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Rifa`i (also Rufa`i, Rifa`iyya, Rifa`iya, Arabic, الرفاعية) is
Sufi order (tariqa) founded by Ahmed ar-
developed in the Lower Iraq marshlands between
Wasit and Basra. The
Rifa'iyya had its greatest following until the 15th century C.E. when
it was overtaken by the Qadiri order. The order is said to wield
particular influence in Cairo, Egypt.
Dhikr of Rifa'iyya Brotherhood.
Rifa'i order is most commonly found in the
Middle East but
also in Turkey, the
Balkans and South Asia.
5 External links
Records indicate Ahmad al-
Rifa'i inherited his maternal uncle's,
Mansur al-Bata'ihi, position of headship to his religious community in
1145-6 C.E. At this time many followed his activities in and around
the village of Umm 'Ubayda. In the Lower Iraq marshlands, the
Rifa'i order developed and gained notice throughout the 12th century
C.E. due to its extravagant practices.
Rifa'i expanded into Egypt and
In 1268 C.E., Abu Muhammad '
Ali al-Hariri formed the Syrian branch of
the order which became known as the Haririya. The
further popularity in Egypt and Turkey. In the 15th century C.E., its
popularity waned and the popularity of the
Qadiriyya order rose.
Subsequently, interest in the
Rifa'i order centered within Arab
The order has a presence in Syria and Egypt and plays a noticeable
Kosovo and Albania. The
Tariqa blends worship styles or
ideas with those of other orders that predominate in the local area.
For example, the group established by Ken'an
reflects elements of the Mevlevi Order, while more rural Turkish
Rifa'is have absorbed significant influence from the Alevi/Bektashi
The order spread into
Anatolia during the 14th and 15th Centuries and
ibn Battuta noted
Rifa'i 'tekkes' in central Anatolia.[citation
needed] The order however, began to make progress in
Turkey during the
17th to 19th centuries when tekkes began to be found in Istanbul. The
order spread into the
Balkans (especially Bosnia, where they are still
present), modern day
Albania and Kosovo.
In the United States and Canada tekkes (lodges) are found in Staten
Toronto that were under the guidance of the late Shaykh
Xhemali Shehu (d.2004) of Prizren, Kosovo. Each of these orders is
ultimately Turkish in origin.
The original Rifai order has many imitators. For example, the Islamic
Sufi Order of Qadiri Rifai
Tariqa of the Americas has been a legally
registered non-profit organization since 1996 although in essence it
is not a duly recognized entity among real Sufis. This order has
students and branches in Australia, Germany, UK, South Africa, and
Mauritius. The self-proclaimed head of the order,
Taner Ansari travels worldwide attending conferences, giving
discourses, and has written many books. The order has
its center established in Nassau, New York.
During heightened states of
Rifa'i followers were noted
to have eaten live snakes, entered ovens filled with fire and ridden
on lions. Followers were also noted to have practiced charming
snakes and thrusting iron spikes and glass into their bodies.This
is false practices the Practise and base of the
Tariqa is knowledge
according to the Quran and Sunnah
It is uncertain whether or not Ahmed ar-
Rifa'i instituted the
practices that helped solidify the
Rifa'i order's massive popularity.
While some scholars attribute these practices to al-Rifa'i, other
scholars contend he was unaware of these practices and that these were
introduced after the Mongol invasion.
^ Bosworth 2010.
^ Margoliouth 1997, pp. 38-39.
^ Trimingham 1998, p. 39.
^ Trimingham 1998, p. 40.
^ Bosworth 2010.
^ "501c3Lookup - ISLAMIC SUFI ORDER OF QADIRI RIFAI TARIQA OF THE
^ "Sufism, Sufis, and
Sufi Orders: Sufism's Many Paths".
islam.uga.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
^ Trimingham 1998, p. 38.
^ Bosworth 1997.
^ Trimingham 1998, p. 37.
^ Margoliouth 1997.
Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1997). Rifa'iyya. The Encyclopaedia of
Islam. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-10422-8.
Margoliouth, D.S (1997). Bosworth, Clifford Edmund, ed. al-
'Ali, Abu 'l-Abbas. The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill.
Trimingham, Beirut J. Spencer (19 May 1998). The
Sufi Orders in Islam.
Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-802823-9.
Tariqa Rifa'iyya - Italy