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Mystical system also known as tassawuf. Most people are familiar with the whirling dervishes of Turkey. Stemming from an Islamic lineage, with influences from Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Sufism influenced the development of Sikhism and the Bahá'í religion. It encouraged the transfer of knowledge from Greek to Arabic development and is influential in architecture such as the Taj Mahal, pioneering the use of coffee, the concept of zero in mathematics, scientific methodology, gardening, medicine, craft, literature and depth psychology. As it becomes better known by Westerners its influential and highly developed researches are gaining widespread acclaim and adoption.
Sufism[edit | edit source]
The diversity of Islamic sects including Sunni, Shi'i, Wahabi, Ismailism, and so on find common ground in opposing or integrating with Sufism (dependent on prevailing political, religious and other influences). This is a reflection of their prevailing interest.
Sufism is based on these rules:
- First of all strictly follow the Islamic rules(sharia).
- After following Sharia, one will be start learning Tareekat (Islamic Spiritualism) under a spiritual teacher (Shaikh or Peer)
- After practicing Tarakiat, one will get the real understanding of the Spiritualism by his own experience and it is called Ma'arifat.
- And after all this, finally he finds the real truth(Haqeeat) about ALLAH.
The purpose of Sufism is to purify the inner or spirit to highest maximum level and prepare yourself to be very close to God (Allah).
According to sufi system, one has to select a spiritual teacher called Shaikh or Peer who will lead and guide him throughout all the way. The student is called "Salik" (The Learner or The Seeker of True Path").
Selecting the Shaikh or peer is called "Bait". One first has to check the character of the Shaikh or Peer that he is truly following Sharia or not. A man not following Islamic sharia cannot be a true Shaikh.
Then Shaikh judges the spiritual level the salik and advise him Azkar(Kalima, Darood, Quranic Verses etc) to recite for a specific number of time daily. These Azkar include the praise of ALLAH and thus have effect of "Noor"(Holy Light). The repetitions of these Azkar and strictly following Islamic sharia collects more and more Noor into the heart(Qulb) of salik and purifies his spirit(Rooh). During the recitation of Azkar, salik has to pay full attention to ALLAH, and thus to reach a state where he will be able to ignore everything except ALLAH. This concentration to ALLAH is also practiced during five prayers(Salat or Namaz). This also fulfills the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, according to that "Offer the Prayer in a way like you are looking at ALLAH, or if not possible then at least in a way like ALLAH is looking at you".
Increase in the concentration raises the spiritual level of the Salik and he starts observing the things that others do not even feel. This strengthens his believe in ALLAH takes him more and more closer to ALLAH.
Main Schools[edit | edit source]
Azeemi[edit | edit source]
The Azeemia Sufi order was founded in Pakistan in 1960 by Qalander BaBa Auliya, strengthened & currently headed by Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi. In order to meet the demands of present times a system, which could fulfill the spiritual needs of man of the modern era in a scientific way, was needed. Silsela-e-Azeemia has been founded for the very purpose of fulfillment of man's spiritual needs of this era. Rising above the orthodox, conventional and traditional ways of spiritual education modern techniques have been formulated to pace up with the modern era of sciences. Because of unorthodox approach and modern ideology this 'Silsila' is spreading rapidly the world over.
Cognizer of Allah, Proclaimer of Reality, Knower of the Secrets of Spacelessness, Possessor of Insinuated knowledge, Master of the Invisible Controls, Founder Leader of Silsila-e-Azeemia, Hassan Ukhra Muhammad Azeem Burkhiya, His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya founded this Silsila after having its approval from the Islamic prophet Muhammad in July 1960. The name of the 'silsila' (the spiritual order) goes after the name of its founder.
Silsila-e-Azeemia encompasses both the spiritual sections viz. Spiritual Association (sulook) and the Raptness (juzb). His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya has been benefited from twenty-one salasil and enjoys the very special distinction of being the Khanwada (to whom the thinking pattern of the founder leader of a silsila is transferred) of eleven salasil. Discipleship of the traditional style and orthodox manner is not there in this silsila. No particular dress or typical appearance is suggested here. Only sincere interest and devotion for spirituality is the basic criteria for ones association with the silsila. Disciples in this silsila are called friends. Instead of austere and rigorous rituals simple brief and easy-to-perform lessons and exercises have been introduced. Basis of the education is that worshipping style and method which was exercised by the Muhammad in the cave of Hira for a long time. Practice of this exercise of meditation helps the spiritual associate to start his journey in the spiritual realm.
More one advances on these paths more enlightened is one's thinking. Wakefulness starts prevailing upon one's unconscious and the sight becomes strong enough to penetrate the realities of the mysteries. And he becomes a man with cognition rather than a staunch worshipper with a temper. Since the founder leader of the silsila was in a very prominent position of the spiritual administration and enjoyed a high rank of Qalanderiyat therefore Silsila-e-Azeemia also has the shades of Qalanderiyat.
People from various schools of thoughts, for instance Shias, Sunnies, Deubandies, Barailvies used to visit him to pay him the tributes he deserved. People associated with different silsilas also called upon him to quench their thirst for spirituality. Whosoever had a chance to be with him for a while was benefited by the grace of Allah, the most High. Lucky was he who could attract the benevolent attention of His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya. Those who had an opportunity of having an association with him were fortunate to be bestowed with a changed thinking approach, which eventually enabled them to cognize the ultimate reality.
The Eternal Being for spreading light creates people whose mission is to preach about the instability of this material world. They become instrumental in introducing the Lord Creator and teach to have an established relationship with Him.
Gist of the teachings of His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya is that man has not been created to remain in pursuit of livelihood only or for earning bread to eat and to wear clothes but the first and foremost purpose of his creation is that he should recognize his own self and have an intimate introduction with his Benefactor, Muhammad because of whose blessings we are fortunate enough and deviation from whose teachings have made us the most unfortunate and degraded nation of all.
At present 78 Muraqba Halls (Centers of Spiritual learning) in Pakistan and abroad, i.e. in U.K., U.S.A.,Canada, Norway, Holland, Denmark and U.A.E. etc. are operating to serve the creatures of Allah, the Almighty.
About seven thousand letters seeking solutions for problems and difficulties are replied from Markazi Muraqba Hall, Karachi as a free service. Besides this the monthly Roohani Digest, Karachi, Qalandar Shaoor Magazine and Roohani Digest International, London; the organs of silsila offer and suggest remedies of complicated diseases, mental ailments, psychological problems by prescribing Certain Appellations of Allah, Quranic Verses and or methods of chromo-therapy.
Gonabadi Order[edit | edit source]
The Nimatullahi Sultan Ali Shahi Gonabadi Order The largest Mystical order in Iran.
Oveyssi[edit | edit source]
Directs the truth seeker to find truth within. Everybody can (and should) experience the truth, and that is the only way to know. It is then practical path. One needs somebody who has walked the walk and knows the road, who knows the way, and dangers. The line of teachers go back to Oveys al-Gharani from Yemen, a companion and receiver of truth directly from prophet Muhammad, even though he never met Him in person, Prophet used to say : ""I smell Rahman (GOD) from Yemen"" and "" His name is Oveys, Follow him step by step, for he is the rescuer of my nation (omma)"". For more info on Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism, visit: http://www.mtoshahmaghsoudi.org
Chishti Order[edit | edit source]
The high status accorded women and the respect and welcome of people following religions other than Islam enabled this school to flourish in multi-cultural India in particular during the Moghul Empire. Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti was the most popular saint of this order who migrated to India from Arabia on an instruction from Prophet Muhammad. Lakhs of people followed him and this sufi order spread across India
This sect believes in Wahdat-Ul-Wajood, i.e Everything in existence is due to the existence of Allah, & Allah is present in everything".
Naqshibandiya, Naqshbandi, Rabbani Way[edit | edit source]
The Naqshbandi Sufi Order has many branches all tracing their lineage back to Shah Naqshbandi. Depending upon the specific linage the related orders profess a wide range of ideologies. One of the largest branches established by Shaykh Nazim Al-Haqqani and carried on by Shaykh Muhammad Adil is located in Lefke Cyprus where hundreds of thousands, of mostly converts to Islam, have visited over the many years. The Naqshbandi order led by Shaykh Muhammad Adil is a very moderate group that welcomes persons of all faiths. What is unique about this order is they never charge anyone to visit. The branch in the United States of America following this order among other locations is the Healing Hearts Sufi Dargah in Norwich, Connecticut.
Kalandar[edit | edit source]
Associated with wandering minstrels. This is actually a level of sufism that is achieved by first strictly following the sharia(rules of Islam) and then learning the spiritualism(Roohaniat) under the orders of a teacher(Shaikh or Peer) who has already reached a good level.
Shatiriya[edit | edit source]
The fast way similar to tantra in some aspects.
Bektashi[edit | edit source]
- Bektashi at Wikipedia.
Zahediyeh[edit | edit source]
- Zahediyeh at Wikipedia.
Safaviyeh[edit | edit source]
- Safaviyeh at Wikipedia.
Moiniya[edit | edit source]
Hamidiya[edit | edit source]
This sect is one of the branches of two famous sects of sufism namely Quadri and Chishti Iftekhari. This was led by His Holiness Sayyed Akbar Ali Shah --> Sayyed Mohd. Iftikhar Ali Shah --> Syed Moinullha Hussaini Saha - Syed Mohammed WaliAllah Hussaini Sha - Sayyed Noorullah Husaini Shah --> Sayyed Faridullah Husaini Shah (-->and Hamid Ali Shah . After this the disciples of Hamid Ali Shah ( still follow his path and teachings which is common even today like Khatm-e-Khwajgan which is recited weekly. After Hamid Ali Shah left this world Khwaja Haamid ali Shah Sahab (rehmatullah Alihi) took over the responsiblities of spreading & propogating the teachings of his Peer. Ghulam Ali Shah was nominated as Sajjadah Nasheen to handle & accomplish all the duties of Dargah Hamid Ali Shah located at Moti Karanja Aurangabad. Sajjadah Ghulam Ali Shah Sahab has published one book named Fahem-wa-Amal which is a complete composition and collection of the teachings of Hamid Ali Shah . Till today one can feel the pureness and greatness of the teachings of Hamid Ali Shah which is kept alive by Khwaja Haamid Ali Shah Sahab (rehmatullah Alihi). During the life of Khwaja Haamid Ali Shah Sahab (rehmatullah alihi), millions of people came & joined Khankaah on the hands of Khwaja Haamid Ali Shah (rehmatullah alihi) many of which include Hindu community people also. Khwaja Sahab
Khwaja Haamid Ali Shah Sahab is said to be shadow of his Peer-O-Murshid Hamid Ali Shah since Haamid Ali Shah has truly and faithfully followed teachings and has made a great effort in making more disciples & turning peoples towards right path of Sufism which is said to be Rooh of Islam. Haamid Ali Shah Sahab says He has never turned his back to his Peer's teachings since he was 23 of age. haamid Ali Shah remains on a continuous tour through out India especially Maharashtra, to make people understand teachings of his Peer-O-Murshid. He has never been seen resting at one place Aurangabad Sharif which is his native. says "I am greatfull to my lord my peer that he has given me this opportunity to serve peoples with his teachings". He also thanks to Sajjadah Ghulam Ali Shah Sahab for his support through out in spreading teachings. According to Haamid Ali Shah Sahab, he is born on this earth only to service & please his Peer-O-Murshid by spreading truth of Islam via Sufism.
These teachings are called Tareeqat since the tareeqah(method)of knowing God is followed in sequence & in chain from Peer to Peer till Ali & then finally Muhammad. This teaching is also termed as ILM-E-SEENA(knowledge of heart) which is the knowledge that is transfered from Seena to Seena(heart to heart) from Prophet Muhammad to our Peer-o-Murshid. Tareeqat is therefore based on Tasawwuf. Tasawwuf is nothing but condition of heart. It is recommended to follow tareeqat after completing shariyat. Shariyat is knowledge of Halaal & Haraam (do's & don'ts). It shows us the way how to behave & how to appear in society as a muslim ummath. It is based on 5 pillars of Islam namely-->namaz, roza, Hajj, zakath & jehaad. Tareeqath is knowledge of what should be our attitude towards these 5 prayers & what should be the condition of our heart while praying. Ma'arifat: After combining both in right proportion & manner one achieves & attains a position called Ma'arifat. The one who attains Ma'arifat is called Aarif meaning the one who has known Allah. Haqeeqat When Aarif can hold himself firmly on this position then there itself his soul gets enlightened with Haqeeqat. It is again a top level of Ma'arifat where there is no hijaab(wall or hurdle) between Aarif & Allah. All these levels are followed in chain & fall one after other.
Shariyat is said to be the body & tareeqt, ma'aarifat, haqiqat are said to be its soul. Body is useless without soul & soul cannot do anything without its body. So both are interdependent & holds great importance with each other. Shariyat is for oneself for our own on how to behave & how to live, what to do & what not to do. Shariyat is for knowing our limits or knowing our self, Tariqat is to follow Peer & know Peer in order to attain his spirit, Ma'rifat is to know Muhammad & attain his love then Haqiqat is to know Allah Almighty & to attain his knowledge & meet him.
Therefore a Mureed has to be complete & true in Shariyaat then only he can achieve levels falling after it. Our Dada Peer Sayyed Iftekhar Ali Shah has said & which is very famous in sufis that "Jiski Shariyat me baal barabar kami reh gayi to uski Tariqat me baal barabar gunjaish nahi hai" These teachings were said to be taught by Prophet Muhammad to his Sahabas. Just think seriously on this: Today why Ummath is on decline & is defeated every where in world though we are very large in number, Why? Answer is that we have divided ourselves because our groups follow either only Shariyath or Tareeqat alone. The group who emphasis on Shariyat is empty from its soul i.e Tareeqath & another group which follows Tareeqath has no relation with Shariyat. Therefore both groups live & end their lives meaning less. This is where Shaitaan (Satan) wins & we help him win by dividing ourselves & by not following true islam which is still present & alive with Sufi's, Sahib-e-dil, Buzurgaan-e-deen in khankaah-e-Aluliya. Where they are taught lessons of Love & how to defeat Shaiytan by defeating our evil will. Sahabas use to hold great love for their Peer-o-Murshid Muhammad & so they use to follow each & every task with out any delay & problem. Today ummath lacks the spirit of Love & therefore every where Ummath is declining in faith & spirit. Ummath has to therefore follow the path of Sahabees & have to become Mureed to attain the faith in true sense. One needs somebody who has walked the walk and knows the road, who knows the way, and dangers, the rehbar rehnuma i.e. Peer-o-Murshid.Since the time Ummath has stopped becoming disciples of Peer-o-Murshid they got divided & Shaitan has got chance to play around with them. Peer-o-Murshid Haamid Ali Shah Sahab says "Shaitan lets momin do every good work but never let him become a Mureed because he knows if he becomes Mureed then he will be safe from Shaitan's hands". Muslims have been divided just because they dont have a common faith because they dont have common teacher i.e. they don't follow a common path by becoming Mureed. Ghaus-e-Azam had said that "jiska koi Peer nahi uska Peer Shaitan hai". Today we can see truth of his sayings. The Islam that we understand is not islam as our thought capacity is very limited & we tend to perceive as per our boundaries with help of what ever we read or hear. It is here where we get targeted by Shaitan. We need to follow the path & walk on the path where Murshid has walked & has seen all the ups & downs & dangers. It is called Tariqat. Shaitan has wrongly spread the thought that Followers of Peeri Mureedi are (Ma'azAllah)doing shirks & they are bending in front of Gair Allah. This is where he (shaitan)has succeeded in dividing us in name of Shirk. Shirk is the one which he did by denying Allah & not doing Sajdah to Adam (A.S). He now wants all of Muslims to fall prey to same mistake. He made a mistake by Defining Adam Gair Allah i.e. different from Allah, where as none of the existence in this world or universe is different from Allah. Every thing exist just because of Allah rabbul Izzat. Other form of weapon of Shaitan is Bida'at. Bida'at means new invention or new methodology. Sufis are not at all doing any Bida'at rather they are following the same old method which Muhammad has directed us to & has verily said "My Sahabas are like stars, follow them if you want to walk in right direction". Sahabas followed Their Peer-o-Murshid Muhammad, then Tab'aeen followed Sahabas, Tabe Taba'een followed Taba'eens, Auliya follow Tabe Taba'eens & so on till my Peer-o-Murshid Haamid Ali Shah Sahab. Therefore Peeri Mureedi is actually following the path of Sahabas which is obeying Rasool Allah (SAW). Ummath is no where now because they are not obeying Rasool (SAW). One can never attain the wisdom of Sahabas untill & unless he follows his Peer. Therefore it is mandatory for one to become Mureed (desciple)to become a Momin the way Rasool Allah (SAW) wants us to be. Earlier some 200 years ago every Muslim use to become disciple (Mureed) of Peer & it was taken as a very compulsory to have Peer-o-Murshid else that man was not treated as a good Muslim in community even if he use to follow all rules of Shariyat. This was because every one was worried as per the saying of Gaus-e-Azam & didn’t wanted to be disciple of Shaitan. This air of shirk & Bid'aat has polluted the true & very pure Islamic concept of soul purification & thus has stopped Muslims from becoming true Momin. Sayyed Akbar Ali Shah traveled from Shahjahan pur to Hyderabad in search of Peer & finally reached khankah of Sayyed Shah Shajaul Haqqani. Similarly Sayyed Iftekhar Ali Shah spent 12 years in Ajmer at Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty as he was keen on becoming mureed of Khwaja sahab. He use to sweep the floor of dargah & mosque & lighten the candles. This he did for 12 years & finally one day he saw Khawaja Ajmeri in his dreams saying "go to Hyderabad & become mureed of Sayyed Akbar Ali Shah" He insisted i want to bcome your Mureed, Khwaja sahab replied " Akbar Ali is me & i am Akbar Ali. Go & become his desciple." Iftekhar Ali Saha then travelled to Hydrabad & he was welcomed by Akbar Ali Shah as he was also intimated by Khwaja Ajmeri about arival of Iftikhar. Iftikhar Ali Shah when became mureed he then gained great name & fame among suifs & is still remembered by his mystical poetries & ashars where he has defined his travel of within himself & then reaching his spirit in Diwan-e-Watan. Watan was his takhallus(token name). One of his famous ashar from his poem: 'Mai jab hi tak tha ke teri jalwa peerai naa thi. Jo namud-e-Haq se mitt jata hai wo batill hu mai. Meaning: I was there in side my body till time there was no sign of my Peer, I am that falsehood which vanishes with birth of truth. Murid is false hood & Peer is truth.' If we will read biography of other Auliya's we will come to know that every one had Murshid & they had tried hard to find them in their life. They were all eager to adopt path of Tassawwuf & walk the way of Suluk.
Tasawwuf is the core of eiman (true faith) and not something extra. Suluk is the essence of that iman which every Muslim claims to have, on condition that he experiences the sweetness of it in his heart. This same Shari’ah which was taught to us by the Messenger of Allah is actually suluk and tariqah, on condition that the effect moves from the body parts on to the heart and ‘amal becomes the result of the heart being attached to it.
A sick person doesn’t feel hungry at all. He forces himself to eat because of the doctor’s instructions, also that his body can develop strength to fight the sickness. Another person who is healthy eats because he desires and enjoys food. Both are eating to live and both are benefiting from the food. On the surface there seems to be no difference between the two, but in reality there is a great difference. The sick person has to subject his nature (force himself) to consume food while the healthy person subjects the food to his nature (tab’iyyah).
By this example understand the difference between a person who makes ‘ibadah but has to force himself and the sahib al-nisbah wali (perfect and perfected saint) who makes the same ‘ibadah due to the desire and longing of his heart.
If the doctor did not force the sick person to eat, he would not have eaten and not felt any guilt, remorse and grief. Although the result of not eating will have its detrimental effects later but presently he is happy to leave food. On the other hand, the healthy person, if he doesn’t eat, suffers immediately, becomes weak and will be unable to do anything until and unless he eats.
This perfect health is called tariqah, which the heart acquires. The spiritual food is called Shari’ah which one should be truly desirous of and be able to sacrifice for it.
Yes, initially one has to apply force and pressure. Later it will develop into this stage insha’Allah where one enjoys being nurtured by the Shari’ah.
The heart is like a mirror, which reflects the tajalliyah (divine lustres). For this to happen, the heart has to be cleansed and polished. This clean and polished condition has to be maintained through mujahadah (constant effort and sacrifice) that will keep away the darkness of sin and evil character. When the dust, grime and rust are removed, then this person is now constantly engaged in dhikr and fikr and is constantly attentive towards Allah Most High. The result of this attentiveness is the reflection on the mirror (the heart) is formed. The joy and pleasure of this condition is beyond words. When this mirror gains light from the Giver of Light (Allah Most High) then it lights up the world. This is the same light that emanated from the noble heart of the Messenger of Allah which lit up the world. This light from his noble heart spread to others who had purified their hearts. They in turn spread it to others. This light of guidance taken from the light of Nubuwwah (Prophethood) is found in every era and is still present although fourteen hundred years have passed.
The carriers of this light are the Awliya (the friends of Allah), and there have been and there are still hundreds of them. From among this illuminated, fortunate, blessed and pristine (in our times) "Gulam ali Shah Sahab" May Allah raise us with them on the Day of Judgment. Amin Ya Rabb al-’Alamin.
None of the Auliya Allah is without Murshid because this is the only way to gain Ma'arifat & Haqiqat of Allah Subhanhuta'aala.
Quaddiri[edit | edit source]
A system derived by & from His Holyness Abdul Qadir Jilani & his disciples. They believe " Wahdat-UL-Shahud, i.e Everything in existence is due to the presence of Allah & everything gives shadat of Allah's Existence".
Rufi[edit | edit source]
Philosophy[edit | edit source]
Universal suffrage and inspired and exhalted love. A stress on ascetic practices such as night vigils, fasting and zhikr (prayer repetitions). Important ideas are kismet (fate) and baraka (spiritual grace or power). Great emphasis is placed on the tariqa (circle) of the teachers influence. By alignment with a tradition or path, the qualities and transmissions associated with a particular methodology develop. Students travel through different stations (phases) during which qualities are stabilised. Conditions of ecstasy and sobriety alternate and are eventually superseded. Some groups such as the kalandars are renowned for inducing altered states of consciousness.
Hagiography[edit | edit source]
Al Ghazzali One of the great 'Hakim' of Islam and also a reknowned mystic
The Persian Rumi
Your heart may have a thousand locks;
do not fear: search for the shop of Love.
Love will unlock your heart.
The Spaniard Ibn-Arabi
Nasrudin Mythical, fun teaching tool, also known as Hodja
Nasrudin sat on a river bank
when someone shouted to him from the other bank:
"Hey! how do I get across?"
"You are across!" Nasrudin shouted back.
The poet Attar
famous for the 'Conference (or parliament) of the Birds'
With your whole heart and soul,
seek to regain Reality,
nay seek for Reality within your own heart,
for Reality, in truth, is hidden within you.
Influences[edit | edit source]
Poetry[edit | edit source]
Dance[edit | edit source]
Sufism practice may include the performance of a prayer dance, in a circle wearing big frocks and their traditional caps on their head, through which they commune with Allah.
Western Developments[edit | edit source]
The first noticeable development of Sufi ideology came from the Persian religion of Zoroasta and the mystical teachings of the Jews and the Christians. This ideology of SUFISM was totally changed when it was blended with Greek ideas and the obvious major heritage and lineage of the Hadith and Koran. Much cross-cultural integration of Sufism came from the French and Spanish colonies of the Islamic empires.