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Theme Changer

 Topic: Sufism

 (Read 8249 times)
  • 12 3 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • Sufism
     OP - November 10, 2011, 02:08 PM


    A widely held view of Sufism to many non Muslims and amongst some Muslims, is that it represents the ‘true spirit’ of Islam, in that it has a mystical basis, and is a more gentle kind of spirituality than the austerities of orthodox Islam. A kind of ‘New Age’ Islam, a sort of Hare Krishna / Buddhist Islam. Maybe this is believed more in hope, than in anything else.

    Let me say that because of how some of the poetry and ideas of some Sufi saints and writers appear in the context of Islam, they could be interpreted almost as a repudiation of the exclusivity claims of Islam, or even as shirk, so I’m not without individual admiration for those who genuinely raise that colourful flag.

    It is genuinely true that Sufis are hated by salafis and wahaabis and Jaaamti types, even to the extent of having been victims of terrorism and persecution.

    But the more I think about Sufism, the more complex it appears. First of all, there are certain Sufi orders that are not really tolerant in the way we think of when we think of the stereotype of Sufism. So Sufism itself is clearly a contested space, ranging from a completely mystical, relaxed, open, humanist, non exclusivist, non supremacist ‘ideal’, to orders who detest non Muslims and view it as their mission to convert the kuffar to the one true faith.

    I also suspect that what we see as Sufism has its roots in a number of impulses. There were genuine, grassroots humanist implulses that took a non exclusivist mystical view, and which can only nominally be associated with Islam, so completely does their idea not tally with orthodox Islam as it is understood by most Muslims. The other is that it was in certain orders simply a method of conversion, a structure and organization to dawah,  a ground level form to act as stepping stone to orthodox Islam.

    There are so many contradictory ideas and tensions across a lot of ground of Islam here. The idea of Sufism as a liberal, tolerant, mystical culture of Islam allows some Muslims to seek to find a balance between their clung-to identity as Muslims in the face of the narrowness and strangulation of orthodox and literalist Islam. I have a lot of sympathy with them

     The more I’ve pondered though, the less sustainable it becomes to accept that Sufism represents the ‘true face’ of Islam in the face of orthodox ascendancy. Was ‘New Age’ Sufism ever anything other than marginal and an anomaly?

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #1 - November 10, 2011, 02:27 PM

    Glad you brought this up. People looking at Sufism from the outside think of it as a big love fest because of the writings of Rumi and Bulleh Shah etc. To me this is just a lure to something more sinister in many cases.

    People like to quote Hallaj but fail to see that his death warrant was also signed by a fellow Sufi. People fail to see that being initiated into a Sufi order wont necessarily be less dogmatic. In most cases shariah is still to be followed and bullshit accepted.


    Sufi stories are also very questionable and dangerous in some cases. They are used by the sheikhs to have mureeds  give up control to them... I've seen it happen in the Sufi order I was in. Trust and love your sheikh more than anyone and whatever he says is right... Doubt that and it's shaitan trying to pull you off the straight path and all that sort of crap.

    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #2 - November 10, 2011, 02:37 PM

    @ billy

    Great post Afro

    I don't think all sufis are hated by all orthodox sunnis. Sufis aren't monolithic, some can be as violent/strict in their interpretation as salafis and many have. Saladin was inspired by sufism but was staunchly anti shia and fought the invading crusaders.  Another example of violent sufis is someone known as the "mad mullah" (I forgot his real name) he thought he was being overpowered/intoxicated by Allah who was telling him to fight and resist the British in what is now the NWFP, he's an ancestor of mine, apparently  wacko Also the likes of Allama Iqbal who held many unorthodox views are seen as great muslims, he's one of the few men who gets praised by sufis and Al-Qaeda and I think that's down to his anti-secular pro-Islamist and ummah unity views.

    As a muslim I hated most sufis, not only because I was taught that they were mushriks who are corrupting Islam but because I didn't like the superstitious stuff, things like bathing in dirty water because some pir/saint used to centuries ago, decorating graves, reading stuff over and over again, the continuous praise of Mo and of course the status given to saints, almost like that of the shia Imams and catholic popes. I preferred me communicating with Allah directly, no middle man and not needing a bearded man telling me what Islam (Quran and hadith) says instead making up my own mind by reading and learning. Being called a "wahhabi" by sufi/barelvis (most british pakis) didn't help change my views.

    As a non-muslim I like some aspects of sufism, it tries to explain the relationship between humans and God, which is nice even though I don't think God exists. Some of their views about Jihad, non-muslims, jizya, Islamic state, wife beating and so on are interesting and aren't as dogmatic as those of orthodox sunnis.

    But at the end of the day, sufis believe in Allah and Mo-they praise him and try to follow his example (apart from the jihad and politics of course) more than salafis. They don't disagree with shariah law, they only disagree with the Salafi/deobandi/taliban interpretation of it  Roll Eyes And recently a lot of prominent sufi clerics in Pakistan have spoken in favour of the blasphemy laws so yeah whatever....
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #3 - November 10, 2011, 02:44 PM



    I got to know a Nashqbandi Sufi quite well, and talked to him alot. The transcendent aspect was there in his devotion to Mo / Allah (which was also my first inkling that alot of Islamic devotion is sublimated idol worship of Mohammad despite what they say, they don't realise they're even doing it)

    However, as much as this mystical veneer was there, he was one of the biggest religious bigots you could hope to meet. He disliked salafism, but when pushed on it, it seemed to me more that he disliked the 'market share' of Islam that salafism claimed. His attitude towards non Muslims was pretty vile, and the Nashqbandi Sufi's only reason for existence was to convert kaffars to Islam. In all other aspects, he was orthodox to the max.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #4 - November 10, 2011, 02:51 PM


    As a muslim I hated most sufis, not only because I was taught that they were mushriks who are corrupting Islam but because I didn't like the superstitious stuff, things like bathing in dirty water because some pir/saint used to centuries ago, decorating graves, reading stuff over and over again, the continuous praise of Mo and of course the status given to saints, almost like that of the shia Imams and catholic popes.


    The pir / saint thing resembles Hindu gurus and spiritual guides.

    Islam probably needed 'localised' interlocuters to sell it to the people, make it a living thing with rituals and colour and ritual at the grassroots level when it spread.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #5 - November 10, 2011, 03:05 PM

    On a side note I used to love listening to Qawalis but I cant bring myself to listen to them anymore. Hard to listen to praises about men like Muhammad and Ali who would have people like us killed.

    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #6 - November 10, 2011, 03:07 PM


    I got to know a Nashqbandi Sufi quite well, and talked to him alot. The transcendent aspect was there in his devotion to Mo / Allah (which was also my first inkling that alot of Islamic devotion is sublimated idol worship of Mohammad despite what they say, they don't realise they're even doing it)

    However, as much as this mystical veneer was there, he was one of the biggest religious bigots you could hope to meet. He disliked salafism, but when pushed on it, it seemed to me more that he disliked the 'market share' of Islam that salafism claimed. His attitude towards non Muslims was pretty vile, and the Nashqbandi Sufi's only reason for existence was to convert kaffars to Islam. In all other aspects, he was orthodox to the max.




    Was he the type who loved stereotyping white people, especially white girls? I always found that the 'moderates' do that more than salafis and deobandis.

    The 'market share' thing is one of the reasons why there's been an increase in sectarian strife in Pakistan, the sufis don't like the fact that the deobandis are gaining influence in Punjab and Kashmir which is their traditional base and at the same time are having their mosques and shrines bombed. The same is happening in the UK.

    The pir / saint thing resembles Hindu gurus and spiritual guides.

    Islam probably needed 'localised' interlocuters to sell it to the people, make it a living thing with rituals and colour and ritual at the grassroots level when it spread.




    Yes, sufism is one of the reasons why Islam spread rather peacefully throughout India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and so on. It was much more tolerant of local beliefs and culture. One of the most praised sufis, Abdul Qadir Jilani (or his sons, I don't remember) is said to have converted thousands of hindus to Islam.
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #7 - November 10, 2011, 03:17 PM



    Idries Shah is a writer whose work was key in presenting Sufism to the non Muslim world:

    ++++

    Idries Shah (16 June 1924 – 23 November 1996) (Persian: ادریس شاه, Hindi: इदरीस शाह), also known as Idris Shah, né Sayed Idries el-Hashimi (Arabic: سيد إدريس هاشمي), was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote over three dozen critically acclaimed books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies.....

    .....In his writings, Shah presented Sufism as a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam. Emphasizing that Sufism was not static but always adapted itself to the current time, place and people, he framed his teaching in Western psychological terms.

    .....Shah came to be recognised as a spokesman for Sufism in the West and lectured as a visiting professor at a number of Western universities. His works have played a significant part in presenting Sufism as a secular, individualistic form of spiritual wisdom.....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idries_Shah

    +++++

    Note the presentation of "Sufism as a secular, individualistic form of spiritual wisdom" - which is pretty much how Sufism is idealised today by non Muslims and liberal Muslims in hope of finding a form of Islam that is non orthodox, liberal and tolerant.

    Also that it was simply a variation of pre-Islamic and non Islamic mystical /philosophical practise.










    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #8 - November 10, 2011, 03:23 PM

    Yes, sufism is one of the reasons why Islam spread rather peacefully throughout India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and so on. It was much more tolerant of local beliefs and culture.


    I think it was basically the missionary movement - utilise the local colour and then convert the infidels. Even if it wasn't always done with the sword, it still had an expansionist intent.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #9 - November 10, 2011, 03:50 PM

    People like to quote Hallaj but fail to see that his death warrant was also signed by a fellow Sufi


    In basic terms, things haven't changed much since Hallaj was executed as a heretic. In as much as the prevailing orthodoxies.

    Hallaj tried to 'metaphor-ise' aspects of Islam. But if you make metaphor through mysticism and the esoteric, Islam loses its hard as steel reality - it is literal, not symbolic.

    This is the anomaly of Sufism.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #10 - November 10, 2011, 11:26 PM

    Problem is, that as with Islam, there are many kinds of Sufism too. The Deobandis, for instance, are generally practitioners Sufism, but they nevertheless are very much representative of the traditional, orthodox understanding of Islam. At the same time, however, you can no doubt find adherents of 'Sufism' that take a more metaphorical and mystical approach to the religion. I believe Muhammad Asad, as well as being a Mu'tazilite, was also a practitioner of Sufism, and his allegorical, mystical understanding of the Qur'an, and by extension Islam, is very evident in his translation/tafseer. At the same time though one should not be tempted to think that being a Western convert necessitates that one will also hold such a watered-down perspective of the Deen. For instance 'Abdul Qadir al-Sufi, likewise a convert and a Sufi, is an outspoken proponent of traditional Islam and Islamic law.
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #11 - November 11, 2011, 02:33 AM

    The thing is "Sufi" more or less became a catch all term for heterodox muslims who like bidah.
    Which is great and all, I like Bidah as much as the next guy, but it doesnt imply progressive or something. There are sufis who are also the biggest taliban dickwads out there when it comes to things other than rituals.
    They're just more 'mystical' about their backwards oppressive superstitions.
    Of course in the west the term is also associated with "Universal Sufism", which was created by some hip Indian guy in 1920s London, and is more the muslim version of UUs

    The foundation of superstition is ignorance, the
    superstructure is faith and the dome is a vain hope. Superstition
    is the child of ignorance and the mother of misery.
    -Robert G. Ingersoll (1898)

     "Do time ninjas have this ability?" "Yeah. Only they stay silent and aren't douchebags."  -Ibl
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #12 - November 11, 2011, 10:46 AM

    Quote
    and is more the muslim version of UUs


    UUs?


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #13 - November 11, 2011, 08:29 PM

    Unitarian Universalists

    The foundation of superstition is ignorance, the
    superstructure is faith and the dome is a vain hope. Superstition
    is the child of ignorance and the mother of misery.
    -Robert G. Ingersoll (1898)

     "Do time ninjas have this ability?" "Yeah. Only they stay silent and aren't douchebags."  -Ibl
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #14 - November 22, 2011, 09:07 PM

    Glad you brought this up. People looking at Sufism from the outside think of it as a big love fest because of the writings of Rumi and Bulleh Shah etc. To me this is just a lure to something more sinister in many cases.

    People like to quote Hallaj but fail to see that his death warrant was also signed by a fellow Sufi. People fail to see that being initiated into a Sufi order wont necessarily be less dogmatic. In most cases shariah is still to be followed and bullshit accepted.


    This is true indeed.  The sufi orders I was attached to were more legalistic, more rigid, less tolerant of slip ups than even the salafis we knew.  And that is aside from their rigid and intolerant views of other Muslims or non Muslims. 


    Quote
    Sufi stories are also very questionable and dangerous in some cases. They are used by the sheikhs to have mureeds  give up control to them... I've seen it happen in the Sufi order I was in. Trust and love your sheikh more than anyone and whatever he says is right... Doubt that and it's shaitan trying to pull you off the straight path and all that sort of crap.


    Yes.  I am wondering which order you were in, if I may ask?  In ours, any time doubts or strife were raised about the shaykhs and their ethics, some "wondrous" story would come along where a local saint or great shaykh had had some wondrous dream about him or something else.  The closer I came to the inner workings, the more clear it became to me that our shaykh was, indeed, mad.  Incredibly intelligent, but mad.  The mythology was built up to explain it, justify it and also to cover it up.   

    [this space for rent]
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #15 - November 22, 2011, 09:56 PM


    Good to see you back here Manat  Smiley

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #16 - November 22, 2011, 10:27 PM

    I've always suspected some of the Sufi greats to have been gay such as Bulleh Shah and perhaps Rumi through their stories and poems.

    Both were very removed from orthodox Islam which would have condemned them anyway.

    Here is one example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Hussain


    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #17 - November 22, 2011, 11:59 PM




    Sufism is an inigma (mess?). It seems so disperate with sects within sects, strange rituals and weird dances. Like so many of the worlds mystic religions it strives to be unclear, this makes it more interesting for me. Religions or beliefs that follow rigid dogma are so boring. It has space for the creative which must be applauded. I've come to the conclusion (like with Buddhism) that I'm never going to get to the bottom of it so I've stopped trying to understand it and just enjoy its enjoyable products. Like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, which can't be a bad thing (if you've never heard of him you're missing out).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvQVxrMZB18

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFCUWaY29UA&feature=related


    There's a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan playlist on Yt. Do it!

    "Happy happy, joy joy!" Stimpson J Cat.
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #18 - November 23, 2011, 01:33 AM

    I used to love qawali. Especially Nusrat and Abida Parveen. It was Qawali music that played a big factor in my move to Islam. Now I don't have much desire to listen to it. Unpleasant now to listen to songs about an Allah, Mohammed and Ali that condems me and would prescribe death for me. It's a bit like a Jew listening to songs praising Hitler isn't it?

    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #19 - November 23, 2011, 04:55 AM

    I am Sufi direct lineage to the Muhammad and Abu Bakar (successor) via Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani...  Wink

    Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). (al-Baqarah 2:18)
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #20 - November 23, 2011, 05:04 AM

    I used to think Sufi's were poets/singers/dancers, who happened to be born Muslim.

    I think Salafists are right wing bigots, who happen to be born Muslim.

    However now I know that what people need, is their specific kind of burger.

    Before Jesus was, I AM.
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #21 - November 23, 2011, 05:15 AM

    The only thing I failed is the Isra' Mikraj until today.

    Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). (al-Baqarah 2:18)
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #22 - November 23, 2011, 05:21 AM

    The only thing I failed is the Isra' Mikraj until today.

    You failed??  SAM never fails .. SAM understands everything

    How can you fail  on that  Isra' Mikraj  SAM??   you mean you tried to take that night journey and you failed??

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #23 - November 23, 2011, 05:25 AM



    Sufism is an inigma (mess?). It seems so disperate with sects within sects, strange rituals and weird dances. Like so many of the worlds mystic religions it strives to be unclear, this makes it more interesting for me. 

    Like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, which can't be a bad thing (if you've never heard of him you're missing out).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvQVxrMZB18

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFCUWaY29UA&feature=related


    There's a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan playlist on Yt. Do it!

    well I don't care people living their lives as sufis...dopees.... saints ..imams..mullahs....priests ..whatever, as long as they pay taxes and don't patronize  politicians and play political games in the name of Allah/go/religion whatever..

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #24 - November 23, 2011, 05:30 AM

    You failed??  SAM never fails .. SAM understands everything

    How can you fail  on that  Isra' Mikraj  SAM??   you mean you tried to take that night journey and you failed??

    Yup..... I know the way I can get Isra' Mikraj. It's not an easy task...

    Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). (al-Baqarah 2:18)
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #25 - November 23, 2011, 05:34 AM

    Sufism, in my opinion, was originally a continuation of pre-Islamic mystical beliefs and practices under an Islamic guise. The mystics needed to present their heretical doctrines as being rooted in the Qur'an and traditions to protect themselves (not always successfully) from charges of kufr and apostasy. Thus deceit and double talk became second nature to them until they came to believe their own lies. A propagator of falsehoods who genuinely believes them is at least as dangerous as an out and out liar. Sufis, with an "accommodating" attitude to traditional pagan beliefs and customs, were to a large extent responsible for persuading populations outside the lands conquered by the Arabs to adopt a "Muslim" identity, notably Indonesia. One cannot generalize about Sufis of course. Many, the heirs of al-ghazali one might say, are firmly pro-sharia. Either way they should be viewed with suspicion.

    The mosque: the most epic display of collective douchbaggery, arrogance and delusion
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #26 - November 23, 2011, 05:39 AM

    Yup..... I know the way I can get Isra' Mikraj. It's not an easy task...

    I knew it you were hiding something ., Off course you know how to take that  Isra' Mikraj journey., As long as it is spiritual journey or journey in dreams it is O.k., but don't try to take that physical journey to that place without proper Visa papers.. lol. , such journey by Muslims specially from other countries ended up in jail.. lol..

    Any ways you know what you don't know?? you didn't know  that this  Romans 1:18-32
    Quote
    They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

      was written by Paul Like many books of the New Testament, the book of Romans was a letter written to a church. In this case, the Apostle Paul was writing to a group of Christians within Rome.

    with best regards
    yeezevee

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #27 - November 23, 2011, 05:45 AM

    There are many different Sufi movements.... You need to know a real "Ahl-Al-Bayt" People of the House,

    Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). (al-Baqarah 2:18)
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #28 - November 23, 2011, 05:59 AM

    I knew it you were hiding something ., Off course you know how to take that  Isra' Mikraj journey., As long as it is spiritual journey or journey in dreams it is O.k.,

     It is not a dreams ...yeezevee. It is a factual reality.

    Quote
    but don't try to take that physical journey to that place without proper Visa papers.. lol. , such journey by Muslims specially from other countries ended up in jail.. lol..

    True.... must have "proper visa" stamp an endorsement from Allah Himself via Mursheed


    Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). (al-Baqarah 2:18)
  • Re: Sufism
     Reply #29 - November 23, 2011, 10:15 AM

    I am Sufi direct lineage to the Muhammad and Abu Bakar (successor) via Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani...  Wink


    I find it fascinating how so many Muslims claim they are descended from Mo.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

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