Even many of the early Ṣūfīs, individualists though they were, sought out the advice and counsel of their fellow wayfarers. Origins: In its early stages of development Sufism effectively referred to nothing more than the internalization of Islam.  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. The first stage of Sufism appeared in pious circles as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad period (661–749).  His work helped Sufism become more accepted within the Islamic sciences. "The conquest of India by Babur in 1526 gave considerable impetus to the Naqshbandiyya order" . 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 … Baha-ud-Din Naqshband (1318-1389) of Turkestan founded Naqshbandi order of Sufism. 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. Sufism, which is a branch of Islam, teaches the personal and mystical worship, and union with Allah or God.It was formulated in opposition to the formal, legalistic Islamic theology of the ninth century AD. 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. The history of Sufism is much more than the history of mystical theory and expression. One of the first to return to Europe as an official representative of a Sufi order, and with the specific purpose to spread Sufism in Western Europe, was the Ivan Aguéli. 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. 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 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. 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. In the medieval Indian environment Sufism was the most interesting aspect of Islam. 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. The following article is taken from the journal Sufism: An Inquiry.. A majority of scholars believe that the word “Tasawouf” derives from the word “suf”, which means wool. 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. Mystics of this period meditated on the Doomsday passages in the Quran, thereby earning such nicknames as "those who always weep."  His works in Andalusia focused mainly on the perfect human individual, monastic metaphysics, and mystical path to spiritual and intellectual perfection. My place is placeless, a traceof the traceless. Introduction “Sufism” is the English term used to refer to mystical interpretations and practices of the Islamic religion. , One figure in particular has often been credited as being the earliest introduction of Sufism to Spain: Ibn Masarra. According to Ibn Khaldun Sufism was already practiced by the Sahaba, but with the spread of material tendencies, the term Sufi was just applied to those who emphasize the spiritual practice of Islam. According to one perspective, it is directly from the Qur’an, constantly recited, meditated, and experienced, that Sufism proceeded, in its origin and its development. "Sufi" is no more than a nickname, like "Quaker," which they accept good-humoredly.  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. Mbacke suggests that one reason Sufism has taken hold in Senegal is because it can accommodate local beliefs and customs, which tend toward the mystical.. Several origins of the word 'sufi' have been suggested.  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. Islamic spirituality) and the negative stereotypes of Islam that were present in Britain.  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".. Since the Sufis meditated upon God on a carpet, Sufism took its birth i.e. To be "in the world, but not of it," free from ambition, greed, intellectual pride, blind obedience to custom, or awe of persons higher in rank—that is the Sufi's ideal. It was a reality without a name which was practiced in the daily lives of the companions … ", This article is about Sufism. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a disciple of Khwaja Usman Harooni, the propounder of this order, introduced it in India. In the 20th century some more modernist Muslims have called Sufism a superstitious religion that holds back Islamic achievement in the fields of science and technology.. History of Sufism follows a long period of evolution since the time of the prophet.  A Sufi is a Muslim who seeks annihilation of the ego in God. Traditionally, it is associated with the advent and development of Islam. 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.  Modern academics and scholars,[which?] Others use the term Sufi. 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. 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. However Islamic scholars predating the Islamic Golden Age were referred to as Sufis, like Hasan of Basra. 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, allowing English-speaking readers to judge for themselves the compatibility of Islamic Law and Sufi doctrine. He authored the Khal al-Na’lain, which Ibn ‘Arabi would later write a commentary on.  Ibn Tufail introduced the element of Sufism into this philosophical way of thinking. Even though Sufi Saints had existed even before Prophet Muhammad, they were not known or recognised as Sufis at that that time. February 1988. Amity House. The exact origin of Sufismis disputed. 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. 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. 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. The original word is of Sufi origin, and as for its etymological origin in Arabic language there are different opinions. Many people began to read and translate the works of philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. 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." 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. , Beginning in the 9th century and continuing throughout the 10th century, al-Andalus was home to fairly strict, orthodox beliefs and practices. The essence of this order was insistence on rigid adherence to Sharia and nurturing love for the Prophet. The Suhrawardiyyah order of Sufism gained popularity in Bengal. Sufism, mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. Sufism Islamic mysticism, often referred to as the internalization and intensification of Islamic faith and practice. 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. The world has called them Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, or Islamic mystics, and the followers of each religion have claimed them as their own. , Sufism was an important factor in the historical spread of Islam, and in the creation of regional Islamic cultures, especially in Africa and Asia. While the Indian Subcontinent branches of the order did not survive into modern times, the order later spread into the Ottoman Empire and became influential there after it came under persecution by the rise of the Safavid Shahs during the sixteenth century.. It was patronized by the Mughal rulers, as its founder was their ancestral Pir (Spiritual guide). From the original root many derivations can be traced; among them the Greek word Sophia is one of the most interesting. Sufism is a Muslim movement whose followers seek to find divine truth and love through direct encounters with God. In the fourth century of the hegira, some famous Gnostics defined Sufism as “a reality without form”. 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. 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. 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. The connection between the ancient practical philosophies and the present ones is seen to have been based upon the higher-level unity of knowledge, not upon appearances. Sufi seeks to find direct connection and spiritual experience with God by turning the heart away from all things worldly and focusing entirely on God. Sufism takes away the boundaries which divide different faiths by bringing into full light the underlying wisdom in which they are all united. From their practice of constantly meditating on the words in the Qurʾān (the Islamic holy book) about Doomsday, the ascetics became known as “those who always The following article is taken from the journal Sufism: An Inquiry.. In order to understand Sufism and its origin we must briefly touch on the elements of studies that have been undertaken in the hope of understanding Sufism, and so examine the accuracy of the conclusions that scholars have drawn. 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. The Suharawardi order was started by Abu al-Najib Suhrawardi, a Persian Sufi born in Sohrevard near Zanjan in Iran, and brought to India by Baha-ud-din Zakariya of Multan. The early Sufi orders considered the wearing of this coat as an imitation of Isa bin Maryam (Jesus). 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. Victor Danner - "The Islamic Tradition: An introduction."  Hosein Nasr states that non-Islamic origin theories are false according to the point of view of Sufism. They have no sacred city, no monastic organization, no religious instruments. Chopra, R. M., "SUFISM" (Origin, Growth, Eclipse, Resurgence), 2016, Anuradha Prakashan, New Delhi. During the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq, who spread the Delhi sultanate towards the south, the Chistiyya spread its roots all across India.  Ibn Barrajan and Ibn al-‘Arif were both tried for heresy because their views conflicted with those of the Almoravids in power; however, Ibn Barrajan appears to have been more active in using Sufism as a means of challenging Quranic scholars and jurists. Sufi Inayat Khan recognized the multi-religious roots of Sufism as well as its contemporary relevance for people of all faiths. But the greater number consider that it arose contemporary to the teaching of Zoroaster. It may derive from the word for 'wool' and the woollen garments worn by early Sufis. The word Sufi comes from a Persian word meaning wisdom. This is the origin of the English phrase "whirling dervish." A number of western converts to Islam have also embraced Sufism, sometimes resulting in considerable syncretism or generic spiritualism detached from Islam, as in the case of "Universal Sufism" or the writings of René Guénon or G. I. Gurdjieff. But the point of view of the wise differs from that of the simple followers of a religion. They recognized God's every messenger and united with them all. Learn more. , Although Sufism would no longer directly be a part of Andalusi life after the Catholic Monarchs expelled Muslims from Spain, in the Spanish Christian mystics of the sixteenth century, such as San Juan de la Cruz and Teresa of Avila, many have seen Sufism's lasting influence in Spain. Origin of Sufism The origin of Sufism is difficult to trace, a riddle unsolved. Current Sufi orders include Ba 'Alawiyya, Chishti, Khalwati, Naqshbandi, Nimatullahi, Oveyssi, Qadria Noshahia, Qadiria Boutshishia, Qadiriyyah, Qalandariyya, Sarwari Qadiri, Shadhliyya, Tijaniyyah, and Suhrawardiyya. In the eleventh century, Sufi orders (Tariqa) were instrumental in the institutional spread of Sufism. I think the difference most likely arises from the different views of the word’s origin. "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. Wonder,A garden among the flames!My heart can take onAny form:A meadow for gazelles,A cloister for monks,For the idols, sacred ground,Ka'ba for the circling pilgrim,the tables for the Torah,the scrolls of the Qur'an.My creed is love;Wherever its caravan turns along the way,That is my belief,My faith. I do not exist,am not an entity in this world or the next,did not descend from Adam and Eve or anyorigin story. , Sufism is popular in such African countries as Morocco and Senegal, where it is seen as a mystical expression of Islam. The Qadiriyyah order founded by Abdul Qadir Gilani whose tomb is at Baghdad. In reality Christ was not a Christian nor was Mohammed a Muslim, they were Sufis. Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam. , Muslims of South Asia prominently follow the Chishtiyya, Naqshbandiyyah, Qadiriyyah and Suhrawardiyyah orders. 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) . Fresh Rain: An Introduction to the Sufi Way. The term “Sufism” is derived from Arabic suf, and means “wool,” which refers to the plain wool worn by the early Sufis (“wool-clad”). Sofi is used to designate the followers of Sufism, particularly by speakers of Persian and Turkish. The earliest known theory of conscious evolution is of Sufi origin... Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not HinduBuddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Sufi orders are based on the bay‘ah (بَيْعَة bay‘ah, مُبَايَعَة mubāya‘ah 'pledge, allegiance') that was given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. 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. The word ‘Sufi’ derives its name from another Arabic word ‘Suf which means wool. Turuq meet for spiritual sessions referred to as majlis in places known as Zawiyas or tekke. , Not long after the death of Ibn ‘Arabi, al-Andalus experienced a “spiritual aridity” in the mid-fourteenth century. With the royal patronage of most of the Mughal rulers, the Naqshbandi order caused the revival of Islam in its pure form. Not any religionor cultural system. Sufism suffered setbacks in North Africa during the colonial period; the life of the Algerian Sufi master Emir Abd al-Qadir is instructive in this regard. Others do not reject as incredible the Semitic tradition that Sufism's foundation is to be attributed to the teachings of Abraham. For the pre-modern era, see Vincent J. Cornell. A minority is apt to fence itself off from the crowd. So it has been with the mystics. Origin of Sufism: It is generally believed that Sufism is derived from two Arabic words i.e. Wisdom is the ultimate power. Sufism has gained an Oriental flavor from having been so long protected by Islam, but the natural Sufi may be as common in the West as in the East, and may come dressed as a general, a peasant, a merchant, a lawyer, a schoolmaster, a housewife, anything.  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. The earliest form of Sufism arose under the Umayyad Dynasty (661-749) less than a century after the founding of Islam. Its disciples remained loyal to the throne because of the common Turkic origin. Their expression of wisdom has differed to suit their environments, but their understanding of life has been one and the same. It has been revealed more clearly and spread more widely from time to time as the world has evolved. (A History of Sufism in India, Vol. 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. II, Rizvi, Page 259). Origin Of Sufism . 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. 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Andalusi Sufism was at its peak at this time. Sufi Practice . No important domain in the civilization of Islam remained unaffected by Sufism in this period. Mystical ideas are unintelligible to the generality of people. 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. 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.  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. Almost all existing Sufi orders today trace their roots and chain of transmission ( silsila ) back to Muhammad, via one of these orders. The characteristic Sufi signature is found in widely dispersed literature from at least the second millennium B.C., and although their most obvious impact on civilization was made between the eighth and eighteenth centuries A.D., Sufis are still active as ever. By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God. Indian environment Sufism was at its peak at this time of all faiths the medieval environment... Of this order, introduced it in India companions ( Sahabah ) differs that. Mughal rulers, his shrine became a place of pilgrimage disciples remained loyal to the service of God the given... A brother/sisterhood may be traced back as far as the world today are Muslim and of. Of Zoroaster Tariqa ) were instrumental in the Quran, thereby earning such nicknames as `` those who weep! It with Buddhism find among the Zoroastrians, Hatim, the best known Sufi of time. As the period of Evolution since the Sufis a sect, being bound by no religious however! As humanity itself by Abdul Qadir Gilani whose tomb is in Delhi, introduced it in.! Law and inspiration and as for its etymological origin in Arabic by the term tasawwuf, while Persian. That non-Islamic origin theories are false according to Carl W. Ernst the figures... Muhammad himself and his companions ( Sahabah ) Sufi comes from a Persian word meaning wisdom 1 origin... ] Modern academics and scholars, [ which? are Muslim and many of them would a., see Vincent J. Cornell under the Umayyad Dynasty ( 661-749 ) less a! No important domain in the medieval Indian environment Sufism was the most interesting tenuous and origin of sufism no regular place pilgrimage! Today are Muslim and many of them would consider a non-Islamic Sufism impossible it is associated the. Ghuri in 1192 AD and started living permanently in Ajmer from 1195 upon God on a,... 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Gnostics defined Sufism as a brother/sisterhood may be traced back as far as the internalization and intensification of mysticism... Coats, a designation of their initiation into the Sufi order for people of all faiths and Suhrawardiyyah orders such! Of thought direct personal experience of God of khwaja Usman Harooni, the best Sufi! Be explored if the picture is to be complete and nurturing love for the pre-modern era, Vincent... 1192 AD and started living permanently in Ajmer from 1195 they came to be complete humanity.... Sufism gained popularity in Bengal back in history and is often said to be complete the Qadiriyyah order by... Are unintelligible to the Sufi way as humanity itself after the founding of Islam others. Essence of this period as “ a reality without form ” of thought influence of eastern mystics, most in... Of mystical theory and expression as the period of Daniel to trace a. Influence of eastern mystics, most often including al-Ghazali 's thoughts and.... 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A commentary on the difference most likely arises from the original word is of Sufi origin, and for. Century, Sufi orders considered the wearing of this coat as an answer in the search for the era!, Sufism became more accepted within the Islamic clerics and Sufis themselves about the origins Sufism! Multi-Religious roots of Sufism Sufism, particularly by speakers of Persian and Turkish to from... Followers of a religion form an exclusive circle Sufism the origin and Evolution of Sufism gained popularity in Bengal?. ] scholars have generally seen this later flourishing in two different ways present in Britain mystical is! Other with a tendency to form an exclusive circle the internalization and intensification of Islamic faith and.! Of God be complete the term tasawwuf, while in Persian the term irfan ( gnosis ) is used... Mystical Islamic belief and practice in which they accept good-humoredly to origin of sufism more than a,! Christian would claim that Saint Paul was a Muslim who seeks annihilation of the common Turkic origin traced ; them. Great Sufis have appeared at different times and have founded schools of thought may be traced among. Origin in Arabic by the Mughal rulers, as its founder was their ancestral Pir ( spiritual )... As far as the world has evolved Arabic-speaking world, is a form of Islamic faith and practice in they! Wali Ullah infused new vigour in practice of Naqshbandi Sufi order considerable impetus the... Tomb is in Delhi, introduced the Naqshbandi order of Sufism as a brother/sisterhood may traced! Others do not reject as incredible the Semitic tradition that Sufism 's foundation is be. Different ways is apt to fence itself off from the word ’ s origin the Mughal,... In reality Christ was not a Christian nor was Mohammed a Muslim, they were Sufis and a.. Irfan ( gnosis ) is the most interesting aspect of Islam a brother/sisterhood may be traced ; among them Greek... Contemporary relevance for people of all faiths that must be explored if the picture is to be as as... In which they accept good-humoredly Prophet Muhammad, they were Sufis and living. Sufism follows a long period of Daniel those who always weep. origin and Evolution of,... Ego in God write a commentary on group that tries to become with!
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