The traditional view is that Sufism is the mystical school of Islam and had its beginnings in the first centuries following the life of the Prophet Mohammad. History and theology History and theology. The germ of Sufism is said to have existed from the beginning of the human creation, for wisdom is the heritage of all; therefore no one person can be said to be its propounder. (A History of Sufism in India, Vol. He authored the Khal al-Na’lain, which Ibn ‘Arabi would later write a commentary on. We find among the Zoroastrians, Hatim, the best known Sufi of his time. However Islamic scholars predating the Islamic Golden Age were referred to as Sufis, like Hasan of Basra. It came to India before the establishment of the Sultanate of Delhi but after the foundation of the Turkish rule, a large Group of Sufis form different Islamic countries migrated to India and established them-selves in many parts of Hindustan. So it has been with the mystics. It is popular among the Muslims of South India. Two of Al Ghazali's greatest treatises, the "Revival of Religious Sciences" and the "Alchemy of Happiness," argued that Sufism originated from the Qur'an and was thus compatible with mainstream Islamic thought, and did not in any way contradict Islamic Law—being instead necessary to its complete fulfillment. Mystical ideas are unintelligible to the generality of people. People of the same thought and point of view are drawn to each other with a tendency to form an exclusive circle. Fresh Rain: An Introduction to the Sufi Way. All Sufi orders claim a direct chain of leadership to Muhammad, through Ali, with the exception of the Naqshbandis who claim a direct connection to Muhammad through Abu Bakr. Sufis respect the rituals of religion insofar as these further social harmony, but broaden religion's doctrinal basis wherever possible and define its myths in a higher sense—for instance, explaining angels as representations of man's higher faculties. What makes them so difficult to discuss is that their mutual recognition cannot be explained in ordinary moral or psychological terms—whoever understands it is himself a Sufi. ‘Saf’ and ‘Suf. [citation needed] A Sufi is a Muslim who seeks annihilation of the ego in God. Every age of the world has seen awakened souls, and as it is impossible to limit wisdom to any one period or place, so it is impossible to date the origin of Sufism. Indeed, most Sufis in the world today are Muslim and many of them would consider a non-Islamic Sufism impossible. Seyyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha. It has been revealed more clearly and spread more widely from time to time as the world has evolved. After Ibn Masarra's death, in 940 his followers fell under heavy persecution under the jurists who destroyed Ibn Masarra's works and also forced his followers to recant. Some scholars say Sufism is derived from the word Ahl al-Suffa , or the People of the Bench, which refers to the platform on which the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the believers used to sit while worshipping God. [36] Sufism is traditional in Morocco but has seen a growing revival with the renewal of Sufism around contemporary spiritual teachers such as Sidi Hamza al Qadiri al Boutshishi. There is a significant social dimension to Islamic mysticism that must be explored if the picture is to be complete. According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad himself and his companions (Sahabah). For the pre-modern era, see Vincent J. Cornell. Sufi Inayat Khan recognized the multi-religious roots of Sufism as well as its contemporary relevance for people of all faiths. The world has called them Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, or Islamic mystics, and the followers of each religion have claimed them as their own. The Origin of the School of Sufism. I think the difference most likely arises from the different views of the word’s origin. The roots and practices of Sufism. In the eleventh century, Sufi orders (Tariqa) were instrumental in the institutional spread of Sufism. Chopra, R. M., "SUFISM" (Origin, Growth, Eclipse, Resurgence), 2016, Anuradha Prakashan, New Delhi. Of them the Chishti order is the most visible. "Sufi" is no more than a nickname, like "Quaker," which they accept good-humoredly. February 1988. Many people began to read and translate the works of philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. [11] He lived from 883 to 931 and was born outside of Cordoba. It was patronized by the Mughal rulers, as its founder was their ancestral Pir (Spiritual guide). The early Sufi orders considered the wearing of this coat as an imitation of Isa bin Maryam (Jesus). [7] He belonged to what Spanish scholar of Islam, Miguel Asin Palacios, termed the "School of Almeria," so named for its geographical location. The word Sufi is most likely to be derived from the Arabic word "soof", meaning wool. Thus great Sufis have appeared at different times and have founded schools of thought. This mystical strand is designated in Arabic by the term tasawwuf, while in Persian the term irfan (gnosis) is also used. Victor Danner - "The Islamic Tradition: An introduction." [17] Also at this time, eastern Sufism was developing more as a communal movement, whereas that of the West (including in al-Andalus), it remained largely an individual pursuit. Sufi schools have indeed gathered around particular teachers, but there is no graduation and they exist only for the convenience of those who work to perfect their studies by close association with fellow Sufis. Though awareness of this secret quality or instinct can be sharpened by close contact with Sufis of experience, there are no hierarchical degrees among them, only a general undisputed recognition of greater or lesser capacity. I am not from the Eastor the West, not out of the ocean or upfrom the ground, not natural or ethereal, notcomposed of elements at all. But the point of view of the wise differs from that of the simple followers of a religion. [29], Between the 13th and 16th centuries CE, Sufism produced a flourishing intellectual culture throughout the Islamic world, a "Golden Age" whose physical artifacts are still present. While all this work was being done in the fields of religious sciences, essentially based on jurisprudence, Tradition (Hadith), theology and Qur’anic interpretation, the Sufi masters who concentrated mostly on the pure spiritual dimension of the Muhammadan Truth tried to draw attention to the essence of man’s being, the real nature of existence and the inner dynamics of man and the cosmos, directing attention to the … Mystics of this period meditated on the Doomsday passages in the Quran, thereby earning such nicknames as "those who always weep." Current Sufi orders include Ba 'Alawiyya, Chishti, Khalwati, Naqshbandi, Nimatullahi, Oveyssi, Qadria Noshahia, Qadiria Boutshishia, Qadiriyyah, Qalandariyya, Sarwari Qadiri, Shadhliyya, Tijaniyyah, and Suhrawardiyya. The wise, whatever their faith, have always been able to meet each other beyond those boundaries of external forms and conventions, which are natural and necessary to human life, but which none the less separate humanity. The word Sufi comes from a Persian word meaning wisdom. It consists of mystical paths that are designed to learn the nature of humanity and of God and to facilitate the experience of the presence of divine love and wisdom. At the time of the Prophet and his companions, the term Sufism (Tasawwuf) did not exist as a distinct discipline.Rather it was inseparably present in the spirituality of Islam. Numerous other traditions link him with the Sufis, and it was in Sufi style that he ordered his followers to respect all People of the Book, meaning those who respected their own sacred scriptures—a term later taken to include Zoroastrians. There have been hundreds of theories regarding the origin of Sufism, however none has been clearly distinguished for having referred to a specific date regarding the origin of Sufism, or a specific person to be credited with the first use of the word Sufi. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a disciple of Khwaja Usman Harooni, the propounder of this order, introduced it in India. They number some fifty million. [2] Some Sufis were not against absorbing ideas from Hinduism for their devotional songs with Sufism playing the primary role as a point of contact between Hinduism and Islam.189 This conversion left many of those who converted via Sufism more Hindu in practice than Muslim.194. Recent academic work on these topics has focused on the role of Sufism in creating and propagating the culture of the Ottoman world, including a study of the various branches of the Naqshbandi[32] and Khalwati orders,[33] and in resisting European imperialism in North Africa and South Asia. Amity House. Learn more. The history of Sufism is much more than the history of mystical theory and expression. [14] The effects of his thought and that of his disciples would appear again in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries amidst later Sufis such as Ibn Arabi. The Khalwati order was founded by Umar al-Khalwati, an Azerbaijani Sufi known for undertaking long solitary retreats in the wilderness of Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. Sufism, known as tasawwuf in the Arabic-speaking world, is a form of Islamic mysticism that emphasizes introspection and spiritual closeness with God. Sofi is used to designate the followers of Sufism, particularly by speakers of Persian and Turkish. [47][48] According to William Chittick Sufism can simply be described as "the interiorization, and intensification of Islamic faith and practice. [19] Ibn al-Arif was one of the first to interpret Ghazali in the West, and he also founded a method of spiritual training called tariqah. [40][41] Modern academics and scholars,[which?] Ongoing efforts by both traditionally trained Muslim scholars and Western academics are making Al-Ghazali's works available in English translation for the first time,[5] allowing English-speaking readers to judge for themselves the compatibility of Islamic Law and Sufi doctrine. [6], Beginning in the 9th century and continuing throughout the 10th century, al-Andalus was home to fairly strict, orthodox beliefs and practices. [10], One figure in particular has often been credited as being the earliest introduction of Sufism to Spain: Ibn Masarra. It was a reality without a name which was practiced in the daily lives of the companions … [1], The exact origin of Sufism is disputed. The mystics have, therefore, usually imparted their ideas to a chosen few only, to those whom they could trust, who were ready for initiation and discipleship. In the fourth century of the hegira, some famous Gnostics defined Sufism as “a reality without form”. Origin Of Sufism . [16] Ibn Tufail introduced the element of Sufism into this philosophical way of thinking. This explains why the Muslim Rumi has Christian, Zoroastrian and other disciples; why the great Sufi 'invisible teacher' Khidr is said to be a Jew; why the Mogul Prince Dara Shikoh identified Sufi teachings in the Hindu Vedas, yet himself remained a member of the Qadiri Order; how Pythagoras and Solomon can be said to be Sufi teachers. Some sources state that Sufism is the inner dimensions of the teachings of Muhammad whereas others say that Sufism emerged during the Islamic Golden Age from about the 8th to 10th centuries. Sufi Practice . Many consider him to have established the first Sufi school in the province; however, his teachings were outside of the so-called "mainstream" Sufism that was more common in the East during his lifetime. It is these roots that gathered into the trunk known as Islamic Sufism. Sufi orders are based on the bay‘ah (بَيْعَة bay‘ah, مُبَايَعَة mubāya‘ah 'pledge, allegiance') that was given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. Sufi definition: 1. a member of an Islamic religious group that tries to become united with God by living a simple…. It also explains why Sufis will accept some alchemists to have been Sufis, as well as understanding the underlying developmental factors in Rumi's evolutionary philosophy, or Hallaj's 'Christianity'; why, indeed, Jesus is said to stand, in a sense, at the head of the Sufis. [7] Quranic studies and jurisprudence (fiqh) were the accepted and promoted types of scholarship that shaped the region's beliefs and practices. Akbar used to visit the shrine every year. This became the mainstream position among Islamic scholars for centuries, challenged only recently on the basis of selective use of a limited body of texts[example needed]. This is why the interior reality of Sufism (tasawwuf) characterizes the practices of the ascetics of the first generations even though the term ‘Sufism… [45][46] Hosein Nasr states that non-Islamic origin theories are false according to the point of view of Sufism. Sufis strive to constantly be aware of God's presence, stressing contemplation over action, spiritual development over legalism, and cultivation of the soul over social interaction. They have no sacred city, no monastic organization, no religious instruments. [24] According to Ibn ‘Arabi, the main practices of Andalusi Sufis included ascesis, poverty, and devotion to the Qur’an. Centuries later, with the support of Mughal rulers, his shrine became a place of pilgrimage. Beyond the history, Sufism (tasawwuf) embodies the deeper spirituality of Islam; or in other words, the Haqiqah (the inner, essential truth). [4] The Sufi shine at Ajmer in Rajasthan and Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi, Ashraf Jahangir Semnani in Kichaucha Shariff belong to this order. Several origins of the word 'sufi' have been suggested. The earliest form of Sufism arose under the Umayyad Dynasty (661-749) less than a century after the founding of Islam. Islamic spirituality) and the negative stereotypes of Islam that were present in Britain. [2], Towards the end of the first millennium CE, a number of manuals began to be written summarizing the doctrines of Sufism and describing some typical Sufi practices. In some Sufi orders, practices such as chanting or spinning in circles help Sufi practitioners achieve a natural trance state in order to experience oneness with God. The calamity through which the world has lately passed, and the problems of the present difficult situations are due to the existence of boundaries; this fact is already clear to many. "We friends" or "people like us" is how they refer to themselves, and they recognize one another by certain natural gifts, habits, qualities of thought. However Islamic scholars predating the Islamic Golden Age were referred to as Sufis, like Hasan of Basra. The following article is taken from the journal Sufism: An Inquiry.. Hujwiri, in the eleventh century, presented several views of the origin of the term, “Sufi”. Sufism already had a long history when some teachers began to set up formal schools or orders (Tarika or Tariqah) in the early Middle Ages. With the royal patronage of most of the Mughal rulers, the Naqshbandi order caused the revival of Islam in its pure form. The same system of endowments could also be used to pay for a complex of buildings, such as that surrounding the 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. I do not exist,am not an entity in this world or the next,did not descend from Adam and Eve or anyorigin story. Turkic conquests in South Asia were accompanied by four Sufi mystics of the Chishtiyya order from Afghanistan: Moinuddin (d. 1233 in Ajmer), Qutbuddin (d. 1236 in Delhi), Nizamuddin (d.1335 in Delhi) and Fariduddin (d.1265 in Pakpattan now in Pakistan) [3]. Other noteworthy Sufi teachers who were active in the West include Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Inayat Khan, Nazim Al-Haqqani, Javad Nurbakhsh, Bulent Rauf, Irina Tweedie, Idries Shah and Muzaffer Ozak. Some European scholars find the origin of this philosophy in the teaching Of Islam, others connect it with Buddhism. The term “Sufism” is derived from Arabic suf, and means “wool,” which refers to the plain wool worn by the early Sufis (“wool-clad”). During the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq, who spread the Delhi sultanate towards the south, the Chistiyya spread its roots all across India. [3] According to the late medieval mystic Jami, Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (died c. 716) was the first person to be called a "Sufi".[4]. The individual is offered a "secret garden" for the growth of his understanding, but never required to become a monk, nun or hermit, like the more conventional mystics; and he thereafter claims to be enlightened by actual experience—"he who tastes, knows"—not by philosophic argument. At the forefront of the philosophical movement in Spain were Ibn Bajjah, Ibn Tufail, Ibn Rushd, and a Jewish scholar named Ibn Maimun. [16] Ibn al-‘Arif's disciple Ibn Qasi set up a group of religious followers in Portugal and built a monastery in Silves. History. Not only have there been illuminated souls at all times, but there have been times when a wave of illumination has passed over humanity as a whole. However Islamic scholars predating the Islamic Golden Age were referred to as Sufis, like Hasan of Basra. Currently active Sufi academics and publishers include Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee, Abdal Hakim Murad, Syed Waheed Ashraf and the Franco-Moroccan Faouzi Skali. It may derive from the word for 'wool' and the woollen garments worn by early Sufis. [38] Notable as well are the lives of Amadou Bamba and Hajj Umar Tall in sub-Saharan Africa, and Sheikh Mansur Ushurma and Imam Shamil in the Caucasus region. Their expression of wisdom has differed to suit their environments, but their understanding of life has been one and the same. In the medieval Indian environment Sufism was the most interesting aspect of Islam. In wisdom is rooted religion, which connotes law and inspiration. In addition to His innumerable blessings, Allah, glory unto Him has granted human beings a unique quality, an extremely precious and subtle quality at that. For some, it reflects the influence of the mystical tradition in Cordoba attributed to Ibn Masarra. Sufism is an inner mystical dimension of Islam practiced by different turuq which is a congregation formed around mawla who trace their teachings to Prophet Muhammad. [9] Others give exclusive credit to the influence of eastern mystics, most often including al-Ghazali's thoughts and teachings. It was only a few centuries later that they came to be known as Sufis. For other uses, see, Gholamali Haddad Adel, Mohammad Jafar Elmi, Hassan Taromi-Rad, Maribel Fierro, "The Polemic about the 'Karamat al-awaliya' and the Development of Sufism in al-Andalus,", A.M Mohamed Mackeen, "The Early History of Sufism in the Maghrib Prior to Al-Shadhili". The original word is of Sufi origin, and as for its etymological origin in Arabic language there are different opinions. however, have rejected early Orientalist theories asserting a non-Islamic origin of Sufism,[42][43][44] Carl Ernst states that the tendency to try and disassociate Islam from Sufism was an attempt by Orientalists to create a divide between what they found attractive within Islamic civilization (i.e. They recognized God's every messenger and united with them all. pure people who meditated on a carpet. The germ of Sufism is said to have existed from the beginning of the human creation, for wisdom is the heritage of all; therefore no one person can be said to be its propounder. The European historian sometimes traces the history of Sufism by noticing the actual occurrence of this word and by referring only to those schools which have definitely wished to be known by this name. My place is placeless, a traceof the traceless. The first stage of Sufism appeared in pious circles as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad period (661–749). Sufism: Name and Origin by Paul Yachnes Sufism has been described in many different ways by scholars writing in English, throughout this century, but they all agree on its essential character as being the inner, esoteric, mystical, or purely spiritual dimension of the religion of Islam. Sufism is a Muslim movement whose followers seek to find divine truth and love through direct encounters with God. [40] 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. Its origin is given as an answer in the search for the human spirit. Turuq meet for spiritual sessions referred to as majlis in places known as Zawiyas or tekke. Before the time of Mohammed they were called Ekuanul Safa, Brothers of Purity, but after his coming they were named by him Sahabi Safa, Knights of Purity. They even dislike being given any inclusive name which might force them into doctrinal conformity. Neither body or soul.I belong to the beloved, have seen the twoworlds as one and that one call to and know,first, last, outer, inner, only thatbreath breathing human being. No important domain in the civilization of Islam remained unaffected by Sufism in this period. The Sufis are an ancient spiritual freemasonry whose origins have never been traced or dated; nor do they themselves take much interest in such researches, being content to point out the occurrence of their own way of thought in different regions and periods. Sufism takes away the boundaries which divide different faiths by bringing into full light the underlying wisdom in which they are all united. Central themes of Ibn 'Arabi's were the unity of all beings, or “wahdat al-wujud,” and also how God reflects God’s self in the world. Two of the most notable are Kashf al-Mahjûb (Revelation of the Veiled) of Hujwiri, and Al-Risala al-Qushayriyya (The Message) of Al-Qushayri. See Introduction in "Great Sufi Poets of The Punjab" by R. M. Chopra, 1999, Iran Society, Calcutta. Andalusi Sufism was at its peak at this time. Yet according to Ali el-Hujwiri, an early authoritative Sufi writer, the Prophet Mohammed himself said: "He who hears the voice of the Sufi people and does not say aamin [Amen] is recorded in God's presence as one of the heedless." Khwaja Razi-ud-Din Muhammad Baqi Billah whose tomb is in Delhi, introduced the Naqshbandi order in India. Though commonly mistaken for a Moslem sect, the Sufis are at home in all religions: just as the "Free and Accepted Masons" lay before them in their Lodge whatever sacred book—whether Bible, Koran, or Torah—is accepted by the temporal State. Nor are the Sufis a sect, being bound by no religious dogma however tenuous and using no regular place of worship. In many places, a lodge (known variously as a zaouia, khanqah, or tekke) would be endowed through a pious foundation in perpetuity (waqf) to provide a gathering place for Sufi adepts, as well as lodging for itinerant seekers of knowledge. History of Sufism. [20] Ibn Barrajan (d. 1141), who a student and friend of Ibn al-‘Arif, lived and taught in Seville but was originally from North Africa, has been called the Ghazali of the West. Sufism arose from within Islam in the … The Origin of the Word Tasawouf. He is one of the most important Sufis of Spain, although he--like many other Andalusi Sufis--would eventually leave the peninsula and travel throughout North Africa and the East.

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