of the same songs are performed in a different musical style, in a secular context. In the context of that genre, the songs are taken at face value, no deeper meaning is implied.
But in the context of qawwali, these songs of intoxication and yearning use secular metaphors to poignantly express the soul's longing for union with the Divine, its joy in loving the Divine. In the songs of intoxication, "wine" represents "knowledge of the Divine", the "cup-bearer" is God or a spiritual guide, the "tavern" is the metaphorical place where the soul may be fortunate enough to attain spiritual enlightenment. Intoxication is being filled with the joy of loving the Divine. In the songs of yearning, the soul, having been abandoned in this world by that cruel and cavalier lover, sings of the agony of separation, the depth of its yearning for reunion. A kafi is a poem in Punjabi, Seraiki or Sindhi, in the unique style of poets such as Sultan Bahoo, Shah Hussain, Bulleh Shah and Sachal Sarmast. Two of the more well-known Kafis include Mera Piya Ghar Aaya. A munajaat, Arabic for a conversation in the night or a form of prayer, is a song where the singer displays his thanks to Allah through a variety of linguistic techniques.
It is sung in Persian, with Mawlana Jalāl-ad-Dīn Rumi credited as its author. A group of qawwali musicians, called a party consists of eight or nine men including a lead singer, one or two side singers, one or two harmoniums, percussion. If there is only one percussionist, he plays the tabla and dholak the tabla with the dominant hand and the dholak with the other one. There will be two percussionists, in which case one might play the tabla and the other the dholak. There is a chorus of four or five men who repeat key verses, who aid percussion by
Sufi whirling is a form of physically active meditation which originated among Sufis, and, still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order and other orders such as the Rifa'i-Marufi. It is a customary meditation practice performed within the Sema, or worship ceremony, through which dervishes aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kamal; this is sought through abandoning one's nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, spinning one's body in repetitive circles, seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. The Mevlevi practice gave rise to an Egyptian form, distinguished by the use of a multicolored skirt; this has developed into a performance dance by non-Sufis, including dancers outside the Islamic world. "In the 12th century, Sufi fraternities were first organized as an established leadership in which a member followed a prescribed discipline in service to a sheikh or master in order to establish rapport with him."
A member of such a fraternity is referred to as a Persian darwish. These turuk were responsible for organizing an Islamic expression of religious life founded by independent saints or resulted from the division of existing orders; each Sufi tariqa stems from a unique silsila, or "chain of order" in which a member must learn, as the silsila binds each member to Allah through one's chain of order. One's silsila extends through the member's individual teacher, to their teacher and so on, through time until one is connected to the Prophet and thus Allah; the Prophet himself is revered as the originator of Sufism, which has in turn been traced down through a series of saints. A dervish practices multiple rituals, the primary of, the dhikr, a remembering of Allah; the dhikr involves recitation of devotional Islamic prayer. This dhikr is coupled with physical exertions of movement dancing and whirling, in order to reach a state assumed by outsiders to be one of "ecstatic trances"; as explained by Sufis: In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen's camel's hair hat represents the tombstone of the ego.
By removing his black cloak, he is spiritually reborn to the truth. At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God's unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God's beneficence; the semazen conveys God's spiritual gift to those. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love; the human being has been created with love. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi says, "All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!" Among the Mevlevi order, the practice of dhikr is performed in a traditional dress: a tennure, a sleeveless white frock, the destegul, a long sleeved jacket, a belt, a black overcoat or khirqa to be removed before the whirling begins. As the ritual dance begins, the dervish dons a felt cap, a sikke, in addition to a turban wrapped around the head, a trademark of the Mevlevi order.
The sheikh leads the ritual with strict regulations. To begin, The sheikh stands in the most honored corner of the dancing place, the dervishes pass by him three times, each time exchanging greetings, until the circling movement starts; the rotation itself is on the left foot, the center of the rotation being the ball of the left foot and the whole surface of the foot staying in contact with the floor. The impetus for the rotation is provided in a full 360-degree step. If a dervish should become too enraptured, another Sufi, in charge of the orderly performance, will touch his frock in order to curb his movement, The dance of the dervishes is one of the most impressive features of the mystical life in Islam, the music accompanying it is of exquisite beauty, beginning with the great hymn in honor of the Prophet and ending with short, enthusiastic songs, some things sung in Turkish; the Western world, having witnessed Sufi whirling through tourism, have described the various forms of dhikr as "barking, dancing, etc."
The practice of each tariqa is unique to its individual order, specific traditions and customs may differ across countries. The same tariqa in one country will not mirror that of another country as each order's ritual stresses "emotional religious life" in various forms; the Mevleviyah order, like many others, practice the dhikr by performing a whirling meditation. Accompanying the dhikr practices of whirling and prayer, the custom of sama serves to further one's "nourishment of the soul" through devotional "hearing" of the "'subtle' sounds of the hidden world or of the cosmos." In contrast to the use of sama and devotional prayer in the practice of dhikr, the tariqa orders perform Sufi whirling in addition to playing musical instruments, consuming glowing embers, live scorpions and glass, puncturing body parts with needles and spikes, or practicing clairvoyance and levitation. The dervish practice can be performed by community residents or lay members, members have been those of lower classes.
Within Islamic faith, unlike Middle Eastern law, women have equal status to men, allowing women to participate in dhikr as dervishes themselves. Women were received into a tariqa order by a male sheikh
Ihsan, is an Arabic term meaning "perfection" or "excellence". It is a matter of taking one's inner faith and showing it in both deed and action, a sense of social responsibility borne from religious convictions. In Islam, ihsan is the Muslim responsibility to obtain perfection, or excellence, in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God as if they see him, although they cannot see him, they undoubtedly believe that he is watching over them; that definition comes from the Hadith of Gabriel in which Muhammad states, " to worship God as though you see Him, if you cannot see Him indeed He sees you".. Ihsan, meaning "to do beautiful things", is one of the three dimensions of the Islamic religion: islam and ihsan. In contrast to the emphases of islam and iman, the concept of ihsan is associated with intention. One who "does what is beautiful" is called a muhsin, it is held that a person can only achieve true ihsan with the help and guidance of God, who governs all things. While traditionally Islamic jurists have concentrated on Islam and theologians on Iman, the Sufis have focused their attention on Ihsan.
Some Islamic scholars explain ihsan as being the inner dimension of Islam whereas shariah is described as the outer dimension: From the preceding discussion it should be clear that not every Muslim is a man or woman of faith, but every person of faith is a muslim. Furthermore, a Muslim who believes in all the principles of Islam may not be a righteous person, a doer of good, but a good and righteous person is both a muslim and a true person of faith. Ihsan "constitutes the highest form of worship", it is excellence in social interactions. For example, ihsan includes sincerity during Muslim prayers and being grateful to parents and God. Murata, Sachiko. Chittick; the Vision of Islam. I. B. Tauris. Pp. 267–282. ISBN 1-86064-022-2; the Mysteries of Ihsan: Natural Contemplation and the Spiritual Virtues in the Quran by James W. Morris Hadith of Angel Gabriel Hadith #2 from An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths
İsmailağa Jamia or İsmail Ağa Jamia is a branch of the Gümüşhanevî Dergâh of Nakşibendi-Khālidī Ṭarīqah in Turkey. It takes its name from the İsmailağa Mosque in Istanbul, it is aligned with the Naqshbandi spiritual order of Sunni Islam Sufism in the silsilah of Khalidiyya and is led by Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu, imam of the İsmailağa Mosque from 1954 to 1996. It has significant influence over daily life in few streets of Fatih, the capital district of Istanbul. However, once in 2006 a politician had described the whole district of Fatih as an "İsmailağa republic". There are communities including Erzincan. According to Ahmet Hakan Coşkun, the jamia requires strict Islamic-clothing, with members wearing beards and shalwar trousers, turbans of white muslin when praying. Women wear a face-covering Çarşaf. A number of leading Turkish politicians are associated with the wider Naqshbandi order; this might explain how the wire-tapping ordered by public prosecutor İlhan Cihaner in 2007 to 2009 in relation to İsmailağa included Erdoğan.
Their most famous imam is Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü. In the 1990s the group sent missionaries to parts of the Caucasus, trained people at its madrassa in the İsmailağa Mosque; the work continued more after new restrictions on religious activities in Turkey 1997. The İsmailağa Jamia came to wider public attention in Turkey through three murders committed in the İsmailağa Mosque - the son-in-law of Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu in 1998 and in 2006 a retired imam and the man who stabbed him, lynched. From 2007 to 2009 the local Chief Public Prosecutor in Erzincan, İlhan Cihaner, investigated the community and ordered wire-tapping after reports of the community offering unauthorised Koran courses and preventing girls from attending school. Www.ismailaga.org.tr Picture series of the mosque
A fakir, or faqir, derived from faqr is a Sufi Muslim ascetic who has taken vows of poverty and worship, renouncing all relations and possessions. Fakirs are prevalent in the Middle South Asia. A fakir only possesses the spiritual need for God. Faqirs are characterized by their attachment to dhikr. Sufism gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate. Though, Sufis have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium expressing their beliefs in Arabic, before spreading into Persian, Indian languages and a dozen other languages; the term is applied to Hindu ascetics. These usages developed in the Mughal era in the Indian subcontinent. There is a distinct clan of faqirs found in North India, descended from communities of faqirs who took up residence at Sufi shrines. During the 17th century, another noble and spirited Muslim scholar and saint, Sultan Bahoo, revolutionized Sufism and reinstated the definition of faqr and faqir.
The terms tasawwuf and faqer were first used by Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. He wrote a book, Mirat ul Arfeen, on this topic, said to be the first book on Sufism and tasawwuf. However, under Ummayad rule, neither could this book be published nor was it allowed to discuss tasawwuf, Sufism or faqr openly. For a long time, after Husayn ibn Ali, the information and teachings of faqr and Sufism kept on transferring from heart to heart. In the 10th century reputed Muslim Abdul-Qadir Gilani, the founder of Qadri silsila, which has the most followers in Muslim Sufism, elaborated Sufism and faqr. In the 13th century, Ibn Arabi was the first vibrant Muslim scholar who not only started this discussion publicly but wrote hundreds of books about Sufism and faqr. In English, faqir or fakir meant a mendicant dervish. In mystical usage, the word fakir refers to man's spiritual need for God, who alone is self-sufficient. Although of Muslim origin, the term has come to be applied in India to Hindus as well replacing gosvamin, sadhu and other designations.
Fakirs are regarded as holy men who are possessed of miraculous powers. Among Muslims, the leading Sufi orders of fakirs are the Shadhiliyyah, Qadiriyah and Suhrawardiyah; the Cambridge English Dictionary defines faqir as "a member of an Islamic religious group, or a holy man". Winston Churchill is known to have referred to the peaceful resistance promoting independence leader of India, Mahatma Gandhi, as a "seditious fakir"; the attributes of a fakir have been defined by scholars. The early Muslim saint, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, defined Sufism and faqr in a conclusive manner. Explaining the attributes of a fakir, he says, "faqir is not who can not do anything and is nothing in his self-being, but faqir has all the commanding powers and his orders can not be revoked."Ibn Arabi explained Sufism, including faqr, in more details. He wrote more than 500 books on the topic, he was the first Muslim scholar to introduce the idea of Wahdat al-wujud. His writings are considered a solid source, that defied timeAnother dignified Muslim saint, Sultan Bahoo, describes a fakir as one "who has been entrusted with full authority from Allah".
In the same book, Sultan Bahoo says, "Faqir attains eternity by dissolving himself in oneness of Allah. He, eliminates himself from other than Allah, his soul reaches to divinity." He says. First step he takes from eternity to this mortal world, second step from this finite world to hereafter and last step he takes from hereafter to manifestation of Allah." In the Fourth Way teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff the word fakir is used to denote the physical path of development, as opposed to the words yogi and monk; the Fakir and Goshai was with the stronger religious influence, there are Bauls who would shave their heads as in their past and kept on practicing and believing in many of the basic creeds of Vaishnava-Sahajiya. So all followers of different religions and religious practices came under the nomenclature Baul, which has its etymological origin in the Sanskrit words Vatula, or Vyakula and used for someone, possessed or crazy, they were known as performers'mad' in a worshiping trance of joy - transcending above both good and bad.
Though fond of both Hinduism and Islam, the Baul evolved into a religion focused on the individual and centered on a spiritual quest for God from within. They believe the soul. Dervish Ghous-e-Azam Ibn Arabi Madariyya Mirin Dajo Qalandariyya Sai Baba of Shirdi Shramana Sultan Bahoo Yogi Monk List of Books of Sultan Bahoo Ibn Arabi Books