Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental
Bektashi Order or Shī‘ah Imāmī Alevī-Bektāshī Ṭarīqah is a Sufi dervish order named after the 13th century Alevi Wali Haji Bektash Veli from Khorasan, but founded by Balım Sultan. The order, whose headquarters is in Tirana, Albania, is found throughout Anatolia and the Balkans, was strong in Albania and among Ottoman era Greek Muslims from the regions of Epirus and Macedonia. However, the Bektashi order does not seem to have attracted quite as many adherents from among Bosnian Muslims, who tended to favor more mainstream Sunni orders such as the Naqshbandiyya and Qadiriyya; the order represents the official ideology of Bektashism. In addition to the spiritual teachings of Haji Bektash Veli, the Bektashi order was significantly influenced during its formative period by the Hurufis, the Qalandariyya stream of Sufism, to varying degrees the Shia beliefs circulating in Anatolia during the 14th to 16th centuries; the mystical practices and rituals of the Bektashi order were systematized and structured by Balım Sultan in the 16th century after which many of the order's distinct practices and beliefs took shape.
A large number of academics consider Bektashism to have fused a number of Shia and Sufi concepts, although the order contains rituals and doctrines that are distinct. Throughout its history Bektashis have always had wide appeal and influence among both the Ottoman intellectual elite as well as the peasantry; the Bektashi Order is a Sufi order and shares much in common with other Islamic mystical movements, such as the need for an experienced spiritual guide—called a baba in Bektashi parlance — as well as the doctrine of "the four gates that must be traversed": the "Sharia", "Tariqah", "Marifa", "Haqiqah". Bektashism places much emphasis on the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wujood وحدة الوجود, the "Unity of Being", formulated by Ibn Arabi; this has been labeled as pantheism, although it is a concept closer to panentheism. Bektashism is heavily permeated with Shiite concepts, such as the marked reverence of Ali, The Twelve Imams, the ritual commemoration of Ashurah marking the Battle of Karbala; the old Persian holiday of Nowruz is celebrated by Bektashis as Imam Ali's birthday.
In keeping with the central belief of Wahdat-ul-Wujood the Bektashi see reality contained in Haqq-Muhammad-Ali, a single unified entity. Bektashi do not consider this a form of trinity. There are many other practices and ceremonies that share similarity with other faiths, such as a ritual meal and yearly confession of sins to a baba. Bektashis base their practices and rituals on their non-orthodox and mystical interpretation and understanding of the Quran and the prophetic practice, they have no written doctrine specific to them, thus rules and rituals may differ depending on under whose influence one has been taught. Bektashis revere Sufi mystics outside of their own order, such as Ibn Arabi, Al-Ghazali and Jelalludin Rumi who are close in spirit to them. Bektashis hold that the Quran has two levels of meaning: an inner, they hold the latter to be superior and eternal and this is reflected in their understanding of both the universe and humanity. Bektashism is initiatic and members must traverse various levels or ranks as they progress along the spiritual path to the Reality.
First level members are called aşıks عاشق. They are those who, while not having taken initiation into the order, are drawn to it. Following initiation one becomes a mühip محب. After some time as a mühip, one can become a dervish; the next level above dervish is that of baba. The baba is considered to be the head of a qualified to give spiritual guidance. Above the baba is the rank of halife-baba. Traditionally there were twelve of these; the dedebaba was considered to be the highest ranking authority in the Bektashi Order. Traditionally the residence of the dedebaba was the Pir Evi, located in the shrine of Hajji Bektash Wali in the central Anatolian town of Hacıbektaş, known as Hajibektash complex; the Bektashi are the disciples of some of his descendants. The Bektashi order was widespread in the Ottoman Empire, their lodges being scattered throughout Anatolia as well as many parts of the southern Balkans and in the imperial city of Constantinople; the order had close ties with the Janissary corps, the elite infantry corp of the Ottoman Army, therefore became associated with Anatolian and Balkan Muslims of Eastern Orthodox convert origin Albanians and northern Greeks.
With the abolition of Janissaries, the Bektashi order was banned throughout the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826. This decision was supported by the Sunni religious elite as well as the leaders of other, more orthodox, Sufi orders. Bektashi tekkes were closed and their dervishes were exiled. Bektashis regained freedom with the coming of the Tanzimat era. After the foundation of republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk banned all Sufi orders and shut down the lodges in 1925; the Bektashi leadership moved to Albania and established their headquarters in the city of Tirana. Among the most famous follower
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
A tariqa is a school or order of Sufism, or a concept for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking Haqiqa, which translates as "ultimate truth". A tariqa has a murshid; the members or followers of a tariqa are known as muridin, meaning "desirous", viz. "desiring the knowledge of God and loving God". The metaphor of "way, path" is to be understood in connection of the term sharia which has the meaning of "path", more "well-trodden path; the "path" metaphor of tariqa is that of a further path, taken by the mystic, which continues from the "well-trodden path" or exoteric of sharia towards the esoteric haqiqa. A fourth "station" following the succession of shariah and haqiqa is called marifa; this is the "unseen center" of haqiqa, the ultimate aim of the mystic, corresponding to the unio mystica in Western mysticism. Tasawwuf, Arabic word that refers to mysticism and Islamic esotericism, is known in the West as Sufism; the most popular tariqa in the West is the Mevlevi Order, named after Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.
In the same time the Bektashi Order was founded, named after the Alevi Muslim saint Haji Bektash Veli. Four large tariqas in South Asia are: the Naqshbandi Order, named after Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Large tariqats in Africa include Tijaniyya. Others can be offshoots of a tariqa. For example, the Qalandariyya has roots in Malamatiyya and Wafa'i of orders are offshoots of the Suhrawardi order; the Ashrafia after the 13 the century illustrious sufi saint Ashraf Jahangir Semnani is the sub branch of Chisti spiritual lineage. The Maizbhandari Tariqa or Maizbhandari Sufi Order is a liberated Sufism order established in the Bangladesh in the 19th century by the Gausul Azam Shah Sufi Syed Ahmadullah Maizbhandari, 27th descendent of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Membership of a particular Sufi order is not exclusive and cannot be likened to the ideological commitment to a political party. Unlike the Christian monastic orders which are demarcated by firm lines of authority and sacrament, Sufis are members of various Sufi orders.
The non-exclusiveness of Sufi orders has consequences for the social extension of Sufism. They cannot be regarded as indulging in a zero sum competition which a purely political analysis might have suggested. Rather their joint effect is to impart to Sufism a cumulant body of tradition, rather than individual and isolated experiences. In most cases the sheikh nominates his khalifa or "successor" during his lifetime, who will take over the order. In rare cases, if the sheikh dies without naming a khalifa, the students of the tariqa elect another spiritual leader by vote. In some orders it is recommended to take a Khalif from the same order as the murshid. In some groups it is customary for the khalifa to be the son of the sheikh, although in other groups the khalīfa and the sheikh are not relatives. In yet other orders a successor may be identified through the spiritual dreams of its members. Tariqas have silsilas "chain, lineage of sheikhs". All orders except the Naqshbandi order claim a silsila that leads back to Muhammad through Ali..
Every Murid, on entering the tariqa, gets his awrad, or daily recitations, authorized by his murshid. These recitations are extensive and time-consuming. One must be in a state of ritual purity; the recitations change. The Initiation ceremony is routine and consists of reading chapter 1 of the Quran followed by a single phrase prayer. Criteria have to be met to be promoted in rank: the common way is to repeat a single phrase prayer 82,000 times or more as in the case of Burhaniyya, a number that grows with each achieved rank. Murids who experience unusual interaction during meditation: hear voices like "would you like to see a prophet?" or see visions who might communicate with the Murid are held dear in the "Haḍra", the weekly group-chanting of prayers in attempt of reaching spirits as they are to experience something unusual and pass it on. This Murid is promoted faster than others; the least common way is to cause a miracle to happen with criteria similar to that of Catholic Sainthood. Being followers of the spiritual traditions of Islam loosely referred to as Sufism, these groups were sometimes distinct from the Ulma or mandated scholars, acted as informal missionaries of Islam.
They provided accepted avenues for emotional expressions of faith, the Tariqas spread to all corners of the Muslim world, exercised a degree of political influence inordinate to their size (take for example the influence that the sheikhs of the Safavid had over the armies of Tamerlane, or the missionary work of Ali-Shir Nava'i in Tu
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
In Islam, ziyara or ziyarat is a form of pilgrimage to sites associated with Muhammad, his family members and descendants, his companions and other venerated figures in Islam such as the prophets, Sufi auliya, Islamic scholars. Sites of pilgrimage include mosques, battlefields and caves. Ziyārat can refer to a form of supplication made by the Shia, in which they send salutations and greetings to Muhammad and his family. Ziyarat comes from Arabic: زور "to visit". In Islam it refers to pilgrimage to a holy place, tomb or shrine. Iranian and South Asian Muslims use the word ziyarat for both the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca as well as for pilgrimages to other sites such as visiting a holy place. In Indonesia the term is ziarah for visiting holy graves. Different Muslim-majority countries, speaking many different languages, use different words for these sites where ziyarat is performed: Ziyāratgāh – Persian word meaning, "sites of Ziyarat" Imāmzādeh – in Iran, tombs of the descendants of the Twelver Imāms Dargah – in South Asia and Central Asia for tombs of Sufi saints Ziarat or Jiarat – in Southeast Asia Ziyaratkhana – in South Asia Gongbei – in China Mazar – a general term meaning a shrine of a Shi'i Saint or noble.
Maqam – a shrine built on the site associated with a Muslim saint or religious figure. More than any other tomb in the Islamic world, the shrine of the Prophet Muhammad is considered a source of blessings for the visitor. A hadith of the Prophet states that, "He who visits my grave will be entitled to my intercession" and in a different version "I will intercede for those who have visited me or my tomb." Visiting the Prophet's tomb after the pilgrimage is considered by the majority of Sunni legal scholars to be recommended. The early scholars of the salaf, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh, Abdullah ibn Mubarak and Imam Shafi'i all permitted the practice of Ziyarah to the Prophet's tomb. According to the Hanbali scholar Al-Hasan ibn'Ali al-Barbahari, it is obligatory to send salutations upon Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab after having sent salutations upon the Prophet; the hadith scholar Qadi Ayyad stated that visiting the Prophet was "a sunna of the Muslims on which there was consensus, a good and desirable deed."Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani explicitly stated that travelling to visit the tomb of the Prophet was "one of the best of actions and the noblest of pious deeds with which one draws near to God, its legitimacy is a matter of consensus."Similarly, Ibn Qudamah considered Ziyarat of the Prophet to be recommended and seeking intercession directly from the Prophet at his grave.
Ibn Taymiyyah condemned all forms of seeking intercession from the dead and said that all ahadith encouraging visitation to the Prophet's tomb are fabricated. This view of Ibn Taymiyya was rejected by mainstream Sunni scholars both during his life and after his death; the Shafi'i hadith master Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani stated that "This is one of the ugliest positions, reported of Ibn Taymiyya". The Hanafi hadith scholar Ali al-Qari stated that, "Amongst the Hanbalis, Ibn Taymiyya has gone to an extreme by prohibiting travelling to visit the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace" Qastallani stated that "The Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya has abominable and odd statements on this issue to the effect that travelling to visit the Prophet is prohibited and is not a pious deed."Other historic scholars who recommended Ziyarah include Imam al-Ghazali, Imam Nawawi and Muhammad al-Munawi. The tombs of other Muslim religious figures are respected; the son of Ahmad ibn Hanbal named Abdullah, one of the primary jurists of Sunnism stated that he would prefer to be buried near the shrine of a saintly person than his own father.
There are many reasons for which the Shī‘ah partake in the performance of Ziyarah, none of which include the worship of the people buried within the tombs. Ayatullah Borujerdi and Ayatullah Khomeini have both said The Shī‘ah do however perform Ziyarah, believing that the entombed figures bear great status in the eyes of God, seek to have their prayers answered through these people - Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Musawi writes In this regard, Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani narrates a hadīth from the tenth Imām of the Twelver Shī‘as The Ziyarah of the Imāms is done by the Shī‘ah, not only as a means of greeting and saluting their masters who lived long before they were born, but as a means of seeking nearness to God and more of His blessings; the Shī‘ah do not consider the hadith collected by al-Bukhari to be authentic, argue that if things such as Ziyarah and Tawassul were innovations and shirk, Muhammad himself would have prohibited people as a precaution, from visiting graves, or seeking blessings through kissing the sacred black stone at the Ka‘bah.
It is popular. In Shi'i sacred texts it is stated that the time between death and resurrection should be spent near the Imams. Dargah Hajj Imamzadeh List of ziyarat locations Tablet of Visitation Jamiah kabirah Ziyarat List of holiest Shi'ite sites Sacred Gorshunova, Olga V. Trees of Khodzhi Baror: Phytolatry and the Cult of Female Deity in Central Asia // Etnograficheskoye obozreniye, 200
Meivazhi - The True Path is a syncretic monotheistic religion based in Tamil Nadu, India. Its focus is spiritual enlightenment and the conquering of death, through the teachings and blessings of its founder and leader, Brahma Prakasa Meivazhi Salai Andavargal, believed to be the final incarnation of God expected by all religious holy scriptures and was said to be over 121 years old, it was started in the year 1900. It has its own set of holy scriptures that runs up to four volumes called four vedas, along with a unique prayer system and festivals. Although its founder was born in a Muslim family, it draws from Hinduism. Mevaizhi preaches the message, "oneness of essence" of all the previous major scriptures like Saivism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, etc. and allows membership irrespective of caste, colour or religion. The only requirement for being a follower of Meivazhi is to be a believer in God. Meivazhi has only one Temple in Tamil Nadu called as the Meivazhi Salai, its official liturgical language is Tamil.
The religion forbids smoking, alcohol and theft, practices vegetarianism. Its male followers are seen to be clad in white panchakacham and a pointed turban; the disciples who had received spiritual blessings directly from Salai Aandavargal, wear saffron clothing, turban along with an upward-pointing crescent moon symbol called as'Kilnaamam' on their turban. The followers of the Meivazhi religion believe, the person who founded the Meivazhi religion to be the Kalki, the final incarnation of Lord Vishnu as mentioned in Hinduism and the Second Coming of God's incarnation on this Earth as mentioned in various other religions; the followers of this religion address the founder as "Salai Aandavargal". The main source of the early life and history of Salai Aandavargal are extracted from the Meivazhi scriptures written by the early followers of the religion and from contents written by Salai Aandavargal himself. "Aadhi Maanmiyam", one of the volumes of Meivazhi scriptures, narrates the real name, early life and experiences of Salai Andavargal.
According to the scripture, Aandavargal was born in 1857 at Markampatti, a village in Oddanchatram Taluk, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu. He was named Khader Badsha Rowther by his parents - his father being Jamal Hussain Rowther and mother Periya Thayi, he had his primary education in the village elementary school and followed the profession of his father as an agriculturist. As a youth, he had a keen interest in spirituality, he met many false gurus and believed that hatha yoga was the only way to achieve the highest spiritual realization. But he realized that people were pretending to be saints for the sake of earning money and their own selfish purposes, he migrated to Kasukkaranpalayam, a village in Perundurai taluk, Erode in Tamil Nadu after his marriage to Suleka Bivi and worked as a wholesale paddy merchant. He had a daughter named Aisuamma and he gave up on spirituality, but It was during this period, that he met his satguru Shri Thanigai Mani Piran, stated to be more than 600 years old and who revealed to Salai Aandavargal about his true form.
Shri Thanigai Mani Piran was the GURU of Ramalinga Swamigal. He baptized Salai Aandavargal through Brahmopadhesam, the spiritual rebirth, at Kasukkaranpalayam, Erode. Thereafter, Salai Aandavargal followed his satguru all over South India, renouncing his profession, wife and everything to attain the highest spiritual enlightenment; when Aandavargal finished his travels with his guru, he was ordered to tend to a flock of sheep at Reddiyapatti village in Dindigul district for a year. This is celebrated annually as the "Āṭu mēyppu tirukkōlak kāṭci" festival; the first meeting of Salai Andavargal and his guru is celebrated by the followers as a festival during pournami day of the Panguni month, as the "Piṟavā nāḷ piṟappu tirunāḷ" festival. Thereafter he was directed to observe severe Tapas in the cave on the western side of Thiruparankundram hill which he carried out for many years the wakefulness and near starvation diet of Prickly pear. Thereby he acquired divine symbols in his sacred hand – such us Udukai, Shankhu, Sudarshana Chakra, Vaal, Angusam, Modhagam and the “Khill Namam".
The Crescent moon is the ultimate divine symbol, now used by his followers as their religion's righteous symbol. His holiness acquiring the holy symbol is commemorated by celebrating the festival of “Kodaayudha Sannathath Thirukkappu Kangganath Thirunall“ in the month of Vaikasi; when the savant understood that his disciple Salai Andavargal is endowed with wit and power to commence his holy mission “Meivazhi”, he christened him “Maarganadhar” and departed from him after persuading Salai Andavargal to proceed forward alone in his holy mission. Cladding himself in a saffron robe, Andavargal first preached to sanyasis and Saints, but thereupon he understood that most of the sanyasis were impostors not because of their ignorance but deliberation to loot innocent people’s money for satisfying their lust and hunger. Andavargal gave up the garb of sanyasi and took to preaching family people engaged in worldly occupations. At Tiruppattur in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu, he married Panimathi Nachiyar as per his Guru’s wish.
It is claimed that the Heavenly Tokens which distinguish Meivazhi Salai Andavargal from the mushrooms of impostors, masquer