Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Sufism Sufism: Connecting Mankind

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Recently I went to the shrine of Hazrat Shaykh Hamza Makhdoom (RA) where yearly celebrations were going on. I saw Muslims and non Muslims - Hindu’s, Sikhs and even Christians - attending the “Dhikr” (remembrance of God) together. I have been to Muslim shrines outside Kashmir and witnessed the same. I went to the shrine of Hazrat Haji Ali, Mumbai. There I was listening to Qawalli. Somebody touched; I saw a Hindu, man namely Ramesh, telling me how to perform ablution. I said why. He replied my grandfather who would often come here, has told me not to listen Qawalli without Wodhu. I was surprised and my mind was full of thoughts related to the communal harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims.

    The origin of Sufism can be traced to the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), whose teachings attracted a group of companions called as "Ahle Suffa", from their practice of sitting at the platform of the mosque of the Prophet in Medina. There they engaged themselves in discussions concerning the reality of Being, and in search of the inner path and devoted themselves to spiritual purification and meditation. These were the founders of Sufism. Within a century or two their style of self understanding and discipline were introduced by their students to nations as diverse and widely separated as Persia, India, Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia and North Africa. Through this process of diffusion, different schools and orders of Sufism gradually emerged. Their practices differ from one another in emphasis and doctrine, but all legitimate Sufi schools trace their ultimate origins back to the group of the Prophet's spiritual disciples.

    Sufis represented the inner side of the Islamic creed, which stresses on self- realization, righteousness and universal love for all. Sufis consider that there is a particular divine attribute that dominates the being of every prophet and saint, such that they can be said to be the incarnation of that attribute. All of the Prophets are manifestations of the divine unity and perfection, but Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is its supreme manifestation. The aim of Sufism is the cultivation of perfect beings who are mirrors reflecting the divine names and attributes. In Sufism, a perfect being is also called a Wali (saint), a word that literally means 'sincere friend'. All who have been prophets have also been saints. The superstructure of Sufism is built upon the concept of teacher, pir or murshid. To be initiated into the Sufi cult one is required to have implicit faith in his teacher and consider his commands as divine and the path shown by him as the straightest. Sufism had succeeded in inculcating the sentiments of fraternity, equality and equity, coupled with sense of service to humanity, in the followers, irrespective of race, community, caste, creed and colour.

    In the earlier stages, it emphasized only on the Love of God but later it also stressed the need of the development of man with the purification of mind, through prayer and meditation. In India, Sufism helped in maintaining communal harmony and social stability by advocating religious tolerance and by borrowing spiritual techniques and practices from other religions, which were not against the principles of Islam and which were conducive to spiritual attainments.

    The musical and ecstatic aspect of Sufism is called Sama. This is a particular kind of devotional dance and was introduced by Rumi. The Sufi, while being spiritually enraptured, gives the attention of his or her heart to the Beloved. With particular movements and often special and rhythmical music, he engages in the selfless remembrance of God. In this state, the Sufi becomes unaware of everything but God. Sufis identify two types of Sama poetry - first praising God (this is called Hamd), Prophet (this is called Naat) and the Sufi saints (this is called Manqabat) and the second focusing on spiritual emotion or mystical love, ecstatic states and on separation and union. The Sama poetry is mostly sung in the form of Qawalli. Music of Sama is set within metric framework, accompanied by Dholak, Tabla, Sarangi, Harmonium and Sitar. Sufism has recently gained in popularity outside Muslim circles, particularly Sufi music. Sufi music is attracting attention internationally. Sufi music congregations are taking place in several western countries, particularly in USA. Maulana Rumi, a great Sufi saint has become tremendously popular in USA in post-9/11 situation when Islam is being targeted as religion of terror.

    The Sufi weltanschauung was based on three basic postulates which determined their attitude towards God, man and society.

    First, all people are the children of God on earth. Sa’di said that the reason for human brotherhood was that all human beings were made of the self-same clay and were as interdependent on each other as the limbs in the human body.

    Second, the aim of human life is to reflect in one’s own thought and action the attributes of God. Perfection in human life could be reached only by expressing in one’s life more and more divine qualities. God’s way is that He extends his bounties to all — the pious and the sinner, the believer and the non-believer, the high and the low. When the sun rises, it gives light and warmth to all living beings; when it rains, all benefit from the showers; the earth keeps its bosom open for all.

    Khwaja Mu’in-u’d-din Chishti, the founder of the Chishti silsilah in India, advised his followers to develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality. As these phenomena of nature make no distinction between any creature of God, likewise man should not discriminate between one human being and another.

    The Sufis identified service of God with the service of man. Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi was quoted in the mystic circles of Delhi as saying that he found God among the poor people in the streets of Medina.

    The third foundational principle of Sufi ideology was their faith in the Unity of Divine revelation, which paved the way for contact with people of diverse faiths and denominations. Commenting on this concept in the light of the Quran, Maulana Azad remarks: The Quran points out that the tragedy of man is laid in his effort to make distinction between prophets or in his accepting some and rejecting others.

    This basic approach opened the doors of deeper ideological contact and communication with people of different faiths, and put an end to ‘all notions of exclusiveness which had hitherto prevailed among mankind assigning divine blessings and favours to one’s own community’

    The Sufis have played the same role. They lived in the midst of the lower strata of society and identified themselves with the problems of the people. The Sufi saints were anxious to create in the society harmony of a perfect orchestra. Their principle was to return hatred with love, violence with affection. Shaikh Nizam-u’d-din Auliya used to recite the following verse of Shaikh Abu Sa’id Abul Khair as his motto in life:

    Whoever causes grief to us,
    May his life get more and more happiness

    http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2011/Feb/15/sufism-connecting-mankind-21.asp
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 6
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Punjabi Nice Punjabi Songs with a Blend of Sufism Videos Apr 12, 2013
    Sufism Hearing the Divine Sound in Sufism? Hearing it in Sikhi? Interfaith Dialogues Dec 16, 2012
    Sufism Sufism Returns to Afghanistan After Years of Repression Interfaith Dialogues Mar 5, 2011
    Islam The Islam That Hardliners Hate: Sufism under Attack in Pakistan Interfaith Dialogues Jan 9, 2011
    Sufism Spiritual Hermeneutics in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi Interfaith Dialogues Nov 26, 2010

  3. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    One of the first such Sufis writing in Punjabi was Baba Farid ji. His writings accredited to 12th century or almost three centuries before Guru Nanak Dev ji. Some excerpted information below,

    Some examples of Baba Farid ji's shabads from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji,

    YouTube - Part 1 - Beautiful: Selected Gurbani of Sheikh Fareed Ji Shabad Kirtan Guru Granth Sahib Ji
    Part 1 - Beautiful: Selected Gurbani of Sheikh Fareed Ji Shabad Kirtan Guru Granth Sahib Ji

    YouTube - Part 2 - Beautiful: Selected Gurbani of Sheikh Fareed Ji Shabad Kirtan Guru Granth Sahib Ji
    (Part 2 - Beautiful: Selected Gurbani of Sheikh Fareed Ji Shabad Kirtan Guru Granth Sahib Ji)[/quote]

    I will add some of the material in the following section for listening and watching enjoyment,

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/urdu-sufi/

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    • Like Like x 8
  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    I beleive most of the Mulsim friends of our Guru sahibaans were more SUFI than Sunni in character/islamic faith. Tyrants like the Mughal Emperors from jehangir onwards were heavily influenced by their Sunni fanatic and fundamentalist advisers to carry out aggression agianst non-muslims and sufi saints as well. The Modern successors of these mughal tyrants are the Talibans who are daily suicide bombing and destroying Sufi mosques, darghash and all
     
    • Like Like x 5
  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    The problem with Sufism is that Sufi's never discarded shariat and other Islamic laws.So the descendents of those people who embraced sufism revert to hardcore form of islam.Many of today's Kahsmiri muslim militants or Pakistani fanatic muslims are descendents of converts of Sufi's
     
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Iran: Clashes highlight 'demonization' of Sufi Muslims


    By Ron Synovitz

    November 16, 2007 (RFE/RL) – Clashes in Iran this week between security forces and followers of a mystic Sufi order have underlined what international human rights groups say is the increasing "demonization" of Sufi Muslims in Iran.

    Dozens of people were injured and arrested during the November 11 clashes in the western city of Borujerd, and parts of the Sufis' monastery there were destroyed. Official media said the clashes came after Sufis attacked a Shi'a mosque in the city where clerics had been criticising Sufism.

    Sufism is growing in popularity in predominantly Shi'ite Iran, though officials and conservative Shi'a clerics have said it is a deviation of Islam.

    Centuries-old Tensions

    Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam in which individuals pursue absolute truth and divine wisdom through mystic revelation. It is best known around the world for its "whirling dervish" dances and for the mystical poetry of 13th-century Persian poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi.

    In fact, Sufi Muslims believe that rituals involving dance, music, and the recitation of Allah's divine names can give them direct perception of God.

    But although many Sufi orders strictly observe Islamic practices and beliefs, some conservative Shi'a clerics in Iran say Sufism is a danger to Islam.

    Indeed, there have long been tensions in Iran between Sufism and more orthodox traditions of Islam. Observers such as the human-rights group Amnesty International say these tensions have worsened – and state tolerance for Sufi groups in Iran has diminished – since the establishment of an Islamic republic some 28 years ago.

    The poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (public domain)The poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (public domain)

    And since Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, Iranian authorities appear to be increasingly confronting Sufi Muslims.

    Abdol Karim Lahiji, a prominent Iranian lawyer who directs the Paris-based League for Defense of Human Rights in Iran, tells RFE/RL that the divisions between Sufis and Shi'a in Iran can be traced back more than 1,000 years.

    In particular, Lahiji notes that the approach toward Islam of Sufi orders – known as Tariqas – differs markedly from that of Iran's conservative Shi'a clerics, who follow a strict interpretation of Islamic rules known as shari'a law.

    "First it's the historical problem between two kinds of thinking about Islam," Lahiji says. "It's two schools – the school of shari'a and the school of Tariqa. Tariqa means Sufis [orders] and all the mystic schools. In all our history, it was always a fight between two kinds of interpretations of Islam. The Sufis were more tolerant of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The [shari'a] people were more aggressive and less tolerant of the other interpretations of Islam."

    The Islamic Revolution, which brought Iran's conservative clerics to power in 1979, also established shari'a as the basis of all laws in the country.

    "For that reason, the other sections of Islam – like Sunnis, like Ismaili, like Sufis – not only haven't the same rights in the constitution and the political and judicial systems of Iran, they aren't considered real Muslims," Lahiji says. "For that reason, all kinds of persecution of these kinds of Muslims are permitted in Iran."

    In broader terms, Lahiji sees the demonization of Sufi Muslims in Iran as a strategy by Ahmadinejad's regime aimed at discrediting individuals or groups that pose political challenges to the power of Iran's conservative Shi'a clerics.

    "It's not only about the other sections of Islam. It's all the sections of society. In the last two years, the civil society of Iran – the journalists, the students, the women, the [labor unions], the teachers, the universities – all are victims of these very, very aggressive politics," he says. "And the other Muslim groups are [treated] the same. It's the result of the political aggression of Ahmadinejad."

    Monastery Bulldozed

    The November 11 clashes pitted police and Basij paramilitary troops against members of the largest Sufi order in Iran, Nematollahi Gonabadi.

    Nematollahi Gonabadi is the Sufi order with teachings that most closely resemble Shi'a Islamic traditions. Nevertheless, Iranian security forces in the end used bulldozers to demolish parts of the Sufi monastery in Borujerd, known as Hossaini-ye Nematollahi Gonabadi.

    There are conflicting reports about what led to the clashes, none of which could be independently confirmed. However, by all accounts, scores of people were injured and arrested during the confrontation.


    Iran's official state-run news agencies says Sufis attacked a Shi'a mosque, the Masjid an-Nabi, that is next door to their Sufi monastery.

    Those reports say the Sufis were angry about criticism from Shi'a clerics that were being broadcast from loudspeakers in the mosque's minarets.

    Sufis in Borujerd describe events differently. They say Shi'a clerics feel threatened by the growing popularity of the Sufi movement in Iran, especially among young people.

    One Sufi follower in Borujerd told Radio Farda that Iranian authorities had invented stories about the Sufi attack on the Shi'a mosque in order to justify the destruction of the monastery.

    "[Authorities] spread a rumor that Sufi mystics had attacked Masjid an-Nabi and injured one of the clerics there," he said. "This very rumor gave an excuse for the [paramilitary Basij] to say that they must seek vengeance. By mobilizing forces around the city, they somehow gathered people together and attacked Hossaini-ye, [the Sufi's monastery.] They attacked first with sticks and stones, demolishing the ceiling of Hossaini-ye. Then, when they entered Hossaini-ye, the Sufis and dervishes resisted and forced them back out of the building. Then, they attacked again – this time using tear gas and colored gases. So they occupied the Hossaini-ye. They burned it and destroyed it. They are persecuting Sufis for their religious beliefs."

    Leaders of other Sufi orders contacted by RFE/RL have declined to comment on the Borujerd dispute, saying they fear their followers will be persecuted in Iran if they issue political statements about Ahmadinejad's regime.

    'Threatening Atmosphere'

    The U.S. State Department says respect for religious freedom in Iran is extremely poor and has been deteriorating since Ahmadinejad came to power – especially for Sufi Muslims and members of the Baha'i Faith.

    In fact, just a week before the violence in Borujerd, Iranian Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Parviz issued a statement saying there is no place for the promotion of Sufism in Shi'a-dominated Iran.

    Parviz's remarks followed complaints from Shi'a clerics about state television coverage of the Rumi International Congress, an event in Iran commemorating the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Persian poet and mystic Rumi.

    Parviz, who also served as executive director of the committee for the Rumi Congress, said the clerics' complaints focused on news broadcasts about performances of Sama, the Sufi practice of gathering to listen to religious poetry that is sung and often accompanied by ecstatic dance or other rituals.

    The U.S. State Department says Tehran's actions and rhetoric have created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all religious minorities in Iran.

    It also says Iran's government-controlled media has intensified negative campaigns against religious minorities since Ahmadinejad's election.

    It notes that in late 2005, a shari'a scholar in the holy city Qom, Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani, called for a crackdown on Sufi groups after labeling them a "danger to Islam." Since then, articles attacking Sufis have proliferated in Iranian national newspapers.

    In February 2006, police closed a building in Qom that was being used as a house of worship by Sufis from the Nematollahi Gonabadi order. When Sufis responded by staging a protest in Qom, clashes broke out and Iranian authorities arrested more than 1,000 people.


    http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?docid=4742edf92d
    Local officials in Qom said the Sufis had illegally created a center of worship and refused to leave it. They also said that some of the Sufis demonstrators had been armed.

    But representatives of the Sufi order in Qom have denied the charges, saying they have been targeted for persecution because of the increasing popularity of Sufism.

    (Radio Farda's Alireza Taheri contributed to this report)
     
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    • Like Like x 4
  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    It is a very good article, Gyani ji, and there are lessons for every religion and system of belief in it. How watchful we need to be of our assumptions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Gyani Jarnail Singh ji what is happening in the muslim states is wonderful. I hope they can get even more busier to go at each otherwinkingmunda. Unfortunately the numbers are lopsided with about 85% of the muslims being Sunni and only about 15% being Shiite.

    In a perverse way perhaps Iran is the happiest country in the world to see this turmoil (essentially weakening temporarily in my view) in states ruled by Sunni rulers.

    If you haven't already perhaps a quick check on the following too,

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/islam/34330-sunni-vs-shiite.html

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    Ambarsariah Ji,

    To be really "real" whats happening in the Muslim world is not far off from whats happening in Sikhism, Christianity, Hinduism etc as well. Just see how divided the Sikhs are..how many sects the Christians have, how many RSS and etc etc the Hindus have among them.
    To me it looks as if "MAN" is playing GOD in almost all religions - As Bhagat Kabir Ji already noticed almost 600 years ago..LOGAN RAAM KHILONNA JANNAH !!! this is still very valid and true today. Man thinks he made "GOD" and not the other way around. To almost everyone the FIRE in the neighbour's house looks like Basantar Devta..and when it spreads to our own house then we scramble to call in the Fire Brigade and wnat the Basantar devta doused asap !!
    The IRAN/ARAB...."conflict" is also RACIAL as well as RELIGIOUS...just as the One Religion UNITY PLAN failed miserably to Keep Pakistan's Bangla and Punjab Provinces ONE Country....a Common religion..a common language..even a common Race etc is no balm for every wound...heck even blood brothers murder each other for one or two killas..its HUMAN GREED AVARICE LOBH MOH HANKAAR etc etc at the Base of all evil designs and wars etc...religion is merely misused most times...other times race, language, colour of skin, etc etc come in handy...
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Gyani Jarnail Singh ji no qualms about the commonality among religions. Sunnis blowing up Shiite young and old with suicide bombers for me crosses the line a bit. I hope Sikhs don't go to level where the Sunni-Shia already are!

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    The Black Americans..gave up 100% of their roots...became Christian, spoke English, lived Western Customs..went to Church, wore western clothes, ate same food..etc etc BUT Failed to change their SKIN COLOUR..and thus suffered for centuries...No matter how Loudly or SOULFULLY they sang..Swing LOW sweet chariot..Jesus failed to melt the stone hearts of their white Slave Masters..they were burnt alive inside their churches, reading their Bibles, praying to the same Jesus that the KKK arsonists prayed to....No Magical Chariot swung Low out of the sky to save them....the other day in the news was that the latest sunni suicide bomber at a shitesufi mosque that killed over 40 peiple was as young as 10...a Mere CHILD !! so sad to see that young minds rot so badly..History repeats itslef..
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. esieffe

    esieffe
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    97
    Poem
    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft starlight at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.

    [I think this is Rumi]
     
    • Like Like x 7
    #12 esieffe, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  14. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    And this is why when i read SGGS Ji, the thieves are mentioned over and over...they are the cause of all hardship...i believe god cannot be experienced fully whilst these thieves are infuential.

    On the topic of sufism...at college, i shared a computing class with a couple of Muslims who labelled themselves as Sufi's...
    I have to say from their comments, that had a great deal of respect for the Sikh Guru;s and their teachings and felt they connected more with their sikh friends than their mainstream muslim friends...

    I'm so amazed that i can open SGGS Ji and read Gurbani from so many sources and backgrounds :)
     

Share This Page