SUFISM or TAṣAWWUF (
Arabic : التصوف), which is often
defined as "
Islamic mysticism ," "the inward dimension of
or "the phenomenon of mysticism within
Islam ," is a mystical trend
Islam "characterized ... values, ritual practices, doctrines and
institutions" which began very early on in
Islamic history and which
represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central
crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Although the
overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern, have been
adherents of Sunni
Islam , there nevertheless also developed certain
Sufi practice within the ambit of
Islam during the
late medieval period.
Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis" (/ˈsuːfi/
; صُوفِيّ ; ṣūfī), an
Arabic word which is believed by
historians to have originally indicated the "woollen clothes (ṣūf)
or rough garb" worn by the early
Islamic mystics. Historically, they
have often belonged to different ṭuruq or "orders"—congregations
formed around a grand master referred to as a mawla who traces a
direct chain of teachers back to the
These orders meet for spiritual sessions (majalis) in meeting places
known as zawiyas , khanqahs , or tekke. They strive for ihsan
(perfection of worship) as detailed in a hadith : "
Ihsan is to worship
Allah as if you see Him; if you can't see Him, surely He sees you."
Rumi stated: "The
Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like
Abu Bakr ."
Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil , the primary perfect man
who exemplifies the morality of God, and regard
Muhammad as their
leader and prime spiritual guide.
Sufi orders trace many of their original precepts from Muhammad
through his son-in-law
Ali with the notable exception of the
Naqshbandi , who claim to trace their origins from
the first Rashid Caliph,
Abu Bakr . As the orders are majorly Sunni,
most of them follow one of the four madhhabs (jurisprudential schools
of thought) of Sunni
Islam and maintain a Sunni aqidah (creed).
Classical Sufis were characterized by their asceticism , especially
by their attachment to dhikr , the practice of remembrance of God,
often performed after prayers. They gained adherents among a number
Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad
Caliphate (661–750). and have spanned several continents and
cultures over a millennium, originally expressing their beliefs in
Arabic before spreading into Persian , Turkish , and
Urdu among dozens
of other languages. According to
William Chittick , "In a broad
Sufism can be described as the interiorization, and
Islamic faith and practice."
* 1 Terminology
* 2 Etymology
* 3 History
* 3.1 Origins
* 3.2 As an
* 3.3 Formalization of doctrine
* 3.4 Growth of influence
* 3.5 Present
* 4 Aims and objectives
* 4.1 Teachings
Sufi beliefs about
* 4.4 Traditional
Islamic thought and
* 4.5 Traditional and Neo-
* 5 Theoretical perspectives
* 5.1 Contributions to other domains of scholarship
* 6 Devotional practices of Sufis
* 7 Saints
* 7.1 Visitation
* 7.2 Miracles
* 8 Persecution
* 9 Prominent Sufis
* 9.1 Rabi\'a al-\'Adawiyya
Junayd of Baghdad
* 9.8 Abul Hasan ash-
* 10 Major
* 10.2 Chishti
* 10.4 Mawlawiyya
* 10.8 Qadiri
* 11 Symbols associated with the
* 12 Reception
* 12.1 Perception outside
* 12.2 Influence on
* 13 In popular culture
* 13.1 Films
* 13.2 Music
* 13.3 Literature
* 14 Gallery
* 15 See also
* 16 References
* 17 Bibliography
* 18 External links
Sufism came into being, not by
Islamic texts or Sufis
themselves but by British Orientalists who wanted to create an
artificial divide between what they found attractive in Islamic
Islamic spirituality) and the negative stereotypes
that were present in Britain about Islam. These British orientalists,
therefore, fabricated a divide that was previously non-existent. The
Sufism has, however, persisted especially in the Western world
Muslims have used the
Arabic word taṣawwuf to
identify the practice of Sufis. Mainstream scholars of
Sufism as the name for the inner or esoteric dimension of
Islam which is supported and complemented by outward or exoteric
practices of Islam, such as
Sharia . In this view, "it is absolutely
necessary to be a Muslim" to be a true Sufi, because Sufism's "methods
are inoperative without" Muslim "affiliation". However, Islamic
scholars themselves are not by any means in agreement about the
meaning of the word "sufi".
Sufis themselves claim that Tasawwuf is an aspect of
Islam similar to
Sharia, inseparable from
Islam and an integral part of
and practice. Classical
Sufi scholars have defined Tasawwuf as "a
science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it
away from all else but God". Traditional Sufis such as Bayazid
Haji Bektash Veli ,
Junayd of Baghdad , and
Al-Ghazali , define
Sufism as purely based upon the tenets of Islam
and the teachings of Muhammad.
The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool
(ṣūf)", and Encyclopaedia of
Islam calls other etymological
hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally
associated with ascetics and mystics.
Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun
both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic
Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā
(صفاء), which in
Arabic means "purity". These two explanations
were combined by the
Sufi al-Rudhabari (d. 322 AH), who said, "The
Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity".
Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl
aṣ-ṣuffah ("the people of the bench"), 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.
History of Sufism
Ali is considered to be the "Father of Sufism" in
Sufi orders are based on the bayʿah (pledge of allegiance) that was
Muhammad by his
Sahabah . By pledging allegiance to Muhammad,
Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God. According
Islamic belief, by pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahaba have
pledged allegiance to God.
Verily, those who give Bai'âh (pledge) to you (O Muhammad) they are
giving Bai'âh (pledge) to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their
hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own
harm, and whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He
will bestow on him a great reward. -
Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah (pledging allegiance) to a
Sufi shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to
therefore a spiritual connection between the seeker and
established. It is through
Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about,
understand and connect with God.
Ali is regarded as one of the major
figures amongst the Sahaba who have directly pledged allegiance to
Muhammad and Sufis maintain that through Ali, knowledge about Muhammad
and a connection with
Muhammad may be attained. Such a concept may be
understood by the hadith, which Sufis regard to be authentic, in which
Muhammad said, "I am the city of knowledge and
Ali is its gate".
Eminent Sufis such as
Ali Hujwiri refer to
Ali as having a very high
ranking in Tasawwuf. Furthermore,
Junayd of Baghdad regarded
sheikh of the principals and practices of Tasawwuf.
Sufism hold that in its early stages of development
Sufism effectively referred to nothing more than the internalization
of Islam. According to one perspective, it is directly from the
Qur'an, constantly recited, meditated, and experienced, that Sufism
proceeded, in its origin and its development. Other practitioners
have held that
Sufism is the strict emulation of the way of
through which the heart's connection to the Divine is strengthened.
Modern academics and scholars have rejected early orientalist
theories asserting a non-
Islamic origin of Sufism, The consensus is
that it emerged in
Western Asia . Many have asserted
Sufism to be
unique within the confines of the
Islamic religion and contend that
Sufism developed from people like
Bayazid Bastami , who, in his utmost
reverence to the sunnah , refused to eat a watermelon because he did
not find any proof that
Muhammad ever ate it. According to the late
Jami , Abd-
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (died
c. 716) was the first person to be called a "Sufi".
Important contributions in writing are attributed to Uwais al-Qarani
Hasan of Basra ,
Harith al-Muhasibi and
Said ibn al-Musayyib .
Ruwaym , from the second generation of Sufis in Baghdad, was also an
influential early figure, as was
Junayd of Baghdad ; a number of
early practitioners of
Sufism were disciples of one of the two.
Sufism had a long history already before the subsequent
Sufi teachings into devotional orders
(tarîqât) in the early Middle Ages. The
Naqshbandi order is a
notable exception to general rule of orders tracing their spiritual
lineage through Muhammad's grandsons, as it traces the origin of its
Muhammad to the first
Abu Bakr .
Over the years
Sufi orders have influenced and have been adopted by
various Shi'i movements, especially Isma\'ilism , which led to the
Safaviyya order's conversion to
Islam from Sunni
Islam and the
spread of Twelverism throughout Iran.
Sufi orders include Ba
Burhaniyya , Chishti ,
Naqshbandi , Ni\'matullāhī ,
Qalandariyya , Rifa\'i , Sarwari Qadiri ,
Shadhiliyya , Suhrawardiyya
Tijaniyyah , Zinda Shah Madariya , and others.
AS AN ISLAMIC DISCIPLINE
Dancing dervishes, by
Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād (c. 1480/1490)
Existing in both Sunni and
Sufism is not a distinct sect,
as is sometimes erroneously assumed, but a method of approaching or
a way of understanding the religion, which strives to take the
regular practice of the religion to the "supererogatory level"
through simultaneously "fulfilling ... religious duties" and finding
a "way and a means of striking a root through the 'narrow gate' in the
depth of the soul out into the domain of the pure arid unimprisonable
Spirit which itself opens out on to the Divinity."
As a mystic and ascetic aspect of Islam, it is considered as the part
Islamic teaching that deals with the purification of the inner
self. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis
strive to obtain direct experience of
God by making use of "intuitive
and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use. Tasawwuf is
regarded as a science of the soul that has always been an integral
part of Orthodox Islam. In his Al-Risala al-Safadiyya, ibn Taymiyyah
describes the Sufis as those who belong to the path of the Sunna and
represent it in their teachings and writings.
Sufi inclinations and his reverence for Sufis like
Abdul-Qadir Gilani can also be seen in his hundred-page commentary on
Futuh al-ghayb, covering only five of the seventy-eight sermons of the
book, but showing that he considered tasawwuf essential within the
life of the
In his commentary, Ibn Taymiyya stresses that the primacy of the
Sharia forms the soundest tradition in tasawwuf, and to argue this
point he lists over a dozen early masters, as well as more
contemporary shaykhs like his fellow Hanbalis , al-Ansari al-Harawi
and Abdul-Qadir, and the latter's own shaykh, Hammad al-Dabbas the
upright. He cites the early shaykhs (shuyukh al-salaf) such as
Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ ,
Ibrahim ibn Adham , Ma`ruf al-Karkhi ,
Sirri Saqti ,
Junayd of Baghdad , and others of the early teachers, as
Abdul-Qadir Gilani , Hammad, Abu al-Bayan and others of the
later masters— that they do not permit the followers of the Sufi
path to depart from the divinely legislated command and prohibition.
Al-Ghazali narrates in Al-Munqidh min al-dalal:
The vicissitudes of life, family affairs and financial constraints
engulfed my life and deprived me of the congenial solitude. The heavy
odds confronted me and provided me with few moments for my pursuits.
This state of affairs lasted for ten years but wherever I had some
spare and congenial moments I resorted to my intrinsic proclivity.
During these turbulent years, numerous astonishing and indescribable
secrets of life were unveiled to me. I was convinced that the group of
Aulia (holy mystics) is the only truthful group who follow the right
path, display best conduct and surpass all sages in their wisdom and
insight. They derive all their overt or covert behaviour from the
illumining guidance of the holy Prophet, the only guidance worth quest
FORMALIZATION OF DOCTRINE
Sufi in Ecstasy in a Landscape. Iran,
Isfahan (c. 1650-1660)
In the eleventh-century, Sufism, which had previously been a less
"codified" trend in
Islamic piety, began to be "ordered and
crystallized" into orders which have continued until the present day.
All these orders were founded by a major
Islamic saint , and some of
the largest and most widespread included the
Abdul-Qadir Gilani ), the Rifa\'iyya (after Ahmed al-Rifa\'i ), the
Moinuddin Chishti ), the
Shadiliyya (after Abul
Shadhili ), and the Naqshbandiyya (after Baha-ud-Din
Naqshband Bukhari ). Contrary to popular perception in the West,
however, neither the founders of these orders nor their followers ever
considered themselves to be anything other than orthodox Sunni
Muslims, and in fact all of these orders were attached to one of the
four orthodox legal schools of Sunni Islam. Thus, the Qadiriyya
Hanbali , with its founder,
Abdul-Qadir Gilani , being a
Hanbali jurist; the Chishtiyya was
Hanafi ; the Shadiliyya
Maliki ; and the Naqshbandiyya order was
Hanafi . Thus, it
is precisely because it is historically proven that "many of the most
eminent defenders of
Islamic orthodoxy, such as
Abdul-Qadir Gilani ,
Ghazali , and the Sultan Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn (
Saladin ) were connected
with Sufism" that the popular studies of writers like
Idris Shah are
continuously disregarded by scholars as conveying the fallacious image
that "Sufism" is somehow distinct from "Islam."
Towards the end of the first millennium, a number of manuals began to
be written summarizing the doctrines of
Sufism and describing some
Sufi practices. Two of the most famous of these are now
available in English translation: the
Kashf al-Mahjûb of
and the Risâla of
Two of al-
Ghazali 's greatest treatises are the Revival of Religious
Sciences and what he termed "its essence", the Kimiya-yi sa\'ādat .
He argued that
Sufism originated from the
Qur'an and thus was
compatible with mainstream
Islamic thought and did not in any way
Islamic Law—being instead necessary to its complete
fulfillment. Ongoing efforts by both traditionally trained Muslim
scholars and Western academics are making al-Ghazali's works more
widely available in English translation, allowing English-speaking
readers to judge for themselves the compatibility of
Islamic Law and
Sufi doctrine. Several sections of the Revival of Religious Sciences
have been published in translation by the
Islamic Texts Society. An
abridged translation (from an
Urdu translation) of The Alchemy of
Happiness was published by Claud Field (ISBN 978-0935782288 ) in 1910.
It has been translated in full by
Muhammad Asim Bilal (2001).
GROWTH OF INFLUENCE
Mughal miniature dated from the early 1620s depicting the
Jahangir (d. 1627) preferring a
Sufi saint to his
King of England
King of England
James I (d. 1625); the picture is
inscribed: "Though outwardly shahs stand before him, he fixes his
gazes on dervishes."
Sufism became "an incredibly important part of Islam"
and "one of the most widespread and omnipresent aspects of Muslim
Islamic civilization from the early medieval period onwards,
when it began to permeate nearly all major aspects of Sunni Islamic
life in regions stretching from
Iraq to the
The rise of
Islamic civilization coincides strongly with the spread
Sufi philosophy in Islam. The spread of
Sufism has been considered
a definitive factor in the spread of Islam, and in the creation of
Islamic cultures, especially in Africa and Asia. The
Senussi tribes of
Libya and the
Sudan are one of the strongest
adherents of Sufism.
Sufi poets and philosophers such as Khoja Akhmet
Rumi , and
Attar of Nishapur (c. 1145 – c. 1221) greatly
enhanced the spread of
Islamic culture in
Central Asia ,
South Asia .
Sufism also played a role in creating and
propagating the culture of the Ottoman world, and in resisting
European imperialism in North Africa and South Asia.
Between the 13th and 16th centuries,
Sufism produced a flourishing
intellectual culture throughout the
Islamic world, a "Golden Age"
whose physical artifacts survive. In many places a person or group
would endow a waqf to maintain a lodge (known variously as a zawiya ,
khanqah , or tekke) to provide a gathering place for
Sufi adepts, as
well as lodging for itinerant seekers of knowledge. The same system of
endowments could also pay for a complex of buildings, such as that
Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, including a lodge for
Sufi seekers, a hospice with kitchens where these seekers could serve
the poor and/or complete a period of initiation, a library, and other
structures. No important domain in the civilization of
Sufism in this period.
Sufism continued to remain a crucial part of daily
Islamic life until
the twentieth century , when its historical influence upon Islamic
civilization began to be undermined by modernism as well as be
combated by the rise of
Timothy Winter has remarked: " classical, mainstream, medieval Sunni
Islam ... 'orthodox Islam' would not ... without Sufism," and that
the classical belief in
Sufism being an essential component of Islam
has only weakened in some quarters of the
Islamic world "a generation
or two ago" with the rise of
Salafism . In the modern world, the
classical interpretation of Sunni orthodoxy , which sees in
essential dimension of
Islam alongside the disciplines of
jurisprudence and theology , is represented by institutions such as
Al-Azhar University and
Zaytuna College , with Al-Azhar's
current Grand Imam
Ahmed el-Tayeb recently defining "Sunni orthodoxy"
as being a follower "of any of the four schools of thought (
Hanbali ) and ... of the
Sufism of Imam Junayd
Baghdad in doctrines, manners and purification." Mawlānā
Rumi 's tomb,
Konya , Turkey
Sufi orders include
Bektashi Order ,
Mevlevi Order ,
Ba \'Alawiyya ,
Chishti Order ,
Naqshbandi , Mujaddidi ,
Qalandariyya , Sarwari
Ashrafi Family , Saifiah (Naqshbandiah),
Uwaisi . The relationship of
Sufi orders to modern societies is
usually defined by their relationship to governments.
Persia together have been a center for many
and orders. The
Bektashi were closely affiliated with the Ottoman
Janissaries and is the heart of Turkey's large and mostly liberal
Alevi population. It has spread westwards to
Greece , Albania
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia ,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina ,
and, more recently, to the United States via Albania.
Sufism is popular in such African countries as
Morocco , and
Senegal , where it is seen as a mystical
expression of Islam.
Sufism is traditional in
Morocco but has seen a
growing revival with the renewal of
Sufism under contemporary
spiritual teachers such as
Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi . Mbacke
suggests that one reason
Sufism has taken hold in
Senegal is because
it can accommodate local beliefs and customs, which tend toward the
The life of the Algerian
Abdelkader El Djezairi is
instructive in this regard. Notable as well are the lives of Amadou
El Hadj Umar Tall in
West Africa , and
Sheikh Mansur and
Imam Shamil in the
Caucasus . In the twentieth century, some Muslims
Sufism a superstitious religion that holds back Islamic
achievement in the fields of science and technology.
A number of Westerners have embarked with varying degrees of success
on the path of Sufism. One of the first to return to
Europe as an
official representative of a
Sufi order, and with the specific purpose
Sufism in Western Europe, was the Swedish -born wandering
Ivan Aguéli .
René Guénon , the French scholar, became a Sufi
in the early twentieth century and was known as
Sheikh Abdul Wahid
Yahya. His manifold writings defined the practice of
Sufism as the
Islam but also pointed to the universality of its message.
Other spiritualists, such as
George Gurdjieff , may or may not conform
to the tenets of
Sufism as understood by orthodox Muslims.
Sufi teachers who have been active in the West in
recent years include
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen ,
Inayat Khan , Nazim
Javad Nurbakhsh ,
Bulent Rauf ,
Irina Tweedie , Idries
Muzaffer Ozak ,
Nahid Angha , and
Ali Kianfar .
Sufi academics and publishers include Llewellyn
Nuh Ha Mim Keller , Abdullah
Nooruddeen Durkee , Waheed
Omer Tarin , Ahmed abdu r Rashid and
Timothy Winter .
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The tomb of
Rukn-e-Alam located in
Multan , Pakistan. Known for
Multan is often called the City of Saints.
Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to
hope to become close to
Paradise —after death and after the
Last Judgment —Sufis also believe that it is possible to draw closer
God and to more fully embrace the divine presence in this life.
The chief aim of all Sufis is to seek the pleasing of
God by working
to restore within themselves the primordial state of fitra ,
described in the Quran. In this state nothing one does defies God, and
all is undertaken with the single motivation of ishq .
To Sufis, the outer law consists of rules pertaining to worship,
transactions, marriage, judicial rulings, and criminal law—what is
often referred to, broadly, as "qanun ". The inner law of Sufism
consists of rules about repentance from sin, the purging of
contemptible qualities and evil traits of character, and adornment
with virtues and good character.
Entrance of Sidi Boumediene
Algeria , built
to honor the 12th-century
To the Sufi, it is the transmission of divine light from the
teacher's heart to the heart of the student, rather than worldly
knowledge, that allows the adept to progress. They further believe
that the teacher should attempt inerrantly to follow the Divine Law.
Moojan Momen "one of the most important doctrines of
Sufism is the concept of al-Insan al-Kamil "the Perfect Man". This
doctrine states that there will always exist upon the earth a "
(Pole or Axis of the Universe)—a man who is the perfect channel of
God to man and in a state of wilayah (sanctity, being under
the protection of Allah). The concept of the
Qutb is similar to
that of the Shi\'i Imam . However, this belief puts
"direct conflict" with
Shia Islam, since both the
Qutb (who for most
Sufi orders is the head of the order) and the Imam fulfill the role of
"the purveyor of spiritual guidance and of Allah's grace to mankind".
The vow of obedience to the Shaykh or
Qutb which is taken by Sufis is
considered incompatible with devotion to the Imam".
As a further example, the prospective adherent of the Mevlevi Order
would have been ordered to serve in the kitchens of a hospice for the
poor for 1001 days prior to being accepted for spiritual instruction,
and a further 1,001 days in solitary retreat as a precondition of
completing that instruction. The Darbar Sharif of Shams Ali
Qalandar , located in
Hujra Shah Muqeem ,
Some teachers, especially when addressing more general audiences, or
mixed groups of
Muslims and non-Muslims, make extensive use of parable
, allegory , and metaphor . Although approaches to teaching vary
Sufism as a whole is primarily concerned
with direct personal experience, and as such has sometimes been
compared to other, non-
Islamic forms of mysticism (e.g., as in the
Hossein Nasr ).
Sufi believe that to reach the highest levels of success in
Sufism typically requires that the disciple live with and serve the
teacher for a long period of time. An example is the folk story about
Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari
Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari , who gave his name to the Naqshbandi
Order. He is believed to have served his first teacher, Sayyid
Muhammad Baba As-Samasi, for 20 years, until as-Samasi died. He is
said to then have served several other teachers for lengthy periods of
time. He is said to have helped the poorer members of the community
for many years and after this concluded his teacher directed him to
care for animals cleaning their wounds, and assisting them.
His aspiration preceded all other aspirations, his existence
preceded nothingness, and his name preceded the Pen, because he
existed before all peoples. There is not in the horizons, beyond the
horizons or below the horizons, anyone more elegant, more noble, more
knowing, more just, more fearsome, or more compassionate, than the
subject of this tale. He is the leader of created beings, the one
"whose name is glorious Ahmad".
Mansur Al-Hallaj ”
Muhammad is an exceptionally strong practice within
Sufism. Sufis have historically revered
Muhammad as the prime
personality of spiritual greatness. The
Sufi poet Saadi Shirazi
stated, "He who chooses a path contrary to that of the prophet , shall
never reach the destination. O Saadi, do not think that one can treat
that way of purity except in the wake of the chosen one ." Rumi
attributes his self-control and abstinence from worldly desires as
qualities attained by him through the guidance of Muhammad. Rumi
states, "I 'sewed' my two eyes shut from this world and the next –
this I learned from Muhammad."
Ibn Arabi regards
Muhammad as the
greatest man and states, "Muhammad's wisdom is uniqueness (fardiya)
because he is the most perfect existent creature of this human
species. For this reason, the command began with him and was sealed
with him. He was a Prophet while Adam was between water and clay, and
his elemental structure is the Seal of the Prophets." Attar of
Nishapur claimed that he praised
Muhammad in such a manner that was
not done before by any poet, in his book the Ilahi-nama. Fariduddin
Attar stated, "
Muhammad is the exemplar to both worlds, the guide of
the descendants of Adam. He is the sun of creation, the moon of the
celestial spheres, the all-seeing eye...The seven heavens and the
eight gardens of paradise were created for him, he is both the eye and
the light in the light of our eyes." Sufis have historically stressed
the importance of Muhammad's perfection and his ability to intercede.
The persona of
Muhammad has historically been and remains an integral
and critical aspect of
Sufi belief and practice.
Bayazid Bastami is
recorded to have been so devoted to the sunnah of
Muhammad that he
refused to eat a watermelon due to the fact that he could not
Muhammad ever ate one. The name of
Arabic calligraphy. Sufis believe the name of
Muhammad is holy and
In the 13th century, a
Sufi poet from
Al-Busiri , wrote the
al-Kawākib ad-Durrīya fī Madḥ Khayr al-Barīya (The Celestial
Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation) commonly referred to as
Qaṣīdat al-Burda ("Poem of the Mantle"), in which he extensively
praised Muhammad. This poem is still widely recited and sung amongst
Sufi groups all over the world.
Sufi Beliefs About Muhammad
According to Ibn Arabi,
Islam is the best religion because of
Ibn Arabi regards that the first entity that was brought
into existence is the reality or essence of
Ibn Arabi regards
Muhammad as the supreme human
being and master of all creatures.
Muhammad is therefore the primary
role-model for human beings to aspire to emulate.
Ibn Arabi believes
that God's attributes and names are manifested in this world and that
the most complete and perfect display of these divine attributes and
names are seen in Muhammad.
Ibn Arabi believes that one may see God
in the mirror of Muhammad, meaning that the divine attributes of God
are manifested through Muhammad.
Ibn Arabi maintains that
the best proof of
God and by knowing
Muhammad one knows God. Ibn
Arabi also maintains that
Muhammad is the master of all of humanity in
both this world and the afterlife. In this view,
Islam is the best
Muhammad is Islam.
Sufis maintain that
Al-Insān al-Kāmil . Sufis believe
that aid and support may be received from Muhammad, even today. Sufis
Muhammad listens to them when they call upon him. Sufis
strive towards having a relationship with
Muhammad and seeking to see
Muhammad in a dream is a common
SUFISM AND ISLAMIC LAW
Salim Chishti ,
Fatehpur Sikri ,
Uttar Pradesh ,
Sufis believe the sharia (exoteric "canon"), tariqa (esoteric
"order") and haqiqa ("truth") are mutually interdependent. Sufism
leads the adept, called salik or "wayfarer", in his sulûk or "road"
through different stations (maqaam ) until he reaches his goal, the
perfect tawhid , the existential confession that
God is One. Ibn
Arabi says, "When we see someone in this Community who claims to be
able to guide others to God, but is remiss in but one rule of the
Sacred Law—even if he manifests miracles that stagger the
mind—asserting that his shortcoming is a special dispensation for
him, we do not even turn to look at him, for such a person is not a
sheikh, nor is he speaking the truth, for no one is entrusted with the
God Most High save one in whom the ordinances of the Sacred
Law are preserved. (Jamiʿ karamat al-awliyaʾ)".
Amman Message , a detailed statement issued by 200 leading
Islamic scholars in 2005 in
Amman , and adopted by the
political and temporal leaderships at the Organisation of the Islamic
Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005, and by six other
Islamic scholarly assemblies including the International
Fiqh Academy of Jeddah, in July 2006, specifically recognized
the validity of
Sufism as a part of Islam—however the definition of
Sufism can vary drastically between different traditions (what may be
intended is simple tazkiah as opposed to the various manifestations of
Sufism around the
TRADITIONAL ISLAMIC THOUGHT AND SUFISM
The literature of
Sufism emphasizes highly subjective matters that
resist outside observation, such as the subtle states of the heart.
Often these resist direct reference or description, with the
consequence that the authors of various
Sufi treatises took recourse
to allegorical language. For instance, much
Sufi poetry refers to
Islam expressly forbids. This usage of indirect
language and the existence of interpretations by people who had no
Sufism led to doubts being cast over the validity
Sufism as a part of Islam. Also, some groups emerged that
considered themselves above the
Sharia and discussed
Sufism as a
method of bypassing the rules of
Islam in order to attain salvation
directly. This was disapproved of by traditional scholars.
For these and other reasons, the relationship between traditional
Islamic scholars and
Sufism is complex and a range of scholarly
Islam has been the norm. Some scholars, such as
Al-Ghazali , helped its propagation while other scholars opposed it.
William Chittick explains the position of
Sufism and Sufis this way:
In short, Muslim scholars who focused their energies on understanding
the normative guidelines for the body came to be known as jurists, and
those who held that the most important task was to train the mind in
achieving correct understanding came to be divided into three main
schools of thought: theology, philosophy, and Sufism. This leaves us
with the third domain of human existence, the spirit. Most
devoted their major efforts to developing the spiritual dimensions of
the human person came to be known as Sufis.
TRADITIONAL AND NEO-SUFI GROUPS
The mausoleum (gongbei ) of
Ma Laichi in
Linxia City ,
Sufi orders, which are in majority, emphasize the
Sufism as a spiritual discipline within Islam. Therefore, the
Islamic law) and the
Sunnah are seen as crucial
Sufi aspirant. One proof traditional orders assert is that
almost all the famous
Sufi masters of the past Caliphates were experts
Sharia and were renowned as people with great Iman (faith) and
excellent practice. Many were also Qadis (
Sharia law judges) in
courts. They held that
Sufism was never distinct from
Islam and to
fully comprehend and practice
Sufism one must be an observant Muslim.
"Neo-Sufism," "pseudo-Sufism," and "universal Sufism" are terms used
to denote modern, Western forms or appropriations of
Sufism that do
not require adherence to Shariah, or the Muslim faith. The terms are
not always accepted by those it is applied to. For example, the
Idries Shah has been described as a neo-Sufi
by the Gurdjieffian James Moore . The
Sufi Order in the West was
Inayat Khan , teaching the essential unity of all faiths,
and accepting members of all creeds.
Sufism Reoriented is an offshoot
of it charted by the syncretistic teacher
Meher Baba . The Golden Sufi
Center exists in England, Switzerland and the United States. It was
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee to continue the work of his teacher
Irina Tweedie , herself a practitioner of both
neo-Sufism. Other Western
Sufi organisations include the Sufi
Foundation of America and the
International Association of Sufism
International Association of Sufism .
Sufi practices may differ from traditional forms, for
instance having mixed-gender meetings and less emphasis on the Qur'an.
The works of
Al-Ghazali firmly defended the concepts of Sufism
Islamic scholars have recognized two major branches
within the practice of Sufism, and use this as one key to
differentiating among the approaches of different masters and
On the one hand there is the order from the signs to the Signifier
(or from the arts to the Artisan). In this branch, the seeker begins
by purifying the lower self of every corrupting influence that stands
in the way of recognizing all of creation as the work of God, as God's
active Self-disclosure or theophany. This is the way of Imam
Al-Ghazali and of the majority of the
On the other hand, there is the order from the Signifier to His
signs, from the Artisan to His works. In this branch the seeker
experiences divine attraction (jadhba ), and is able to enter the
order with a glimpse of its endpoint, of direct apprehension of the
Divine Presence towards which all spiritual striving is directed. This
does not replace the striving to purify the heart, as in the other
branch; it simply stems from a different point of entry into the path.
This is the way primarily of the masters of the
Contemporary scholars may also recognize a third branch, attributed
to the late Ottoman scholar
Said Nursi and explicated in his vast
Qur'an commentary called the
Risale-i Nur . This approach entails
strict adherence to the way of Muhammad, in the understanding that
this wont, or sunnah , proposes a complete devotional spirituality
adequate to those without access to a master of the
CONTRIBUTIONS TO OTHER DOMAINS OF SCHOLARSHIP
Sufism has contributed significantly to the elaboration of
theoretical perspectives in many domains of intellectual endeavor. For
instance, the doctrine of "subtle centers" or centers of subtle
cognition (known as
Lataif-e-sitta ) addresses the matter of the
awakening of spiritual intuition. In general, these subtle centers or
latâ'if are thought of as faculties that are to be purified
sequentially in order to bring the seeker's wayfaring to completion. A
concise and useful summary of this system from a living exponent of
this tradition has been published by
Muhammad Emin Er .
Sufi psychology has influenced many areas of thinking both within and
outside of Islam, drawing primarily upon three concepts. Ja\'far
al-Sadiq (both an imam in the
Shia tradition and a respected scholar
and link in chains of
Sufi transmission in all
Islamic sects) held
that human beings are dominated by a lower self called the nafs
(soul), a faculty of spiritual intuition called the qalb (heart), and
ruh (spirit). These interact in various ways, producing the spiritual
types of the tyrant (dominated by nafs), the person of faith and
moderation (dominated by the spiritual heart), and the person lost in
God (dominated by the ruh).
Of note with regard to the spread of
Sufi psychology in the West is
Robert Frager , a
Sufi teacher authorized in the
order. Frager was a trained psychologist, born in the United States,
who converted to
Islam in the course of his practice of
wrote extensively on
Sufism and psychology.
Sufi cosmology and
Sufi metaphysics are also noteworthy areas of
DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES OF SUFIS
Sufi gathering engaged in
The devotional practices of Sufis vary widely. This is because an
acknowledged and authorized master of the
Sufi path is in effect a
physician of the heart, able to diagnose the seeker's impediments to
knowledge and pure intention in serving God, and to prescribe to the
seeker a course of treatment appropriate to his or her maladies. The
Sufi scholars is that the seeker cannot self-diagnose,
and that it can be extremely harmful to undertake any of these
practices alone and without formal authorization.
Prerequisites to practice include rigorous adherence to
(ritual prayer in its five prescribed times each day, the fast of
Ramadan, and so forth). Additionally, the seeker ought to be firmly
grounded in supererogatory practices known from the life of Muhammad
(such as the "sunna prayers"). This is in accordance with the words,
attributed to God, of the following, a famous
Hadith Qudsi :
My servant draws near to Me through nothing I love more than that
which I have made obligatory for him. My servant never ceases drawing
near to Me through supererogatory works until I love him. Then, when I
love him, I am his hearing through which he hears, his sight through
which he sees, his hand through which he grasps, and his foot through
which he walks.
It is also necessary for the seeker to have a correct creed (Aqidah
), and to embrace with certainty its tenets. The seeker must also,
of necessity, turn away from sins, love of this world, the love of
company and renown, obedience to satanic impulse, and the promptings
of the lower self. (The way in which this purification of the heart is
achieved is outlined in certain books, but must be prescribed in
detail by a
Sufi master.) The seeker must also be trained to prevent
the corruption of those good deeds which have accrued to his or her
credit by overcoming the traps of ostentation, pride, arrogance, envy,
and long hopes (meaning the hope for a long life allowing us to mend
our ways later, rather than immediately, here and now).
Sufi practices, while attractive to some, are not a means for gaining
knowledge. The traditional scholars of
Sufism hold it as absolutely
axiomatic that knowledge of
God is not a psychological state generated
through breath control. Thus, practice of "techniques" is not the
cause, but instead the occasion for such knowledge to be obtained (if
at all), given proper prerequisites and proper guidance by a master of
the way. Furthermore, the emphasis on practices may obscure a far more
important fact: The seeker is, in a sense, to become a broken person,
stripped of all habits through the practice of (in the words of Imam
Al-Ghazali ) solitude, silence, sleeplessness, and hunger.
Magic may have also been a part of some
Sufi practices, notably in
India. The practice of magic intensified during the declining years
India when the
Sufi orders grew steadily in wealth and in
political influence while their spirituality gradually declined and
they concentrated on saint veneration, miracle working, magic and
Dhikr The name of
Allah as written on the
disciple's heart, according to the Sarwari Qadri Order
Dhikr is the remembrance of
Allah commanded in the Qur\'an for all
Muslims through a specific devotional act, such as the repetition of
divine names, supplications and aphorisms from hadith literature and
the Qur'an. More generally, dhikr takes a wide range and various
layers of meaning. This includes dhikr as any activity in which the
Muslim maintains awareness of Allah. To engage in dhikr is to practice
consciousness of the Divine Presence and love , or "to seek a state of
Qur'an refers to
Muhammad as the very embodiment of
Allah (65:10–11). Some types of dhikr are prescribed for
Muslims and do not require
Sufi initiation or the prescription of
Sufi master because they are deemed to be good for every seeker
under every circumstance.
Dhikr may slightly vary among each order. Some
engage in ritualized dhikr ceremonies, or sema .
Sema includes various
forms of worship such as: recitation , singing (the most well known
Qawwali music of the Indian subcontinent), instrumental
music , dance (most famously the
Sufi whirling of the
Mevlevi order ),
incense , meditation , ecstasy , and trance .
Sufi orders stress and place extensive reliance upon Dhikr. This
Dhikr is called
Dhikr-e-Qulb (invocation of
the heartbeats). The basic idea in this practice is to visualize the
Allah as having been written on the disciple's heart.
The practice of muraqaba can be likened to the practices of
meditation attested in many faith communities. The word muraqaba is
derived from the same root (r-q-b) occurring as one of the 99 Names of
God in the Qur\'an , al-Raqîb, meaning "the Vigilant" and attested in
verse 4:1 of the Qur\'an . Through muraqaba, a person watches over or
takes care of the spiritual heart, acquires knowledge about it, and
becomes attuned to the Divine Presence, which is ever vigilant.
While variation exists, one description of the practice within a
Naqshbandi lineage reads as follows:
He is to collect all of his bodily senses in concentration, and to
cut himself off from all preoccupation and notions that inflict
themselves upon the heart. And thus he is to turn his full
God Most High while saying three times: "Ilahî
anta maqsûdî wa-ridâka matlûbî—my God, you are my Goal and Your
good pleasure is what I seek". Then he brings to his heart the Name of
the Essence—Allâh—and as it courses through his heart he remains
attentive to its meaning, which is "Essence without likeness". The
seeker remains aware that He is Present, Watchful, Encompassing of
all, thereby exemplifying the meaning of his saying (may
God bless him
and grant him peace): "
God as though you see Him, for if you
do not see Him, He sees you". And likewise the prophetic tradition:
"The most favored level of faith is to know that
God is witness over
you, wherever you may be".
Whirling Dervishes , at
Sufi whirling (or
Sufi spinning) is a form of Sama or physically
active meditation which originated among Sufis, and which is still
practised by the
Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. It is a
customary dance performed within the sema, through which dervishes
(also called semazens, from Persian سماعزن) aim to reach the
source of all perfection, or kemal. This is sought through abandoning
one's nafs , egos or personal desires, by listening to the music,
God , and spinning one's body in repetitive circles, which
has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System
orbiting the sun. As explained by Sufis:
In the symbolism of the
Sema ritual, the semazen's camel's hair hat
(sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt
(tennure) represents the ego's shroud. By removing his black cloak
(hırka), 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; his left hand, upon which his eyes
are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God's
spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from
right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with
love. The human being has been created with love in order to love.
Rumi says, "All loves are a bridge to Divine
love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!"
Persian miniature depicting the medieval saint and mystic
Ghazali (d. 1123), brother of the famous Abu Hamid al-Ghazali
(d. 1111), talking to a disciple, from the Meetings of the Lovers
(1552) Main article:
Arabic : ولي, plural ʾawliyāʾ أولياء) is an
Arabic word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector",
"helper", and "friend." In the vernacular, it is most commonly used
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 who is specifically "chosen by God
and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work
miracles ." The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic
scholars very early on in Muslim history, and particular verses of
Quran and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers
as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints.
Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period
Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who later
came to be regarded as the major saints in Sunni
Islam were the early
Sufi mystics, like
Hasan of Basra (d. 728),
Farqad Sabakhi (d. 729),
Dawud Tai (d. 777-81) Rabi\'a al-\'Adawiyya (d. 801),
Maruf Karkhi (d.
Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910). From the twelfth to the
fourteenth century, "the general veneration of saints, among both
people and sovereigns, reached its definitive form with the
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
Sufism (i.e. devotional practices that have achieved
currency in world cultures through
Sufi influence), one common
practice is to visit or make pilgrimages to the tombs of saints,
renowned scholars, and righteous people. This is a particularly common
practice in South Asia, where famous tombs include such saints as Mir
Ali Hamadani in
Kulob , Tajikistan; Afāq Khoja , near Kashgar
, China; Lal Shahbaz
Ali Hajwari in
Pakistan; Bawaldin Zikrya in
Moinuddin Chishti in
Ajmer , India;
Nizamuddin Auliya in
Delhi , India; and
Shah Jalal in
Sylhet , Bangladesh.
Likewise, in Fez , Morocco, a popular destination for such pious
visitation is the
Zaouia Moulay Idriss II and the yearly visitation to
see the current
Sheikh of the Qadiri Boutchichi
Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi to celebrate the
Mawlid (which is
usually televised on Moroccan National television). The purpose of
such visitations is usually two-fold, first and foremost the aim is to
receive spiritual guidance and blessings from the saint who rests in
the shrine, which helps the seeker in his or her own path towards
enlightenment. Secondly, the saint is also approached for intercession
in prayers, be it in worldly matters or religious.
Islamic mysticism, karamat (
Arabic : کرامات karāmāt,
pl. of کرامة karāmah, lit. generosity, high-mindedness ) refers
to supernatural wonders performed by Muslim saints . In the technical
Islamic religious sciences, the singular form karama has
a sense similar to charism , a favor or spiritual gift freely bestowed
by God. The marvels ascribed to
Islamic saints have included
supernatural physical actions, predictions of the future, and
"interpretation of the secrets of hearts". Historically, a "belief in
the miracles of saints (karāmāt al-awliyāʾ, literally 'marvels of
the friends ')" has been "a requirement in Sunni
Persecution of Sufis See also: Sufi–Salafi relations
Persecution of Sufis and
Sufism has included destruction of Sufi
shrines and mosques, suppression of orders, and discrimination against
adherents in a number of Muslim-majority countries. The Turkish
Republican state banned all
Sufi orders and abolished their
institutions in 1925 after Sufis opposed the new secular order. The
Islamic Republic has harassed
Shia Sufis, reportedly for their
lack of support for the government doctrine of "governance of the
jurist " (i.e., that the supreme
Shiite jurist should be the nation's
In most other Muslim countries, attacks on Sufis and especially their
shrines have come from adherents of puritanical schools of thought who
believe that practices such as celebration of the birthdays of Sufi
saints , and dhikr ("remembrance" of God) ceremonies are bid‘ah or
impure innovation, and polytheistic (Shirk ).
Depiction of Rabi'a grinding grain from a Persian dictionary
Rabi\'a al-\'Adawiyya or Rabia of
Basra (died 801) was a mystic who
represents countercultural elements of Sufism, especially with regards
to the status and power of women. Prominent
Sufi leader Hasan of Basra
is said to have castigated himself before her superior merits and
sincere virtues. Rabi'a was born either a slave or a servant of very
poor origin, released by her master when he awoke one night to see the
light of sanctity shining above her head. Rabi'a al-Adawiyya is known
for her teachings and emphasis on the centrality of the love of
a holy life. She is said to have proclaimed, running down the streets
Basra , Iraq:
"O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I
worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I
worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty."
— Rabi'a al-Adawiyya
She died in
Jerusalem and is thought to have been buried in the
Chapel of the Ascension .
Bayazid Bastami is a very well recognized and influential Sufi
personality. Bastami was born in 804 in
Bastam . Bayazid is regarded
for his devout commitment to the
Sunnah and his dedication to
Islamic principals and practices.
JUNAYD OF BAGHDAD
A manuscript of
Islamic theology , Shams al-Ma\'arif (The
Book of the Sun of Gnosis), was written by the Algerian
Ahmad al-Buni during the 12th century.
Junayd of Baghdad (830–910) was one of the great early Sufis. His
order was Junaidia, which links to the golden chain of many Sufi
orders. He laid the groundwork for sober mysticism in contrast to that
of God-intoxicated Sufis like al-Hallaj,
Bayazid Bastami and Abusaeid
Abolkheir. During the trial of al-Hallaj, his former disciple, the
Caliph of the time demanded his fatwa. In response, he issued this
fatwa: "From the outward appearance he is to die and we judge
according to the outward appearance and
God knows better". He is
referred to by Sufis as Sayyid-ut Taifa—i.e., the leader of the
group. He lived and died in the city of Baghdad.
Mansur Al-Hallaj (died 922) is renowned for his claim, Ana-l-Haqq ("I
am The Truth"). His refusal to recant this utterance, which was
regarded as apostasy , led to a long trial. He was imprisoned for 11
years in a
Baghdad prison, before being tortured and publicly
dismembered on March 26, 922. He is still revered by Sufis for his
willingness to embrace torture and death rather than recant. It is
said that during his prayers, he would say "O Lord! You are the guide
of those who are passing through the Valley of Bewilderment. If I am a
heretic, enlarge my heresy".
Geometric tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's
Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077–1166) was a Persian
Hanbali jurist and
Sufi based in
Qadiriyya was his patronym. Gilani spent his
early life in Na'if, the town of his birth. There, he pursued the
Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi gave Gilani lessons
in fiqh . He was given lessons about
Abu Bakr ibn Muzaffar.
He was given lessons about
Tafsir by Abu
Muhammad Ja'far, a
Sufi spiritual instructor was Abu'l-Khair Hammad ibn
Muslim al-Dabbas. After completing his education, Gilani left Baghdad.
He spent twenty-five years as a reclusive wanderer in the desert
regions of Iraq. In 1127, Gilani returned to
Baghdad and began to
preach to the public. He joined the teaching staff of the school
belonging to his own teacher,
Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi , and was
popular with students. In the morning he taught hadith and tafsir ,
and in the afternoon he held discourse on the science of the heart and
the virtues of the Qur'an.
Muhammad b. '
Ali Ibn \'Arabi (or Ibn al-'Arabi) AH 561- AH
638 (July 28, 1165 – November 10, 1240) is considered to be one of
the most important
Sufi masters, although he never founded any order
(tariqa). His writings, especially al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya and Fusus
al-hikam, have been studied within all the
Sufi orders as the clearest
expression of tawhid (Divine Unity), though because of their recondite
nature they were often only given to initiates. Later those who
followed his teaching became known as the school of wahdat al-wujud
(the Oneness of Being). He himself considered his writings to have
been divinely inspired. As he expressed the Way to one of his close
disciples, his legacy is that 'you should never ever abandon your
servant-hood (ʿubudiyya), and that there may never be in your soul a
longing for any existing thing'.
Sufi prayer book from the Chishti order
Moinuddin Chishti was born in 1141 and died in 1236. Also known as
Gharīb Nawāz "Benefactor of the Poor", he is the most famous Sufi
saint of the Chishti Order.
Moinuddin Chishti introduced and
established the order in the Indian subcontinent. The initial
spiritual chain or silsila of the Chishti order in India, comprising
Moinuddin Chishti, Bakhtiyar Kaki, Baba Farid,
Nizamuddin Auliya (each
successive person being the disciple of the previous one), constitutes
Sufi saints of Indian history. Moinuddin Chishtī turned
towards India, reputedly after a dream in which
Muhammad blessed him
to do so. After a brief stay at Lahore, he reached
Ajmer along with
Muhammad Ghori , and settled down there. In
Ajmer, he attracted a substantial following, acquiring a great deal of
respect amongst the residents of the city. Moinuddin Chishtī
Sufi Sulh-e-Kul (peace to all) concept to promote
Muslims and non-
ABUL HASAN ASH-SHADHILI
Abul Hasan ash-
Shadhili (died 1258), the founder of the Shadhiliyya
order, introduced dhikr jahri (the remembrance of
God outloud, as
opposed to the silent dhikr). He taught that his followers need not
abstain from what
Islam has not forbidden, but to be grateful for what
God has bestowed upon them, in contrast to the majority of Sufis, who
preach to deny oneself and to destroy the ego-self (nafs ) and its
worldly desires. These two ways are sometimes referred to as "Order of
Patience" (Tariqus-Sabr), as opposed to the "Order of Gratitude"
Shadhili also gave eighteen valuable hizbs
(litanies) to his followers out of which the notable Hizb al-Bahr is
recited worldwide even today.
Ahmad al-Tijani ABU AL-ʿABBâS AHMAD IBN MUHAMMAD AT-TIJâNî or
AHMED TIJANI (1735–1815), in
Arabic سيدي أحمد التجاني
(Sidi Ahmed Tijani), is the founder of the
Sufi order. He
was born in a Berber family, in
Aïn Madhi , present-day Algeria
and died in Fez,
Morocco at the age of 80.
MAJOR SUFI ORDERS
List of Sufi orders "TARIQAT" IN THE
FOUR SPIRITUAL STATIONS: The Four Stations, sharia , tariqa, haqiqa .
The fourth station, marifa , which is considered "unseen", is actually
the center of the haqiqa region. It is the essence of all four
Tariqa is used for a school or order of Sufism, or
especially for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such
an order with the aim of seeking ḥaqīqah (ultimate truth). A tariqa
has a murshid (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual
director. The members or followers of a tariqa are known as murīdīn
(singular murīd), meaning "desirous", viz. "desiring the knowledge of
God and loving God".
Bektashi Order was founded in the 13th century by the Islamic
Haji Bektash Veli , and greatly influenced during its fomulative
period by the Hurufi
Ali al-'Ala in the 15th century and reorganized
Balım Sultan in the 16th century.
Chishti Order (Persian : چشتیہ) was founded by
Abu Ishaq Shami ("the Syrian"; died 941) who brought Sufism
to the town of Chisht , some 95 miles east of
Herat in present-day
Afghanistan. Before returning to the Levant, Shami initiated, trained
and deputized the son of the local
Emir (Khwaja) Abu Ahmad
966). Under the leadership of Abu Ahmad's descendants, the Chishtiyya
as they are also known, flourished as a regional mystical order.
Kubrawiya order is a
Sufi order ("tariqa ") named after its
Najmuddin Kubra . The
Sufi order was
founded in the 13th century by
Najmuddin Kubra in
Bukhara in modern
Uzbekistan . The
Mongols had captured
Bukhara in 1221, they committed
genocide and killed nearly the whole population.
Sheikh Nadjm ed-Din
Kubra was among those killed by the Mongols.
Mevlevi Order is better known in the West as the "whirling
Mouride is a large
Sufi order most prominent in
The Gambia , with headquarters in the holy city of Touba,
Naqshbandi order is one of the major
Sufi orders of Islam,
previously known as Siddiqiyya as the order stems from Mohammad
through Abū Bakr as-Șiddīq. It is considered by some to be a
"sober" order known for its silent dhikr (remembrance of God) rather
than the vocalized forms of dhikr common in other orders. The word
"Naqshbandi" (نقشبندی) is Persian , taken from the name of the
founder of the order,
Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari
Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari . Some have said
that the translation means "related to the image-maker", some also
consider it to mean "Pattern Maker" rather than "image maker", and
interpret "Naqshbandi" to mean "Reformer of Patterns", and others
consider it to mean "Way of the Chain" or "
Silsilat al-dhahab ".
Ni'matullāhī order is the most widespread
Sufi order of Persia
today. It was founded by Shah Ni\'matullah
Wali (died 1367),
established and transformed from his inheritance of the Ma\'rufiyyah
circle. There are several suborders in existence today, the most
known and influential in the West following the lineage of Dr. Javad
Nurbakhsh who brought the order to the West following the 1979
The Qadiri Order is one of the oldest
Sufi Orders. It derives its
Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077–1166), a native of the Iranian
province of Gīlān . The order is one of the most widespread of the
Sufi orders in the
Islamic world, and can be found in
Central Asia ,
Balkans and much of East and
West Africa . The
not developed any distinctive doctrines or teachings outside of
mainstream Islam. They believe in the fundamental principles of Islam,
but interpreted through mystical experience.
Senussi is a religious-political
Sufi order established by Muhammad
Senussi founded this movement
due to his criticism of the Egyptian ulema . Originally from Mecca,
Senussi left due to pressure from Wahhabis to leave and settled in
Cyrenaica where he was well received. Idris bin
Senussi was later recognized as
Cyrenaica and eventually
became King of
Libya . The monarchy was abolished by Muammar Gaddafi
but, a third of Libyan still claim to be Senussi.
Shadhili is a
Sufi order founded by Abu-l-Hassan ash-
Murids (followers) of the
Shadhiliyya are often known as Shadhilis.
Suhrawardiyya order (
Arabic : سهروردية) is a Sufi
order founded by
Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi
Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi (1097–1168). The order
was formalized by his nephew,
Shahab al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi .
Tijaniyyah order attach a large importance to culture and
education, and emphasize the individual adhesion of the disciple
SYMBOLS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUFI ORDERS
The symbolic emblem of the
Seal of the
Ma Yuanzhang , the
Sufi Grand Master, in
Allah 's essence within a disciple's heart, associated with the
Sarwari Qadri Order
Mirror calligraphy, symbolizing the
Bektashi Order of the
Symbol of the
Safaviyya star from ceiling of Shah Mosque,
A symbol from the
Mughal Empire : an amulet comprising magic squares,
Quranic verses (including Al-Baqara 255 (Throne Verse) (2:255) running
around the frame), and invocations to God, with a depiction of
Zulfiqar at the center
PERCEPTION OUTSIDE ISLAM
Sufi performance on a Friday in
Sufi mysticism has long exercised a fascination upon the Western
world, and especially its Orientalist scholars. Figures like Rumi
have become well known in the United States, where
Sufism is perceived
as a peaceful and apolitical form of Islam. Orientalists have
proposed a variety of diverse theories pertaining to the nature of
Sufism, such as it being influenced by
Neoplatonism or as an Aryan
historical reaction against "Semitic " cultural influence. Hossein
Nasr states that the preceding theories are false according to the
point of view of Sufism.
Islamic Institute in Mannheim, Germany, which works towards the
Europe and Muslims, sees
Sufism as particularly suited
for interreligious dialogue and intercultural harmonisation in
democratic and pluralist societies; it has described
Sufism as a
symbol of tolerance and humanism —nondogmatic, flexible and
non-violent. According to
Philip Jenkins , a Professor at Baylor
University, "the Sufis are much more than tactical allies for the
West: they are, potentially, the greatest hope for pluralism and
democracy within Muslim nations." Likewise, several governments and
organisations have advocated the promotion of
Sufism as a means of
combating intolerant and violent strains of
Islam . For example, the
Chinese and Russian governments openly favor
Sufism as the best means
of protecting against Islamist subversion. The British government,
especially following the
7 July 2005 London bombings , has favoured
Sufi groups in its battle against
Muslim extremist currents. The
RAND Corporation , an American think-tank, issued a major
report titled "Building Moderate Muslim Networks," which urged the US
government to form links with and bolster Muslim groups that opposed
Islamist extremism. The report stressed the
Sufi role as moderate
traditionalists open to change, and thus as allies against violence.
News organisations such as the BBC, Economist and Boston Globe have
Sufism as a means to deal with violent Muslim extremists.
Idries Shah states that
Sufism is universal in nature, its roots
predating the rise of
Islam and Christianity. Shah's views have
however been rejected by modern scholars. Such modern trends of
neo-Sufis in Western countries allow non-
Muslims to receive
"instructions on following the
Sufi path", not without opposition by
Muslims who consider such instruction outside the sphere of Islam.
INFLUENCE ON JUDAISM
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Islam are monotheistic. There is evidence that
Sufism did influence the development of some schools of Jewish
philosophy and ethics. In the first writing of this kind, we see
"Kitab al-Hidayah ila Fara'iḍ al-Ḳulub",
Duties of the Heart , of
Bahya ibn Paquda . This book was translated by
Judah ibn Tibbon into
Hebrew under the title "Ḥōḇōṯ Ha-lleḇāḇōṯ".
The precepts prescribed by the
Torah number 613 only; those dictated
by the intellect are innumerable.
It is noteworthy that in the ethical writings of the Sufis Al-Kusajri
and Al-Harawi there are sections which treat of the same subjects as
those treated in the "Ḥovot ha-Lebabot" and which bear the same
titles: e.g., "Bab al-Tawakkul"; "Bab al-Taubah"; "Bab
al-Muḥasabah"; "Bab al-Tawaḍu'"; "Bab al-Zuhd". In the ninth gate,
Baḥya directly quotes sayings of the Sufis, whom he calls Perushim.
However, the author of the Ḥōḇōṯ Ha-lleḇāḇōṯ did not
go so far as to approve of the asceticism of the Sufis, although he
showed a marked predilection for their ethical principles.
Abraham bar Hiyya teaches the asceticism of the
Sufis. His distinction with regard to the observance of
Jewish law by
various classes of men is essentially a Sufic theory. According to it
there are four principal degrees of human perfection or sanctity;
namely: 1. of "Shari'ah", i.e., of strict obedience to all ritual
Islam , such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, almsgiving,
ablution, etc., which is the lowest degree of worship, and is
attainable by all 2. of Ṭariqah, which is accessible only to a
higher class of men who, while strictly adhering to the outward or
ceremonial injunctions of religion, rise to an inward perception of
mental power and virtue necessary for the nearer approach to the
Divinity 3. of "Ḥaḳikah", the degree attained by those who,
through continuous contemplation and inward devotion, have risen to
the true perception of the nature of the visible and invisible; who,
in fact, have recognized the Godhead, and through this knowledge have
succeeded in establishing an ecstatic relation to it; and 4. of the
"Ma'arifah", in which state man communicates directly with the Deity.
Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon , the son of the
Maimonides , believed that
Sufi practices and doctrines continue the
tradition of the Biblical prophets. See Sefer Hammaspiq,
"Happerishuth", Chapter 11 ("Ha-mmaʿaḇāq") s.v. hithbonen efo
be-masoreth mufla'a zo, citing the Talmudic explanation of Jeremiah
13:27 in Chagigah 5b; in Rabbi Yaakov Wincelberg's translation, "The
Way of Serving God" (Feldheim), p. 429 and above, p. 427. Also see
ibid., Chapter 10 ("Iqquḇim"), s.v. wa-halo yoḏeʾaʿ atta; in
"The Way of Serving God", p. 371.
Abraham Maimuni's principal work is originally composed in
Arabic and entitled "כתאב כפאיה אלעאבדין"
Kitāb Kifāyah al-'Ābidīn ("A Comprehensive Guide for the Servants
of God"). From the extant surviving portion it is conjectured that
Maimuni's treatise was three times as long as his father's Guide for
the Perplexed. In the book, Maimuni evidences a great appreciation
for, and affinity to, Sufism. Followers of his path continued to
foster a Jewish-
Sufi form of pietism for at least a century, and he is
rightly considered the founder of this pietistic school, which was
The followers of this path, which they called, interchangeably,
Hasidism (not to be confused with the
Jewish Hasidic movement) or
Sufism (Tasawwuf), practiced spiritual retreats, solitude, fasting and
sleep deprivation. The
Jewish Sufis maintained their own brotherhood ,
guided by a religious leader—like a
Sufi sheikh .
Abraham Maimuni's two sons, Obadyah and David, continued to lead this
Sufi brotherhood. Obadyah
Maimonides wrote Al-Mawala Al
Hawdiyya ("The Treatise of the Pool")—an ethico-mystical manual
based on the typically
Sufi comparison of the heart to a pool that
must be cleansed before it can experience the Divine.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
The Jewel of the Nile (1985), the eponymous Jewel is a Sufi
* In Hideous Kinky (1998), Julia (
Kate Winslet ) travels to Morocco
Sufism and a journey to self-discovery.
Monsieur Ibrahim (2003),
Omar Sharif 's character professes to
be a Muslim in the
* Bab\'Aziz (2005), a film by Tunisian director
Nacer Khemir , draws
heavily on the
Sufi tradition, containing quotes from
Sufi poets such
Rumi and depicting an ecstatic
Play media Friday evening ceremony at Dargah Salim Chisti,
Abida Parveen , a Pakistani
Sufi singer is one of the foremost
Sufi music, together with Nusrat Fateh
Ali Khan are
considered the finest
Sufi vocalists of the modern era. Sanam Marvi
another Pakistani singer has recently gained recognition for her Sufi
A. R. Rahman , the Oscar-winning Indian musician, has several
compositions which draw inspiration from the
Sufi genre; examples are
the filmi qawwalis Khwaja Mere Khwaja in the film
Jodhaa Akbar ,
Arziyan in the film
Delhi 6 and Kun Faya Kun in the film Rockstar .
Bengali singer Lalan
Fakir and Bangladesh's national poet Kazi Nazrul
Islam scored several
Junoon , a band from
Pakistan , created the genre of
Sufi rock by
combining elements of modern hard rock and traditional folk music with
Rabbi Shergill released a
Sufi rock song called "Bulla Ki
Jaana ", which became a chart-topper in
India and Pakistan.
Madonna , on her 1994 record Bedtime Stories , sings a song called
"Bedtime Story " that discusses achieving a high unconsciousness
level. The video for the song shows an ecstatic
Sufi ritual with many
Arabic calligraphy and some other
Sufi elements. In
her 1998 song "Bittersweet", she recites Rumi's poem by the same name.
In her 2001 Drowned World Tour, Madonna sang the song "Secret" showing
rituals from many religions, including a
American rock band mewithoutYou draw heavily on all of the Abrahamic
religions in their music, with a heavy focus on Sufism. Their 2009
album It\'s All Crazy! It\'s All False! It\'s All a Dream! It\'s
Alright is based on the teaching of
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen .
Loreena McKennitt 's record The Mask and Mirror
(1994) has a song called "The Mystic's Dream" that is influenced by
Sufi music and poetry.
Tori Amos makes a reference to Sufis in her song "Cruel".
Mercan Dede , a Turkish composer and Azam
Ali , an Iranian-American
Sufism into their music and performances.
British folk singer Richard Thompson is a long-time Sufi.
A 17th-century miniature of
Nasreddin , a
figure , currently in the
Topkapı Palace Museum Library
The Persian poet
Rumi , who was born in present-day Afghanistan, has
become one of the most widely read poets in the United States, thanks
largely to the interpretative translations published by Coleman Barks
Elif Şafak 's novel The Forty Rules of Love is a fictionalized
account of Rumi's encounter with the Persian dervish
Shams Tabrizi .
Furthermore, between 1910 and 1911 one of the first
called Hikmet , was published in
Ahmad Hilmi of Filibe .
Another Sufi-oriented journal was published in
Egypt between 1931 and
1934. Al-Maʿrifa informed among others about
Sufi moral and wisdom.
Sultan Bahu of the Sarwari Qadiri
The Golden Chain of the
Khwaja Ghulam Farid at
Sufi mosque in
Great Mosque of Touba , home of the
Sufi order of Senegal
Haqqani Anjuman Faquiri Huzra Mubarak in Bagmari,
Kolkata (State:WB ,
County:Ind ), established in 1876 by Maulana
Sufi Mufti Azangachhi
Wali tomb, south of Karima,
Rumi Museum in
Konya , Turkey
An illustration of
Ibrahima Fall , leader of the
Jahangir preferring a
Sufi shaikh to kings
Mazar e Soltani,
Gonabad County . Shrine of four Qutbs
(masters) of the
Mausoleum of Makhdoom Shah Daulat (d. 1608). Ibrahim Khan, the Mughal
Bihar , completed his mausoleum in 1616 during the reign
The shrine of Shah Arzani constructed during the reign of the Mughal
Pir Dastgir from the
Sheykh of the
Index of Sufism-related articles
* List of modern
List of Sufi saints
* ^ A B C Qamar-ul Huda (2003), Striving for Divine Union:
Spiritual Exercises for Suhraward Sufis, RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 1–4
* ^ A B Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy,
2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.15
* ^ Titus Burckhardt, Art of Islam: Language and Meaning
(Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2009), p. 223
* ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed.
William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 74
* ^ A B C D E F G Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong,
F. de., Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and
J.O. Hunwick, “Taṣawwuf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second
Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van
Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
* ^ Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005;
first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.12: "Mystics on the other
Sufism is a kind of mysticism-are by definition concerned
above all with 'the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven'"
* ^ Knysh, Alexander D., “Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān”, in:
Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe,
Georgetown University, Washington DC.
* ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed.
William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), pp. 74-75
* ^ Editors, The (2014-02-04). "tariqa Islam". Britannica.com.
Retrieved 29 May 2015.
* ^ Glassé 2008 , p. 499.
* ^ Bin Jamil Zeno,
Muhammad (1996). The Pillars of
Islam & Iman.
Darussalam. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-9960-897-12-7 .
* ^ Gamard 2004 , p. 171.
* ^ A B C D E F G Fitzpatrick & Walker 2014 , p. 446.
* ^ A B Kabbani,
Muhammad Hisham (2004). Classical
Islam and the
Islamic Supreme Council of America. p. 557.
ISBN 1-930409-23-0 .
* ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (2014-11-25). "
Britannica.com. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
* ^ A
Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection (2007) by
Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, Suha Taji-Farouki
* ^ G. R Hawting (2002). The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad
Caliphate AD 661-750. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-203-13700-0 .
* ^ Sells 1996 , p. 1.
* ^ Chittick 2007 , p. 22.
* ^ A B Chittick (2008), p.6
* ^ Alan Godlas, University of Georgia, Sufism\'s Many Paths, 2000.
* ^ Guénon 2001 .
* ^ Glassé 2008 , p. 500.
* ^ World
* ^ A B C D Chittick 2007 .
* ^ Chittick (2008), p.3,4,11
* ^ Ahmed Zarruq, Zaineb Istrabadi, Hamza Yusuf Hanson. The
Principles of Sufism. Amal Press. 2008.
* ^ Corrections of Popular Versions of Poems From Rumi\'s Divan
* ^ Ibrahim Gamard,
Rumi and Self-Discovery
* ^ A B C Nasr, Seyyed
Hossein Nasr (1993-01-01). An Introduction
Islamic Cosmological Doctrines. ISBN 9780791415153 . Retrieved 17
* ^ William C. Chittick (2009). "Sufism. Sūfī Thought and
Practice". In John L. Esposito. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic
World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
* ^ A B Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong, F. de.,
Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O.
Hunwick. "Taṣawwuf". In P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E.
van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of
Islam (2nd ed.). Brill.
(Subscription required (help)). CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter
(link )CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link )
* ^ A B Rashid Ahmad Jullundhry, Qur'anic Exegesis in Classical
Literature, pg. 56.
New Westminster :
The Other Press , 2010. ISBN
* ^ The
Sufi Tradition Guidebook of Daily Practices and
Devotions, p. 83,
Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Shaykh
* ^ "
Sufism in Islam". Mac.abc.se. Archived from the original on
April 17, 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
* ^ The Bloomsbury Companion to
Islamic Studies by Clinton Bennett,
* ^ "Origin of sufism – Qadiri".
Sufi Way. 2003. Retrieved 13
* ^ A B "Khalifa
Ali bin Abu Talib - Ali, The Father of
Alim.org". Retrieved 27 September 2014.
* ^ Taking Initiation (Bay`ah),
Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Classical
Islam and the Naqshbandi
Islamic Supreme Council of America, p. 644
* ^ "Taking Initiation (Bay`ah) The Naqshbandiyya Nazimiyya Sufi
Order of America:
Sufism and Spirituality". naqshbandi.org. Retrieved
* ^ Shaykh Tariq Knecht, Journal of a
Sufi Odyssey, Tauba Press
* ^ IslamOnline.net Archived July 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
* ^ Massignon, Louis. Essai sur les origines du lexique technique
de la mystique musulmane. Paris: Vrin, 1954. p. 104.
Imam Birgivi , The Path of Muhammad, WorldWisdom, ISBN
* ^ A B Encyclopædia Britannica, Retrieved on August 1st, 2016
* ^ Nasr, Hossein (1993). An Introduction to
Doctrines. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-1515-3 .
* ^ Ridgeon, Lloyd (2010). Morals and
Mysticism in Persian Sufism:
A History of Sufi-Futuwwat in Iran. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-97058-0
. , p. 32
Ibn Khallikan 's Biographical Dictionary, translated by William
McGuckin de Slane .
Paris : Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain
and Ireland. Sold by
Institut de France
Institut de France and
Royal Library of Belgium .
Vol. 3, p. 209.
* ^ Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Sufism: The Formative Period, pg. 58.
University of California Press , 2007.
* ^ J. Spencer Trimingham, The
Sufi Orders in Islam, Oxford
University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-512058-5 .
* ^ Daftary Farhad 2013 A History of Shi'i
Islam New York NY
I.B. Tauris and Co ltd. page 28 ISBN 9780300035315 4/8/2015
* ^ A B C The Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis by Sajid Abdul
Kayum, Chapter 1: Overview and Background.
* ^ A B C D E F "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - What is Sufism?".
youtube.com. 13 May 2015.
* ^ Trimingham (1998), p. 1
* ^ Faridi, Shaikh Shahidullah. "The Meaning of Tasawwuf".
www.masud.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-12.
* ^ A B C Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr,
ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 76
* ^ A B Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy,
2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.16
* ^ A B C D "Is orthodox
Islam possible without Sufism? - Shaykh
Abdal Hakim Murad (Dr. Timothy Winter)". youtube.com. 13 May 2015.
* ^ A B "Profile of
Muhammad Al-Tayyeb onThe Muslim
500". The Muslim 500: The World's Most Influential Muslims.
* ^ Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong, F. de.,
Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O.
Hunwick, “Taṣawwuf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition,
Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel,
W.P. Heinrichs; q.v. "Hanafi," "Hanbali," and "Maliki," and under
"mysticism in..." for each.
* ^ A B Titus Burckhardt, Introduction to
(Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2008, p. 4, note 2
* ^ Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005;
first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), pp. 16-17
* ^ "Caner Dagli, "Rumi, the Qur\'an, and Heterodoxy," note on
Facebook". facebook.com. 6 January 2015.
* ^ Rozina Ali, "The Erasure of
Islam from the Poetry of Rumi," The
New Yorker, Jan. 5 2017
* ^ The most recent version of the Risâla is the translation of
Alexander Knysh, Al-Qushayri's Epistle on Sufism: Al-risala
Al-qushayriyya Fi 'ilm Al-tasawwuf (ISBN 978-1859641866 ). Earlier
translations include a partial version by Rabia Terri Harris (Sufi
Book of Spiritual Ascent) and complete versions by Harris, and Barbara
R. Von Schlegell.
* ^ "Home". Fons Vitae. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
* ^ The Alchemy of Happiness at archive.org
* ^ "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - What is Sufism?". youtube.com. 27
* ^ For the pre-modern era, see Vincent J. Cornell, Realm of the
Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism, ISBN 978-0-292-71209-6
; and for the colonial era, Knut Vikyr,
Sufi and Scholar on the Desert
Muhammad B. Oali Al-Sanusi and His Brotherhood, ISBN
* ^ Leonard Lewisohn, The Legacy of Medieval Persian Sufism,
Nimatullahi Publications, 1992.
* ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islam: Religion, History, and
Civilization, HarperSanFrancisco, 2003. (Ch. 1)
* ^ Dina Le Gall, A Culture of Sufism: Naqshbandis in the Ottoman
World, 1450–1700, ISBN 978-0-7914-6245-4 .
* ^ Arthur F. Buehler,
Sufi Heirs of the Prophet: The Indian
Naqshbandiyya and the Rise of the Mediating
Sufi Shaykh, ISBN
* ^ Victor Danner, The
Islamic Tradition: An introduction. Amity
House. February 1988.
* ^ "
Islam in the Modern World, by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, reviewed by
Zachary Markwith" (PDF).
* ^ Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting
Muhammad (London: Oneworld
Publications, 2015), p. 254
* ^ Masatoshi Kisaichi, "The Burhami order and
in modern Egypt." Popular Movements and Democratization in the Islamic
World, pg. 57. Part of the New Horizons in
Islamic Studies series. Ed.
Masatoshi Kisaichi. London: Routledge, 2006. ISBN 9781134150618
* ^ Babou 2007 , p. 184–6.
* ^ Mbacké & Hunwick 2005 .
* ^ Chodkiewicz 1995 , p. introduction.
* ^ "
Sufism – Oxford
Islamic Studies Online".
oxfordislamicstudies.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
* ^ "Sufism, Sufis, and
Sufi Orders: Sufism\'s Many Paths".
uga.edu. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
* ^ Abul Hasan ash-
Shadhili (1993). The School of the
Islamic Texts Society. ISBN 978-0-946621-57-6 .
Muhammad Emin Er, Laws of the Heart: A Practical Introduction
Sufi Path, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-1-6
* ^ Abdullah Nur ad-Din Durkee, The School of the Shadhdhuliyyah,
Volume One: Orisons; see also Shaykh
Muhammad Hisham Kabbani,
Islam and the
Sufi Tradition, ISBN
978-1-930409-23-1 , which reproduces the spiritual lineage (silsila)
of a living
* ^ A B Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shiʻi Islam: The
History and Doctrines of
Twelver Shiʻism. Yale University Press. ISBN
978-0-300-03531-5 . , page 209
* ^ Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman Madzillah-ul-Aqdus (2015). Sultan
Bahoo: The Life and Teachings. Sultan ul Faqr Publications. ISBN
* ^ See
Muhammad Emin Er, Laws of the Heart: A Practical
Introduction to the
Sufi Path, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN
978-0-9815196-1-6 , for a detailed description of the practices and
preconditions of this sort of spiritual retreat.
* ^ See examples provided by Muzaffar Ozak in Irshad: Wisdom of a
Sufi Master, addressed to a general audience rather than specifically
to his own students.
* ^ Shaykh
Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Classical
Islam and the
Sufi Tradition, ISBN 978-1-930409-23-1
* ^ Carl W. Ernst (2010), p. 125
* ^ A B Carl W. Ernst, The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad,
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* ^ Gholamreza Aavani, Glorification of the Prophet
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Poems of Sa'adi, p. 4
* ^ Gamard 2004 , p. 169.
* ^ Ibn Arabi, The Seals of Wisdom (Fusus al-Hikam), Aisha Bewley
* ^ Fariduddin Attar, Ilahi-nama – The Book of God, John Andrew
Boyle (translator), Thou knowest that none of the poets have sung such
praise save only I.
* ^ Fariduddin Attar, Ilahi-nama – The Book of God, John Andrew
* ^ The Signs of a Sincere Lover (PDF), p. 91
* ^ A B Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych, The Mantle Odes:
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Muhammad Emin Er, The Soul of Islam: Essential Doctrines and
Beliefs, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-0-9 .
* ^ Schimmel 2013 , p. 99.
* ^ (source: )
* ^ The
Amman Message Summary. Retrieved on Feb 2, 2010.
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* ^ A B
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Sufi Order, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN
* ^ For a systematic description of the diseases of the heart that
are to be overcome in order for this perspective to take root, see
Hamza Yusuf, Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of
the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart, ISBN 978-1-929694-15-0 .
* ^ Concerning this, and for an excellent discussion of the concept
of attraction (jadhba), see especially the Introduction to Abdullah
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Orisons, ISBN 977-00-1830-9 .
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* ^ Realities of The Heart Lataif
* ^ Schimmel 2013 .
* ^ See especially Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul: The Sufi
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* ^ Hakim Moinuddin Chisti, The Book of
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* ^ For an introduction to the normative creed of
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al-Tahawi, ISBN 978-0-9702843-9-6 , and Ahmad Ibn
Imam Abu Hanifa's Al-
Fiqh Al-Akbar Explained, ISBN 978-1-933764-03-0 .
* ^ The meaning of certainty in this context is emphasized in
Muhammad Emin Er, The Soul of Islam: Essential Doctrines and Beliefs,
Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-0-9 .
* ^ See in particular the introduction by T. J. Winter to Abu Hamid
Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on
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Religious Sciences, ISBN 978-0-946621-43-9 .
* ^ Akbar Ahmed, Diiscovering Islam, Making sense of Muslim History
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* ^ Abdullah Jawadi Amuli, "
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* ^ Hakim Moinuddin Chisti The Book of
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* ^ Touma 1996, p.162
* ^ What is Remembrance and what is Contemplation?
* ^ "Muraqaba".
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Islamic World, via
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