Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Sufism

11 Walking in the Steps of Poets: Evoking Past Poets in Sufi Poetry

Authors: Bilal Orfali

Abstract:

It is common practice in modern times to read mystical poetry and apply it to our mundane lives and loves. Sufis in the early period did the opposite. Their mystical hymns often spun out of the courtly poetic ghazal, panegyric, and wine songs. This paper highlights the relation of the Arabic courtly poetic canon to early Sufism. Sufi akhbār and poetry evoke past poets and their poetic heritage. They tend to quote or refer to eminent poets whose poetry must have been widely circulated and memorized. However, Sufism places this readily recognizable poetry in a new context that deliberately changes the past. It is a process of a metaphorization in which the reality of the pre-Islamic, Umayyad, and Abbasid models now acts as a device or metaphor for the Sufi poetics.

Keywords: Sufism, Arabic poetry, literature, Islamic literature, Abbasid

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10 Sufism as Therapy of Terrorism and Extremism with Special Reference to the Teaching of Khawaja Ghulam Fareed and Bulleh Shah

Authors: Arshad Munir, Naseem Akhtar

Abstract:

The determination of the Sufi is to effort towards unity. His main purpose is to bring humanity, separated as it is into so many different units, closer together in the deeper understanding of life. His mission is to bring about brotherhood among races, nations and faiths and to respect one another's faith, scripture and teacher. Sufi is to confer sympathy on these lives, to impart love, compassion and kindheartedness on all creations. The Sufi message is the resonance of the same Divine message which has always come and will always come to inform humanity. It is the continuation of all the pronounced religions which have come at several times and it is amalgamation of them all, which was the wish of all the prophets. Pakistan, who came into being in the name of Islam unfortunately, have linked with terrorism. It is a disgrace that in contemporary day Pakistan, mullahism and the recent cancer of Talibanisation are gradually eating into what had kept us integral as a society. Terrorism has grown-up to develop a prime safety pressure to the area. The terrorism has deadly caused decrease in overseas and local investment, exports, physical infrastructure, and wealth stock ultimately leading to damage of the socio-economic status of Pakistan. Main reasons are ignorance about the actual teaching of Islam both by Muslim and non-Muslim, exploitation by the religious and political influential, sectarianism and extremism, lack of tolerance and broadmindedness and reaction and retortion by the sufferer. The key treatment and therapy of the abovementioned illnesses exist in the messages of Sufism.

Keywords: sufism, love, Pakistan, terrorism

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9 Impact of Sufism on Indian Cinema: A New Cultural Construct for Mediating Conflict

Authors: Ravi Chaturvedi, Ghanshyam Beniwal

Abstract:

Without going much into the detail of long history of Sufism in the world and the etymological definition of the word ‘Sufi’, it will be sufficient to underline that the concept of Sufism was to focus the mystic power on the spiritual dimension of Islam with a view-shielding the believers from the outwardly and unrealistic dogma of the faith. Sufis adopted rather a liberal view in propagating the religious order of Islam suitable to the cultural and social environment of the land. It is, in fact, a mission of higher religious order of any faith, which disdains strife and conflict in any form. The joy of self-realization being the essence of religion is experienced after a long spiritual practice. India had Sufi and Bhakti (devotion) traditions in Islam and Hinduism, respectively. Both Sufism and Bhakti traditions were based on respect for different religions. The poorer and lower caste Hindus and Muslims were greatly influenced by these traditions. Unlike Ulemas and Brahmans, the Sufi and Bhakti saints were highly tolerant and open to the truth in other faiths. They never adopted sectarian attitudes and were never involved in power struggles. They kept away from power structures. Sufism is integrated with the Indian cinema since its initial days. In the earliest Bollywood movies, Sufism was represented in the form of qawwali which made its way from dargahs (shrines). Mixing it with pop influences, Hindi movies began using Sufi music in a big way only in the current decade. However, of late, songs with Sufi influences have become de rigueur in almost every film being released these days, irrespective of the genre, whether it is a romantic Gangster or a cerebral Corporate. 'Sufi is in the DNA of the Indian sub-continent', according to several contemporary filmmakers, critics, and spectators.The inherent theatricality motivates the performer of the 'Sufi' rituals for a dramatic behavior. The theatrical force of these stages of Sufi practice is so powerful that even the spectator cannot resist himself from being moved. In a multi-cultural country like India, the mediating streams have acquired a multi-layered importance in recent history. The second half of Indian post-colonial era has witnessed a regular chain of some conflicting religio-political waves arising from various sectarian camps in the country, which have compelled the counter forces to activate for keeping the spirit of composite cultural ethos alive. The study has revealed that the Sufi practice methodology is also being adapted for inclusion of spirituality in life at par to Yoga practice. This paper, a part of research study, is an attempt to establish that the Sufism in Indian cinema is one such mediating voice which is very active and alive throughout the length and width of the country continuously bridging the gap between various religious and social factions, and have a significant role to play in future as well.

Keywords: Indian cinema, mediating voice, Sufi, yoga practice

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8 The Kadiria Zawiya: Architecture and Islamic Sufi Paradigm

Authors: Ghada Chater, Mounir Dhouib

Abstract:

Zawiyas are mausoleums where saints called 'waly' are buried and where ritual practices of Sufi Islamic movement take place. These funerary monuments have constituted since the medieval period a fundamental component of rural and urban Islamic landscape, especially that of Tunisia.The hypothesis is that these monuments reflect in their architecture the Sufi underlying thought. The paper’s target is to verify the validity of this hypothesis and possibly show the incarnation mode of Islamic Sufi paradigm in the zawiya’s architecture. This study considers the main Zawiya of one of the most important religious brotherhoods in Tunisia, which is Kadiria. A morphological analysis has been conducted and crossed later to a spiritual hermeneutic test. The result of this confrontation was significant: the paradigmatic element of the zawiya, materialized by the esoteric / exoteric dome 'kubba', returns in its geometry and structure to one of the Sufism key concepts: the unity of the creative spirit in the diversity and plurality of evanescent bodies. Thus, the creative act finds its reflection not only in the spirit of the perfect human microcosm (the waly microcosm), but also within the building dedicated to him.

Keywords: architecture, Islam, Sufism, waly, zawiya

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7 Ajmer Dargah: Sustaining the Identity of a Religious Precinct

Authors: Vinod Chovvayil Panengal

Abstract:

The idea of secularism in India has taken a different direction after independence when religion became a reason for a great divide in, otherwise harmonious society. Since then the religious spaces became protected and more sacred and not shared. However, there is a larger threat on beliefs, rituals, and the spirituality of these religions in the form of technology, tourism and globalization. In a way, they weaken the importance of religion from our society over a period of time. The importance of religion to a sense of place has been overlooked or diminished. Religion provides symbolic meaning to places which distinguishes certain physical environments from otherwise similar ones. The rapid transformation of urban spaces, eliminating the territorial differences of sense, spirit and identity have started creating urban centers rooting out this genre of unique urban spaces from our cities. Indian cities, with a strong identity created by rich and colorful overlays of culture through its evolution, have been threatened by this de-territorialization. This paper enquires the relationship of the symbol of the identity and religiosity of a place, through spatial form, rituals and activity, and accommodating the technology and the changing social structure within the bounds of that relationship. The subjects for this enquiry are Sufism and the Sufi city- Ajmer. The internal transformations in the ideologies of Islam and Sufism and the changes in the society surround it triggered the phenomena of de- territorialization. The need for establishing a symbiotic relationship between the spiritual content and the social life, through the manifestation of space, time and activity derived from this concern on abated territory of Sufism inside the city. Redirecting transformation catalyst such as tourism, technology, etc, towards the improvement of physical and social conditions, preservation of the heritage and the expansion of the notional idea of religion over the city will help to re- territorialize city as a Sufi city.

Keywords: sense of place, religion, Islam, identity

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6 Sirhindi Family's Islamic Movements in Sindh, Pakistan

Authors: Nasurullah Qureshi

Abstract:

Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi Mujadid Alif Thani (1564-1624) and his philosophy had influenced sub-continent as the whole; its rulers and nation. In his reign, he convinced the rulers toward Islamic way of life and succeed in his goal. After his death in 1624, his family consecutively produced prominent scholars to present. Some of them moved to Afghanistan and Pakistan's cities i.e., Jalalabad, Qandhar, Peshawar, Queta, Shikarpur, Hyderabad, and Sehwan. They played a vital role in their areas and transmitted spiritual and legal Islamic teachings to people. This research is aimed to elaborate efforts of the family's Sindh settled branch from 1898-present in fields of politics and Islamic education. Their link with Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi will be provided in the introduction. After that, the work will explain their scholarly published work briefly in different fields of Islamic studies such as Quran exegeses and its translation in Sindhi language, Hadith and its sciences, Islamic Jurisprudence, Sufism and etc. In addition, their political role will be briefly discussed in the research throughout the period, especially their noticeable role in the separate homeland for Muslims in the subcontinent. Furthermore, the impact of their scholarly work, political influence and spirituality will be enlightened. Lastly, the research will present the critical viewpoint on their struggle.

Keywords: Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Sirhindi scholars, Sindh, Sufism

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5 Female Mystics in Medieval Muslim Societies in the Period between the Ninth and Thirteenth Centuries

Authors: Arin Salamah Qudsi

Abstract:

Female piety and the roles that female mystics played in Muslim landscapes of the period between the ninth and thirteenth centuries are topics that attracted many scholarly endeavors. However, personal aspects of both male and female Sufis were not thoroughly investigated. It would be of a great significance to examine the different roles of Sufi women as spouses, household supporters, and, mothers based on Sufi and non Sufi sources. Sisters and mothers, rather than wives and daughters, are viewed in anthropological studies of different cultures as women who could enjoy a high social status and thus play influential roles. Sufi hagiographies, which are our main sources, have long been regarded in a negative light, and their value for our understanding of the early history of Sufism is held in doubt. More recently, however, a new scholarly voice has begun to reclaim the historical value of hagiographies. We need to approach the narrative structures and styles of the anecdotal segments, which are the building blocks of the hagiographical body of writing. The image of a particular Sufi figure as portrayed by his near-contemporaries can provide a more useful means to sketch the components of his unique piety than his real life. However, in certain cases, whenever singular and unique appearances of particular stories occur, certain historical and individual conclusions could be sought. As for women in Sufi hagiographies, we know about sisters who acted as a solid support for their renowned Sufi brothers. Some of those sisters preferred not to be married until a late age in order to "serve" their brothers, while others supported their brothers while pursuing their own spiritual careers. Data of this type should be carefully considered and its historical context should be thoroughly investigated. The reference here is to women, mostly married women, who offered to maintain their brothers or male relatives despite social norms or generic prohibitions, which undoubtedly gave them strong authority over them. As for mothers, we should differentiate between mothers who were Sufis themselves, and those who were the mothers of Sufi figures. It seems most likely that in both types, mothers were not always unquestionably the effective lightening trigger. Mothers of certain Sufi figures denied their sons free mobility, taking advantage of the highly esteemed principle of gratifying the wishes of one's mother and the seminal ideal of ḥaqq al-wālida (lit. mother's right). Drawing on the anecdotes provided by a few sources leads to the suggestion that many Sufis actually strove to reduce their mothers' authority in order to establish their independent careers. In light of women's authority over their brothers and sons in Sufi spheres, maternal uncles could enjoy a crucial position of influence over their nephews. The roles of Sufi mothers and of Sufi maternal uncles in the lives of early Sufi figures are topics that have not yet been dealt with in modern scholarship on classical Sufism.

Keywords: female Sufis, hagiographies, maternal uncles, mother's right

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4 The Role of Humour as a Virtue: From the Perspective of the Sufi's Worldview

Authors: Mohamed Eusuff Amin

Abstract:

In Sufi culture, humour in form of story, expressed as prose or poetry, is used to deliver moral lessons. However, this humour is not limited to telling stories as an educational program. In this paper, an idea is introduced to argue that humour is a virtue from the Sufis’ perspective. This understanding of humour is different than as what has been understood generally in the Western intellectual tradition. For the Western philosophers in general, humour is the indication of the soul’s position in relates to others that signify the relations between different individuals. But for the Sufis, it is more so as a tool for an individual to surpass his/her anger and encourage toleration with others; ultimately it is a form of ‘mercy’. In order to explain this idea, the paper will be worked into three parts as steps to construct the epistemic structure of this claim. The first part, the ethic philosophy of the Sufis will be discussed, and this will be done mostly based on the ideas on ethics that is related to the conception of existence. In the second part, few short Turkish Sufi stories will be looked at to find how the humour is applied in relation to the objective of the stories. After that, how humour can be a principle in ethic will be discussed by making some comparisons with what already taught as philosophy of humour in the West under the groups of incongruity, superiority, and relief theories. Therefore, in the end, we shall argue that to find humour in every situation is a recommended virtue for, providing that it surpassing anger of oneself and encourage toleration for others as an act of mercy.

Keywords: epistemology, ethic, sufism, virtue

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3 Zakariya Multaniand and his Role in the Spread of Islam and Suhrawardiyya in the Subcontinent

Authors: Mahdi Momeni

Abstract:

The arrival of Mysticism to the subcontinent can be generally divided into two periods. The first period, was the Sporadic arrival of Sufis whom were traveling to the subcontinent according to the tradition of disquisition and the second period was; when the Sufi dynasties were sending missionaries and caliphs to guide and promote people from different direction to that land. Among the Sufi dynasty that entered to India in the thirteenth century, two dynasties of Chishti and Suhrawardîya were more successful than other Sufi dynasties. And thus they are very important in the spread of Islam and Mysticism to the subcontinent. Suhrawardiyya dynasty was founded by Sheikh Ziauddin Abu Najib Suhrawardi and was developed and spread by his nephew Sheikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi Abo hafs Omar. Sheikh Shahabuddin sent many Caliphs and missionaries to India. Among these missionaries were People like Sultan Sakhi Sarwar, Seyyed Noureddin Mobarak Ghaznavi, Sheikh Jalal al-din Tabrizi and Sheikh Zakariya Multani. Since Suhrawardiyya doctrine relies on Asceticism and Sharia, so one of the important elements among Suhrawardiyya missionaries was inviting people to Islam. Accordingly Sheikh Shahab Caliphs had a great role in the spread of Islam and Mysticism in different territories, especially India. Such that it can be pointed out is the the role of Sheikh Baha-ud-din Zakariya Multani, the founder of Suhrawardiyya Dynasty in India. Sheikh Zakaria Multani after working in three areas, establishing monasteries, training managers, having numerous trips to different places, participating to social affairs provided the spread of Islam and Mysticism in subcontinent. This paper studies his role and actions in the subcontinent.

Keywords: islam, sufism, Suhrawardiyya, subcontinent, Multan

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2 Pilgrimage: Between Culture and Religion Case study of Pilgrimage in Shia tradition in Indonesia, Traditional Philosophy approach of Seyyed Hosein Nasr and Religious Experience of William James

Authors: Ma'ruf

Abstract:

Pilgrimage has a universal value, founded in every religion. No exception to Islam, has a ritual value, and became part of the religion, as well as the procession of a social culture in nature. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia, rooted in the society, because the Islam that entered into the archipelago through Sufism (tasawuf). In the Sufi tradition, the interconnecty of the human spirit (ruh) to the spirit (ruh) of God, must go through a guardian (wasilah) appointed by God himself ,the prophet Muhammad and wali. In the process of pilgrimage rituals usually by reading the prayer to praise God, the prophet and wali, then convey intent (hajat). In the pilgrimage procession, usually not only done in the house, but aslo completed the process by direct pilgrimage visiting the tombs of saints. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia continues to be maintained, and still attached to the traditions in Nahdiyin (NU followers). The relationship with God manifested in wasilah prayer to God, the prophet Muhammad, the best companions of the Prophet and Nine wali (Songo), who had been influential in spreading Islam in Java. The tradition of pilgrimage in Indonesia is also linked to the Shia community in Indonesia, along with a growing number of followers of the Shia in Indonesia, especially after the Islamic revolution of Iran after the 1979. Pilgrimage in the Shia community, Likewise NU members also pray with supplication of tawasul to the Prophet and Shia Imams. If NU members to make improvements pilgrimage to visit the tomb wali Songo in Java, residents Shia pilgrimage rituals abroad, usually one package with umrah trip, with a pilgrimage to the tomb of the prophet, proceed to the tomb of the Imam Shia, in Iran and Iraq. Trends of pilgrimage as a ritual in the Indonesian Shia tradition, together with the growing number of Shia residents increased, followed by increasing the awareness (syi’isme) - bond with the Imam, Shia. In every certain months (arbaeen, asyuro) Shia pilgrims routinely perform pilgrimage, along with increasing number spiritual travel.

Keywords: traditional approach, religious experience, culture, religion, pilgrimage, Syria

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1 When Muslims Wear Kanthis: An Analysis of Hindu Reformers and Their Appeal to the Ummah

Authors: Ajay Dave

Abstract:

While Hinduism and Islam have fundamentally different ethics, cosmologies, and salvific precepts, individual Muslims have historically been attracted to the charisma and philosophies of Hindu reformers and gurus. While orthodox Muslims have often deemed such individuals kafirs, this does not provide a useful explanation for such an attraction. This paper analyzes this phenomenon through three case studies and develops a framework for understanding these interactions in light of contemporary interreligious conflict. These case studies demonstrate that Muslim-Hindu relations can be improved on an ideological level and that such cooperation has a history spanning much of India’s pre and post-colonial history. The first case study details the presence of Khoja Muslims in the entourage of Swaminarayan, a Hindu reformer active in the early 19th century. Swaminarayan explicitly claimed to be Parabrahma, the ultimate ontological entity in Hindu thought, personified. Despite the immediate connotations of shirk, many Muslims became Swaminarayan’s disciples due to his charisma. The author argues this charisma, paired with Swaminarayan’s moral rigor, paralleled that of Sufi shaykhs and was attractive to the Khoja community. The author then analyzes the influence of Ram Manmohan Roy on Muslim reformers who pledged themselves to his ideals and to a rational, scientific Islam. While not a guru in the traditional sense, Roy’s polemics against his perception of Islam inspired Muslims such as Syed Ahmed Khan to embrace the Muʿtazila tradition in their political discourse. Roy’s influence on Indian nationalism provided a cohesive front for both Muslims and Hindus to work for sovereignty against the British regime. Finally, the author explores the relationship between the late Pramukh Swami, a spiritual successor of Swaminarayan and significant proponent of Hindu-Muslim cooperation, and the late Abdul Kalam, former President of India. A Muslim, Kalam explicitly names Pramukh Swami as his guru in his spiritual autobiography. Kalam places Pramukh Swami amongst the larger pantheon of Sufi shaykhs, representative of the mystical tradition that has simultaneously shaped the orthodoxy and innovative aspects of Muslim thought and identity. The author argues that such influences are not an effect of pluralism or secularization, but rather reflects an innate attraction to charisma present in the Islamic tradition, which Muslims categorize through the concepts of allamahs, imams, ayatollahs, and shaykhs, representing the need for a unified leadership of the umma and the larger issue of authority present in all religious traditions. The author compares Muslim and Hindu theologies, especially those found in Sufism, to offer a theological explanation underpinning the aforementioned relationships. By understanding these relationships between Hindus and Muslims, scholars and policy formers can help buffer the extremist factions of the current Hindutva movement and allay conflicts in pluralistic societies in Asia as a whole.

Keywords: charisma in religious experience, Hindu-Muslim relations, polarization in religion and politics, rational theology

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