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
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
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
Walī is an Arabic word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector", "helper", "friend". In the vernacular, it is most used by Muslims to indicate an Islamic saint, otherwise referred to by the more literal "friend of God". In the traditional Islamic understanding of saints, the saint is portrayed as someone "marked by divine favor... holiness", and, "chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles". The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic scholars early on in Muslim history, particular verses of the Quran and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints. Graves of saints around the Muslim world became centers of pilgrimage — after 1200 CE — for masses of Muslims seeking their barakah. Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period when the Islamic mystical trend of Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who came to be regarded as the major saints in orthodox Sunni Islam were the early Sufi mystics, like Hasan of Basra, Farqad Sabakhi, Dawud Tai, Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya, Maruf Karkhi, Junayd of Baghdad.
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". In the common expressions of Islamic piety of this period, the saint was understood to be "a contemplative whose state of spiritual perfection... permanent expression in the teaching bequeathed to his disciples". In many prominent Sunni Islamic creeds of the time, such as the famous Creed of Tahawi and the Creed of Nasafi, a belief in the existence and miracles of saints was presented as "a requirement" for being an orthodox Muslim believer. Aside from the Sufis, the preeminent saints in traditional Islamic piety are the Companions of Muhammad, their Successors, the third generation after the Prophet called "the Successors of the Successors". Additionally, the prophets of Islam are believed to be saints by definition, although they are referred to as such, in order to prevent confusion between them and ordinary saints.
In short, it is believed that "every prophet is a saint, but not every saint is a prophet". In the modern world, the traditional Sunni and Shia idea of saints has been challenged by movements such as Salafism and Islamic modernism, all three of which have, to a greater or lesser degree, "formed a front against the veneration and theory of saints." As has been noted by scholars, the development of these movements has indirectly led to a trend amongst some mainstream Muslims to resist "acknowledging the existence of Muslim saints altogether or... their presence and veneration as unacceptable deviations". However, despite the presence of these opposing streams of thought, the classical doctrine of saint-veneration continues to thrive in many parts of the Islamic world today, playing a vital role in daily expressions of piety among vast segments of Muslim populations in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Algeria, Indonesia and Morocco, as well as in countries with substantive Islamic populations like India, China and the Balkans.
Regarding the rendering of the Arabic walī by the English "saint", prominent scholars such as Gibril Haddad have regarded this as an appropriate translation, with Haddad describing the aversion of some Muslims towards the use of "saint" for walī as "a specious objection... for – like'Religion','Believer','prayer', etc. – generic term for holiness and holy persons while there is no confusion, for Muslims, over their specific referents in Islam, namely: the reality of iman with Godwariness and those who possess those qualities." In Persian, which became the second most influential and widely-spoken language in the Islamic world after Arabic, the general title for a saint or a spiritual master became pīr. Although the ramifications of this phrase include the connotations of a general "saint," it is used to signify a spiritual guide of some type. Amongst Indian Muslims, the title peer baba is used in Hindi to refer to Sufi masters or honored saints. Additionally, saints are sometimes referred to in the Persian or Urdu vernacular with "Hazrat."
In Islamic mysticism, a pīr's role is to instruct his disciples on the mystical path. Hence, the key difference between the use of walī and pīr is that the former does not imply a saint, a spiritual master with disciples, whilst the latter directly does so through its connotations of "elder." Additionally, other Arabic and Persian words that often have the same connotations as pīr, hence are sometimes translated into English as "saint", include murshid and sarkar. In the Turkish Islamic lands, saints have been referred to by many terms, including the Arabic walī, the Persian s̲h̲āh and pīr, Turkish alternatives like baba in Anatolia, ata in Central Asia, as well as eren or ermis̲h̲ or yati̊r in Anatolia, their tombs, are "denoted by terms of Arabic or Persian origin alluding to the idea of pilgrimage (mazār
Murāqabah refers to meditation in Sufi terminology. Through murāqbah a person watches over their heart and gains insight into the heart’s relation with its creator and its own surroundings. Murqābah is a core concept in found ṭarīqas; the objective of murāqbah is to purge one's base characters and develop lofty character in its place. The word murāqabah is derived from the base of rā-qāf-bāʿ; the base has the meaning of guarding and watching over with the expectation of noticing any change, unique qualities or abnormalities of a given thing. The word is on verb scale three, which gives a connotation of exaggeration and partnership; this implies that the one, doing murāqabah is diligent and hardworking with the expectation that someone else is doing a similar task. In ancient Arabic, the word murāqabah referred to one, they would scan the sky in hopes to see the first signs of early stars to begin their journey. Due to the intense heat and difficult terrain of the Arabian Peninsula, the ability to recognize the constellations and their seasonal divergences was a critical skill.
In the classic poem, “the observer of the night is as vigilant as a fish in search of water”. This etymology can be connected to the modern linguistical and technical meaning of what murāqabah is understood to be today. Murāqabah is seen to be both with a connotation of persistence and exertion. According to al-Qushayrī and al-Jurjānī murāqabah is for one to be aware that their lord is perpetually aware of his subordinates. Not only is the person continuously in a state of mindfulness but they are cognizant that their lord is aware as well, creating a reciprocal relation. One of the most significant sentiments of the great philosopher and theologian Al-Ghāzālī centers around God-consciousness; that is to obey him. The Creator’s eternal knowledge encompasses the ephemeral existence of mortals, from before their conception to the ages after they have passed on, his Knowledge envelops the internal and the metaphysical. He is the creator. Once one understands this, they must follow a level of etiquette and protocol which are but not limited to: Having humility and modesty Staying silent and only speaking when appropriate, as it is mentioned in the narration, “the one who believes in Allah and the last day should only speak good or stay quiet”.
Resolve to do the best that one can in every action. Rush to do good deeds and avoiding sin. To be content with what one must deal with daily. Continuous reflection on one's internal world around them. Standing up for the truth; the physical benefits of murāqabah is akin to the benefits of standard meditation. Metaphysically speaking, the intended result of murāqabah is to refrain from any actions contrary to What is obligatory. and maintain one’s mindfulness in a state that one’s Lord finds them where He is pleased with them and not one where he is displeased with them. To continue to progress in murāqabah one must be consistent for a lengthy period of time to experience the aforementioned benefits. Although it may prove difficult in the beginning, one may always regain their state of mindfulness after recognizing a change from their initial state. Here are the Maqāmāt in which Sufis have broadly categorised their journey of ascension; the categorization is an arbitrary one, each level is further divided into several sublevels.
During the process of enlightenment, some stages overlap each other. Fanāʾ Fī al-Shaykh - Become One or Annihilated in or with the Master, Teacher or Murshid Fanāʾ Fī al-Rasūl - Become One and Annihilated in or with Muhammad Fanāʾ Fī al-Qurʾān- Become One and Annihilated with or in Quran and its commandments. Fanāʾ Fī ʾilāh - Become One and Annihilated in or with God; this is the starting level of meditation. A person who starts meditation enters a somnolent or sleep state. With the passage of time, the person goes into a state between sleep and wakefulness; the person can remember seeing something but not what it is. With continuous practice of meditation, the sleepiness from meditation decreases; when the conscious mind is not suppressed by sleep and is able to focus, the person can receive the spiritual knowledge from his subconscious mind. At this stage, the person is unable to see or hear anything but is able to experience or perceive it; when Idrāk becomes deep, it is exhibited as sight. The stage of Wurūd starts when somnolence is at its minimum.
As soon as the mind is focused, the spiritual eye is activated. The conscious mind is not used to see through the spiritual eye so concentration goes; the mind gets used to this kind of visions, the mental focus is sustained. With practice, the visions/experience becomes so deep that the person starts considering himself a part of the experience rather than considering himself an observer. Kashf or ʾlhām is the stage of starting to get information that most other people are unable to observe. In the beginning, this occurs without personal control. With practice, the mind gets so energized. A person can get any information about any event/person at will; this stage is broadly categorized according to activation of the senses: The person c
Silsila is an Arabic word meaning chain, connection used in various senses of lineage. In particular, it may be translated as " order" or "spiritual genealogy" where one Sufi Master transfers his khilfat to his spiritual descendant; every tariqa has a silsila. Silsilas originated with the initiation of Sufi orders which dates back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Most silsilas trace their lineage back to his cousin and son-in-law Ali bin Abi Talib such as the Qadiriyyah, the Chishtiyya, the Noorbakhshia and the Suhrawardiyyah orders. However, other silsilas owe their ancestry to other caliphs such as the Naqshbandiyyah order of South Asia is through the Caliph Abu Bakr. Centuries ago, Arabia did not have schools for formal education. Students went to masters. Upon completion of their study, they received ijazah which acted as the certification of their education. A graduate acted as a master having his own students or disciples; this chain of masters was known as lineage. Somewhat analogous to the modern situation where degrees are only accepted from recognized universities, the certification of a master having a verifiable chain of masters was the only criteria which accorded legitimacy: "Theoretically one can only receive instruction in these practices from an authorised teacher of the tariqa, only after pledging a vow of obedience to this shaikh.
The shaikh gives his disciples permission to practice the tariqa: he may authorise one or more of them to teach it to others, i.e. appoint them as his khalîfa. In this way a hierarchically ordered; each shaikh can show a chain of authorities for the tarekat he teaches, his silsila or spiritual genealogy. The silsila reaches back from one's own teacher up to the Prophet, with whom all tarekats claim to have originated although there have been modifications along the way. A Sufi's silsila is his badge of source of legitimation. All Hafiz, Qaries are given a chain of credible narrators linking to the Islamic prophet Mohammad. For Muslims, the Chain of Authenticity is an important way to ascertain the validity of a saying of Mohammad; the Chain of Authenticity relates the chain of people who have heard and repeated the saying of Mohammad through the generations, until that particular Hadith was written down. A similar idea appears in Sufism in regards to the lineage and teachings of Sufi masters and students.
This string of master to student is called a silsila meaning “chain”. The focus of the silsila like the Chain of Authenticity is to trace the lineage of a Sufi order to Mohammad through his Companions: Ali bin Abi Talib, Abu Bakr, Umar; when a Sufi order can be traced back to Mohammad through one of the three aforementioned Companions the lineage is called the Silsilat al-Dhahab or the “Chain of Gold”. In early Islamic history, gold was an desired prize and was used for currency, to show wealth and power, for scientific purposes including medicine. Thus, gold was the most desired commodity in the material world, just as the Golden Chain is the most desired commodity of Sufi orders; when Sufism began in the second century of Islam, according to some experts, it was an individual choice. This included removing oneself from society and other people in general; as Sufism became a greater movement in Islam, individual Sufis began to group together. These groups were based on a common master; this common master began spiritual lineage, a connection between a Sufi order in which there is a common spiritual heritage based on the master’s teachings called tariq or tariqah.
As the number of Sufi orders grew, there arose a need for legitimacy of the orders to establish each order was following the teachings of Mohammad directly. If a Sufi order is able to trace its student to master lineage back to one of the three major caliphs who provide a straight link to Mohammad the order is considered righteous and directly following the teachings of Mohammad. In possessing the Golden Chain, a Sufi order is able to establish their order prominently in the mystical world. Shias use it idiomatically to mean a lineage of authentic Masters. Among Chinese Muslims, the concept of silsilah has developed into that of a menhuan: a Chinese-style Sufi order whose leaders trace a lineage chain going back to the order's founder in China, beyond, toward his teachers in Arabia; the term is used as the title of royal family trees and family records of the rulers in the palaces of Java. Tariqa Isnad, Islamic System of Certification Ehrenkreutz, A. S. "ḎH̲ahab." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second edition.
Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2010. Brill Online. Augustana. 8 April 2010 "Silsila." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs
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